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Weight Loss
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Trying to lose 2 pounds per week. If i eat 1200 calories a day can i do this?

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Hey guys I'm kinda new to this calorie count stuff so bear with me. I'm 15 years old about 5 6 and i weigh about 150 pounds. This makes my BMI almost 25 which is the verge of overweight. I want to lose 2 pounds per week, to a total of 30 pounds, so that will put me back at 120 pounds which is right in the healthy weight range. So I've written myself up a diet plan which is about 1200 calories a day, sometimes a little under and one day a week it is about 1400 calories which is my cheat day. My diet includes whole grain breads, cereals, low fat yogurt, lots of fruit and vegetables, soup, lean meats, nuts and low calorie snacks like jelly. I also wrote up an exercise journal so that I'm burning about 500 calories a day except for when I'm working it's about double (I work as a waitress). So my total calories consumed (weekly) is about 8000, and total burned is about 4700. My metabolism will burn about 1500 a day so the weekly total for that is 10500.

So if I add 10500 + 4700 = 15200 that is how much I burn (weekly)

Then subtract 15200 - 8000 = 7200

Then divide 7200 / 3500 = 2.05 pounds

So according to my math I'm losing about 2 pounds a week. I'm pretty sure about this but I just wanted to post it to get some feedback from you guys so let me know if its a good idea or if there is anything I can change or add in. Also let me know if there are any good exercises I can do or any good low cal snacks for me or whatever.

Thanks to you if you read all of this and especially if you respond.

7 Replies (last)

i think if you will eat 1200 calories, you will make a huge mistake, because even if you lose the weight, it will get on as soon as you eat "normal" again. me as a 17 year old, 5.5 150 lbs, i eat around 1600-1800 a day. And because we are teenagers, we can't do this to our bodies. Plus holding on to 1600-1800 calories is a lot easier than 1200. I can tell because i have tried 1200 also :P but its bad, cause i've gained 4 pounds when i gave up the 1200 calorie restriction.

Well what i suggest you is to cut down the calories you normal eat by 500 and you are a very active person, so you'll lose weight eventually. don't worry about the time..

wish you the best luck :)

It sounds like you're on the right track and eating a healthy variety of foods.  I commend your efforts to consider the kinds of food you are eating and the calories you are consuming!  I'd recommend upping your daily intake though.  Especially because you are still in your teens and your body is still developing.  You certainly won't starve on 1200 calories a day, but I think being a little more generous wouldn't set you back on your weight loss goals.  

As for being able to calculate exactly what you'll lose based on the amount of your weekly calorie doesn't necessarily follow a simple formula.  The human body just doesn't follow simple calculations like that.  There are so many factors that contribute to what the scales say, like what kinds of food you're eating, what phase of your period you are on, how much muscle you're gaining from exercise, etc.

Since you are young, you'll probably count on losing 1-2 pounds per week as long as you stay around 1500 and continue regular exercise, but I recommend not being so focused on a number on the scale.  Everyone's ideal weight is different.  Go by how you feel and how your body looks.   

I weighed 155 pounds in high school and spent a summer counting calories and exercising 45 minutes 6 days a week.  I lost 35 pounds over about 4 months. The most important factor for me was being consistent and seeing it through, even when I experienced weight loss plateaus.

I feel confident you'll reach your goals as long as you stay consistent and embrace a healthy lifestyle, not a short term diet.  Good luck!

1200 calories a day is not acceptable for a teenager. 1500 is the minimum recommendation on this website for a teenage woman to lose weight.  Given your height a bit more would be advisable.  Check out for a calculator that can give you an idea of what to burn.  At your age even minimal exercise will yield good resulsts.

As you are in the healthy category and actually not overweight 2 pounds per week is probably too aggressive.  Aim for 1 lb a week.  You can read at to see why 1200 is too low.  Even though the calorie estimation is too low for you you'll get some good information.

Do not use the CC tools for your calorie recommendation, they do not work for those under 21.

1200 is not enough for a teen or a waitress.  I don't know but I can't say I've ever seen a waitress that sits around for their entire shift they usually run around non-stop.  You probably need way more calories than you are guessing.  Use a calculator specifically for teens and be honest about your activity level.  Underestimating will just plain not help the cause.  You may lose weight but you'll also lose energy and eventually want to eat and could gain back whatever you lost. 

I agree that 1200 is not enough for a teenager who is on her feet all day as a waitress.  However, you can probably eat more healthy foods, cut a little of the starchy carbs initially and boost your metabolism with a few more egg whites and lean chicken or fish and add a little weight lifting.  If you eat nice diet of 1400 or 1500 calories AND exercise to burn about 200/300 calories a day, you can get the nutrition you need and lose the weight you want in a month.  Good luck.  Just get some light dumbells or add pushups, squats lunges or climb the stairs a little more and in between take a jog or a nice brisk walk.  I added a nightly 20 minute dog walk at 10 pm right before I head off to bed AND it's cold because I live in Michigan.  You need a buddie or try walking with your Mom - she'll love the time with you.   I'm old and have a big German Shepherd dog, so nobody bothers me.  Wink

This calculator will work for you:

and it will tell you that although you are one pound on the wrong side of the healthy spectrum.  It will also tell you that with your activity level (waitress-ing is actually very hard work), and your exercise, that you are burning about 2700 calories per day.  So, if you eat 1700 calories per day (which I still think is too low), then you should lose about 2lb per week.

This site recommends a minimum of 1500 calories for women UNDER 21 -- and that number is generally for those who are very sedentary (YOU are NOT a sedentary teen).  Because of this, I also wish to remind you of the posting guidelines:

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ETA: dagnabit -- I've been hit by a zombie thread :'''''(

Original Post by evasweetie:

moderated text removed

 O boy, this site tells me that by this date I can be 80 something pounds! awesome!

01/23/2013 87.94

Edited Jan 27 2011 00:38 by coach_k
Reason: moderated text removed
7 Replies