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BMI & calorie question

I am 5'4'' and I weigh 150 lbs. According to several BMI calculators, to maintain my weight I need to be consuming about 1,300 calories a day. Now, obviously, I'm trying to lose weight, and almost every source I've read says to lose about 1 lb a week on average, I should eat 500 calories less a day than that amount. But I've also read that I shouldnt eat less than 1,300 calories a day, so what am I supposed to do? Please help!

Sun. Feb 18, 3:21am

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A BMI calculator would have just given you the number 25.7. BMI is a number which computes weight in ratio to height and is usually an adequate enough way to gauge "weight catagories" (underweight, normal, overweight, and obese) in those who are not above average in height or muscle mass. The standards do shift from time to time, but at the moment, you are in the "overweight" catagory, but not by too much. (18.5-24.9 is "Normal").

I think what you're actually referring to is your RMR (or resting metabolic rate) or BMR (basel metabolic rate). An online calculator for these would have given you a calorie number. These numbers are sex, age, height, weight, and activity level dependent. The "1lb in a week = 500 calories fewer a day" comes from the concept of 1 pound being made up of around 3500 calories. You are right when you state that an eating plan consisting of fewer than 1200-1300 should only be attempted with physician approval (and as you are not obese that approval would be unlikely) First of all, log everything you eat for about a week and compute the calories daily using, or my favourite, The results may surprise you (they did me!). You may be able to find that 500 calories you didn't need or want are hiding in there, just waiting for you to give them the ax.

However, what you stated about having to eat 500 fewer calories is untrue. You need only BURN 500 more calories than you take in. Meaning, if you are already eating close to 1300 calories a day... get movin'. Exercise is the way to zap calories if you can't take in much less than you already are. Simply burn more than you take in, be it through reduced food intake, increases output, or a combination of the two, and you WILL lose a pound a week if not more.

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 3:48 AM

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I don't know what counter you are using, but it is inaccurate. Try this one:

It says you should be eating 1800 to maintain, so if you take 500 off of that and eat 1300, you should lose 1lb per week.

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 7:54 AM

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OP here-

Yes you're right, I'm sorry, BMI isnt what I was looking for. Well the number I got is from my digital scale, it says 1539 cal, I assume that means I need 1539 a day to maintain my weight. I want to lose around 30 lbs so I have been eating 1100-1200 a day because I assume 1000 isn't enough.

Thanks for the responses :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 8:29 PM

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OP - If your scale is like mine (I have a Tanita Ironman) the number you got was your BMR. Your BMR is the amount of calories you would need if you were just laying in bed all day (ie in a coma). With lifestyle etc, I'm guessing it would be more than that. Like even standing or cleaning burns more calories than sitting or lying down.

I've heard that you shoudln't eat less than your BMR if you're trying to lose. I eat about 1400 and my BMR is less than 1200.

Friday, February 29, 2008, 6:33 PM

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Also, scales are almost never accurate for anything other than weight. The little electric pulses that go through you aren't very good.

To get your true resting metabolic rate, go to a doctor, nutritionist, or trainer. They'll test how you breathe, etc., and get a more accurate measure of your body fat, muscle mass, etc.

Monday, March 03, 2008, 12:44 PM

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Never go below 1200 cal. You can burn more calories with some kind of activity/ cardio and it is much healthier..

Tuesday, March 04, 2008, 12:26 PM

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BMR sucks ! !


The BMR really is SO bad b/c if you plug your numbers in and eat 200 less calories you aren't going to lose weight. I mean my BMR is 1865.27 and I work out a lot but if I ate 2000 calories I don't think I will lose weight but gain.
Am I really burning through 1865.27 worth of food just doing my daily breathing and walking around, etc...? ?

Since it is just a tool for doctors to scare overweight people, it should say that.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008, 2:54 PM

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