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Calories Needed

I am very confused on how many calories I should be eating. I've tried using different "Calories Needed" calculators on the web, and I've calculated anywhere from 1200 to 2500!

Height: 5'6"
Weight: 135
Goal: 125
Activity: 45 mins cardio (Elliptical or running) 5-6 days/week

I usually eat between 1600-1800 calories and the scale has been stuck. HELP! Please tell me where I can find out how many calories to eat or how you picked your daily calorie limit.

Wed. Aug 29, 9:09am

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You need to reduce your cardio - my trainer would say this is birning you out and you are making a huge mistake by doing so much of it. You should to more weight training. redice cardio to 30 mins 4 days a week.
reduce your calories to 1200-1300. Eat more protein, less refined carbs and sugars.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:22 AM

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I'd guess that the problem is your goal weight -- your body is telling you it's happy where it's at (and I'll bet you look terrific!). It looks like you want to reach the bottom limit of the healthy range for your height, which means that not only will those 10 lbs be a monumental struggle to lose, they'll be an even bigger struggle to keep off. So ask yourself if it's worth putting yourself through this to be a size 2.

Otherwise, I think you're in the right calorie range. Take a look at what you're eating rather than how much and consider doing things like decreasing how much you eat from your heaviest food group (usually starches or protein) and replacing it with fruit or a bit more dairy. I've gotten off a plateau this way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:30 AM

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Take 9:22's advice with a grain of salt -- all meathead trainers say that stuff because no one hires a trainer for cardio.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:33 AM

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I'm a guy and my trainer tells me to eat protein after lifting to help rebuild muscle. But that is pretty much the only nutritional advice you should get from a trainer.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:37 AM

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In the end, its simply calories in, calories out. Cut your calories down to 1200 and you will see results. It might seem daunting but I eat about 1200 calories a day and I'm hardly ever hungry. And while I don't think there is anything wrong with the cardio you're doing - it burns calories - building muscle will also help you burn calories. Having muscle burns fat. Some simple weight bearing exercises with light weights 3 times a week could make a big difference.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:41 AM

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Not the OP but exact problem

Thanks OP, I am in the same boat, and like you I have been up and down the web, on so many sites and could not get any solid info on caloric intake.
I understand a calorie in / out. I am same height and weight, and trying to get to 130.
I do 1 hr of cardio 5 days / week (Burn around 550 - 650 cals + do weights) , eat around 1500 cals a day, and not a budge on the scale for 1 month

How low can you go, when you reduce cals? If I go any lower, I will be sick

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:50 AM

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I work with a registered dietician who says that in her 20 years' experience, she has found that, for women who are overweight but not extremely obese, a calorie deficit of 500-700 per day is the most effective. Our bodies just don't like losing more than a pound a week. That 1200-calorie guideline would probably give you headaches, make you lethargic, and possibly lead to a binge.

On your exercise days, you probably use 2200-2500 calories (based on the assumption that you have an office job rather than an active one), and maybe 500 or so less on non-exercise days.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:55 AM

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This is a formula I found once and go by. Take your weight times 15. Then subtract 500-1000 from that number to give you the calories you should take in a day to lose 1 to 2 lbs. a week. Plus you need to add 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 9:56 AM

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What do you know? You are probably a fatty.
I kow my stuff, and the advice the trainer has given me has worked for me. 100%

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 10:18 AM

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I agree with 9:30, you are already at an ideal weight for that height. I think you should ignore the number on the scale and focus on weight training to tighten up your muscles. Having more muscle will make you look slimmer and fit better into clothes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 10:41 AM

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Usually, I find out my "basal", take off about 500-600 (1 lb per week loss) and make sure I come to that AFTER I excersise (my treadmill tells me how many calories I've burned).

Works relatively well for me. :]

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 11:47 AM

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Yeah I agree with some of the other posters. Your BMI is definitely healthy. I mean I'm 5 inches shorter than you yet I weigh closer to 140 pounds. You should just focus on eating healthy (not so much losing weight) and lift weights. I've been lifting consistently the past year and have moved up the amount of weight I lift and even though I have not lost weight, I feel like my body is a lot more athletic looking and I look a bit slimmer. Plus, with the extra muscle you gain, you'll burn more calories.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 2:45 PM

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You also want to keep an eye on the quality of your calories. this is a link to an article that explains what this means:


Friday, November 16, 2007, 4:26 PM

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I agree that you're at an ideal weight for your height and I bet you look awesome. Right now I'm at 5'2 and 135, wanting just to get down to 120 (which is the mid-range for my height). I think it would be silly to drop down to 1200 cals. Also, if you want to look slimmer, lift weights! It's done great for me. Your muscles get tight and and you look thinner. And NO- you won't get bulky. In fact, I want to gain muscle but it's tough since I'm a female.

Friday, November 16, 2007, 5:36 PM

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5:36 here...the starting healthy weight for my height is 105...and I sure don't want to be 105 or I'm going to be super skinny. I mean whatever happened to just eating healthy, watching portions, and exercising? Why would someone want to be too thin?

Saturday, November 17, 2007, 11:08 PM

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I normally work out the calories required to be healthy and maintain weight at the weight that i wish to be and consume that amount plus 100cals more until i begin reaching my goal weight. Or as you seem to have reached a plateau try maintaing for a while and give your body a break then in a months time try and lose the rest!!! beating yourself up about this final ten pounds is being harsh on your self maybe you metabolism needs a wee break.

Sunday, November 18, 2007, 9:48 AM

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I don't disagree 9:48, but DEEEEEEEP breath for you.....that's it...and let it out....

Sunday, November 18, 2007, 7:09 PM

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Ooops...that was for seem perfectly sane 9:48am.

Sunday, November 18, 2007, 7:10 PM

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Why does everyone think that 125 is too thin for 5.6"? I was 125 for years until I hit my 30s. Now I'm just trying to get from 151 to 130. 125 is not too thin for that height - especially if you have small bones or a small frame.

Sunday, November 18, 2007, 8:23 PM

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Eat cottage cheese. For half a cup it's only 90 calories, 1g fat, 3g sugar, and 16g protein. It's amazing.

Monday, November 19, 2007, 10:06 PM

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calories needed

I agree with this comment. I found that silly that they would tell you to reduce your cardio. There is no secret to losing weight...Burn more than you take in...Simple as that! Cardio exercise burns calories, therefore it is helping! I am in about the same boat as you. I am the same height and I have been sitting at the same weight as you for about three months (after losing 30 pounds) and in the last few weeks I just cut down to 1500 calories and did 5 days of cardio for 65 minutes each and the scale finally hit 132! Just keep at it and be consistent!

Sunday, August 31, 2008, 12:26 AM

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The formula I used to figure out my daily calories bases how much you weigh now, and how many calories you need to maintain. You need 12-15 calories per pound to maintain your current weight. Since you have a steady workout routine I would calculate by 14 or 15. 135 x 14 =1890 calories to maintain. Cut calories from that total to loss weight. If you cut 500 from that and aim for 1390 a day, you may average a pound loss every week if you're lucky. Remember to stay realistic about weekly weight loss. If you hit a stand still, you can always vary up your calories, foods, and work out. I also try to stay below %25 fat from my daily calories. When you hit a 5 lb loss, recalculate your needed calories, and when you reach your goal you have an idea about how much you need to maintain your weight. Hope this helps.

Monday, September 01, 2008, 1:37 AM

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