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How many calories a day?

I'm 5'0 and around 105 lbs. I'm fairly active (I usually workout anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half most days and that doesn't include the biking and walking I do to get around the city.) How do I figure out how many calories I need. I would like to loose a few pounds and firm up. I've begun counting calories just to get an idea of what I'm ingesting, but I have no concept of what my goal should be. How does one calculate this?
-m


Thu. Jan 12, 6:38am

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I take my weight times 11 to get what it takes in calories to maintain it. But for you, that may be too low. Try multiplying times 12, since you're so active!

Thursday, January 12, 2006, 8:46 AM

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My weight times 11 is waaaaaaay too much!! I've done the metabolic testing and only need 1200 calories to lose 2 lbs. a week - my weight times 11 says 1900 calories.

The easy way to figure out how many calories you should eat is for about $50 go and have someone figure it out for you with a scientific device and computer software .... www. metabolicfingerprint.com (see kissmekate's blog about this as well - she's getting hers tested Friday)

or

You can figure it out on your own with the help of an online calorie burn calculator - won't be exact because it doesn't account for body mass, hormones, etc. just considers your gender, weight, height and age. There's about 20 different things that factor into your Resting Metabolism (RMR*) and can make 2 people who are the same gender, weight, height and age have extremely different results. *RMR is part of the equation for figuring how many calories you should eat.....

1. How many calories do you burn with your RMR + aerobic + anaerobic activity per day?

Answer: Here's a nice calculator that gives you 4 categories to choose from for your anaerobic activity plus a place to put in what you burn per day in added exercise .... http://www.nutritiondata.com/calories-burned.html

Some examples of occupations for figuring your anaerobic activity level:
Construction Worker, Landscaping, etc. would be very active

Nurse, Massage Therapist, etc. would be active (on your feet a lot)

Desk job would be somewhat active

Sedentary would be someone that just lies there and does nothing but minimal bodily functions

2. How many lbs. do you want to lose a week? Healthy rate of loss is no more than 2 lbs. a week.

3. What should your calorie deficit per day be to lose your "blank" pounds a week?

Answer: Multiply lbs. you want to lose per week (#2 above) X 3500 = Calorie deficit needed per WEEK to lose that # of lbs. Now divide this number by 7 and that is the calorie deficit you need per DAY to lose those that # of lbs.


4. OK Now we can plug everything into the following formula and figure out what "X" (number of calories to eat) should be.

"X" (number of calories to eat) minus Total # of calories burned per day = Your target daily deficit

Example:
Calories burned per day per the website = 2306
Target lbs. to lose per week = 2
2 X 3500 = 7000 (weekly deficit needed to lose 2 lbs. per week)
7000/7 = 1000 (target daily deficit needed to lose 2 lbs. per week)

Plug it into the formula..
x - 2306 (calories burned per website) = -1000
x = 1306 target calories per day to lose 2 lbs. a week with my current activiy level (Resting Metabolism + Aerobic activity + Lifestyle/Anaerobic activity)

Hope this helps everyone!
Blozzom :-)


Thursday, January 12, 2006, 9:16 AM

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Actually, weight*11 is how many calories to maintain, not to lose 2lbs per week. So, if your weight*11 = 1900 calories a day, and you need 1200 calories to lose 2lbs a week, then the calculation is relatively close to correct, or actually a little bit low, since you need a 1,000 calorie deficit every day to lose 2lbs a week! If 1900 calories with no workouts "maintains" your body weight, then 1200 calories of food and 300 calories burned working out equals 2lbs lost per week.

Thursday, January 12, 2006, 10:17 AM

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Why to OP?

I know everyone is different, but why do you want to lose weight at 105lbs? To me, you are already small. (I'm 5'2", so I have an idea)

Thursday, January 12, 2006, 4:30 PM

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I agree.Your average 5'0 person should weigh at least 100.

105 is a healthy weight. However, if you don't have tight muscles, you may assume some "flab" is fat when it's loose skin. Rather than worrying about calories, add in strength training to tone muscles. Cardio alone does not give you great shape.

Thursday, January 12, 2006, 4:54 PM

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OP here.

105 might be fine for some, but it's more than I used to bed. I'd like to be back in the excellent shape I was several years ago. It's more my goal to get back in really good shape and get more toned again than to lose a certain number of pounds. I'd like to get rid of some of the flab I've accumulated over the past few years. Either way, it would be nice to know how many calories I should be consuming because I think I'm unintentionally eating too little.

Friday, January 13, 2006, 3:13 AM

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website for calulating calorie needs

I used this website to help me figure out my calorie needs. I'm sure it is not as acurate if I had it done professionally, but it could give you a general idea.

(I've never put in a link before, so if it doesn't work let me know and I'll try again!)

Link

Friday, January 13, 2006, 12:36 PM

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I think this narrow focus on calories might be counter-productive. Calories and portions should definitely be kept in check, but if you consume calories from fruit, beans and vegetables, your body will break them down quicker, give you energy and make you more healthy. A plate of rice and beans that is 300 calories is better for you (and will make you thinner in the long run) than a low calorie processed Hostess snack that is 150 calories. This is a very deceptive disparity- eating the hostess snack will not give you staiety and will make you more likely to eat something quickly after. Beans are shown to keep you fuller, longer....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 4:08 PM

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biggest loser

on the biggest loser diet they recommend multiply your weight by 7 calories for weight loss if you weigh up to 300 lbs. If you weigh more you are supposed to use 300 as your base weight. For instance, if you weigh 211, 1477 cals and with every lb loss, decrease intake by 10 cals. They do low, low fat and no sugar, high fiber and tons of excercise. I have multiplied by 4 or 5 and that's my range..but i think they factor in the metabolism factor which is hard to predict.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 8:06 AM

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wow..multiplying my weight by 7 (or 4, or 5 for that matter) is WAY too low for anyone!! I weigh 158 and I would be eating around 1000 cals/day on that plan. Thats simply unhealthy. You would actually stop losing weight after 1-2 weeks eating that little. Been there, done that. Keep it at a minimum of 1200/day no matter what you weigh or you put yourself at risk for numerous health problems.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 8:51 AM

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I wouldn't cite the "biggest loser" as a healthy guide to weight loss- 7 times my weight would give me only 973 calories a day. THAT is scary and wouldn't sustain me through breakfast and lunch! I've lost a lot of weight taking in between 1600-1800 calories a day.

Eating so little will screw up your metabolism and your body will burn muscle, not fat.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 10:37 PM

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i agree with 10:37..

dont go too low, you'll actually gain weight

Thursday, April 19, 2007, 9:16 PM

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If you want to firm up and lose weight, you're likely to be frustrated. For you to firm up you will likely need to gain muscle mass, which means weight gain. Moreover, if you want to gain muscle you should eat more protein and more calories so that your muscles have the fuel and ability to repair themselves.

Friday, April 20, 2007, 6:46 PM

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figuring how many calories to eat.

I keep it to a dull roar, but ever since I cut down on saturated fat I have been in pretty good shape.

Thursday, August 30, 2007, 1:01 PM

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Don't forget to listen to your body. I started by cutting to 1200/day and found I didn't have the energy to do my workouts. I increased back to 1500/day and have no trouble working out, but am also losing weight (more like 1 lb/week, though).

Thursday, August 30, 2007, 4:02 PM

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I just want to agree with everyone that 7 times is way too low... I would be at 700 calories a day (talk about starvation mode).

OP... I know how you feel. I'm 5' and 100 lbs, and people are constantly telling me based on that I shouldn't be dieting; but anyone who sees me and I tell them I'm trying to drop about 5/10 lbs agrees that it would be healthy and that my body would look great. I think people carry weight differently so it's possible not to look super thin even if you're just barely at the 100 mark. Oh, a bonus for us though... just like gaining 5 lbs makes a big difference on our frame so does losing it!

Thursday, August 30, 2007, 6:02 PM

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Went to the website that 12:36 posted (thank you by the way), and it says my caloric requirements are 1900 / day. I eat maybe 1200 / day workout like crazy (1 hr cardio and weights 5 days / week), eat very healthy (balance of carbs, protein, etc....) and do not lose an ounce.

So everyone is different. It is hard to get an accurate measure without getting a trainer involved.

Thursday, August 30, 2007, 7:44 PM

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7:44, you're most likely not losing b/c you're only eating 1200 cals when you should be eating more, especially since you exercise regularly. I read an article in Shape about a woman who was trying to lose the 20 pounds she gained back, so she ate 1200 cals and ran 45 min most days of the week. After a few months she lost nothing, but then it was recommended to her that she eat 1800 cals and she ended up losing 15 pounds in 2 months!

Friday, August 31, 2007, 4:54 AM

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To 4:54 from 7:44

Thank you.

Friday, August 31, 2007, 9:05 AM

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yeah no problem. im glad im of help =D

Sunday, September 02, 2007, 3:40 PM

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107 lbs. 5 ft 1/2 inch

I agree on the weight is relative idea. BMI charts and weight range charts all tell me I am a healthy weight for my height, but I have an extremely tiny frame, small waist, and small chest. I tend to carry most of my weight on my lower part of the body, and I have very heavy legs with poor muscle tone and a lot of cellulite. I walk 3 miles nearly every day, but for me, the answer is to get down to 98 - 102 lbs. At that weight, my legs look much better and I feel so much better and more energetic. A 5 lb weight loss is a 2 SIZE drop in pants size for me!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 9:36 AM

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alright does anyone have suggestions for me? i am about 135 pounds and 5'3" tall. i want to lose belly fat sooo bad. any suggestions?

Friday, November 28, 2008, 11:20 AM

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11:20am - can you narrow down your request for suggestions a little more?

The general, tried and true answer to your general question is to eat less and move more! :)



Friday, November 28, 2008, 11:28 AM

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April 20 6:46 had it bang on.

And eating less doesn't work for everyone. My problem is I dont eat enough. That I skip breakfast and lunch half the time. I keep sending my body into starvation mode, and it doesn't help at all. I for one need to eat more. Eat less carbs perhaps, but eat much more protien, and much more veg.

Friday, November 28, 2008, 12:01 PM

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Eating too little isn't the problem for the majority of people.

Friday, November 28, 2008, 2:05 PM

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