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  #1   ^
Old Fri, May-03-13, 16:29
2thinchix's Avatar
2thinchix 2thinchix is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 851
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 315/209/165 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 71%
Default How to calculate calorie needs?

I know there are a ton of calculators out there. I also know they are wildly inaccurate for very heavy people, since we obviously have a much lower percentage of muscle to fat. In other areas of this board I'm reminded to eat "close to my BMR" or my metabolism will slow down. Well, I'm pretty sure I'm not losing any weight on 2100 calories a day! I'm guessing I should be around 1500 to lose weight - but like I said, I'm just guessing.
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, May-03-13, 17:24
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 29,974
 
Plan: SBD->atkins twist->paleo
Stats: 274/000/160 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 240%
Location: NYC
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thinchix
I know there are a ton of calculators out there. I also know they are wildly inaccurate for very heavy people, since we obviously have a much lower percentage of muscle to fat. In other areas of this board I'm reminded to eat "close to my BMR" or my metabolism will slow down. Well, I'm pretty sure I'm not losing any weight on 2100 calories a day! I'm guessing I should be around 1500 to lose weight - but like I said, I'm just guessing.

If I were you, I'd knock it down to 1800 cals a day and see how you do there for 2 weeks.. If that isn't working, then go down to 1500.
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  #3   ^
Old Fri, May-03-13, 17:34
Liz53's Avatar
Liz53 Liz53 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 6,140
 
Plan: Mostly Fung/IDM
Stats: 165/138.4/135 Female 63
BF:???/better/???
Progress: 89%
Location: Washington state
Default

Yeah, nothing works better than good old trial and error. And as an aside, most of us cut calories hoping to see better losses. Occasionally people have to RAISE calories to see a loss. Sadly, it's never been the case for me.
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  #4   ^
Old Fri, May-03-13, 18:39
2thinchix's Avatar
2thinchix 2thinchix is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 851
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 315/209/165 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 71%
Default

And then here is the next question - there are about 3500 calories in a pound. If my BMR really IS 2000-ish, then if I cut back to 1500 I'm saving 500 calories a day - exactly 1 pound a week. How on earth does anyone lose 2 or 3 pounds a week?
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, May-03-13, 19:54
lovinita's Avatar
lovinita lovinita is offline
Triple digit loss
Posts: 927
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstien
Stats: 352/206.8/175 Female 5'7
BF:
Progress: 82%
Location: Boston, MA
Default

BMR is just what it takes to keep your body functioning doesn't include activity. And I think that is really guess work and would say that is psuedo-science/medicine. more like a guideline. But a guideline I used as a jumping off point.

I am loosing 1-2.5 pounds a week from eating a range of 1100-1500. My BMR is roughly 2080 calories.

I also work out 3 times a week through weightlifting, then do softer exercise of tai chi/yoga 3 times. And I sit at a desk all day typing from doing software programming.

I read an article once about people who don't gain weight that easily and it said that those type of people burn the extra fuel off as heat off their bodies. Thought that was interesting.

For me it is a mystery, I would say something to do with eating the right types of foods in the necessary amounts. Only way to figure it out for your body is like Liz said trial and error.

For me it wasn't just caloric intake (cause I been on 800-1000 calorie a day diets, which left me hungry and feeling like crap. not loosing weight.) it was eating the right carb foods, lowering the carb intake and getting the caloric intake right with the other two.
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, May-24-13, 10:44
mariaelena mariaelena is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 51
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 280/227/150 Female 5 feet, 2 inches
BF:
Progress: 41%
Default

Often if a person loses a lot of weight quickly, it's because they are dropping water, besides fat. And this is not a bad thing. Because when your cells are using carbs for energy, they have to retain a lot of water. When you go into ketosis, that water is not needed any more. And that's why the scales drop so fast.

I've lost a total of 16 lbs in about 2 weeks. I did not go into induction quickly. I eased into it more slowly. I do better that way--not so achy all over, and less cravings.

As for how many calories one should eat, I really think we need to learn to listen to our bodies again. What we need is to lose the addiction to stuffing one's face. Completely cutting out all the sugar and starch helps tremendously with that!

I found after I hit real ketosis, I could begin to eat only when true hunger hit, and eat only enough to satisfy the true hunger, and my calorie count began to drop like a rock!

Yesterday was only 12 carbs and 1300 calories. That's how little hunger I have. And the scales dropped 2 more lbs. And I am 50 years old, and diabetic! If I can do it, anyone can!
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, May-24-13, 13:29
Seejay's Avatar
Seejay Seejay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,025
 
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 8%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thinchix
And then here is the next question - there are about 3500 calories in a pound. If my BMR really IS 2000-ish, then if I cut back to 1500 I'm saving 500 calories a day - exactly 1 pound a week. How on earth does anyone lose 2 or 3 pounds a week?
When they have a high lean body mass, eat plenty and exercise even more. Typically large young men can do this - and did you know that young men are hugely the basis of the data sets behind calorie calculators? They told us that in fitness school. It's because that early research was done at universities and they had LOTS of young men to be tested (ie cheaply).

If you like considering calories, I like Tom Venuto's "The New Rules of Cutting Calories"

http://www.burnthefatinnercircle.com/members/449.cfm

He's got a ton of stuff in there, including:

Quote:
For example, if you are a large and highly active male with a 3400 calorie per day maintenance level, then a 1000 calorie deficit means a daily caloric intake of 2400 calories per day, a 30% deficit (aggressive, but well within reason). If you are a petite, inactive female with a caloric maintenance level of 1900 calories per day, then a 1000 calorie deficit means a caloric intake of 900 calories per day, a 53% deficit (semi starvation, and potentially unhealthy). As Einstein would say, that's relativity for you.

The fix is simple, instead of using 500 or 1000 calorie per day deficits as fixed standards, use a percentage, and set up a sliding scale that accounts for your goals, your desired rate of rate of weight loss and your starting body fat percentage.

15-20% below maintenance calories = conservative deficit
20-25% below maintenance calories = moderate deficit
25-30% below maintenance calories = aggressive deficit
31-40% below maintenance calories = very aggressive deficit (risky)
50%+ below maintenance calories = semi starvation/starvation (potentially dangerous and unhealthy if not medically supervised)


What Tom Venuto doesn't include is that the calorie needs themselves change if you have a fat-based diet instead of a carb-based diet. I take 15% off the calculators to account for that.

Like if Miffin St Jour says I need 2100 calories, I assume that's for a carb eater, and I use 1800 for me. And then use Venuto's percent deficit from there.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, May-25-13, 08:52
Liz53's Avatar
Liz53 Liz53 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 6,140
 
Plan: Mostly Fung/IDM
Stats: 165/138.4/135 Female 63
BF:???/better/???
Progress: 89%
Location: Washington state
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seejay
When they have a high lean body mass, eat plenty and exercise even more. Typically large young men can do this - and did you know that young men are hugely the basis of the data sets behind calorie calculators? They told us that in fitness school. It's because that early research was done at universities and they had LOTS of young men to be tested (ie cheaply).


That is so interesting and something I've never read before, but it makes obvious immediate sense.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seejay
What Tom Venuto doesn't include is that the calorie needs themselves change if you have a fat-based diet instead of a carb-based diet. I take 15% off the calculators to account for that.

Like if Miffin St Jour says I need 2100 calories, I assume that's for a carb eater, and I use 1800 for me. And then use Venuto's percent deficit from there.


If I'm reading that correctly, it sounds like the opposite of a metabolic advantage for fat burning. Am I reading that right?
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, May-25-13, 09:19
Seejay's Avatar
Seejay Seejay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,025
 
Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 8%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz53
If I'm reading that correctly, it sounds like the opposite of a metabolic advantage for fat burning. Am I reading that right?
If I'm understanding the question, then yes and no, I think.

Yes, if you mean the metabolic advantage of following a low carb diet versus a low-cal diet, where you can eat 50-300 more calories a day on high fat, and lose as well as with lower calories on a low fat diet? that can still be true during a fat-loss phase where you want to lose stored body fat. Depending on how much protein and fat you have - if it's higher protein and lower fat, then there''s the higher metabolic cost of protein.

And no, for the calories for maintenance. They're lower on a high-fat diet. Has to do with respiratory quotient and sugar-burning versus fat burning.
Mark Sisson talks about how he needs 600-1000 calories less to maintain more muscle, leaner frame, and moderate activity, versus his old sugar-based life of less muscle, a little more body fat, and training a zillion miles a week for triathlon.

A lot of the talk of metabolic advantage to me seems on short-term studies in the first 6-8 weeks of a change from sugar-burning to fat-burning and the diet change away from high carbs. There are bigger gains to be had during that time if doing low carb than lower calorie, for many overweight and metabolically challenged people, in my opinion.
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