Why less calories as you lose weight?

This may be a dumb question. But I made it over 60 lbs of weight loss today and I had to readjust my goals. It lowered my calories by 70 calories or so. That's fine. But why? It seems like as you lose weight and exercise your metabolism would be getting higher and you'd burn more?

Replies

  • brower47
    brower47 Posts: 16,356 Member
    This may be a dumb question. But I made it over 60 lbs of weight loss today and I had to readjust my goals. It lowered my calories by 70 calories or so. That's fine. But why? It seems like as you lose weight and exercise your metabolism would be getting higher and you'd burn more?

    Because as you lose weight, you're losing material that has a metabolic cost (muscle and fat). With a lower metabolic cost the body doesn't need as many calories to maintain weight.

    Think of it this way. If you have a huge house and have all the lights on, it takes so much energy to keep them on. If you then shut off a lot of the lights, you don't need as much energy to run the remaining lights. It's a similar situation. As you lose weight, you're basically turning off a lot of lights (fat and muscle).
  • seltzermint555
    seltzermint555 Posts: 10,742 Member
    This may be a dumb question. But I made it over 60 lbs of weight loss today and I had to readjust my goals. It lowered my calories by 70 calories or so. That's fine. But why? It seems like as you lose weight and exercise your metabolism would be getting higher and you'd burn more?

    Because as you lose weight, you're losing material that has a metabolic cost (muscle and fat). With a lower metabolic cost the body doesn't need as many calories to maintain weight.

    This.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    Have you adjusted your weekly weight loss goal to a lower number...maybe from 2lbs a week to 1.5...if not that could help as well.
  • MississippiMama87
    MississippiMama87 Posts: 204 Member
    First of all, congrats on the awesome weight loss!

    A smaller person needs less food to fuel the body.

    I'm 5'9 and eat around 1650 per day. Someone who is 5'2 would possibly have less success eating that much unless they were more overweight.
  • sexymamadraeger
    sexymamadraeger Posts: 239 Member
    Thanks for the help! It makes sense the way you've explained it but it kind of stinks. Congratulations on your weight loss! Now you get to eat 70 calores LESS a day.

    I hadn't thought of adjusting the weight loss goal. That's a thought. I think I'll stick with it for now and see how it goes.
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
    It's kind of like cars and gas mileage....
  • seltzermint555
    seltzermint555 Posts: 10,742 Member
    Thanks for the help! It makes sense the way you've explained it but it kind of stinks. Congratulations on your weight loss! Now you get to eat 70 calores LESS a day.

    I hadn't thought of adjusting the weight loss goal. That's a thought. I think I'll stick with it for now and see how it goes.

    I did this. I started with 1.5 lb/week and as I lost weight the calories went down until I got to around 1270 and really struggled some days (with meal planning mainly), and this was pretty recent (after losing about 80 lb) so I went to 1 lb/week and now I'm back in the 1400s which is much easier.
  • eomuno215in541
    eomuno215in541 Posts: 201 Member
    It's kind of like cars and gas mileage....

    the further you get the better fuel you need?
  • DanaDark
    DanaDark Posts: 2,187 Member
    Simply carrying around extra weight requires more energy.

    If I carry a 60 pound backpack everywhere I go, all day long, iI will be using more energy that day than if I wasn't carrying that backpack.

    So, you lost weight, which you no longer have to spend the energy carrying around.
  • sexymamadraeger
    sexymamadraeger Posts: 239 Member
    All good pts. I agree about the better foods the smaller you get and I like the car analogy too. The sleeker more efficient Prius needs much less gas than the big rambling Ford Excursion. HAHA. Actually I'm doing pretty ok with my calories. I was eating 1200 and I recently upped it to my calorie goal because I was starting to want more freedom and variety. But I was discouraged to see it take away calories because I'd lost 10 lbs more. However, my jean size continues to get smaller. So worth it!
  • awesomek001
    awesomek001 Posts: 167 Member
    All good pts. I agree about the better foods the smaller you get and I like the car analogy too. The sleeker more efficient Prius needs much less gas than the big rambling Ford Excursion. HAHA. Actually I'm doing pretty ok with my calories. I was eating 1200 and I recently upped it to my calorie goal because I was starting to want more freedom and variety. But I was discouraged to see it take away calories because I'd lost 10 lbs more. However, my jean size continues to get smaller. So worth it!

    It's true - as you get smaller you need less (and because you're used to eating more that does stink!). BUT don't forget that you might actually be able to get some of those back if you've been changing your lifestyle to include activity. You might no longer be classed as sedentary. . . ..
  • _KitKat_
    _KitKat_ Posts: 1,066 Member
    You don't necessarily have to lose those 70 calories. My plan is that my rate of loss will decrease as I get closer to goal. Technically rate of loss should decrease anyways to keep a healthy rate. I have even heard of people eating at goal TDEE, this way the deficient gradually reduces until they are at maintenance.

    Congrats on the weight loss!!!
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,931 Member
    This may be a dumb question. But I made it over 60 lbs of weight loss today and I had to readjust my goals. It lowered my calories by 70 calories or so. That's fine. But why? It seems like as you lose weight and exercise your metabolism would be getting higher and you'd burn more?

    Because as you lose weight, you're losing material that has a metabolic cost (muscle and fat). With a lower metabolic cost the body doesn't need as many calories to maintain weight.

    Think of it this way. If you have a huge house and have all the lights on, it takes so much energy to keep them on. If you then shut off a lot of the lights, you don't need as much energy to run the remaining lights. It's a similar situation. As you lose weight, you're basically turning off a lot of lights (fat and muscle).

    Or you just moved to a smaller house that needs fewer lights. So even if you have them all on, you're still using less energy compared to the larger house.

    Awesome analogy.
  • ShannonMpls
    ShannonMpls Posts: 1,936 Member
    Conversely, I did not lower my calorie goal as I lost weight. Instead I decreased my deficit.

    I never went below 1500 calories. Most of the time I was eating 1600-1800, and instead of going lower I gradually increased my calories instead. That resulted in slightly slower weight loss but the best bonus ever - when I hit goal weight, I barely had to change a thing. No struggle over how to increase calories, no weird sense of "going off a diet." Instead, I just kept up what I was doing and voila - almost two years of maintaining a 130 pound weight loss.

    So it's true that a smaller body requires less energy. But if you have your deficit set to 1000 calories a day and don't WANT to drop your calories by 70 a day, go ahead and make your deficit smaller. It might slow down your weight loss, though frankly I still lost 10 pounds a month like clockwork until I REALLY shrank my deficit.
  • chrs86
    chrs86 Posts: 151 Member
    When you reach your weight goal it's gonna up your calories anyway if you change it to maintenance . It only lowered them because you need less energy to burn the fat and lose weight. And it's 70 calories! That's like half a can of soda geez.
  • sexymamadraeger
    sexymamadraeger Posts: 239 Member
    Yah, I'm not worried about the 70 calories. I'm just now eating my calorie goal although some days I don't make it that high. 70 calories is no biggie. I was just trying to understand the theory behind it. More than anything I don't want to mess myself up as a I lose. I've got another 80 to go I guess. I've never gotten this far before and I'm learning a lot.
  • StaciMarie1974
    StaciMarie1974 Posts: 4,138 Member
    A smaller body uses less energy to do the same activity as a larger body. So as you lose weight you need to a) lessen your calories or b) intensify your activity or c) decrease your deficit or d) combination of a-b-c
  • UpEarly
    UpEarly Posts: 2,555 Member
    You'll get used to it and it will become your new normal! I'm 43, 5'9" and 135lbs. I still get to eat about 2200-2400 calories a day to maintain. I've been eating at that level for a few years now and I feel very well fed. :smile: