Calorie goal question

Hi Guys,

My calorie goal in MFP is 1650. I'm 250lbs, 5' 10" male. Looking to lose a couple of stone.

However, reading around on some other forums today and querying a few people, the advice seems to be that 1650 is way too low and that I should be aiming for about 2450!?

This is 80% of my calculated TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)

I'm making progress with MFP as is, and really finding 1650 calories fine - not hungry, eating healthy.

I'm going skiing in 8 weeks and really want to be 12lbs lighter than I am now. That should be totally doable with 1-2lbs a week weight loss. But i can't really afford to up the calories to 2450 only to find I don't budge for two weeks.

Anyone got any similar concerns, thoughts or advice?

Thanks

Replies

  • 12 pounds seems rather insignificant. I think that keeping your calories so low might be fine now but eventually that great of a calorie deficit will wear on you.
  • scottkjar
    scottkjar Posts: 346 Member
    It sounds like you told MFP you want to lose about 2 pounds per week, so MFP set your caloric restriction accordingly. If you set a slower loss rate, MFP would have given you higher total calories.

    Many people here follow MFP's suggestion. Others follow TDEE - 20%. Still others do other things, like eat at BMR or at some other calculated figure. Some use a figure given to them by a physician or nutritionist. You need to do what works for you. Just make sure you do plenty of reading to understand the implications of your choices.
  • Tacticalmedic13
    Tacticalmedic13 Posts: 26 Member
    While everyone is different I found that keeping my calories set at 1200 and eating back my exercise calories that I loss weight very slowly. It might be because the machines I use over estimate my calories used. In any case, while my weight remains relatively the same, other fitness indicators have definitely changed (body measurements, appearance, strength). I think a lot of people get rapped up on numbers and weights. Take a hard look at what you really want and I would wager it isn't to weight a certain amount but to look a certain way, have a certain strength/ability. or maybe a certain body fat percentage. I would focus more on measuring and recording progress towards those goals.
  • designer156a
    designer156a Posts: 8 Member
    12 pounds seems rather insignificant. I think that keeping your calories so low might be fine now but eventually that great of a calorie deficit will wear on you.

    Lol, yeah sorry, 12lbs isn't the end goal, just where I aim to be when I go skiing. Much easier at 17st than 18st.

    1650 kcal felt about right - I wasn't hungry and found that i just needed a healthy snack around 8pm to top me out and meet the number. Ideal.
  • designer156a
    designer156a Posts: 8 Member
    It sounds like you told MFP you want to lose about 2 pounds per week, so MFP set your caloric restriction accordingly. If you set a slower loss rate, MFP would have given you higher total calories.

    I figured a 2lb per week loss was quite sensible and realistic. Conservative even, for a 250lb guy. I'm happy to continue at 1650kcal, but want to do what's right. Hard to know what's right really.

    If I'm losing 2lbs a week on 1650 should I stick with it? Or should I up it to 2000+ in the hope that still works?
  • designer156a
    designer156a Posts: 8 Member
    Take a hard look at what you really want and I would wager it isn't to weight a certain amount but to look a certain way, have a certain strength/ability. or maybe a certain body fat percentage.

    Yeah, you're right, but at 32% body fat I know there is plenty of weight to lose.

    1200 kcal seems low, but that does work for you? Did you experiment with higher numbers?
  • Tacticalmedic13
    Tacticalmedic13 Posts: 26 Member
    Take a hard look at what you really want and I would wager it isn't to weight a certain amount but to look a certain way, have a certain strength/ability. or maybe a certain body fat percentage.

    Yeah, you're right, but at 32% body fat I know there is plenty of weight to lose.

    1200 kcal seems low, but that does work for you? Did you experiment with higher numbers?

    Like I said, I eat back my workout calories. I do a lot of cardio during the day so I normally eat around 2,000 calories or so (1200 calories + ~800 earned calories)
  • tigerjane81
    tigerjane81 Posts: 39 Member
    If you're losing 2lbs a week on your current calorie amount, I would leave it until after your trip. Then mess around with higher numbers and see what happens. But it sounds like you have a goal that's important to you in the short term and a plan that is currently getting you to that goal at a reasonable rate.
  • acogg
    acogg Posts: 1,871 Member
    I have read that a good weight loss goal is 10 calories per pound of your current weight. As your weight goes down, so do the calories. If you go too low at first, you will burn out. 1650 for 250 pounds does seem extremely low.
  • olivia_june
    olivia_june Posts: 111 Member
    I have read that a good weight loss goal is 10 calories per pound of your current weight. As your weight goes down, so do the calories. If you go too low at first, you will burn out. 1650 for 250 pounds does seem extremely low.

    10cal/lb seems really high to me, my SW was 252, so that would put me at 2,520 :/ I'm doing 1500 currently and it's fine....does it apply differently depending on if you're male or female?
  • designer156a
    designer156a Posts: 8 Member
    If you're losing 2lbs a week on your current calorie amount, I would leave it until after your trip. Then mess around with higher numbers and see what happens. But it sounds like you have a goal that's important to you in the short term and a plan that is currently getting you to that goal at a reasonable rate.

    Yeah, gotta admit, that's where my thinking is right now. If it's working, why change? If weight loss stalls or becomes too dramatic I'll review it. Thanks.
  • I have read that a good weight loss goal is 10 calories per pound of your current weight. As your weight goes down, so do the calories. If you go too low at first, you will burn out. 1650 for 250 pounds does seem extremely low.

    10cal/lb seems really high to me, my SW was 252, so that would put me at 2,520 :/ I'm doing 1500 currently and it's fine....does it apply differently depending on if you're male or female?

    It all depends on the person. If the individual is under 150 pounds then 10 calories per pound is EXTREMELY low...plus, this method of estimating fails to take into account activity level which is an important part of the equation.
  • 12 pounds seems rather insignificant. I think that keeping your calories so low might be fine now but eventually that great of a calorie deficit will wear on you.

    Lol, yeah sorry, 12lbs isn't the end goal, just where I aim to be when I go skiing. Much easier at 17st than 18st.

    1650 kcal felt about right - I wasn't hungry and found that i just needed a healthy snack around 8pm to top me out and meet the number. Ideal.

    I'm saying it's negligible whether you lose 8 pounds by then or 12...I wouldn't base your current calorie intake on such an inconsequential short-term goal. Set yourself up for long-term success which means eating an appropriate amount. In my opinion, 1650 calories is not enough.
  • devil_in_a_blue_dress
    devil_in_a_blue_dress Posts: 5,214 Member
    12 pounds seems rather insignificant. I think that keeping your calories so low might be fine now but eventually that great of a calorie deficit will wear on you.

    Lol, yeah sorry, 12lbs isn't the end goal, just where I aim to be when I go skiing. Much easier at 17st than 18st.

    1650 kcal felt about right - I wasn't hungry and found that i just needed a healthy snack around 8pm to top me out and meet the number. Ideal.

    To give you some perspective, I am 5'3, 157 pounds and I eat 1,700 when I am looking to lose a pound a week. I am not going to tell you that you're doing it wrong if you don't feel hungry/are satisfied. But thinking long term, losing at a slower rate (ie eating more calories and at a smaller deficit) usually preserves lean muscle mass and is easier to keep up with in general. It's great to have smaller goals, but don't lose sight of this being a life long process.