Am I eating too few calories? Opinions.

Hey guys, I apologize in advance for making another thread. Although this is a slightly different question as before, but I'd love to hear some input.

I am doing a 1200 calorie a day diet. I exercise and eat back my exercise calories.
My Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) says I should be consuming 1668 calories a day.
I'm worried that if I up my daily calorie intake that I'll gain weight or just not lose at all, because at 1200 I'm already struggling with weight loss.

I feel like my lifestyle is a lot less active than the average person. I am self employed and work out of my home as a digital artist. Most of the day I'm sitting at a desk and the only activity I get is walking from my room, to the bathroom or kitchen or cleaning. I sleep probably way more than I should (About 9 hours a night). I just feel like I probably burn WAY less than the average person a day since I'm just so inactive.

I started exercising every day however to help me be more active. I exercise anywhere between 45minutes - 2 hours (on my hike days) but even still I don't know.

I don't want to screw up my weight loss by simply not eating enough. OR screw it up by eating more than I should.

Thoughts, opinions, advice?


  • Afura
    Afura Posts: 2,092 Member
    What is your goal right now? Gain, lose, maintain?
  • AimiAutumn
    AimiAutumn Posts: 22 Member
    edited April 2016
    I'd like to lose weight.
    I'm 189 pounds, 5'8, female and 22 years old (if the stats help)
    I'd like to be at 140 pounds.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,568 Member
    What are your stats?

    Your BMR is what your body burns just by doing basic functions. As long as you're under your TDEE (which includes daily activity and exercise), you will lose weight. 1200 may or may not be too low for you, but I can't say that yet.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,568 Member
    And you beat me to the punch!

    I'd say 1200 is too low. Did you set your goal to lose 2 pounds per week? You'll probably be better off with a goal of 1-1.5 pounds per week.
  • AimiAutumn
    AimiAutumn Posts: 22 Member
    Yes 2 pounds a week is what I'd like but if its unrealistic maybe I should lower it a bit.
  • Afura
    Afura Posts: 2,092 Member
    So your BMR is the rate at which you would burn calories if you were lying down, not doing anything, etc. In reality you're sedentary, you do things, in general not a lot (me too, I have a desk job answering phones). To lose weight you want to eat around 1500-ish, I'd run it through MFP to be sure, with the activity level sedentary to see what it says.
    With about 49pds you should be set to either 1.5 or 1lb loss. Eat the calories. I usually lose weight better when I'm eating my calories (roughly only about 50% of my exercise calories usually, since MFP calculations are a estimate) and generally, it means that I get to select better foods (regular cheese, some chocolate, etc)

    I used to think 1200 was the # I was supposed to eat at, but in reality I felt horrible, and ate foods I didn't want to because they were low in calorie to get them to fit. No point at all. :smile:
  • Verdenal
    Verdenal Posts: 624 Member
    If you feel good and are losing weight I would continue. You can't mess up your metabolism eating 1200 calories. Your body is adapted to survive on far few calories for a long time. You have excess fat and your body needs to use it as fuel for you to lose weight.

    If in doubt, consult a nutritionist.
  • rileysowner
    rileysowner Posts: 7,744 Member
    Verdenal wrote: »
    If you feel good and are losing weight I would continue. You can't mess up your metabolism eating 1200 calories. Your body is adapted to survive on far few calories for a long time. You have excess fat and your body needs to use it as fuel for you to lose weight.

    If in doubt, consult a nutritionist.

    Feeling good really has little to do with it. There are people who feel good while eating at a starvation level not even close to having sufficient nutrients to keep them healthy. Most people who have struggled with weight has a messed up sense when it comes to hunger, and rather than going by subjective things like "I feel good" it is far more useful to come up with a reasonable calorie goal for the amount of weight one has to lose. Then stick to it measuring one's portions as carefully and accurately as possible. It may be slower (1 pound a week instead of 2) but it allows your body and mind time to learn and hopefully develop proper feedback/response.
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,151 Member
    You're eating 1200 PLUS your exercise calories? You're fine.
  • AmyRhubarb
    AmyRhubarb Posts: 6,893 Member
    If it helps, I'm your height, but older, and my starting weight was a little lower, but I had my best success at dropping the fat and inches eating 1800-2000 calories a day. I still eat that and I stick around 140lbs on average. I exercise 5-6 days a week, alternating between running/walking and strength training, 30-60 minutes a day, tops. You exercise more and you're 25 years younger than I am, I would guess you could eat a lot more than 1200 plus exercise cals.

    My goal is to eat as MANY calories as I can while still losing weight. This gives me room to adjust down (or up) if needed, keeps me full, satisfied and well fueled for workouts and daily life, and is easy to maintain while still enjoying what life brings me - birthdays, holidays, vacations, dinners out, etc. I'm in this for life, and there's no way I'm eating 1200 cals for the rest of my life! :smiley:
  • blues4miles
    blues4miles Posts: 1,481 Member
    Noel_57 wrote: »
    Not eating enough won't screw up your weight loss, just make you weak and hungry. I think things all depend on how close you are to your desired goal. But most will say 1200 is the bare minimum, even if it only results in a few pounds a month. Best wishes on your health goals.


    You probably CAN eat more and still lose weight, but eating too little won't negatively impact your weight loss.

    Try setting MFP to lose 1 lb/week. It's more important to be consistent than it is to see quick results. If you lose weight too fast, you can lose muscle as well as fat.