Complicated Question re: Calorie Intake

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Hi! Looking for some advice on how much to restrict calories for weight loss. I want to make sure I’m doing it right but I’m conflicted. Based on my current RMR (resting metabolic rate), my daily calorie intake to keep my body going should be about 2200 calories per day with more if I exercise. That includes a 500 calorie per day deficit for a healthy weight loss of 1-2 lb per week. The thing is, that’s A LOT of food. I have been losing weight at a pound or two per week with an average intake of 1600 calories (again, more calories if I work out that day). I went a little lower than 1600 for a bit and was tired all the time so that obviously wasn’t what my body needed. I hit a plateau once and tried doing what the calculations say, which is 2200 calories. Did that for two weeks and gained 4 lbs. So I’m back to my trusty 1600 per day. I’m just confused! The math says 2200 per day. My body says 1500-1600. I don’t want to hurt myself by eating too few calories but the math doesn’t seem to fit with what my body actually wants or needs. Any insight?

Replies

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,159 Member
    edited August 2020
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    If you keep jumping around on your calorie goals you'll never be able to pin down a calorie goal.

    The body does not turn on a dime, it takes time to establish trends. Don't go back and forth, consistency is your friend.

    Here's the How To thread for food logging. Accuracy is going to be important.

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1234699/logging-accurately-step-by-step-guide/p1
  • breefoshee
    breefoshee Posts: 398 Member
    edited August 2020
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    I'd stick with what is working. It is possible that at 1500-1600 you actually were eating more like 2000 if you weren't weighing and counting every little bite. When I have tried to have my calories at 2000 (which should still be a 900 calorie deficit for me) then I don't lose weight.

    Which means I'm not actually in a deficit. Either I am over estimating my burns or not accurately logging. And I've realized, I'm just not going to weigh every little thing. So I set my calories to about 1500 and I only weigh the "big stuff" (meats, oils and creamers) and just guess at the rest (veggies, ketchup, breads). It gives me some wiggle room to not have to log as perfectly as I would have to do if I had it at 2,000.

    If I started losing weight at a crazy rate or not losing, I'd reassess. I think if you do decide to go with 2200, then you have to be very accurate with weighing and measuring. And you'd have to be pretty sure of your calorie burns. And even so, you would have to assess based on the scale over a period of time.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    At the end of the day, you should trust what your results say. If you're eating 1,600 and losing at the rate you want, why change it?

    You may be underestimating your calorie intake or overestimating your energy needs and that is what is causing the discrepancy. But again, you're getting the results you want. Why change it up?

    Most people find that calorie recommendations work for them when they measure their intake accuracy. Some find that they need to increase or decrease them based on their real life results. Maybe you're in that group, maybe you're not. But the bottom line is that things are working right now.
  • changing4life
    changing4life Posts: 193 Member
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  • RockingWithLJ
    RockingWithLJ Posts: 243 Member
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    Your body weight multiplied by 11. Recalculate every 2-4 weeks.
    This has always helped me with fat loss..
  • breefoshee
    breefoshee Posts: 398 Member
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    Your body weight multiplied by 11. Recalculate every 2-4 weeks.
    This has always helped me with fat loss..

    If this were true, I could eat 2750 calories every day and lose weight..... that is what I eat to maintain or even gain.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
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    RMR does not automatically include a 500/day deficit.