Food/calories

Do I have to eat 2100 calories a day to be healthy? I usually eat about 1600 calories. Trying to get to 115lbs. I’m 120lbs 5’4 right now, but 2100 feels like a lot of food. Should I be eating a lot more to be healthy?

Replies

  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,380 Member
    What does MFP give you as a calorie goal to lose half a pound a week? You are at a healthy weight now, but if you want to lose a few pounds, 2100 would be too much, unless you are very active.

    I'm 5'5" 122 lbs. and my maintenance calories are 1400 according to MFP, though I have increased that to 1600 because I was losing weight when I didn't want to at the lower number. I was eating 1200 net when I was losing, because that is the minimum that MFP allows. In theory, that's enough to maintain health, though in reality it depends on what those calories consist of as well as the total number.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    Without understanding how you arrived at a goal of 2,100, it's going to be impossible to say.

    For some women, 2,100 to go from 120 to 115 is going to be just right (for instance, if they're very active). For others, it will be too high to reach that goal. For others, it might not even be enough. If I had to guess, 2,100 would be too high for most women trying to go from 120 to 115, but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't work for you.

    So how did you reach that particular goal?
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    Do I have to eat 2100 calories a day to be healthy? I usually eat about 1600 calories. Trying to get to 115lbs. I’m 120lbs 5’4 right now, but 2100 feels like a lot of food. Should I be eating a lot more to be healthy?

    One's calorie requirements vary depending on their stats and activity...
  • ly2sing
    ly2sing Posts: 12 Member
    Question ~ Does the MFP app automatically adjust goal calories as the user loses weight, or does that goal need to be manually updated periodically by the user? 🤔
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,294 Member
    You have to run your own experiment.

    If you're just starting, online calculators are a bit of a crap shoot and you really need a couple months at one calorie goal to see what your weight does. With only a few pounds to lose, you can't really afford to cut calories very much. Why not pick a number between 2100 and 1600, like maybe 1850 and try that for a month?
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,041 Member
    edited October 2020
    ly2sing wrote: »
    Question ~ Does the MFP app automatically adjust goal calories as the user loses weight, or does that goal need to be manually updated periodically by the user? 🤔

    In my case: I need to update my goal settings (or confirm, if the goals stay the same) to update my daily calorie goal, it's not automatic.
  • Go_Deskercise
    Go_Deskercise Posts: 1,630 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    ly2sing wrote: »
    Question ~ Does the MFP app automatically adjust goal calories as the user loses weight, or does that goal need to be manually updated periodically by the user? 🤔

    In my case: I need to update my goal settings (or confirm, if the goals stay the same) to update my daily calorie goal, it's not automatic.

    Same with me too
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,836 Member
    Losing weight too fast would increase health risk. At your weight, already toward the bottom of the normal weight range and trying to reach very close to the absolute bottom, 0.5 pounds a week would be a sensible loss rate. If MFP tells you to eat 2100 calories to lose 0.5 pounds a week, eat that for a month, possibly two ** and see if you average half a pound loss weekly. Then, you can eat less, if it's necessary to get the slow loss that would be appropriate.

    I'm close to your height, 5'5", and only a little heavier (125.2 this morning), but (I'll bet) much older, 65 next month. I'm mysteriously a good li'l ol' calorie burner, but I would lose weight slowly at 2100 gross calories (i.e., once my exercise is factored in). I know this *for sure* because I've been losing slowly (quarter to half a pound a week on average) for about a year now, to drift down a few vanity pounds in maintenance, and my average gross calories in recent weeks have been 2100-2200, sometimes a bit more.

    If your current low intake is filling for you, consider adding some calorie dense but not very filling foods. For example, if you eat dairy, eat full-fat types, not low/nonfat types. Use a little more oil in cooking or fats in/on foods. Use richer dressings on salads. Snack on nuts and seeds. Eat avocados. Once your nutrition's dialed in, it's also fine to eat some less nutrient-dense but higher-calorie non-fililng things, such as baked goods, ice cream, etc.

    Undereating is risky. Don't do it.

    ** Weight loss at half a pound a week takes a long time to show up clearly on the scale. I know this in a visceral way, because, as I said, I've been doing it. The spoiler below shows what the loss looks like on the scale. If you're a woman of an age to have menstrual cycles, your best comparison will be comparing weight at the same relative point in two or more different menstrual cycles.
    The connected downhill line is the trend - a sort of rolling average. The vertical lines connect my daily weights to the trend. You can see that the daily weights jump all over, and even the trend thinks I'm maintaining or gaining sometimes because of water retention or digestive contents, but the longer-term trend shows that gradual fat loss is happening.

    tk5f8ia62tkh.png
  • HeidiCooksSupper
    HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,830 Member
    At 120 lbs. you are right in the middle of a healthy weight. Maybe trying to lose 5 pounds to be at a lower weight won't result in the look you are trying for. Maybe exercise will do a better job for you at toning whatever you are wishing to tone by losing 5 pounds at your current weight.
  • spyro88
    spyro88 Posts: 464 Member
    If you want to lose weight then eating more than you currently eat won't help you achieve that