Adequate calories?

Hi! If you have a second I would love some guidance please. How do I eat enough so that I'm still losing weight? I'm not restricting too much, 1500 calories a day, and I exercise most days about 30 minutes. But I am plateauing. Do I need to increase my exercise? I'm trying to fully understand how eating more calories actually helps with weight loss. Thank you for your time!

Replies

  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,513 Member
    To lose weight you need a deficit. Are you weighing and measuring everything on a digital food scale? What are your stats? Women can plateau because of monthly cycles and, or, sodium. How long have you been eating 1500cals? All this information will help get you an answer.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,380 Member
    edited March 2021
    No way for us to know if 1.) You're actually logging accurately and actually eating 1500 and 2.) If 1500 is the right number.


    Plateau? Hard to tell.

    FWIW, I lost nearly all my 80 pounds at 1500-1600 PLUS exercise calories. Doesn't mean that's the right number for you.


    Learn to log accurately here: https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1234699/logging-accurately-step-by-step-guide/p1

    Log food and exercise for six weeks, using 1500 as your base calories (before exercise) and eating a little more on exercise days. Log the exercise, eat what it tells you.

    At the end of six weeks you'll know if you need to adjust your calories.

    That's what we all have to do, there is no magic calculator. It's an experiment only you can run. Good luck! :)
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,612 Member
    lucyanne15 wrote: »
    Hi! If you have a second I would love some guidance please. How do I eat enough so that I'm still losing weight? I'm not restricting too much, 1500 calories a day, and I exercise most days about 30 minutes. But I am plateauing. Do I need to increase my exercise? I'm trying to fully understand how eating more calories actually helps with weight loss. Thank you for your time!

    Eating more calories helps weight loss, in general two ways:
    1-) It's easier to stick to a deficit if you don't try to cut your calories to the bare minimum and therefore set yourself up to be so starved you eventually snap and eat way more than you otherwise would
    2-) You have to adjust your calories downward as you lose weight (what it takes to maintain 200lbs is more than it takes to maintain 150, so you need to eat less at 150 to see weight loss than you did at 200) and because metabolic adaptation (your metabolism downshifting - not starvation mode) occurs. If you START at the lowest you can stand when you weigh 200 lbs and day 1 - where are you going to cut more FROM as you lose and your metabolism adjusts?

    That said you need to log accurately for a bit, see what your weight is doing over the time and work from there. Maybe you've plateaued, maybe you've found maintenance for your current size, maybe you need to do a reverse diet UP to more calories so you can do an other cut. Just. Lots more info needed here. I just wanted to answer that question.
  • Iwannabeapunkrockmom
    Iwannabeapunkrockmom Posts: 61 Member
    You say you're in a plateau, but you didn't say how long you've been there. That might help us understand where you're at as well.
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,282 Member
    edited March 2021
    Weight loss is not linear, especially if you are a female who has a menstrual cycle. Also, the body adapts to a long-term calorie deficit by conserving energy (less random, non-exercise movement during the day), and upping calories periodically can lead to more general activity, in addition to the fact that if you are weighing less, your body needs fewer calories to function.

    I find that an app like Happy Scale, which averages weight changes over time, quite helpful psychologically, as the averages trend downward even during what I have perceived as "stalls" and I am encouraged to stay the course. The last 3 weeks is a great example. My scale weight has been jumping around the same 2 lbs or so and looks like nothing is happening. But the "moving average" is creeping down. So what's going on? Well, I've been eating more salty stuff, and more legumes, and both of those foods require more retained water to process. When I doubt the "moving average," I go to lean proteins and non starchy veggies for a couple of days and sure enough the water weight disappears and I hit a new "low."
  • Redordeadhead
    Redordeadhead Posts: 1,191 Member
    See my reply in your duplicate thread in "Getting started".
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,986 Member
    What are you considering a "plateau?" Losing weight isn't a linear thing...you're not going to lose weight every single week and you're going to have other weeks with bigger or smaller losses, and even gains along the way due to normal fluctuations in water and waste.

    In regards to calories, impossible to say...calorie needs are very individual. It's also unknown as to how accurate your logging is. Generally speaking, if you've gone weeks without losing weight, you're eating at maintenance.
  • lucyanne15
    lucyanne15 Posts: 4 Member
    Thank you all SO much, this is very helpful and I know what work I need to do!