1200 Calories daily 5-700 workout calories a day. Am I doing this Right?

Hi

I am 157 lbs, 5'4 and female bodied, although I have been on the male hormone testosterone for over 10 years with my dosage bringing my Testosterone to normal male levels, so I'm not sure how to calculate things πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ. For a male body my BMR is 1647 and for a female body it is 1494. I've been eating 1200 calories everyday since 1 March and began exercising regularly 1 April. Starting 25 April I began to aim to burn 500 - 700 calories everyday. I work out 6 days a week. My goal weight is 125. I'm honestly just guessing at this. I've usually hung around 125-138 throughout my 20s. I ended up gaining weight and my heaviest was 168 at the middle of February. Eating 1200 with working out doesn't make me feel too tired or lightheaded. I would like to hit my goal weight before Nov. Is 1200 a day and 500-700 burned a day realistic to getting me down to 125, even 129 would be fine. Am I doing this right?

Replies

  • ilariadm1
    ilariadm1 Posts: 14 Member
    I don't think this would be a healthy nor reasonable idea...1200 cal intake and 500-700 burn per day? Seriously? That's crazy and dangerous! The BMR is the BASIC amount of calories you need to survive. Which means that, given an average of 1550 between female and male, you would lose weight just by sticking to that amount. How many calories were you eating before cutting to 1200?
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,358 Member
    No, totally not healthy at all! Say you eat 1200 calories and exercise for 500, then that's the same as only eating 700 calories. Stop sport and only eat 700 calories: could you do that? Don't. Also I would discuss with your medical team on what your base calories should be. With high testo you're probably having more muscles than women, and overall a higher base metabolic rate. Based on that you might be undereating even more as men should not eat less than 1500 calories. Also, being on testo you should consider if you really need to be so light.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,430 Member
    I think you may be overlooking the fact that BMR does not account for all of your pre-exercise calories. You should be subtracting your deficit amount (e.g., 500 calories for 1 lb a week) from your TDEE, or from your NEAT and then adding your exercise calories back in.
  • pcrozier99
    pcrozier99 Posts: 35 Member
    These calorie burned numbers seem very high. In the event they are accurate, no this is not a healthy approach at all.
  • Cluelessmama1979
    Cluelessmama1979 Posts: 131 Member
    Hi! I actually recently needed to look into the hormone thing. The major difference in bmr and tdee between males/females is based on very hormone-specific stuff (which we can discuss later if you want to message me for details!) which essentially means tgat if your hornones are at normal levels for a male, you're going to need to use the calculations for a male... *and*, people with similar experiences have found the harris benedict revised calculation most closely resembles their data.

    Which means that which calculator you use matters.

    I put your stats in, assuming you're somewhere between 25-40, since you didn't state your age (here, they rarely prescribe testosterone for anyone under 15 so... 10 years... you get it, I'm sure.)

    At a SEDENTARY activity level (not counting exercise):

    At 25 your TDEE would be 2017 and your BMR would be 1681.

    At 40, TDEE would be 1915 and 1596.

    Your BMI is around 26.9 (can't get a super specific/accurate number for BMI without getting your body fat % checked)

    That's something people don't take in to consideration when deciding how quickly it's safe to lise weight. People with a higher BMI csn lose more quickly *safely*.

    Yours is not bad at all, comparatively, so you shouldn't be losing more than 1lb per week, unless under a doctor's supervision.

    1 lb per week is roughly 500 calories under your tdee per day. That would put recommended intake between 1415 and 1517, age dependent.

    However, and this is important: The absolute minimum safe amount for the smallest if estrogen filled bodies is 1200, and for the tiniest of testosterone filled bodies is 1500. That's you.

    Also, no one should be eating *below* their BMR. Ever. That's... basic breathing, heartbeat, and brain functioning in a coma. Calories are the energy your body needs to do these things.

    So bare minimum *net* intake, for you, would be between 1596 and 1681, again, depending on your age.

    That's still going to be around 300 kcal per week under your TDEE, ... over 1/2 lb per week of weight loss.

    That's *net* calorie intake. As in... eating back your exercise calories.

    So, if you're 25 with a minimum intake of 1681, and you burn 700 calories in a workout... you need to eat 2381 calories that day. If you burn 450, you need to eat at 2131. And so on.

    You're undereating by a lot, frankly.

    Also, for a BMI *around* 22, which is healthy, you'd aim for around 128-129 lbs. 125 is a little bit low, especially if by "female-bodied" you're referencing fatty tissue in the chest. However it's not into the unhealthy range, so I'm not too concerned there.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,835 Member
    edited April 28
    Hi

    I am 157 lbs, 5'4 and female bodied, although I have been on the male hormone testosterone for over 10 years with my dosage bringing my Testosterone to normal male levels, so I'm not sure how to calculate things πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ. For a male body my BMR is 1647 and for a female body it is 1494. I've been eating 1200 calories everyday since 1 March and began exercising regularly 1 April. Starting 25 April I began to aim to burn 500 - 700 calories everyday. I work out 6 days a week. My goal weight is 125. I'm honestly just guessing at this. I've usually hung around 125-138 throughout my 20s. I ended up gaining weight and my heaviest was 168 at the middle of February. Eating 1200 with working out doesn't make me feel too tired or lightheaded. I would like to hit my goal weight before Nov. Is 1200 a day and 500-700 burned a day realistic to getting me down to 125, even 129 would be fine. Am I doing this right?

    I started here at about your current size (I was 5'5", about 155lbs). Eating 1200 plus all carefully-estimated exercise calories was way too low for me, even though I was also old (then 59) and sedentary (outside of exercise). I'm female-bodied, identify as female, old enough not to be high estrogen (i.e., in menopause), and suspect I may be on the higher end of normal T levels for a woman (reasons for saying that not relevant here, but if I'm right, it's all natural).

    I admit I'm mysteriously a good li'l ol' calorie burner for my demographic, but I'm quite certain that 1200 and not eating back exercise is increasing health risk for you, in your situation, if the intake and exercise estimates are correct. (Research suggests most people underestimate intake, overestimate exercise calorie burn.)

    It sounds like you've lost 11 pounds in approximately 8 weeks? Since you have the actual details, you can do more accurate arithmetic, but that would be about an effective real life average daily calorie deficit of about 611calories (((11 pounds divided by 8 weeks) divided by 7 days per week) times 3500 calories per pound of fat), in the context of your current logging practices.

    One of the rules of thumb people often use around here is to lose no more than 0.5-1% of current body weight weekly, with a bias toward the lower end of that, especially once in the zone of 20 or so pounds left to reach goal. So, for you, now, that would be a suggested weight loss rate of .05% times 157 pounds, or about 3/4 pound a week, and a maximum (at somewhat higher risk) of about 1.6 pounds a week. That would suggest a recommended deficit of around 275 calories daily, 785 at the absolute outside.

    If I were you, I'd eat more. (I also question the accuracy of your logging, since the arithmetic doesn't really add up on the experiential side. I admit you could be a statistical outlier, which can also make arithmetic from estimates not add up, but that's rare, to be that unusual. I understand that you're trans, which would make you unusual in some respects, maybe or maybe not in calorie needs, but it seems like it'd be more likely to go in the opposite direction. Just guessing, though.)

    I'm also wondering about your weight goal. At 5'4", male, BMI 21.5 seems pretty low, unless you're very narrowly built. (BMI 21.5 is fairly thin for me, as a female, not super-wide build, and I have no breasts (post-mastectomies/no reconstruction: cancer). You don't mention where you are surgery-wise, and needn't, but that's why I mention this.)

    We're all different, but if you're generalizing from weight preferences when you were hormonally female, I'm not sure that's a good idea. However, if you observe how you look and feel, don't currently have problems with body dysmorphia (or do have a trusted medical person you can rely on for advice), you can figure out when you've reached a sensible weight for your current situation. (Losing slowly will make that cognitively easier, I think, based on personal experience - it can be more difficult to recgnize you're at a good point, when things are moving fast).
  • gpanda103
    gpanda103 Posts: 175 Member
    You are confusing BMR with TDEE. BMR is the energy needed to sustain your body if you did nothing at all (no drinking, eating, sitting upright, all the verbs). You need to eat less than your TDEE to lose weight, and you can probably eat more than 1200 to lose steadily
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,712 Member
    edited April 28
    Someone else did good calculations. But a BMI sub 27 is in the low overweight range.

    Whether your final goal weight post gender affirming treatment should be the same as pre treatment that would be a question to address with your doctor. My quick reaction would be that your goal weight will have changed as you would be likely to achieve a leaner state at a higher weight.

    So on balance any way you look at things, you don't have a lot to lose. Which means that you probably should be looking at losing it slower as opposed to faster.

    MFP has a help section answer that specifically addresses your situation: https://support.myfitnesspal.com/hc/en-us/articles/360059617352-I-identify-as-transgender-non-binary-or-gender-non-conforming-Which-sex-should-I-select-

    Based on their article and what you've said, you would be dealing with male values.