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brandy3369 08-07-2002 01:15 AM

How many calories do you eat?
The first question I'd like to have answered is am I eating enough calories? I am 33, 5'3" and 156lb with 27% BF according to the charts I find. I found a formula for calculating my RMR (calories needed just to function) and came up with 1450 calories, then I'm to multiply that by 1.4 to determine how many calories I need to maintain my weight and came up with about 1650 calories. Here's the problem (or confusion rather).

Supposedly I'm never to drop below my RMR of 1450 or my metabolism will fall. But to lose weight (or fat) at the reasonable rate of 1lb per week I have to eat 500 calories less a day.

1650 cal to maintain + 350 approx cal burn thru workouts - 500 calories to lose a lb a week = 1500 calories.

And I've only recently discovered this. What I've been doing for the last two months is eat approx 1200 calories a day at a ratio of 50/25/25 (P/C/F). I've dropped two dress sizes in 2 months and can see muscular development in my arms and legs and fat loss on my waist, so I know it's working in a sense - but I read all over the place that I should eat almost twice as much as I am to see better results. I see many great trainers say you should never eat less than 1600 or some say 1800 calories a day (for women).

If I'm not famished, if I seem to be losing fat and maintaining muscle mass, is 1200 - 1300 calories still too low? I'm a little scared to bump the cals up to 1800, but I'm willing to try it if I discover I can do it and still lose inches off my waist.

ementz 08-07-2002 06:01 AM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
Now I'm CONFUSED!?!? J/K
First, in the examples you gave I don't see where anyone is telling you to eat 2400cls/day.(twice what you already eat)
In the nutrition tab above JW recommends a reduction of only 15% of your daily MAINTENANCE needs. So 1650+350*0.85=1700cals, or 1650*0.85=~1400cls/day. If you've been @ 1200 for the last two months you may want to SLOWLY build up to 1400 by say just 50cals a day. hold that for a week or so, see what happens and then continue up IF you feel better. At any point you see things reversing it'll just be a matter of dropping back down 100 or so. This is purely my take on this and there are MANY more people here who are well versed in the cutting Dept. and don't forget to check out JW's nutrition tab above. Goodluck!
1200 a day! Yikes my P/O drink has that many calories alone.

brandy3369 08-07-2002 10:00 AM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
Thanks for the reply, and to clear up your confusion I'll elaborate a bit where I was trying to keep my post shorter before.

When I say that I hear and read that my calories should be higher, I'm referring to just about any fitness magazine for women I pick up which is also where I found the formulas for female BMI and RMR and THR and the such. ButI also read about Krypto and Sicily eating 1800-2100 calories a day as well as many of the fitness queens in M&F Hers (though I know they are much more active and religious than me right now) and they look fantastic. One article in Oxygen mag said to never go below 1600 calories a day (any woman!) to lose safe weight, while another article posted a 1400 calorie diet.

I haven't read many of the basic threads on this site yet because as I begin to read them (like the advice you pointed to regarding only cutting caories by 15% that is posted here though I will go read it now). I have skipped over a lot of the info here and opt more for having direct questions ansered on the forums because I tend to think that that information I read here is geared for the guys who want to bulk while cutting.

I know woman also want to build muscle while losing fat, but that is the beauty of this new female forum, sometimes we just have to ask each other if what we read everywhere else for the guys will work for us too. When I develop a consistant and effective lifting program that burns more calories a day I know I can eat more, but I am just curious if I should be eating more now with only about 350 calories a day burned through excercise, a good 15 - 20lbs of fat to lose on a short (5'3") muscular body.

Thank you for your response though, I will go read more here.


Big Pappa B 08-07-2002 10:17 AM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
This was just discussed on another thread. Here is waht they say:

That is a good point for more Experienced guys but this posts purpose is for beginners I believe.
Although you have pretty much outlined how much food one would need on a cut, when we give advice to a person on a cut we talk about the BMR so I think its important to set some guidelines.

Here is a formula that works pretty well I think, which is very simple!

Multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 16, this gives you your AMR (Active Metabolic Rate, also called Basal Energy Expenditure), , then subtract 20% from this figure to get an idea what you daily calorie needs on a cut are.

So for a 150lb guy: for example would need 2400calories a day to maintain his weight, subtract 20% for a cut and you get 1920 calories
So a 150lb guy who wants to cut up would need about 1900 calories a day.

And to Illustrate Animals Theory above using his guidelines using the same 150lb guy eating 6 meals a day:
Protein = 150lbs x 1.5g = 225g x 4 = 900 calories
Carbs = 30g x 4 meals = 120g x 4 = 480 calories
Fats = 10g x 6 meals = 60g x 9 = 540 calories
If you add up all these calories you get your total for the day which is 1920 calories which is the original figure from using the above AMR formula!
****, what a
The reson for multiplying the 30grams of carbs by 4 meals is that you shouldnt eat carbs too late in the day and your carbs should come from vegetables at this time.

Keep in mind though this BMR formula is pretty basic and a proper formula is much more complex taking into account many variables, if you like I could post it, and you can play around with it to see what you get out of it!

brandy3369 08-07-2002 12:35 PM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
Hey Big Pappa - here's the formula I used to determine my Resting Metabolic Rate from this mag:

Needed info = ht in cm (inches x 2.54)
wt in kg (lbs divided by 2.2)

RMR (female) = 44.593 + (3.098 x ht) + (9.247 x wt) - (4.33 x age)

Then multiply RMR by 1.4 and add the result to your RMR to determine how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. To lose a pound a week subtract 500 calories. This puts me at about 1500 calories a day. But I've only been losing 1 - 1 1/2lbs a week eating an average of 1100 - 1200 calories a day according to my Fitday logs that I have been keeping religiously. I figure I'm either eating more calories than I think somewhere or my metabolism has slowed. If I eat 1500 will I stop losing fat?

I have always weighed more than the charts say I should. I have a hard time in the Navy come weigh-in twice a year because at 5'3" they say a girl is only supposed to weigh 135 max (at 135 I was a petite size 6/7 - hardly fat). They always have to measure me like they do a lot of guys to determine that I am not over in BF percentage for our PRT's (fitness tests). People ask me if I workout because of my natural muscular shape. I don't want to lose muscle, just fat and the only thing I've been doing so far is to eat 1200 calories divided over usually 4, sometimes 5 meals consisting of 50% Protein and 25% Carbs and Fat. With my 1200 calories I eat 1 gram of protein per lb of my weight thru chicken, eggs, turkey, fish and shellfish. I usually eat about 100 grams of carbs thru veggies, oatmeal and fat free dairy and I keep fat at 25% of the days calories even if I have to eat some walnuts or PB to get it up there. I have cut out red meat, rice and potatoes and eat only diet whole wheat bread maybe once a week as a PB&J sandwich, but what I have a hard time cutting is Diet soda, Fat Free Dairy on occasion, coffee, and sugar free desserts like Jello and Pudding. These bad things I only eat in small doses and only once a day, but I know they are the no-no's of my diet. Still I pull all this off with only 1100 - 1400 calories a day, but if getting rid of them is necessary I know I can do it.

Ok - I"m ramblng. I'm gonna try 1500 calories for a week though and see what happens. I hate set backs, but atleast I'll know if I've been missing out on eating more if I still lose. Thanks.

Big Pappa B 08-07-2002 12:40 PM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
RMR is if you do absolutely nothing. I'm assuming that you are working out. If you cut you calories too low you will slow your metabolism and stop any fat burning...and if not getting enough calories your body will want to store fat

08-07-2002 12:57 PM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
My opinion, 1200 calories is WAY to low for you! With 113 lbs of lean mass, you hold only 5 lbs less muscle than me and I'm 2" taller! I ate between 2200-2400 calories for my first 5-6 months of cutting (and I had less muscle then)! In other words, I ate my maintenance calories and simply cut out the foods I shouldn't be eating to burn fat and it worked! I was able to GAIN lean muscle while LOSING fat for that first 5-6 months! The fat loss was very slow (partly due to bumps/setbacks along with way), but that is how I preferred to do it cause I consider it VERY important to retain my muscle and indeed I was successful! And only recently have I actually CUT my calories below maintenance and I am STILL eating more cals than you! I am now cutting at 2000 calories and the first 3 weeks I went from 17.7% body fat to 15.3%! And I didn't lose any muscle either! I didn't gain any, but that was expected as I have passed the point of being able to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, as I've been at this cutting thing for about a year now. Soo, my philosophy is that when a beginner first starts cutting, all they need to do is slowly cut down on carbohydrates and slowly cut out the foods not conducive to fat loss. What this does, is gradually work the person into an entirely different lifestyle of eating, slow enough to where they can stick to it, AND, most importantly, it allows the beginner to actually GAIN muscle while LOSING fat! Then, when the person gets to the point (like I have) to where fat loss has stopped, DESPITE a very clean diet and switching around of macronutrient ratios, only then, do I personally advise cutting calories to continue with fat loss. There has to be somewhere to go, ya know? Make sense? So if I were you, I would slowly bump up the calories, perhaps by adding 100 calories every other day. Personally, I would use the 3 methods JW has in his hardcore fat burning article to figure your caloric needs (I'd average the results of all 3) and gradually bump your calories up to that number. Then you can give it a couple weeks to see if it's working, if not, you can go from there. And we can help you. Hope this helps. [img]/forum/images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

brandy3369 08-07-2002 05:46 PM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
Hi Krypto, I think you look great and I hope to get as cut as you one day, so after reading the advice listed to me today I made it a point to go read JW's 13 Week Plan I had missed before. I did my homework and found that he covered the formulas for BMR and maintenance calories and by using my current stats came up with a BMR of 1460.

Following JW's instruction's I added 1.5 for workout calories to determine a maintenance level of 2,190 calories.
He suggests only cutting 250 calories a day (vice 500) to cut which would permit me 1940 calories on workout days or 1500 calories on sedentary days for a cut. I can only imagine how many calories you must burn a day to eat 2400 calories and still lose weight! That's impressive. Even the formulas given tell me I shouldn't eat more than 1900 to cut.

Does cutting only 250 calories vice 500 mean I'll only lose half a pound of BF per week? I'm not as concerned with the scale as I am the inches, but I do want to lose that safe "pound a week" if I can get get to a good BF percentage. I'll do it though with the great advice here. Thanks for your patience with repetitive questions.


08-07-2002 06:02 PM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
<blockquote><font class="small">posted by brandy3369:</font><hr /> ...
Does cutting only 250 calories vice 500 mean I'll only lose half a pound of BF per week? I'm not as concerned with the scale as I am the inches, but I do want to lose that safe "pound a week" if I can get get to a good BF percentage...<hr /></blockquote>

Best thing to do is try it and see. Why cut 500 when you may only have to cut 250. The less calories you can cut and still lose fat the better cause it means retained or even gained muscle mass! Give it at least 3 weeks to try. [img]/forum/images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Oh, and thanks for the compliment! And that's what I'm here for, to help everyone achieve the success I did! Abc gave me the knowledge to get to where I am now so I am here to return the favor! And I thoroughly enjoy it! [img]/forum/images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

sicily1962 08-13-2002 05:38 AM

Re: How many calories do you eat?
I cycle between 1900 and 2300 every few days. It just fluxuates depending on the type of carbs i'm doing.
I'm 5'4" and 140lbs
15%BF (for now [img]/forum/images/icons/grin.gif[/img] ) should be 12% by end of month!!

You should listen to Krypto...she's on the right track.
You've got to eat to lose and grow....
And don't forget....gotta weight train.
Good luck!

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