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Calories - How many should i eat a day!


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Hi everyone! How are you?

I am little bit confuse, how many calories really i need to eat a day? I am a sedentary woman, I am 5"3, 42 year old and unfortunaletly i really need to loose at least 40 lbs... i weight 177 i think the last time i went on the scale! But i am confuse because some people tell me that i should eat at least 1800 and reduce 500 cal. a day that would make me loose at least 1 lbs a week....

My doctor told me 1200 a day and no weight lifting because it will make me look bulky and most of people i talk too they tellme its too little and i need to weight lift to build muscle... so what its the best?

Thanks so much for any of your help!!!Laughing

13 Replies (last)

First look at the quality of the foods you eat, then the calories. Start each meal with protein and fats, then add carbs from fruit and veggies. Eat whole foods, not prepared meals (as in meats, eggs, veggies, avocado, almonds, berries) most of the time (75% - 80% of what you put in your body should be like this and less than 15% - 20% should come from a box or package).

It`s very hard for women to build muscle to the point of looking bulky. Lift heavy, it makes you smaller.

I'm not sure about how much to eat but my personal trainer says weight training is very important.  Unless you spend hours weight lifting, eat a ton of protein and take other drugs a woman won't bulk up.  And the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns while you're sitting around.

Your doctor is an idiot.

First, the only way most women could ever get "bulky" from lifting weights is through the wonders of science...

Second, a pound of muscle takes up less space on your body (therefore making you look slimmer), AND it burns more calories than a pound of fat

Should you do cardio? Yes, of course.  Probably a fair amount of it.  It is probably the easiest way to start losing weight.  But mix it up, do cardio AND lift weights -- the heaviest weights you can.  Do the weights first if you are doing them on the same day. Otherwise try a 3/3 split alternating, with a day of rest. That's not to say that you have to go off and start with killer hours of spin or running or even heavy circuits -- but start.

As far as your calories go -- look at it this way, you want to be eating in a way that you can live with for the rest of your life, because you probably will be.  1200 calories is not very much food at all.  If you start off at 1800, workout for 500 calories per day, then, as you start to lose weight, your can always drop your calories a little more, or increase your exercise.  if you start off at 1200 calories and a bunch of exercise, you have no way to decrease your calories nor increase your exercise.

Consider 1800 on cardio days and 1700 on weight lifting days.  Try to eat at least 80% healthy -- for me, this means no high fructose corn syrup, heavy sodium, or primarily processed foods.  My 20% not so good is a dark chocolate jones I've got right now...  Again, FOR ME, I find that a ratio of 40-50% carbs (mostly veg, fruit, and oats/quinoa), 30% protein (seafood, soybeans, lean chicken/turkey), and the rest in fats -- always keeping my sat fats at less than 10% of my total cals (which is difficult with the chocolate thing...)

YOU may have different ideas of what constitutes healthy, as well as what the macronutrient ratio should be.  I can only pass on that which seems to work for me, and I've lost 50 lb and mostly kept it off.

Oh, and lots of water.

But back to my original point.  Your doctor may not be a moron, but he is NOT a registered dietitian (who is under 40), nor is he an exercise physiologist, otherwise he would know better.

ETA: I said under 40, because so many people in my age group (over 40) seem to stick to the old school ideas (like 1200 calories and no weight lifting....). Someone who is actively engaged in continuing education about the subject of diet and fitness is really the most important thing.

Bravo coach_k!  You gave great advice.

Most Doctors know very little about nutrition and exercise. Women do not get bulky. The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be and the more calories you will burn. Muscle burns more calories than fat. I lift  heavy 3 days a week and I am not bulky.

Cardio mixed with weight training is best.

It is also about the types of foods you are eating. You want clean/balanced eating. Not a diet but a plan you can stick with for the rest of your life if you want long term, successful weight loss and to be healthy.

Avoid diet foods, fat free and sugar free foods, processed foods, simple carbs and trans fats. Look at the food pyramid as a guide. Whole grains, complex carbs, lowfat dairy, lean meats and protein, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Move your body. Drink plenty of water.

coach k gave you some rock solid advice.

Original Post by sybil878:

First look at the quality of the foods you eat, then the calories. Start each meal with protein and fats, then add carbs from fruit and veggies. Eat whole foods, not prepared meals (as in meats, eggs, veggies, avocado, almonds, berries) most of the time (75% - 80% of what you put in your body should be like this and less than 15% - 20% should come from a box or package).

It`s very hard for women to build muscle to the point of looking bulky. Lift heavy, it makes you smaller.

Thanks Sybil for  your help... i find is so easy to just but a Smart One container in the microwave and eat... and the calories is all count for you then have to count your calories and calculate everything! i will have to try harder...

 

Original Post by rachiesk:

I'm not sure about how much to eat but my personal trainer says weight training is very important.  Unless you spend hours weight lifting, eat a ton of protein and take other drugs a woman won't bulk up.  And the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns while you're sitting around.

I was thinking that too that it was weird that my doctor told me not to lift weight .. because as your get older your bone need it, that was weird!!!

 

frenchmaid - yep, bone density is one of the many reasons that you should lift weights, regardless of your weight goals.

If you chose to continue seeing this doctor (just because he doesn't know s*** about weight loss doesn't mean that he isn't good for diagnosing the flu or whatever), prove him wrong, and then tell him!

Original Post by coach_k:

Your doctor is an idiot.

First, the only way most women could ever get "bulky" from lifting weights is through the wonders of science...

Second, a pound of muscle takes up less space on your body (therefore making you look slimmer), AND it burns more calories than a pound of fat

Should you do cardio? Yes, of course.  Probably a fair amount of it.  It is probably the easiest way to start losing weight.  But mix it up, do cardio AND lift weights -- the heaviest weights you can.  Do the weights first if you are doing them on the same day. Otherwise try a 3/3 split alternating, with a day of rest. That's not to say that you have to go off and start with killer hours of spin or running or even heavy circuits -- but start.

As far as your calories go -- look at it this way, you want to be eating in a way that you can live with for the rest of your life, because you probably will be.  1200 calories is not very much food at all.  If you start off at 1800, workout for 500 calories per day, then, as you start to lose weight, your can always drop your calories a little more, or increase your exercise.  if you start off at 1200 calories and a bunch of exercise, you have no way to decrease your calories nor increase your exercise.

Consider 1800 on cardio days and 1700 on weight lifting days.  Try to eat at least 80% healthy -- for me, this means no high fructose corn syrup, heavy sodium, or primarily processed foods.  My 20% not so good is a dark chocolate jones I've got right now...  Again, FOR ME, I find that a ratio of 40-50% carbs (mostly veg, fruit, and oats/quinoa), 30% protein (seafood, soybeans, lean chicken/turkey), and the rest in fats -- always keeping my sat fats at less than 10% of my total cals (which is difficult with the chocolate thing...)

YOU may have different ideas of what constitutes healthy, as well as what the macronutrient ratio should be.  I can only pass on that which seems to work for me, and I've lost 50 lb and mostly kept it off.

Oh, and lots of water.

But back to my original point.  Your doctor may not be a moron, but he is NOT a registered dietitian (who is under 40), nor is he an exercise physiologist, otherwise he would know better.

ETA: I said under 40, because so many people in my age group (over 40) seem to stick to the old school ideas (like 1200 calories and no weight lifting....). Someone who is actively engaged in continuing education about the subject of diet and fitness is really the most important thing.

Hi!

Thanks you! I use to bike to go to work before but i stop for like 3 years it was 1:30 min one way intense biking i did lost weight i will start this summer.. I wonder if stationnary bike is just like biking outside.. (well i guess not different environment outside) nvm i answer my own question...hahaha.!

I have a hard time to find the willpower to get started.. i know poor excuse. I have been sick for the last 2 week with bronchitis i was 180 on the scale when i started to be sick now i am 176.1 n this morning because i felt better and start eating again i am 177.4 i know that i did not loose like 5 lbs in 2 week that i was probably just water... depressing but my jeans do feel more comfortable..

How much time for now would be good on the stationnary bike to start? You right about the calorie that 1200 is not much. Someone once told me that 1800 and that when i start biking outside to add 200 to 300 calories more i find this very large amount.. i really never understand that stuff about more you eat more you loose stuff...i vague to me!

About the % you were talking about ***40-50% carbs (mostly veg, fruit, and oats/quinoa), 30% protein (seafood, soybeans, lean chicken/turkey), and the rest in fats -- always keeping my sat fats at less than 10% of my total cals (which is difficult with the chocolate thing...)***  how do you count that pourcentage on this site by logging your food?

Hum! my doctor is about maybe in is 50 i think.. but it was weird that he told me that n to just eat 1200 when i told him 1800 he said wooo that way too much you will never lose weight on that but i remember people telling me that if you don't eat enough your body goes in a starvation mode and then when you start eating it put all the food in fat (something like that)

What i really find  hard is when i make food at home how to calculate the calories in it maybe i just find it hard because i am a bit lazy...Embarassed

Ok so 1800 is good to start! And how much biking and weight lifting i should do to start! At home i got also one of those weight lifting machine, a skipping rope..( wish i can just for like 3 second and feel like i am going to died), i got dumbell and one of thos big ball that you can do exerce with ...

Thansk so much for you help ... i just go to find willpower to start all of this...

Somone told me once that its impossible for a 42 year old women to go back the the weight i was when i was 30... i want want to weight 130 unstead of 180 my god...i would feel so much healthyer and better!!!

 

Original Post by littleshellys:

Most Doctors know very little about nutrition and exercise. Women do not get bulky. The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be and the more calories you will burn. Muscle burns more calories than fat. I lift  heavy 3 days a week and I am not bulky.

Cardio mixed with weight training is best.

It is also about the types of foods you are eating. You want clean/balanced eating. Not a diet but a plan you can stick with for the rest of your life if you want long term, successful weight loss and to be healthy.

Avoid diet foods, fat free and sugar free foods, processed foods, simple carbs and trans fats. Look at the food pyramid as a guide. Whole grains, complex carbs, lowfat dairy, lean meats and protein, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Move your body. Drink plenty of water.

Thanks Littleshellys! Is everyone here log their food on this side...i came here before but i gave up (like usual) Embarassed that one of my problem i started and then i get depress because i dont loose weight so i gave up .. i had find a site on prevention where you can log your food too but then i eat a muffin at Tim horton yesterday and was looking for the calories intake i almost feel on my butt when i was 350 cal for that muffin and it did not even fill me up .. but what remind me of this site is the search brought me here and then i remember that i had register here before a while ago... so i decide to gave it a try again!

I find so cunfising all the information on the internet you never know that to take like one place if find told me that 1800 cal. is my maintain calories to keep the weight i am on now and that i need to reduce 500 to lose 1 lbs.. that that would like bring me to 1 344 something like that... is this again to low... some day i am sure i would have no proble passing this number and other days I when i am not hungry at all that would be fine..So what do to that so confusing!!! grrrrr  lol... maybe i am just loosing my mind...Surprised

 

Hi Frenchmaid, it is confusing and sticking to an exercise plan and eating healthy/balanced/clean is not easy. The key to it all is will power. Without that it will not work. I don't like passing up the donuts, cake, pie, etc but I like how I look and feel now as opposed to how I looked and felt when I was 30LB heavier and on my small frame. 4'11" that is a lot of extra weight to carry around.

The key is changing your eating, not going on a diet but choosing healthy, nutritious foods that fuel your body properly. When you eat junk, simple carbs, sugar free, fat free, diet foods, etc even though they contain a lot of calories they are very weak when it comes to their nutritional value so you will be hungry again soon after eating them. Here is one example. I love pancakes and I did not give them up when I changed my way of eating but instead of making my pancakes out of a store bought white flour mix I use buckwheat. Buckwheat is very nutritious and has many health benefits. It is dense and fills you up. I make buckwheat pancakes. I do not use oil or top them with butter. Instead I use fresh fruits or fruit speeds. Occasionally I will use sugar free Mrs. Butter-worths syrup or Smucker's sugar free strawberry topping. Very low in calories but I also avoid all sugar free/fat free products. Those are the only two I use maybe once a month. But my point is I still eat pancakes but altered the traditional recipe to be healthy.

Other ways to do this are to replace unhealthy condiments such as mayo, butter, sour cream, ketchup with health choices like low sodium mustard, vinegar, Greek yogurt, olive oil. I replace salt with natural herbs and spices.

Not only do you save in calories but those condiments also have nutritional value.

Replace white rice, bread and pasta with brown rice, whole grain breads and wraps and whole grain pasta.

I use complex carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables, lowfat dairy, lean meats and other healthy proteins. I read all food labels and avoid as many additives and preservatives as possible, limit canned food and use fresh or frozen. Don't buy pre-packaged dinners instead make my own from scratch using natural whole foods when possible.

I pack my lunch for work each day and plan ahead. That helps me avoid going out and grabbing something at a fast food restaurant. Same with my snack I pack that each day to avoid the break room donuts and cookies. Wink

I workout 4 days a week and stick to that plan no matter what. I don't make excuses. Unless I am sick or some emergency happens. I workout get it done and go about my day.

I get an hour for lunch at work. I take 25 minutes to eat and walk for the other 35 5 days a week.

I lift hard and heavy. Don't  let anyone tell you girls will get bulky. Not true. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn just living and the faster your metabolism will be. You will feel better and feel stronger. Your posture will be improved. You will have less pain.

I do a mix of cardio. HIIT, intervals, walking, running, jogging. Burns calories and is excellent for your health.

I don't drink my calories. I save those for food because I like to eat. Wink

I drink a LOT of water, green tea, white and black tea and one cup of coffee a day.

I keep moving in general. Walk whenever I get the change. I park in the spot furthest from the door when shopping. I walk once or twice around the perimeter of the store when I get in. I take the stairs whenever I can, take the long way, get up to change the TV channel, etc. Just move, keep active.

You will loose weight but it should be a slow, steady, healthy process. Read up on clean/balanced eating. I am not clean 100% of the time but go clean/organic whenever you can.

Allow yourself a cheat meal one or two days a week. Eat your favorite things so you don't feel deprived. Then the rest of the time stick to your plan. If you plan your cheat meals you can look forward to them and it is easier to stick to health eating the rest of the week.

Don't keep junk in the house. If you want desert or chips go out and get just enough for that serving. Eat it and be done. Don't bring the whole pie or cake home.

Good luck.

Sorry I have not been on this site for a while...thanks for your reply! So how to you figure out if you had eat 80% or 15% of what you should eat...sorry I ask stupid question sometime but I need to understand!

thanks

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