Weight Loss
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Minimum Caloric Intake


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Beginning stats: 6' 0", 220 lbs, Male, 36

I was 240 at my heaviest (due to a car accident) but wanted to get down to 195 again so I started a diet after 8 months at 220.

I am currently eating only 1,100 calories a day plus 350 calories 2-3 times a week from workouts.  The weight has come off, but too fast.  Now I am reading things that say the minimum caloric intake for a male is 1,500 calories.  Am I dangerously low?  I am slowly bringing it up, but have lost 4.4 lbs in 9 days and it concerns me.


Does anyone know where I need to be at?  How many calories can I cut to?  I am a task oriented person and seriously not interested in cutting calories back by a few hundred to lose the weight over time.  That doesn't work for me.  I have to hit it hard and fast, but I really don't want to die doing it. 


Any help is appreciated. A BMR calculation would be great.

Thank

16 Replies (last)

BMR/RMR Calculator

Click this link BMR is 1970 so your a bit low

If you want hard and fast but safe it says eat 2298 burn 3398 basically by burn this much it means you'll burn this much with just existing + the Exercise deficit of 1034 calories.

Any less calories your not giving your body enough and your metabolism will slow stalling your effort and you'll lose muscle that you don't' want to

If you select extra active it basically just tells you eat more burn more and lose the same amount reason why I didn't select that.

Also you could select the lower activity levels if you don't want to do that much.

good luck i hope we can both lose it similar stats 24 290 6'0" male

I can't wait to hit your weight I'll actually just be overweight instead of in the obese category.....I don't want to die before I'm in my 30s because of complete lack of thought.

#2  
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I appreciate it. I looked at the site but it doesn't make sense that I can safely lose 2.2 lbs per week but the site puts me at 700 calories which is 1.5 lbs. 

So if it calculates my BMR at 2700, and I was targeting 1600 calories (an 1100 calorie deficit for 7700/wk or 2.2 lbs), is that 1600 before or after exercise.  So I eat 1800 and run 2 miles, does that work out to my 1600?

I am the same way as you, I want fast results!

1,100 calories a day is very low, though not dangerously low. But you're a man, so you obviously need more calories than that. You may see quick weight loss for now, but eating such a low amount of calories will make your metabolism slow down. So in the long run, it's better if you eat about 1,500 a day at least!

I'm confused about what your saying...maybe just cause I'm reading it late at night.....anyway

Fastest safe weight loss according to the link I gave is based on this

Safety Deficit (1100 calories): Nutritionists say that you can safely lose no more than 1% of your body weight per week. For the weight you gave (220 lb), you can safely lose about 2.2 lb per week. Because each pound of body fat contains 3500 calories of energy, your safe deficit is 2.2 lb * 3500 calories per pound per week = 7700 calories per week, which comes to 7700 / 7 = 1100 calories per day.

That 1100 calories a day is the 1034 in exercise burn + the amount you burn just by living.

Take a look at the RMR number its 2364 if you add that to the 1034 exercise you get the total burn number of 3398 that it shows at the top in red.  With the eat number of 2298 - the burn number of 3398 you end up with a deficit of 1100 which as per the explanation on the safety deficit is the max safe amount.

You can do more exercise and lose more but doing too much will make your body use muscle for fuel and you'll lose more of that too.  Thats why if you change it to extra active it basically tells you to eat more and burn more to lose the same amount because if you have a higher deficit than 1100 than your gonna burn some muscle mass as well which isn't a good idea generally.

#5  
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i still don't understand the numbers.  Could you please explain  the 1034 exercise number?  My total workouts come to around 350 every time.  So I am confused as to the 1034 number.

thank

your rmr is your sedentary number.  what you would burn by doing normal office job like activities.  Because of your activity you burn an additional 1034 cals on top of that, giving you the total daily burn of 3398.

It tells you to eat 2298 (3398-1100) because eating any lower would be too great of a deficit.  If you have over at 1100 deficit you put yourself at risk of not only losing fat but muscle as well.  Losing muscle is just counterproductive.  That's why it's called a safety deficit.  It is the largest deficit you can lose weight safely at.  As you lose weight this number will decrease.  The lower amount of body fat you have the lower deficit you can sustain.

You should have your bf% tested and plug that number in, it will give you a more accurate estimate

I just saw this post and it got my attention.

Hi Whiteston. I'm Male, 6'4", 270...

I guess I'm going to say what you don't want to hear. Cutting your calories by 500-750 works. Cutting back too far doesn't, long term. Oh, you'll lose weight for a while, as you clearly have, but eventually your body catches up to that kind of abuse.

It's a very American attitude.. they have to have it NOW, FAST, IMMEDIATELY. That's why there are aisles and aisles and aisles of Diet Books and loads and loads of infomercials, all offering fake promises of 25 lbs. lost in 2 months or.. what not.

That's all bunk. What you're doing isn't healthy and there'll be consequences for it, eventually. Most likely the moment you reach your goal and have no idea where to go from there.

What you want to do is keep a reasonable deficit. Let's say 750 calories. Maybe exercise a bit, because exercise burns calories, builds muscle (this making your metabolism rate higher) and is just plain good for you. You want to learn how to EAT, healtfully, and find a lifestyle that works all this in that you can live with.

It's not just the act here that matters, man, it's learning to develop a new lifestyle that you can MAINTAIN once you lose that weight. It's developing life-long habits that'll keep you thin and healthy.

Seriously... use the site tools. Eat what the site suggests. Start eating right, and getting some exercise and you'll LOSE the weight and you'll find success and we can teach you to succeed, help you get there.

WELCOME to Calorie Count!

Just so you know, 1500 calories is the bare minimum for a man to eat per day and to remain healthy. In fact, it may even be too low for you as you are very tall. But at least with a minimum of 1500 calories your organs will continue to function properly. It also should prevent your metabolism from slowing. When we eat too few calories - though not so few that we are literally starving ourselves to death - overtime our metabolism can slow down to where it actually needs less calories to maintain a higher weight (starvation mode). So you should definitely increase your calories.

Have you used the tools here on Calorie Count Plus to figure out the best target calories for your goals? Have you checked out the Weight Loss Forum Reources thread at the top of this forum? Also have you seen that we have a New Members forum which has a great thread The Unofficial Guide to Calorie Count - this will guide you through the process.

From Mary Hartley, Calorie Count's Director of Nutrition: "By eating [so few] calories, you will not get enough energy, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other components of food. In time, you could become malnourished, which can cause severe health risks such as respiratory infections, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack and even death."

Why must I eat at least 1,500 calories a day when I want to eat less?

[From the Advice section of Calorie Count Plus, under the Q&A tab]

In order to get the daily food servings you need for a balanced diet, it takes about 1200 calories a day (for a man it is 1500 calories a day). With careful planning, you could have a balanced diet on 1000 calories, but the restrictiveness of a very low calorie level can lead to binging and weight cycling, which will take you further from your weight loss goal. What's more, very low calorie diets can cause excessive muscle breakdown and metabolic adaptations, which can drive down your calorie requirements. In the end, you'll need fewer calories to maintain a higher weight.

Good luck and let us know if there is anything we can help you with! And take it from me, HK's advice above is great!

#9  
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I DO appreciate the advice, but I will have to take it selectively.

I'm actually in the minority because I'm not concerned about maintaining a weight, because that is easy for me. It is the losing the weight that is the hard part. I gained weight because of circumstances not due to an unhealthy lifestyle.

I actually haven't used the calculators here (except as a double check on some things because I have a spreadsheet that I have developed
that accounts for pretty much everything over the course of my diet -- including recalculating BMR each day based upon my current weight.

However, as a result of reading these posts, I have decided to modify my plan. I will maintain 1500 calories per day after exercise. So if I run and lift weights (like today) burning approx 340 calories then I will ingest 1,840 to maintain that 1500 calorie intake.

This is going to be hard though. Right now I still have 1200 calories to ingest (after exercise) and lunch is over.


EDIT:  I did notice a reduction in performance today in my workout.  I definitely need to make a change.

Yes, the reduction in performance is a pretty good sign that you are not giving yourself enough fuel.

I've gotten into serious running (training for a half-marathon in October) and as a result have had to up my caolries in order to just have enough fuel especially for my running days.

I think you are on the right track. Basically, eat more on the days you are working out hard.

Best regards,

---Kayvan

From my personal experience, you will want to eat more than the bare minimum or cut back on your exercise so that your deficit isn't too high.  Like you, when I first started, I saw the minimum number of calories and said great, I'll go with that, maybe a few more, but not a whole lot more.  For about the first 10 lbs I lost weight pretty steadily at around 2 lbs per week after the intial water weight came off.  This was while I was exercising strenuously about 1-2 times per week and getting another 1-2 times of light workouts. 

Then I really started exercising about twice what I had done before while eating around the same calories and I stopped losing weight.  Once I increased my calories by a few hundred I lost another 10 lbs.

I increased my exercise because I was having so much fun and stopped losing weight again.  I had to increase my calories by another few hundred to drop the next 10 lbs.

To date I've lost about 30 lbs which is great but it's been easier to do when I've been eating more rather than when I was eating less.

I am 5'2", 112, and 21 year old female..

That site tells me that I should eat 1200 calories a day? Thats different than any other site I have been on before?
#13  
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that's very interesting. As I got through my day, and attempt to take in more calories, I am wondering how diffferent are my eating habits really have become since I am having to go back in and add calories.

What a difference 10 days can make.


EDIT: Good Lord that was horrible grammar.  you would never know that I am a full time marketing exec and part time professor.  I'm ashamed.Tongue out

Original Post by whiteston:

i still don't understand the numbers.  Could you please explain  the 1034 exercise number?  My total workouts come to around 350 every time.  So I am confused as to the 1034 number.

thank

sorry if i didn't make my postings clear my posts were specifically about using that site to get the amount of exercise and the amount to eat for you to lose weight at the fastest rate since you seemed to want to lose it fast.

1034 is the amount of exercise that would give you the fastest weight loss while still being safe along with eating 2298 calories.

The amount of exercise you indicated of 350 is about equal to Lightly active on this site I linked before BMR/RMR Calculator

If you eat 1970 and burn 350 calories in exercise like your currently doing you should lose 1.48 lb a week.

Your BMR with this amount of activity is 1970 so you shouldn't eat less than this.  Eating the 1500 like your talking about is a minimum that is based off someone shorter and lower weight...I'm not sure where they get the basis for the 1200 and 1500 but I read that the 1200 is based off a 100 lb woman thats also not realy tall.  Considering this if I were to guess the male minimum probably is based off something similar.  I'm guessing around 100 lb for the male too and something similar in height.

You are both taller and heavier than either so you need to eat more for your body to have enough to function.

Also considering those who are overweight don't necessarily process things as well as needed  you definately don't want to go that low.

Relying on a minimum that isn't designed with you in mind isn't a good idea and I hope you decide its not enough.

If a 500 lb man were to eat 1500 calories they wouldn't be getting anywhere close to what they need.  If your not sure you can the amount you need to lose it safely than try to raise it over time so you can get used to the larger amounts.

 

If you want to lose more safely beyond what you will by eating 1970 and doing 350 in exercise than you should up the exercise not drop the calories.  The 1970 is a minimum amount of calories considering its your BMR.

If you want to do more exercise just select a higher activity level than lightly active and it'll give you a bigger exercise number and an amount to eat that suits.

Original Post by hkellick:

I just saw this post and it got my attention.

Hi Whiteston. I'm Male, 6'4", 270...

I guess I'm going to say what you don't want to hear. Cutting your calories by 500-750 works. Cutting back too far doesn't, long term. Oh, you'll lose weight for a while, as you clearly have, but eventually your body catches up to that kind of abuse.

What you're doing isn't healthy and there'll be consequences for it, eventually. Most likely the moment you reach your goal and have no idea where to go from there.

What you want to do is keep a reasonable deficit. Let's say 750 calories. Maybe exercise a bit, because exercise burns calories, builds muscle (this making your metabolism rate higher) and is just plain good for you. You want to learn how to EAT, healtfully, and find a lifestyle that works all this in that you can live with.

 

 

I'll second that - I'm only a couple inches taller and lost 100 lb on a regimen of 1500-1700 over the last couple of years.  There is no reason to cut back that severely - I think it will make you that much more likely to rebound later.  Please increase your intake to at least 1500/day and be patient - a man your size will lose weight at that count, it may take a lot longer, but it will be more sustainable and you'll lose less of the lean muscle mass you want to keep.

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