How do you know how many calories to eat?

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Old 03-17-2011, 02:37 PM
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Question How do you know how many calories to eat?

Hello All!

I'm new to the counting calorie game. I've been on numerous "diets" and "lifestyle" changes before, but I'm really going to try to stick with it this time (yep...said that every other time as well). But I figure my youngest just turned 2, and I can't use the "baby weight" excuse anymore!

Anywhoo...so now I'm trying the calorie counting with fitday. But my question is..how do you know how many calories you need to eat in a day to lose weight? I googled it and had SO many different answers.

My goal is to lose 15-20 lbs by June 18 (my 34th birthday) and another 25 lbs by next feburary when my husband and I go on a tropical vacation with another couple.

I'm 5'9" and weigh 216 lbs as of this morning.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:41 PM
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I just started about three weeks ago so I am sure someone with more experience can chime in on this but what I did to start was log...log everything that you eat and everything that you do. Then at the end of the day see if you have done more than you ate. Hope that makes sense! From what I read on here if you burn 500 more calories than you eat every day that would be 3500 calories per week and equal up to 1 lb of fat lost.

Congratulations on the decision towards a healthier you!
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:53 PM
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What I did was similar.. For a week, without trying to 'diet', I logged every single thing I ate. The only thing I did do, was (eating the same amount as I always did) would then weigh it to be accurate. You might be surprised how many people think a cereal bowl full of cereal is one serving. Fact is, one serving is less than a tea cup full.

So, after a week you have a good idea of where you are starting from calorie wise.

Then erin is also correct that 3500 calories equals one pound of weight. If you subtract 3500 calories a week from what you have been eating, you will lose 1 lb a week. The same is also true. For every 3500 you eat, you will be gaining a week.

Keep in mind that although that seems a simple enough formula to follow.. there will be times that you would swear we are nuts.. Usually the 1st few weeks you may lose a whole lot of weight but only have cut back that 500 calories a day ( 3500 a week), well thats mostly water weight. Also, that time of the month, even though you are faithful to your calorie count, you will gain weight. And finally, almost all of us hit plateau's ughhhhhh seems like no matter what you do, you can not lose. Those eventually pass... it is usually a matter of your body re-adjusting to the calories coming in, and at that point, it may be time to drop calories each day.

And finally, the very best way to know is to see your physician or nutritionist and they should be able to advise you as well.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:55 PM
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There is nothing wrong with using the baby weight excuse, I was doing it up until a month ago and my baby turns 14 in 3 days. As for calories in, it is different for everyone, different people have different metabolisms and different lifestyles. I was told by my doctor 1200 cal a week to lose weight 1500 to maintain, so I tried that and I gained weight, so I have had to adjust my calories accordingly, I have a physically demanding job and know that I can eat a little more on weeks when I work. I also am very concientious about reading labels, they are pretty much all required to put the calories per serving on and make sure if that is the amount of calories you are counting you stick to the serving size recommended. Good luck and keep us informed of what is working for you.
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