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Calories needed per day - confused!

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Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby az81 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:09 pm

So, I'm trying to figure out a few things about my daily calorie limit.

1. The 'energy needs calculator' on this site tells me that to maintain my current weight, I need to consume 3922 calories per day. A while ago, someone told me that to lose weight, I should subtract 500 from this amount, making it 3422 a day.

Is this correct, or am I getting it wrong? The same person also told me to use the following formula to determine a daily calorie intake to stick to in order to lose weight...

(weight in pounds) X 14 - 500 = maximum daily calories to lose weight.

However, if I follow this formula, the result tells me that I can consume 4050 calories a day to lose weight...a big difference from 3422!

So, what is the answer? If I want to lose weight, how many calories should I consume a day?

Now, this is where I'm having a lot of trouble understanding things - burning off those calories.

2. In my naivety (or stupidity) I assumed that whatever calories I consumed, I had to burn off. So, if I consumed 3422 calories a day, I would need to do enough exercise per day to burn off 3422 calories.

Another friend told me that this was incorrect, and that it would be impossible to do this every day. They also told me that even if I just sat around all day, I would still burn calories. What they didn't tell me is how I can calculate how many calories I should burn off every day.

Can anyone tell me a way to calculate how many calories I should be burning per day, and if there is a way to calculate how many calories are burnt during my chosen exercise? For example, I was told that walking burns approximately 280 calories an hour.

Now, if anyone out there can - and is willing to - answer these questions for me, keep this in mind - I am really quite thick! I need things explained to me in extremely simple terms. So, imagine you're trying to explain things to a 5 year old when answering these questions! :lol:

Thanks for taking time to read this, and I hope someone can help me! :)

az81
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby Sydneygirl » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:53 pm

Wow they are some big questions. Consuming over 3000 calories seems like an awful lot, even if you are really big. Are you male or female? How tall are you? How much do you currently weight?

It is true that you burn calories in everyday life, even not doing anything. This is called your BMR. You will find BMR calculators online. This is how many calories you need to function without additional exercise.

Are you technology savvy? There are some great apps that you can get that work out everything you are asking about for you. I use myfitnesspal. There is also the myfitnesspal website. It asks all your details and it works out your basic calorie needs. You can enter any exercise you do and it works out the extra calories you can consume. You can enter any food you can think of and it gives you the caloric value and nutritional value.
Best of all, it's free!
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby az81 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Thanks for the advice, Sydneygirl. I have signed up on myfitnesspal.com now, and have determined that my BMR is 2536 calories a day. So, am I correct in saying that this means that I can consume 2536 calories a day without exercising, and I will maintain my current weight? This seems very low to me, given my details, which are...

Gender: Male.
Weight: 148 kgs.
Height: 194.5 cm.

I'm sure there's something that I'm missing, though. I find all of this kind of thing so confusing!

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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby Sydneygirl » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:17 pm

That sounds about right. You can put in any exercise you do that day and it will recalculate your calorie allowance, so if you exercise you can consume more calories.

For example, I am 165cm and 83.7kgs female. My BMR is 1240 calories per day. But I do between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise each day which gives me an extra 200-450 calories for that day. If I have not done any exercise for that day, I do struggle to stick to my calories.

2500calories per day seems pretty reasonable. Just make good food choices and portion control. Drink lots of water as this will help you feel full. Good protein and fruit and veges are very filling.
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby Blitz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:32 pm

Here is the simpliest way. Take what you would normally eat and divided it into two equal portions. Give one of those portions away to someone else to eat. Eat the remainder. This should help you lose a kilo a week.

If you are a overweight person generally you are eating twice the amount that you should be. Learn what a proper size meal looks like and you will go a long way to eating the right amount of food. I don't count calories...I judge food size and healthy content.

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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby az81 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:35 pm

So, is the 'energy needs calculator' result incorrect? It says I can consume 3922 calories a day, but the BMR says 2536...does this mean if I consume the 3922, I need to burn the difference every day?
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby az81 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:56 pm

Well Blitz, I never have been a big eater to be honest, and I'm not normally one to bother with the kind of scrutiny that calorie counting involves. I feel that maybe I should just forget about the calories, and just eat sensibly...then again, I do want to know if I'm sticking to a good program. It's a tough decision to make! :(
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby az81 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:19 pm

I think I have figured this out...I THINK! :lol:

To maintain my current weight, I can eat as many calories as I like, as long as I burn that same amount off the same day.

With a BMR of 2536, I may choose to round that up to 3000 by eating 464 calories a day. If I then burn 464 calories with exercise, I will maintain my weight.

Is this correct? It seems perfectly logical to me...so it's probably wrong! :lol:

az81
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TIME TO SHED THE KILO'S!


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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby Metalcharm » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:15 pm

Your BMR is what you will burn each day just to survive. Even if you were in a coma you will burn 2536 calories a day (for you). So even on a light day you're still going to be burning more calories than that just walking to the next room, going and getting the mail and all the incidental movement you do a day. If you do proper heart rate lifting exercise then you are going to be burning lots more.

For the vast majority of people it's a simple calculation of calories out vs calories in. it's easy enough to calculate what's going in but trying to calculate what's going out can be trickier and people will overesteimate hoe much they're burning. But basically you have it worked out :)
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby az81 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:10 am

Thanks, Metalcharm!

So, the question now is, how many calories should I consume a day?

I can consume 2536 to cover my BSR, but is there a recommended amount I should have in total? I suppose it will depend on how much exercise I do. As an example, I figure...

2536 BSR + 200 extra calories = 2736 consumed calories.
200 calories burned with exercise = weight maintained.

Therefore...

2536 BSR + 100 extra calories = 2636 consumed calories.
200 calories burned with exercise = weight lost.

Correct?
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TIME TO SHED THE KILO'S!


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August 2015 weight - 151
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby Sydneygirl » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:56 pm

The idea is that at the end of the day, you need a calorie deficit to lose weight. The bigger the deficit the better, however if you are consuming under your BMR, you may stop losing weight as your body goes into starvation mode which means you body holds onto calories and thus weight, even though you are exercising. You body thinks its starving and it needs the calories to survive.
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Re: Calories needed per day - confused!

Postby Blitz » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:43 pm

Once upon a time I didn't consider myself a big eater. If I was right then I'm eating like a canary now! :shock:

You will be surprised how skewed your reckoning of what normal eating is when you are overweight. I know - been there (still there sometimes)...bought the t-shirt (and it was XXXL :lol: ).

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