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This will sound mighty stupid, but how exactly do people do the whole "calorie" counting? I try calculators, but I'm not sure what to put for my "activity level".

So here's my question. Instead of putting my activity weekly and getting what I should be eating based on that, would it work if I just took my "basal" needs, subtracted 500cals a day (for 1 lb per day loss) and made sure my calories came out to that at the end of the day, after subracting my cals burned from work out (whether it be 0 or 500000 lol)?

Does that sound like it would work? Or has anyone been losing weight this way?


Mon. Sep 3, 12:29am

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Wow - that looks complicated!!
I suggest depending on your starting body weight and physical activity level, try start around an average of 1200 - 1400 cal per day and see how that goes. Being too exact is just painful - without doing a basal metabloic test which can only be done in the lab - it is really too hard to work out your exact cal expenditure anyway.

Monday, September 03, 2007, 12:36 AM

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If you don't know what your activity level is-I suggest picking a range of calories to try out. Maybe 1700 if you are relatively active, or 1500 if you are not and eat that many calories for a week or two. If you are losing weight-it's a good number for you. If not-drop some calories. If the weight is coming off too fast (for safety) take in a few more calories. I figured out what works for me by trial and error, not by calculators. I was able to lose a little more than 1 lb a week by eating 1750 calories each day.

Monday, September 03, 2007, 1:32 AM

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Don't work from that base number -- I've done that and put myself in "starvation mode".

Basically, multiply by that number by 1.2 if you have an office job and 1.4 if you do something more active for a living (short of being an aerobics teacher, this is a decent general guideline). Add calories burned through exercise to this number based on cardio machine readouts or any of the the dozens of online calculators for this. THEN subtract 500-750. And don't reduce calories to the point of feeling headachey and lethargic - you won't be able to sustain that and will probably end up throwing in the towel or bingeing out of real need.

Monday, September 03, 2007, 10:12 AM

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OP, I think what you described above is exactly what you're supposed to do. Resting basal caloric needs minus 500 cals/day, and if you exercise and burn more calories, then you can eat more calories. But, just be careful about how many calories you burn. Most people overestimate how much they burn, and underestimate how many calories they eat.

Unless you exercise a ton (more than an hour a day or so), I'd probably just take your basal caloric needs and subtract 500, and stick to that whether or not you exercise. You probably aren't burning more than 500 cals/day during exercise, so that'll set you up to lose 1-2 lbs per week, which is a very healthy rate of loss.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007, 12:24 PM

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