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How many calories shoudl I be eating?

I was wondering if someone could help me figure out the number of calories I should eat each day. I currently weigh 158 and am trying to get to 135 (5'6). I've been eating about 1350/day and working out 4x/week of cardio and 2x/week of weightlifting but can't seem to really lose weight. I'd love to lose 2 pounds per week which I thought would be doable with my calorie level but now I wonder if I'm eating too much? yet, I can't imagine going any lower with the amount of working out I'm doing... If anyone has similar stats and has found a level of calories that allows them to lose 2 pounds per week, I'd really appreciate hearing what works for you.

Tue. Jan 15, 9:08pm

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Ahhhh! I have similar stats...join a group with me. I just started one called "Average to HOT" for anyone around our average-ish height who wants to get to that same goal!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 9:33 PM

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Make sure you measure yourself too!

Don't go just by the scale - it's not always accurate especially when your lifting weights! I know people that have lost 3 and 4 dress sizes in 12 weeks but only 15 scale pounds. They were losing "pounds of fat" but not necessarily scale weight - their body fat % decreased.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 9:50 PM

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First thing I'd make sure you're being accurate about what you're actually eating. Are you counting calories and measuring your food? It's so easy to underestimate what we eat and to overeat, especially when you don't have a lot to lose. It's also easy to overestimate how much we put into working out (i.e., we're not really challenging ourselves, but give ourselves credit just for going through the motions).

If you're just starting out and you're accurate with your food intake, I'd be patient and give yourself some time to adjust to these new habits - the results will eventually show on the scale. In the meantime measure your progress other ways - like with body measurements.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 9:56 PM

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9:50 thanks for reminding me of that. I have been discouraged about the lack of scale weight loss but I am definitely noticing differences in my bod. Its one of those things I know in the back of my head but for some reason I need the scale as confirmation of doing made me cheer myself on despite the dumb old scale!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 7:15 AM

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I have almost the same stats as you, just a little farther down the line! I'm 5'6" and weigh 146, down from 200. I've been losing an average of 2 lbs per week, eating between 1200-1600 a day (most days closer to 1200, 2-3 days per week closer to 1600). I too am trying to get to 135! I've been losing 2 lbs per week until recently, when I starting doing weight training, now I'm only losing about 1 lb per week. But I find that I'm still getting trimmer, the number just isn't moving as fast. I think if you're close to goal and are quite fit, it takes a longer time to get down there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 9:50 AM

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Yay for you 9:50! That's fabulous! And amen to it taking longer the more fit you are - you actually have to push, push, push yourself to keep the workouts challenging and there's less room for error you have with eating. Keep it up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 10:39 AM

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OP here.

9:50 that's a great accomplishment on your weight loss. But frustrated to hear you were eating about the same as me (sounds like you average about 1350 a daylike me) and losing 2# per week (until recently) while I am losing nothing. Do you mind if I ask how many times per week and for how long you worked out? Did you mix up your workouts, ie various types of cardio? Did you eat any particular types of food? I've been at this for 3 months and am getting really frustrated! Thx in advance!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 3:36 PM

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I found this web site to be excellent in figuring out my calorie needs. I really don't know how to set up a link so I am going to try this.
If it doesn't work try typing in:


Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 8:41 PM

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Know your Basal Metabolic Rate first.

This will help you dial in on how many calories you're burning without exercise and then you can determine how much you need.

The Discovery Channel offers great information. See above.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 11:25 PM

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9:50 poster here.....

Thanks for the compliments. I did it with the Body For Life program. I was eating about 1200 to 1400 calories per day and following the Body For Life workouts. The important thing is to eat CLEAN and workout religiously. The Body For Life program actually has you do 3 45-minute weightlifting workouts per week and 3 20-minute HIIT cardio workouts with 1 day off. I've found that the Body For Life program has done the best for me as far as getting fast results. I think movement on the scale also depends on how much body fat you have - the more body fat a person has the more drastic the scale results will be. There is a great forum for bodyforlife followers at There are tons of people on there that show their before/after pics on a weekly basis to track their progress - the transformations are amazing. They focus on what they see rather than what the scale is doing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 12:08 AM

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Um, this is really funny....I'M the 9:50 poster. A Body For Life spammer has been posing as me. Shame on you 12:08!!

I did NOT follow a specific program, and I'm sorry OP but I don't have any miracle advice for you. I've been walking every day for 30-40 min, and more recently been running, trying to increase my speed overall. I'm also just getting into strength training and find it really helps my energy levels. I'm also active throughout the day running after my 11 month old son and doing housework - no sitting at a desk for me at all! Don't feel too bad OP, everyone's body is different and it really depends what you're going through. When I first started losing I was losing some baby weight (from 200 to 165) and now I'm losing some more. So I think my body is 'geared' for weight loss!

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 9:37 AM

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This is the PP, I forgot to mention foods. I'm trying to eat a lot more fruits and veggies, eating only whole grains, and really limiting my processed foods. Even when I have an indulgent treat I try to make it myself instead of buying premade stuff. I literally can't remember the last time I had a potato chip.

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 9:39 AM

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Clear grammar and language use difference between 9:50 and 12:08; thanks for pointing out the cheat, 9:50.

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 10:58 AM

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I'm the 9:50 *****PM****** poster! and BFL poster!

I thought the comments to the "9:50" poster were to the 9:50 PM poster.

There was two of us! 9:50 AM or PM??? could go either way!

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 6:39 PM

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Well, no, actually, it coulnd't. The 9:50 AM poster is the one who outlined his or her weight loss and was complimented and asked how he or she accomplished it. Since the 9:50 PM poster said nothing about his or her weight loss, there was nothing to compliment and nothing to ask about.

So clearly, the compliments and questions were aimed at the person whose 9:50 AM post was about losing 2 pounds a week, and not at the person whose 9:50 PM post focused on scales vs. dress sizes and who cited experiences of acquaintances but gave no information about his or her own weight loss.

See? :^ )

Friday, January 18, 2008, 5:03 PM

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Good Luck!

Monday, January 28, 2008, 11:20 PM

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