View Full Version : Base Calories...

08-13-2004, 12:16 PM
For my body weight/age/height it says I should be eating around 2500 calories a day to maintain. Since my curent goal is to lose weight, do you think doing 1500 is too low. I've been doing it for about 2 weeks now with 1 cheat meal a week. My protien has been kept pretty high by what I am eating.

08-13-2004, 12:18 PM

08-13-2004, 01:24 PM
BMR Calculator (http://www.fi****ch.com/qkcalc/bmr.html)The estimated minimum level of energy required to sustain the body's vital functions when in at complete rest (in a coma).

28yrs, 5' 11", 280 lbs, ~35% BF
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is 2500.
However, that number is just a starting point to figure out how many calories you need in a day.

From there you need to take into account walking, talking, and any athletic activity, etc...
which is basically a multiplier of your BMR levels based on how many hours of activity you do a week.

Sedentary - little or no exercise BMR X 1.2
Lightly Active (exercise/sports: 1-3 days/week) BMR X 1.35
Moderately Active (exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) BMR X 1.5
Very Active = BMR X 1.725 (exercise/sports 6-7 days/week) BMR X 1.75
Extra Active (daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training) BMR X 1.85

You shouldn't go below your BMR except under extreme circumstances (morbidly obese, super low bodyfat for a competition, etc...)

If you've been eating below your activity/maintenance level for more than 8 weeks (ish) without doing refeeds and/or taking thermogenics, your metabolism and leptin levels will lower and weight loss slows.

Unfortunately you've put yourself in a tough position.
You'll have to raise your calories slowly until your at maintenance then maintain there for about 4 weeks to reset your body and get healthy again.
At THAT point you can start to lower calories slowly till your at about 2500 (or 8-10 weeks) then start over.

(this is all just my opinion, others might disagree)

08-13-2004, 01:49 PM
This website


is saying at my current activity I should eat 3601 calories per day. That sounds extremely high to me. Thats like 600 calories a meal x 6 meals?

08-13-2004, 01:52 PM
What do you suggest I do? I've been eating 1500 for about 2 weeks now. Keeping track of it all on fitday. Is there anything else to consider on BMR? Can 3600 be correct?

08-13-2004, 01:57 PM
thats 3600 to maintain.

Think of it like this...

A space ship is flying around in orbit...its got just a TINY amount of fuel...so, to ensure the crew can survive as long as possible the ship turns off the amenities and slows itself down to a crawl. Your body does the same on a low cal diet, it shuts down all kinds of things...
Just like the ship, if your body goes to zero fuel for to long it will die.

You've been riding with your tanks on low if your at 2000 calories. And your body has shut a lot of things off...2000 isn't to drastic so the symptoms might not be dramatic, but they are there none the less.

When the ship finds fuel reserves it doesn't wastefully turn everything back on though. It stores 99% of it away because history has told it not to be wasteful because it doesn't know when it'll receive more.

Until you re-establish a healthy diet (aka fuel stores) daily, your body will continue to be conservative and hold onto the precious fuel stores it finds until its convinced that things have changed for the better, at which time it'll turn things back on and go back to a normal "Healthy" way.

If you slowly increase your fuel stores each day the system will slowly turn back on and will never have to store such a great amount of fuel (weight gain)...this might take 3-5 weeks, and if done slowly enough there is no reason you should see significant weight gain, because your body will consume as the fuel comes in.

Slow and steady up, and slow and steady down wins the race in weight loss, muscle retention, and health.

Then, once your system is functioning at 100% you can slowly drop calories, a little at a time and the system will not react aggressively to turn things off.
But if you cut the system out of fuel for 2-3 days it will shut things down rapidly! I've read leptin levels can for 75% on a 1 day fast, which is terrible if your trying to lose weight.

I hope that makes SOME sense...its a difficult topic to understand and super hard to explain.
(and this is just my take on it)

08-13-2004, 02:20 PM
Ok so for the last two weeks I have been pretty low1500-1800. Lets take the shortest and say 3 weeks to recover? For the next 3 weeks how many calories should I eat a day? I cant conceive that 3600 calories of anything could be good for me, but I am willing to try.

How about I go to 2k today, stay there for 1 week and move up to 2500 the week after?

08-13-2004, 02:41 PM
I cant conceive that 3600 calories of anything could be good for me.this is the biggest hurdle people have with dieting. Many people just assume that if they starve themselves that they'll lose weight, and sadly that DOES work for very obese people with high bodyfat levels, unfortunately once you get down to reasonable weights/bodyfat these fad diets and special diets just wont work anymore.

There are plenty of people on this board that were overweight at once point and have tried the "starvation diets"

I dont think I've ever seen a post about it though, you might want to post a topic called "Have you ever starved yourself trying to lose weight? how did it turn out?" and ask what people have learned in the thread.

Its kinda like if your running a marathon, and you sprint the first 100m full steam...you basically shoot your load and screw yourself for the rest of the race...sure you mighta whooped ass during the first 100, but no amount of training would ever justify this technique.

yep, I'd shoot for 2k calories for a week, then raise it about 50 calories per day (or 350 total per week) over the next 3 weeks.
Granted these numbers don't mean anything unless your tracking your diet with a calorie counter. I prefer dietOrganizer vastly to fitday.

Try to limit your saturated fat intake as that will raise your metabolic rate.
Also, weighing yourself as often as possible would help to make sure your on track.

It typically takes 3 days for calories to equal body weight (at least for me it does)

08-13-2004, 02:44 PM
Ok, I'll do it. At what point can I reduce cals? Where should I stop? Currently I low carb it, I think I should probably scrap that at this point, but what do you think?

08-13-2004, 02:52 PM
I'd scrap the low carb idea.

Just eat a balanced diet
get 60-90g of fats, try to get as few saturateds as possible as they slow metabolism.
divide the rest of your calories between proteins and carbs.

Once you get to about 3500 calories I'd stay there for about a week or two, if you keep putting on weight at this point its because your body is still confused, and not sure if it should turn on all the systems. If you stay at this calorie level your body should even out and you should stop gaining weight...once your weight maintains THEN start to lower calories by dropping about 500 calories for the first week and staying at that level (3k calories) until your only losing .5lb per week (for at least 2 weeks) then lower to 2500 calories and do the same.
Once your weight loss stops (should be 8-10 weeks) then slowly go back up in calories again...
This is how I'd do it.
Although I think you should get some other opinions first!
I'd hate to be the guy that made you gain weight *hahahahah*

08-13-2004, 02:57 PM
Thanks for your advice and time.

What does everyone else think?

08-14-2004, 06:51 PM
I agree with everything Geoff is saying but I say 3000 cals daily if you need 3600 to maintain

the 3600 is only a reasonably accurate estimate but it gives you a good starting point

if you keep the activity up there is not much fear of sudded weight gain at 3000

if you maintain that for a few weeks and don't lose weight then you can start reducing calories

08-14-2004, 08:31 PM
Ok check this out. I weigh 288 right now. 30% BF my BF scale says which I dont completely trust, but thats a different issue, I think 30% is accurate. Do those daily base calorie things consider me as 288 pounds of muscle or 200 pounds of muscle and 88 pounds of fat? I ask because muscle burns more calories then fat. I read fat only burns 3 cals per day per pound. So does it make sense to eat what a 200 pound person should + 3 cals X pounds of non lean body mass per day or no?