Can anyone help please?

The main page on the NHS weigh loss page says that women should have 1400 calories if they want to lose weight but the BMI calculator says I should use 1700 per day. Which is correct please?


Featured Content

Join the NHS Weight Loss Plan

Join over 40,000 others on our 12-week diet and exercise plan. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits & get more active.

Get Started!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

15 Replies

  • Hi Castillion,

    It's a bit confusing isn't it, and I understand that people have made that feedback to the NHS Choices website.  I would recommend that you go by the calorie range given by the BMI calculator, as it takes into account your personal details such as your height, weight, activity levels, etc.

    I'd like to welcome you to the Weight Loss NHS community forum, and give you the link to our Welcome Newbie post:

    Also, if you like the idea of a weekly weigh-in, then maybe join in with our Monday group weigh-in - it's going on today, and the Afternoon/Evening session is below:

    Wishing you success with your goals.  Check out our Pinned Posts area too - top right-hand-side of the homepage, as there are some great Challenges there and also a Recipe post.

    Lowcal :-)

  • If I stick to 1400 I'll I lose weight more quickly (instead of the recommended 1700)?

  • No, it would be better to stick to the recommended range for your current height, weight and activity levels, like Wolff6x says, the 1400 calories is for an "average" woman.  

  • That would be an "average" woman. If, like me, you are taller and/or have to hump around a bunch of extra weight, the BMI reckoner will increase your allowance as that bigger body needs more to keep going. It's about the only advantage of being overweight!

  • Thank you. I am also very tall and have a lot of weight to lose....4 stones plus!

  • I would start at the higher end, maybe less through the week to 'save' for the weekend, say 1500 then 1800 at weekends, and see how you go 😊 As you lose weight you may need to reduce this so its good to plan for this 😊 

  • Yeah, I've got 7.5st to lose to reach a healthy BMI. On second thoughts I realise it's only 7st now! It will be a slow journey but I am very determined. The  NHS 12 week plan is a blueprint to permanently change your eating into a sustainable and healthy pattern. Food has always been a big problem for me and we have a long-term dysfunctional relationship! According to the BMI reckoner I am allowed over 2000kC daily. I am aiming at 1500kC a day  so there is an allowance for wobbles or the odd snack. For the first time ever I eat three fairly equal meals a day. Portion control is important. I have cut out all the refined carbs, substituting whole grains and pulses. I am never hungry although there are odd cravings for sweeter things that I am suppressing with a few almonds. I have cut out alcohol apart from odd social events. Apart from the weight loss, my digestion is greatly improved. No more omeprazole! Even now I am feeling it is easier getting about and tying shoe laces....and I feel much better about myself. As a fellow traveller, I wish you success on your journey.

  • Hi again Castillion,

    How tall are you?  I am 6 feet 1 inch tall, and I use the 'New BMI' to calculate my BMI - as it is supposed to be more accurate for taller people than the 'standard BMI' measure.  Apologies if this confuses the issue further, but basically, bearing in mind your height, I agree with Anna61 that you'd be best to eat the upper end of the calorie range, but similarly, the lower end would still result in 'safe rate of weight loss' as it is a range that you can choose between depending on the requirements of your week.  

    Good luck with everything.

    Lowcal :-)

    p.s. I meant to post a link to the 'new BMI' incase you want to look at it:

  • thank you. This is very useful.

  • Just looked mine up and it reckons I am now in the overweight category and no longer obese as I have dropped below 30. I will have a small celebration, nothing alcoholic or sweet of course.

    Everyone should give it a go if you are taller than the average woman as it gives you a little boost!

    Merrymanda :)

  • I think you need to add in other factors, if and when you need to!    Unlike Lowcal I'm shorter 5'4", and of menopasal age, those pesky hormones seem to play havoc at times too, plus almost started goal maintain!

    You can rethink things nearer the time, if you stop losing or plateau

  • Hi Castillion, great advice already given to you and I can only add what I do. The BMI said I should be at between 2000 - 2400 or thereabouts. When I check what my RMR is, (Resting Metabolic Rate), it tells me that is 1821 calories a day so the BMI recommendation would mean at best I would maintain my weight? 

    I have kept at between 1400-1600 calories a day with the ocassional blip up and down and lost weight consistently

    This is the link to calculate your RMR

    As has been suggested before, use the NHS plan as a blueprint and adapt along the way to suit yourself.

    Good luck!

  • Castilion,

    My understanding is this

    Your weight in pounds decided by twelve = calories?

    So I am 9.11lbs (127) X 12 =1530 calories, but MFP says I should have 1200...

    Confused or what, I guess I try to keep within both & eat healthy and exercise,

    Sometimes to much info is confusing!! 🔫 But maybe that's just me.

    Top and bottom of it, the more you put in your gob the longer it takes to lose.

  • I didn't realize about adjusting!  I just went for the 1400 as that's what the downloadable 12-week plan said for a woman.  13 weeks in, and it's working so far.

    I've just had a look, and can't find the BMI calculator on NSH Choices at the minute.  Must be a glitch, I'll have to check back later.

  • Hi June - thanks for your reply.  Yes I agree it is confusing!  However, I'm going to choose the 'middle' calories - i.e. the BMI calculator says 1700 and the general info is 1400 so I'm going for about 1500 or just over.  I'll see how it goes.  As you say = eat more, lose less!  lol! 

You may also like...