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Weight Loss NHS
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Struggling to get my calories??

Hi everyone, so i'm struggling to eat enough calories in day...

I'm 5"3, female, weigh 10 stone 10 right now, BMI calculator says I need to lose 12kg to get to my ideal weight.... and says i should be eating 1600-2000 calories per day.

I excersise everyday, usually cardio, I run usually at least 5km, sometimes further. Occasionally I make myself do strength training although I hate it because it hurts :(

At the moment I'm averaging around 1,100 calories per day. I eat three meals, and usually feel full. (Today I had toast with avocado for brekkie, a tortilla wrap with ham and hummus and salad for lunch, and salmon fillet with veg for dinner)

Should I be trying to eat more even though I don't feel like I need it? I'm worried I'm not giving my body what it needs and I'm hindering my weight loss- my weight hasn't actually gone up or down in weeks. Or should I just listen to my body and stop eating when I'm full??

5 Replies

Heya. Its hard to know really, i think all you can do is experiment. Certainly if you dont eat enough it can stall weight loss. Perhaps increase you cals by a couple hundred and see how you feel? Maybe eat a handful of nuts as a snack once a day? Or some extra avocado perhaps. As you are doing alot of exercise i would imagine you need a bit more cals. ☺


Regardless of current weight and individual goals, everyone should be consuming sufficient calories to satisfy that of their BMR (basal metabolic rate) at the very least. In doing so, they ensure that the body receives sufficient nourishment to maintain its existence, whilst also ensuring that metabolism continues to fire.

Concerning the recommended calorie range (as per the BMI calculator), even without knowing your age, I’d be inclined to suggest 1600-2000Kcal each day is too high an amount.

Let’s say for example that you happen to be a forty year old lady, who stands at 5’3” in height, while weighing 10st 10lbs, I’d estimate you’d require 1094 calories to satisfy BMR each day, using the following equation (Miflin St. Jeor method):

10 x weight (in kg) + 6.25 x height (in cm) – 5 x age (in years) – 161.

Upon the assumption that you wished to maintain current weight to meet TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), based upon current levels of activity, I estimate that you’d need to consume 1700Kcal each day (BMR x 1.55).

However, given that you wish to lose weight (taking into account activity levels), you need to eat more calories than is required to satisfy BMR but fewer than those needed to meet TDEE, thus, allowing the correct energy balance to be achieved.

As such, I’d initially suggest increasing intake to around 1400-1500Kcal each day, whilst still allowing a deficit to be maintained from TDEE and see how you fare, both in terms of losing weight and improving the composition of your body.

Equally, by increasing calorie intake to midway between BMR and TDEE, you may find that resistance sessions don’t prove as difficult, since the muscles will have greater glycogen reserves (energy).

Most importantly, however, when attempting to lose weight, keep in mind that a deficit must always be introduced from the calories needed to satisfy TDEE, not BMR, largely to ensure that energy requirements continue to be met based upon level of activity.

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Please don't focus on ideals, they are for text books, I weight 10st 2.5lbs, for my age 54, fairly active and a bmi of 24.5, I'm ok with that and feel comfortable. You may choose to lose all 12kg or less, decide what feels right, as the others say you need enough fuel to burn fat.

Good luck

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I had a problem in that I could only manage about 600 calories a day. I increased it by eating healthy snacks most times I didn't feel hungry but had to force myself to eat. I am now averaging 1300, and after weeks of not losing anything I have finally lost the last few weeks. I also realised that I wasn't drinking enough, I have a slice of lemon with my water now to make it taste of something.

I am back to mainly 3 meals a day with 2 healthy snacks. Good luck x

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Do you really mean to lose 12 kgs or 12 lbs?? If you're tacklingjust 12lbs, I would suggest 1300/1400 calories per day and see how it goes..... certainly no lower than 1200.

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