Weight Loss NHS
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24 yo, newbie! A few questions?


Newbie here! Im ambiemunch, 24, F. I began at 15 st 4lbs, and i am currently 14 st 11lbs. I feel i am in need of a little extra support from a forum just like this! I am so exited to join and hope we can all reach our goals. My personal goal is to reach 11 stone, and then i will see if i would still like to lose more. So, 3 st 11 to go!!!!! I had a mini breakdown last night (tears and everything) and found i am bullying myself, sounds strange but,...ive had enough. Trying to stay positive and kick it up a notch by joining. I feel my weightloss is a little bit of a slower rate than average and i am upset with trying things and caving in/giving up. I literally tell myself im no good and not worth it.

I am a little confused with 1200cals a day intake. So to lose 1lb a week it is a calorie deficit of 500 cals a day...so...on a diet of 1200 cals a day, is that the deficit there? (because you are not eating as much as you used to, is this automatic?) Or do you have to have 1200 calories a day PLUS 500 calories burned through exercise a day and get your deficit that way?

I was just wandering if anyone sets little goals, and what you use as rewards when you reach them? Do you do anything in particular to keep you motivated day to day? I have thought about getting 2 jars with the 'Lbs lost' and 'Lbs to go', and using lovely hot baths or something as a reward. Im not sure, any ideas would be great!

Looking forward to meeting everyone xx

15 Replies

Hi and Welcome

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Hello ambiemunch 😊

Welcome to the Weight Loss NHS forum. It’s great that you’ve joined.😊

First place to look is at the Pinned Posts section, to the right of your screen (bottom, if you're using a mobile) and have a look at the Welcome Newbies thread.😊 there is lots of info here, and links to the nhs12 week plan and also for checking your BMR and target calories 😊 This is where you will find the answer to your question, it will suggest a calorie range for you to stick within. Remember, it's important to eat enough so you don't get hungry or feel deprived 😊

If you feel confident then join us for the Monday Group weigh-in. If you follow Lowcal and Moreless (our very approachable site Admins), you'll be notified when they post the threads. The latest weigh-in thread can always be found in the Events section, to the right of the home page. 😊

Be active on the forum, as that's where we exchange ideas and get our daily dose of motivation and inspiration.😊

Enjoy the forum, good luck and best wishes, Anna 😊

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Lovely, thank you! x

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great advice from Anna61 about the calorie range. I think 1200 calories is very difficult to maintain and thus may lead to "cheating" a few more calories a day may mean that you don't feel so hungry and so can be more motivated. I love your jars idea. @Albinohedgehog also wrote a lovely post about burning essential oils. I wish you lots of luck and determination.

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Thanks! It seems a great and supportive area here. x


I am also new and trying to get to 11 stone. Maybe we could support each other. I seem to have been on a weight loss journey for so long but I am feeling very determined this time. I am trying to minimise negative thoughts by mindfulness but only a complete beginner and need to practise and research this more. If anyone can help with this l would be grateful. Good luck with your first week.


Hi Dora415 that would be fab! It would be good to have a 'buddy' especially how we have a similar weight goal. :) Good luck to you too, and hey you have kept trying and one day you will get there! We can do this! Unfortunately i cannot advise on mindfulness although i may look into it now :) x


I share your idea of having a luxurious bath - I find it a good alternative to also do when you know you feel like eating the food you shouldn't really have, rather than as a reward, but you could have it as a reward just as successfully. It keeps you out of the kitchen and that too works for me, otherwise I am tempted to look at what might be in the frig, a cupboard or tin. I sound like a glutton, don't I, but I'm not really - it is just a way to avoid being tempted unnecessarily.

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Hi ambiemunch and welcome to the forum! As you can see already, there are lots of lovely people to share you're journey with. I'm also looking to get to 11 stone eventually, have 4 stone and 11.5 lbs to go. Although breaking it down into manageable chunks. Have set myself a goal to get to 15 by christmas so 8 weeks to lose 11.5 lbs! So far so good, ive managed to lose nearly 6lbs since joining a couple of weeks ago. It's really great having other like minded people to spur you along :)

I've started the couch to five k, never thought I'd be able to run for 30 seconds never mind any longer! But I'm on week three and feeling good about it, so not giving up! If you'd like to follow me, I'm happy to be a buddy too. We can do this!

Good luck,

Emily x


Wow thats great! Well done!! We seem very similar :) Im going to pick up couch25k again after giving up after holidays a few months ago (oops) Thank you for your comment, would be great to have buddies. Good luck i look forward to keeping up to date with your progress! :D xx

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Fab :) are you on the couch to 5k forum too? I post weekly on there (usually on a Monday as that's when I aim to start my new week) although being Halloween tonight I think I might give it a miss and go out tomorrow instead! X


Oops! I didn't know there was one :) I will join up now and look out for you :)


Hello ambiemunch and welcome to the forum.

Although you may have experienced a minor meltdown yesterday evening, through the help, advice and encouragement offered, last night’s tears will hopefully become a thing of the past.

Moreover, don’t ever consider that you’re not good enough or that you won’t succeed. You’re here now and you’ll receive nothing but friendly support from members for as long as you stay, helping to improve your current feeling. The forum certainly won’t give up on you.

As for your questions surrounding recommended intake and calorie deficits, regardless of current weight, it’s important to ensure that you consume sufficient calories to satisfy BMR at the very least.

In doing so, you’ll ensure that enough is eaten on a daily basis to provide the body with sufficient energy to maintain its existence (keep the heart pumping/organs functioning, etc), as well as allowing metabolism to continuously fire, something that’s crucial to aiding weight loss.

To ascertain your BMR, based upon current measurements, work it out using the Miflin St. Jeor method and compare the figure produced to that already obtained:

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

As for the introduction of deficits, it’s something that’s deducted from the calories needed to satisfy TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).

TDEE represents how many calories ought to be consumed if you simply wished to maintain current weight, based upon level of activity.

To ascertain the calories required to satisfy your current TDEE, multiply BMR by one of the following:

1.2 = Sedentary; 1.375 = Lightly Active; 1.55 = Moderately Active; 1.75 = Heavily Active; 2 = Athlete.

Take into consideration that if you intend to begin exercising up to 3 times a week, to aid levels of weight loss, BMR should be multiplied by 1.375. Moreover, it’ll also increase the calorie difference between BMR and TDEE, ensuring that enough continues to be eaten when introducing a daily deficit of 500Kcal.

Don’t ever introduce a calorie deficit from BMR, since this will quickly result in a slowed metabolism, making it harder to lose weight, in addition to leaving you without the energy or inclination to exercise.

Instead, by deducting 500Kcal from TDEE, your body will utilise those (calories) stored in fat to meet your level of daily endeavour, thus, increasing the amount of weight lost each week.

Again, don’t be too disheartened if you only lose 2-3lbs each week. In addition to reducing weekly calorie intake by 3500Kcal, you’ll have expended 7000Kcal from existing body fat to achieve that aim. When placed into that kind of context, a weekly loss of 2-3lbs will hopefully appear rather remarkable.

Over the course of a month, for example, a continued loss of 2-3lbs each week will begin to amount towards something more spectacular.

Bear in mind that as weight is lost, the body will require fewer calories, so BMR should be re-calculated with each 7lb reduction to reduce the risk of a plateau.

Equally, as you grow closer towards goal weight, since the body won’t possess the level of fat it once did, the daily calorie deficit will need to reduce, to ensure that the body has sufficient energy to keep metabolism firing, while continuing to expend calories from fat that remains during exercise.

When it comes to pampering, for example, if you intend to increase your level of activity, relaxing baths will certainly be of benefit to help soothe aching muscles, so they shouldn’t just be considered as an occasional treat. Add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil (Lucy Bee is highly recommended) to the bath water, alongside your favourite soak, to soften and nourish the skin as you steep (just be careful when stepping in).

By being able to look forward to small, regular treats (such as baths) along the way, you’re more likely to ensure that exercise continues to be undertaken over the winter months, since you know that an immediate reward awaits after its completion.

Instead, when considering more extravagant treats once ‘landmarks’ are reached, consider rewarding yourself to a salon treatment or purchasing an item of clothing that compliments your improving body composition, re-affirming why former habits are a thing of the past.


Oh wow, that is brilliant. That is just the info I needed, I will calculate that now. Thank you so much. I actually cannot thank you enough. I thought I basically new what I was doing, but that just shows the lack of well needed knowledge I had abot weightloss. I have one question you may be able to put to rest, what's the deal with carbs? Are you actually allowed them within reason? Eg brown bread, rice, pasta, and if so...with how many meals per day? I struggle so much with if I'm allowed a portion with each meal, or just one meal a day..or not at all? Ahhhhhh. Anyway thank you for your detailed advice, you may have actually changed my life.

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You’re welcome, ambiemunch.

Like I said, all you'll receive from members is advice, support and encouragement, regardless of whether they happen to be losers (in the spirit of the forum) or maintainers.

Ultimately, though, you’re the one who changes their life for the better, as you put the theory provided into practice.

As for carbohydrates, much has been said about them in recent years, so it’s unsurprising to hear that you may be as confused as the next individual, when considering whether they’re friend or foe.

Equally, you can ask ten different people and receive ten different answers, so here’s my take on the subject:

Although they do play different roles within the body, protein, carbohydrate and fat are simply units of energy (more commonly referred to as calories), something the body is able to rely upon to maintain its existence and satisfy its level of daily endeavour.

What separates them is their structure, how the body processes the energy contained within and the resulting effect of that energy upon the body.

In the case of carbohydrates, as you’re no doubt already aware, there are both simple and complex varieties. While each contains 4Kcal per gram, the amount of sugar contained and the rate at which it’s released into bloodstream after digestion is wholly different.

The sugars in simple carbohydrates are broken down fairly easily, largely due to the fact they contain little nutritional content, so it takes very little time for them to enter the bloodstream.

The sudden release of sugar stimulates the secretion of an equally large amount of insulin, to begin converting the sugars into glucose, whilst assisting in the unlocking of the door to the body’s cells, where glucose is converted into glycogen (stored energy).

Over a period of months or years, if the glycogen stored in the muscles isn’t sufficiently depleted through exercise or increased activity, for example, the only place for glucose to be stored is on the exterior walls of muscles and around major organs, leading to the accumulation of fat.

Furthermore, the increasing accumulation makes it increasingly difficult for insulin to continue trying to unlock the door, in addition to struggling to convert sugars into glucose, leading to the eventual development of insulin resistance and ultimately, Type II diabetes, which may also require the need to administer injections. Trust me, it’s not just Type I diabetics who administer insulin.

I’d routinely collect insulin prescriptions from the pharmacy for my late father-in-law, in addition to accompanying him to yearly eye examination and foot tickling appointments.

Sadly, he eventually succumbed to the effects of the condition in 2014, as vascular dementia claimed his life, but not before he endured a below the knee amputation of his left leg.

Now I’m not suggesting that you’re close to developing insulin resistance or diabetes, but I hope the above demonstrates why carbohydrate (or rather the sugar contained within) has gained such a bad reputation in recent years.

However, it’s not all bad news, since the effect of complex carbohydrate isn’t nearly as severe.

Owing to the fact that complex carbohydrates contain less sugar than their refined counterparts, they’re also far more nutrient dense.

As such, it takes longer for the sugars they contain to be digested after consumption, since the body is also busy absorbing their beneficial nutrients, as well their increased fibre content (something that assists with levels of satiety).

When the sugar from complex carbohydrate is eventually released into the bloodstream, its release is far more controlled and sustainable, meaning the secretion of insulin is far less severe, leading to improved insulin sensitivity, something that’s further assisted by the introduction of a daily calorie deficit alongside increased levels of activity.

Daily deficits aside, an increase in levels of activity (regular exercise is heavily recommended) allows glycogen in the muscles to be depleted, in addition to utilising fat as energy.

The depletion of glycogen and reduction of fat improves insulin sensitivity, since the carbohydrate consumed after exercise is able to reach the muscles far easier. Moreover, the carbohydrate consumed afterwards is far less likely to be stored as fat.

As levels of cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength improve, the increased rate at which exercise can be performed further serves to benefit insulin sensitivity, since an increase in the intensity of exercise leads to a far greater uptake of glucose and fat throughout the duration of the activity, resulting in a far greater need for depleted glycogen to be replenished afterwards.

When it comes to sources of complex carbohydrate, aim to ensure that the likes of lentils, beans, quinoa, oats, brown rice, wholemeal pasta and non-starchy vegetables feature as part of dietary intake. You can still eat potatoes (white and sweet), just be mindful of their portion size, while seeking to reduce the consumption of refined carbohydrate.

You can still continue to enjoy cakes, sweets and pastries, alongside that of white bread, pasta and rice. Just be sure to factor their calorie content and portion size into your daily figures, which will hopefully allow you to appreciate that you can still continue to have your cake and eat it, even when maintaining a calorie deficit.

Again, many people have their own opinions over how much carbohydrate ought to be consumed on a daily basis. My opinion is that it should constitute 40% of daily intake, with protein comprising 35% and fat 25%.

Let’s say, for example, that after a deduction of 500Kcal from TDEE, your recommended calorific intake was currently 1640Kcal, bearing in mind that carbohydrate contains 4Kcal per gram, your daily intake (at 40%) would equate to 656Kcal. By dividing the calorific amount by a multiple of 4, 164g of carbohydrate would need be consumed to meet the figure.

Similarly, by bearing in mind that protein also contains 4Kcal and fat 9Kcal, on respective intakes of 35% and 25%, protein intake would measure in at 143g (574Kcal) and fat at 46g (410Kcal).

As I mentioned in my earlier reply, as body weight reduces, so too will the above calorific amounts, so their percentages should also be re-assessed upon the re-calculation of BMR and TDEE.

I cannot stress the importance of repeatedly knowing your numbers enough, ambiemunch, since weight loss (and weight maintenance) is simply a game of numbers, positively influenced by the correct nutritional choices and regular exercise along the way.


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