How many calories?

According to the NHS 12 week plan, women should eat 1,400 calories per day. I have done another calories calculator which told me to eat 1,700 and have just done the Mifflin one which said between 1,101 and 1,601.


Which one do I believe? Having read lots of posts about not eating enough, I'm worried that if I stick to 1,400 I won't be eating enough calories. The Mifflin calculator said if I eat 1,601 I'll lose 1lb per week but if I eat 1,101 I'll lose 2lbs per week. I'd prefer to lose 2lbs per week but then doesn't that go against what other people are saying about not eating enough?

Any advice would be gratefully received.


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24 Replies

  • Morning Cavaco

    It can be confusing when you look at all the different BMI checkers. I use the nhs BMI checker and put all my personal information into it, like age, height and weight and it works out the allowance. That one works well for me, lost 3st 6lbs following it and having 1,500 calories a day in the last 6 months.

    I think 1,101 calories a day is too low and your body may go into starvation mode and you will stop losing weight.


  • I've just done the NHS BMI calculator and it says 1,625-2,089. From this am I meant to go for the 1,625 figure to lose weight?

  • I always pick the lowest end too. It did take me a bit to settle at a calorie allowance that suited me, started at 1,400 to low went up to 1,600 too much and finally settled at 1,500 and I loss 1-2lbs steady each week.

    Try it for a week and see how you get on and adjust it to suit you, but be careful not to go too low.

  • thanks, I'll try for 1600 and see how I get on.

  • Hi Cavaco, my advice is to always eat the maximum number of calories that you can, while still losing weight :)

    Have a look at this, for a more detailed explanation

  • thanks, but I can't believe that I can eat 2,000 per day and still lose weight. I'd end up eating as much as I used to which makes no sense as I was gaining weight.

    Thanks for the link - I've read this previously and that's what set me off now knowing how much to eat.

    I'll have to trial different amounts and see how I get on.

  • I eat 2000 calories a day, very often and I've lost 7st :)

  • really? if you don't mind me asking, what do you weigh now? I'm 90kgs.

  • I'm 80kgs :)

  • I can't get my head around it - 2,000 seems like such a large amount yet it clearly works for you. I think the challenge now will be to eat that many calories without eating rubbish. Larger portions maybe. I don't want to eat more often (three meals plus 2 snacks) as I need to keep some control otherwise I'll think I can eat all day long.

    Right, new meal plan coming up.

    Thanks for your help.

  • It's down to what you eat too, because I do not believe all calories are equal.

    I'm an all, or nothing girl, so the concept of eating a small amount of something, namely sweet stuff, doesn't register with me. A small amount leads to a massive amount!

    I don't snack, either, unless I start to eat the wrong things, as they fool your body into thinking that you're hungry.

    I prefer to eat more natural fat, which raises the number of calories, but keeps you fuller longer and, therefore, less likely to graze, which is what I used to do :)

  • I'm not saying that it's guaranteed to be the same for you, but always start with the highest amount and gradually reduce, if you need to, because as you shrink, so will your allowance :)

  • When you are using these bmi calculators does it take into account your lifestyle, I mean what you do on a daily basis like is your job a physical job or do you sit most of the day?

  • They take your lifestyle into consideration - it's not too detailed but you have some choices.

  • Plus muscle mass, bone density etc are they really that good?

    I know that as you get older things like bone density can decrease so would it still work for older people?

  • I've been watching the hairy dieters and they were eating around 1,200 calories per day and lost loads so I guess it's not a one size fits all system.

  • I thought it was for everyone.

    Thanks for replying Cavaco.

  • I tend to eat 1500 and manage to lose about 1800 I maintain

  • There is just so much conflicting advice about calories and different calculators use different formulas so give you different answers! Some want to know your body fat percentage for others doesn't seem to matter.

    I was eating 1600 calories (my NHS BMI says to aim 1770-2100ish I think) and losing slowly.. So I've upped it to 1800 this week to see if I gain or if I still lose, or even lose more as seems to happen with people! But it IS making me panic. If I end up gaining this week I'll know that 1600/1700 will do for me :) its a bit of trial and error, the right types of food and finding what works best for you. :)

  • I think you're right about it being trial and error, but I don't want to eat too much and gain weight.

  • Try using a bmr calculator. Then multiply the result by 1.2. This will give you the calories you need to maintain your weight if you're sedentary...

  • Thanks, but as I already have a wide selection of results from different calculators, I am going to do a trial and error process now and try and find my own figure. I think another calculator will further confuse me.

  • What a BMR calculator will do is be specific to your height, current weight and gender. So rather than saying "you're a woman so eat X calories to lose weight" or whatever, it actually works out what YOU need, as a 5ft 1in person will need far fewer calories than a 6ft 2in person. Multiplying by 1.2 gives the maintenance calories for a sedentary lifestyle, so if you move around more, you'll lose weight.

    Personally I use the MyFitnessPal app, which I have linked to FitBit, so as I exercise it calculates calories burned by my exercise. Then I can also track my food intake to make sure I don't exceed that calories I'm burning. I've reached my target weight pretty quickly (didn't have masses to lose) using this method and can now use it to maintain.

    Good luck, anyway :)

  • Well done on your weight loss.

    I've just done a search for the BMR calculator and it turns out this is the Mifflin thing I did to start with. I like the idea of tracking my exercise and food in one place, but I don't want to get too obsessive as then it tends to go horribly wrong for me.

    I'll adjust my meal plan to start with 1,500 calories and see how that goes.


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