Calorie confusion

So I have loads to lose and after years of switching from one diet to another and trying some pretty extreme ways to lose weight, I have decided to do basic calorie counting. Once I've shifted a couple of stone focussing on portion sizes and sticking to a certain calorie level, then I will maybe do something like low sugar but for now I would be happy to just shift some stones. My question is that on the NHS website it says that I need 2500 calories due to my bmi, but on fitness pal it says I need 1990, which is what I've been sticking to. I personally think they are both quite high but at least I'm not hungry so more chance that I'll stick to it long term. Could I really lose weight on 2500?


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16 Replies

  • Morning Pudwood16 and welcome.

    I like your thinking about doing some sensible calorie control first before trying to do anything else. The less we stress our minds and bodies then the more chance we have of creating a long lasting lifestyle change.

    When you obtained your calorie limit, did you use the NHS bmi calculator? If not then please go here and it will give you a tailored bmi based on your sex, height, current weight and your current activity level.

    Good luck!

  • Hello Pudwood16

    The NHS bmi gives you a target range of calories, and I would start towards the higher end and see how you get on 😊

    But it's also important to eat a wide variety of food for good health 😊

    Best wishes


  • Hi and welcome Pudwood16 :)

    Have a look at this for some excellent information

    Take a look at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), read the Welcome Newbie thread, then move through to the challenges, where we hope you'll find at least one that will appeal to you.

    Move down to the Topics, to find a variety of threads, collated into specific topics for ease of access and we ask that you also 'file' your own threads, so that others won't miss your important news.

    Take a look at the 12 week plan, as a lot of people have been successful with it, making sure to enter your details into the BMI calculator, to get a calorie allowance tailored to your personal requirements. Don't forget to take your starting measurements and a 'before' picture, as they can be very motivating on days that the scales refuse to co-operate.

    We run daily weigh-in's and you'd be very welcome to join us. The threads can always be found in the Events section, to the right of the home page, bottom on a mobile.

    We've found that to get the best out of this community, we need to be active on the forum, as it's where we exchange information, get motivation and inspiration and make friends. We hope that you'll join us here, regularly, too.

    It's only left for me to wish you well on your journey :)

  • When I started this forum I'd already lost 1 stone by following a pretty low calorie diet, around 1300 cals a day and someone on here pointed me in the direction of the BMI calculator. I'm so glad they did.

    Just like you, I couldn't believe I could eat another 600 calories a day and still lose weight but I tried it. The difference was, instead of losing a couple of stones and then sticking, which had happened so many times before I've lost count, the weight has carried on falling. Also, I haven't felt deprived or hungry and feel more as if I can carry on like this for ever - which is, really, the whole point. The weight loss is slowing down now which is fine and I'm hoping I settle on something permanent fairly soon so I don't have to adjust my eating patterns too much. I would say to go for it; you can't starve yourself in the long term so it is much better to think about sustaining any weight loss you achieve this time rather than doing something that you won't be able to continue in the long term.

    Good luck x

  • kalahuchi that is a really super post encouraging a new member. i got lots from it too and I am not quite so new.

  • Thank you Ceals, I always try to respond to posts such as Pudwoods because it is so hard to believe that we often need to eat more than we think to lose weight and keep it off. I know I took some convincing but it's pretty much changed my life.

    I'm just off to the gym now as it's pouring with rain outside. Enjoy the rest of your day x

  • Hi :) from what I gather, you need to eat more to increase your metabolic rate. When we diet (as in fad diets, not healthy lifestyle changes) we unnecessarily restrict our calorie intake and think that will make us lose weight. This makes our body think we are starving, so it will hang on to every calorie it can to conserve energy. Blah de blah, things turn into fat, we then find this fat stubborn to shift and so on.

    Ultimately restricting calories can be damaging if we don't look at it in the right way - we will have made our body believe there isn't enough food to sustain us, so it will lower our metabolic rate to save as much energy as it can. By eating more (and I mean eating "healthy" things, not just any old thing) we can then help our body to relax and calm down from this behaviour, and eventually our metabolic rate will increase! This in turn will help us to burn the calories more efficiently, and further on from that, help us to lose weight.

    It's a bit of a long process. But ultimately worth it. Be nice to your body! It's doing great things. If you are a bigger person, like me, your calorie intake might be higher than what you think it should be, that's simply because we burn a lot of calories just by existing! So give it a go, and see if you feel your energy levelling out, your sleep improving, etc etc etc. Your body will be thankful to not be in starvation-mode.

    This was a bit of a ramble, sorry if it made little sense. xx

    Edit: Ah, someone posted a link with this info in it and explained it much better than me! Sorry!

  • You explained it all very well indeed and in a form which is easy to understand. I think I must have read the same article but can't remember where it came from now; only that it was from a reputable, scientific journal. Maybe the person who posted the link will pick up on this and post it again. x

  • Thank you xx

  • starsandshards that is such a helpful, informative post. This is why the forum is so good, real quality advice from a real person who understands the issues.

    I enjoyed reading it and got a lot from it even though it wasn't aimed at me.

  • Wow! Thank you! I didn't think I worded any of it properly so that's kind of you. I know a bit of the science but I don't put it into practice myself... not yet, anyway. My body's been in starvation-mode for too long. I will keep working at it and we can all do it together :)

  • starsandshards I think what you said came from the heart and didn't need to be "perfectly formed".

    I lost 2 stones in 5 weeks due to an acute illness just before Christmas. Obviously not the best way to lose weight but was determined not to just start eating again and put all the weight straight back on, which is undoubtedly what would have happened. Instead I joined the forum in January and have lost very little but, and it is a big but, I am eating healthily (if it isn't good for me it doesn't go in my mouth), taking more exercise, have tightened my belt by 4 notches and I am rearing trousers a size smaller. So really I am waiting for my body to catch up with the numbers game but in the meantime I know I am doing the right thing and it is lovely responses like yours that has made me stick to what I know is right.

    I think this forum (the only online chat I participate in) is absolutely brilliant and does so much good.

    Sorry! You probably didn't need an essay!

  • It wasn't an essay :) it's nice to know some backstory. It's good to hear that you're eating healthily after being ill - it can be tempting to eat whatever's nearest and easiest when you don't feel too good. You know your body best and you're treating it well. Keep up the good work :D

  • When I first joined I was eating less than the bmi index told me to eat and always had eaten less than I should. All I used to do most of my life was eat lunch, which was always just a sandwich, but nothing more and eat my dinner that would always change. It was very rare for me to eat anything else. I always wanted to lose weight most of my life because I was always one of the fattest in my family and of my friends but always was the one to eat to the least. No diets I ever did seemed to work for me and I always gave up after about a month of nothing or putting on weight. When I said that I was not losing weight on here one of the assistants at the time, who I think has now left, asked if I was eating the right amount of my bmi. I told her what I tended to eat and told her the bmi details it all came to which was about 100 calories under which I thought would be ok. She told me that this was why I always struggled with losing weight and I should eat more which I started to do. I now have breakfast, lunch with fruits also as well as my dinner and I have now lost 1&1/2 stone which is great. Eating more and losing weight, who would have thought it!.

  • Thank you for all of your comments and really helpful advice. I have double checked my allowance and I am definitely allowed between 2000 and 2600 a day so I'm going to aim for that and ensure that I am eating a balanced and healthy diet, but it's nice to know that I can have a treat when needed. I had a social with my youth group last night and we were ordering dominos. I would have usually thought 'well I've blown it today' and then I would have consumed my body weight in pizza but instead I was careful all day and I actually counted the pizza into my allowance. I know it wasn't ideal healthy food but it allowed me to feel normal and not deprived so I didn't binge. I think this controlled approach could work for me as long as I can accept that weight loss will be at a steady pace. Will keep you posted x

  • Hi. There is always confusion when we talk about calorie amounts. So fitness pal is probably deducting 500 calories from your BMR as that is the way they work. The most important element to lose FAT and not just lose weight is to control your micronutrients. So your Protein, Carbs, fat and fibre. Myfitnesspal will log this as you use the app. I believe the NHS formula is 50% carbs 30% protein and 20% Healthy fats? I am sure someone will correct if that's wrong. The carbs are split between pasta and rice and veg. A good trick is to change your pasta/bread/rice to brown and make your veg choices high in fibre so Spinach, green beans, peas and my favourite trees broccoli! This will increase your fibre, make you feel fuller longer and stop sugar cravings.

    It's a long journey, be patient and if you hit a bump get up and get straight back in the saddle.

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