Weight Loss NHS
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Calorie Range Help?


When I log on to the NHS BMI tracker it says I should eat between 1851 and 2380 calories per day to lose weight, and stick to the lower end of this range to lose weight.

On a previous weight loss attempt I ate between 2000 and 2200 each day and lost 0.5 pounds a week on average. If my maths is correct, and 500 calories a day = 1 pound then that means I would need to be eating 1250 - 1450 a day in order to lose 2 pounds per week ...

Clearly those are two very different ranges for losing two pounds per week and can't both be correct? I have PCOS which means I need less calories than some in order to lose weight but surely it can't be that drastically different?

Any suggestions of what I should be eating? I would ideally like to lose 1.5 - 2.5 pounds per week.

6 Replies

What happens in practice is your best indication.

I would like to assert that the quality of what you eat is as important as the calorie content. PCOS results from abnormally high hormone levels, with some foods stimulating higher levels of insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) than others phcuk.org/booklets/

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I would think 1250-1400 would be to low and would probably put your body into starvation mode, I'd personally take the bmi readers advice say start with 1900 per day and see how it goes, you may need to tweak it to suit you,

Good luck

Kat xx


Hello 8stonetogo and welcome to the Weight Loss Forum 😊

When they suggest eating a 500 calorie a day deficit to lose weight that is 500 calories less than you are currently eating. The NHS BMI target has already taken this into account. I strongly recommend not going too low. If you lost weight on 2000 -2200 calories I would aim for this. Losing any weight with PCOS is good so you should be pleased with yourself. Trying to rush weight loss is the single biggest cause of failure, although I understand your impatience! 😊 As concerned has rightly suggested, what you eat is also important, especially with a hormonal issue such as PCOS.

Here are a few suggestions on how to get the most out of the forum. Please note if you are using the new HU App many of these features are not available so I suggest you use the full website version.

The first place to look is at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), read the Welcome Newbie thread first and 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 ☺

Have a look at the NHS 12 week plan, as many people have had success with it. Also use the BMI checker to find your target calories, it's important to eat enough. This was a major turning point for me, realising I could eat anything I wanted as long as the calories are accounted for ☺

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 ☺

The forum also have group weigh-ins every day if you wish to take part. The posts can always be found in the Events section on the 'home' page ☺

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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 ☺

Best wishes



I hope you find what is right for you and move forwards to your goal.


Start at the lower value and see how you go?

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Personally I have found the NHS BMI calculator to be spot on and used to stick to near the lower end of that range and average 1-2 lb weekly. I currently stick to near the top end of the range with a weight loss of about 1lb every 2 weeks which I'm very happy with as I'm trying to stabilise my weight now. I suppose we all want to shift the weight quickly,especially at first, but if you have a lot of weight to lose (as I did) sometimes the severe calorie restrictions needed to do that result in our metabolism slowing which is bad news as far as keeping it off is concerned.

For me I decided to think longer term and find a calorie intake and level of exercise that I feel I can sustain and pretty much let the weight come off at whatever rate it chooses.

I wholeheartedly agree with Concerned and Anna though; eating the right kind of foods really does help.

Good luck x


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