Calorie confusion


I have checked my BMI on the NHS checker and it states I should have between 1434 and 1843 calories per day. This seems a huge gap and I'm not sure what I should be aiming to. At present I have been trying to stick around 1200 a day which is really hard and I'm finding I'm not really losing anything. I have lost 4 pounds over the last several weeks but have now been stuck for the last two weeks, despite being good with food and alcohol. Can someone please help with what my daily calorie intake should be please.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Weight Loss Plan

Join over 40,000 others on our 12-week diet and exercise plan. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits & get more active.

Get Started!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

7 Replies

  • Hi alexnan

    Aim for the higher amount to start with 1843 and then adjust as you lose. 1200 calories is too low and that is why you are not losing any.

    Have a good week.

  • It depends on height, weight, age, how much weight you need to lose, how fast you want to lose the weight and the level of activity you do?

    I am 4ft 9", sedentary because of disability and am 54 years old. I'm on 1100 calories for weight loss (half a pound a week) as I am about a stone from my goal weight. But when I had 4.5 stone to lose, my calories for a 1lb weight loss were 1,500 calories a day.

    If you have definitely been eating 1,200 calories that's probably not enough. Your body will hang on to fat as it has determined that it should enter "starvation" mode and cling onto fat reserves.

    If 1,200 includes alcohol, I'd be amazed you get to eat anything! I've had to cut alcohol out altogether as my low allowance doesn't give me enough calories - I'd rather use them for food = fuel.

  • Thank you for asking that alexnan, as I was wondering about that myself.

    Wishing you a good week. 😊

  • You should go by the NHS bmi calculator higher amount if I was you as this gives you personal amounts for each person mfp gives you average amounts for women and men separate and probably the reason why you are not losing weight is because if you don't eat enough calories your body thinks you are starving it and turns what you eat into body fat and this weighs more than eating the extra calories does so it stops you from losing weight and sometimes puts weight on instead. I was told of this not long after I joined here by someone who has now left as I was having the same sort of problem as you and am so pleased I found this out. Please don't make this mistake as I did this for years and never lost weight but often put it on instead, but since eating the right amount of calories I have lost 2 1/2st. Good luck with your journey.

  • Brilliant. Thank you. This could answer a lot for me as I am able to lose a couple of pounds bu then get stuck for ages, then put a couple of pounds back on and so it goes on and on. I'm going to try the higher amount and see what happens. Thank you so much for your advise.

  • I am so glad this question has been asked as I have a daily amount of 1,684 to 2,166 and found it very confusing. Onwards and upwards then..... :)

  • I would aim to be about 50 or 100 below the top number unless you are really counting everything. By being a bit under you don't have to worry about missing something, which is easily done. If that doesn't work then you will have to come down a bit. Everyone is different and you need to find what is the right amount of calories for you. Good luck with it. James

You may also like...