Weight Loss NHS
73,689 members • 39,438 posts

Calorie Confusion 🙈

11pm here in the UK and it would appear I'm being kept awake by the rattles of my brain attempting to understand calorie counting.

Now, looking at my diary, I am consuming 1200-1300 Calories a day. Obviously below daily recommendations. I am burning the bare minimum of 500 calories a day via exercise. Now I see that the calculation on the site recommends for my age, height and weight I should actually be aiming to consume 1600 calories per day!!

I'm worried now that I am not eating enough calories and will actually have stored so much fat this week rather than lost any!

Looking at posts and articles: during a calorie controlled diet, if you're feeling hungry then you're not doing it right. Problem here for me is that i have obsessive compulsive binge eating disorder and anxiety (OCBED) which means that I have 'feelings' and 'urges of 'hunger' throughout the day and night and it is hard to figure out if it is genuine hunger or the anxiety triggering OCBED 🙈

Can anyone please help me unserstand....

* how many calories should I be burning per day on the proviso I consume 1400 per day?

* should I aim for 1400 or 1600?

* if I am consuming below the recommended daily allowance have I set back any possible progress by storing fat?

I must admit, I am finding this rather difficult at the moment.

Thankyou lovely people

Much love and luck to you all

L x


Just found this article some might find informative:


7 Replies
oldest • newest

The main times I have to worry/ check about kcals are my two diet days of the 2/5 diet I am on. It's supposed to be 500 kcals for females but I find that impossible, so manage it on 600 kcal's. Some months before I started on said diet, I got my brain trained into thinking my body was full after half an oatabix plus water and milk mix for breakfast. Very light lunch of boiled or scrambled egg on small toast and maximum of 2 sausages or small portion of cooked chicken plus green veg for evening meal. No alcohol on diet days. There are some really good flavoured tonic waters out there these days and I have them mixed with water to keep the kcal limit down. I have other health issues so exersise is not feasible but so far so good on loosing some weight. On the other 5 days, I have to keep my portions small but I do treat myself with grapes for pud and other fruits. I find it important that my brain knows these are treat items. Not sure if this will help you or not but thought it worth a mention.


Hi and welcome


Take a look at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), or in the drop down on the 'Posts' page (it says 'arrange by'). 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.

Have a look at the NHS 12 week plan, as many people have had success with it. Also use the BMI (can be found in the pinned Newbie post) 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 😊

To the right of the HOME page (bottom on a mobile), you'll find Events. In there, you'll find links to our daily Weigh-in's (you will choose just one day per week), our Daily Diary, where we post our menu and exercise plans, for accountability, advice and support - which is great to get ideas of what other people are eating and I have to confess to nicking some of their menu's and our “What's happening today” thread, where we pop in for a chat.

Be aware, that the HU app doesn't give you access to all of our important features, so we advise that you use the full website page

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 😊

Wishing you all the best on your weight loss journey

1 like

Hello Lou,

I'm no nutrician or doctor but the basis of weight loss is to use more calories than you consume. So you should to establish your basal metabolism and then plan exercice accordingly. Your calorie allowance depends on how fast you want to lose weight, obviously the faster it is, the harder it will be. As for your last quesstions, consuming less calories than expected should not result in storing fat but may cause your day to be more difficult and you could experience hunger and cravings.

I hope this helps

1 like

Hi LouA2016 have a look at this thread healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

There are other similar posts with good explanations in the topic section 'Calorie conundrum'


To start with, it'd would be worthwhile to workout your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) via Harris Benedict Equation and then look to reduce caloric intake by 10-15%.

I'd also be mindful of not doing too much cardiovascular exercise!


Great advice! Thankyou everyone x


@montymole has said everything. Gauge your TDEE and calculate your calories from there, not the other way round.


You may also like...