Weight Loss NHS

I’m not sure how many calories I’m supposed to be on

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all having a good week so far. I have a question. How do you find out how many calories you’re supposed to have a day? I have used the BMI calculator on the NHS website but it tells me I’m supposed to have between 1900 and 2400 calories a day and that seems a lot! Now I do weigh 20st 8lb so I suppose that’s a factor but I’m eating about 1800 calories a day at the moment and that feels about right. I’m not jeopardising weight loss by having less calories am I? Sorry for the long post!

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You've done the right thing by checking and finding the range. From my own experience you will hopefully be ok at the 1800 but you may start risking your body fighting back. This means it will lower its metabolism (thereby not burning so many calories as normal) and it may end up working harder to turn the calories you do have into fat.

The calculator has been designed to allow you a loss of 1lb a week even at the 2400 calorie level.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply! Do you think exercise will help with metabolism? I’m doing regular exercises and walking daily. It’s all so very ‘sciencey’ lol!

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Exercise will help but if you exercise more than the amount that you stipulated in the calculator then the scenario I mentioned above is more likely to become a reality. More exercise equals more cals.

Weight loss is 80-90% food management. The figures you were given were created for a reason and circumnavigating the 'science' is more likely to lead to problems further down the line.

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Thank you for your advice. I’m really struggling to get to grips with the ‘do’s and don’ts’. I’m having to find out all I can from places like here and NHS website. I tried going to my doctors for advice but unfortunately they weren’t much help

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I don't think you're struggling really. You're doing the best thing and that's to ask questions. It's hard to learn if we don't, plus the more information we gather than the better decisions we can make.

TIP: It's not a race and each time you lose a pound of weight that makes you one pound healthier.

Here's some thoughts about the calorie range that you were given... some people suggest starting at the top end, then that way it's the least change to your current diet and therefore least change and therefore stress on the body and mind. You can then always reduce as you get used to it.

Others say start at the lower end and if you find it too difficult you can always increase your cals. Additionally, if you have 'bad' days, you'll hopefully still be within the range.

Of course you could plump for somewhere in the middle and have a bit of both worlds :)

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Yes I think somewhere in the middle might be a good place to start. I’m just wondering where I’m going to cram in all those extra calories. Would it be a good idea to eat little and often? Maybe have a few nuts and seeds in between meals, for example? I hope I’m not bombarding you with too many questions!

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Good idea about the seeds.

I don't have the answers about when to eat although moreless may have more sciency knowledge about that.

When I came here I went from one big evening troughing-out session of food and alcohol to eating 3 times a day and some snacking. That was over a year ago and now I rarely snack except for a small amount of fruit.

There are ways of upping your calories by adding full fat cream, nuts, avocados and many other high cal ingredients into your menu plan, without adding much more bulk to what you're eating.

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Don't worry about asking questions. Without them to answer I'd have to go and do some work :)

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Thank you, you’ve all been so helpful! I almost felt like giving up this morning. I have the MyFitnessPal app and with the info I’ve given them they have put me at 2100 so I will give that amount a go and see where it gets me. Thanks again 😊

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Really, really glad for you.

There will almost definitely be low times ahead (we all go through them, even further down the line) but keep coming here joining in and no one here will let you fail.

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My advice, Vic, is to log onto the Daily Diary, for specific assistance with menu planning.

It's really easy to up your calories, by adding natural fats into your diet.

Never eat low fat products, choose full fat milk and yoghurts, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, double cream, leave the fat and skin on meat, oily fish, nuts, cheese, etc.

I don't advocate snacking, as our bodies need time to do something other than digest food!

1 tablespoon olive oil - 120 cals

25g cheddar cheese - 100 cals

10g macadamia nuts - 70 cals

1 tablespoon double cream - 50 cals

1 tablespoon butter - 100 cals

See how easy it is to increase calories, without increasing bulk :)

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Perfect, thank you! I love all of those things haha! One last thing...Where does fat intake come into this? Should I keep an eye on things like fat content, carbohydrates, etc? And if so, is there somewhere I can find out what my daily intake of those things should be?

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You can count your macros, if you wish, I believe mfp will do this for you.

It really depends how you want to progress, so I suggest you do your own research online and choose the way forward for you.

For myself, for simplicity, I don't eat simple/high GI carbs, especially sugar. I base my protein intake on a palm sized amount at meals, eat loads of veg, mainly above ground varieties and make up the balance of my calories with fat.

See you at the Daily Diary :)

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Thank you so much! You’ve been a fab help 😊

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'I don't advocate snacking, as our bodies need time to do something other than digest food!'

That's the info. I was lacking... now I know. Every day's a school day!

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Hi Vic,

The more you weigh, the harder your body has to work, just to function, which is why you need to eat more calories. It's a myth to think that the less you eat the more you'll lose, as Tiggerr has explained. If you add exercise into the equation, you'll need to increase your calories again.

Have a look at this, for further explanation.

healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

Don't forget

healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

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Thank you! I will go have a look now 😊

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Hi Vic1982 , have confidence, stick with it even though it seems a lot to be eating around 2000 calories. I think we brainwash ourselves with the idea we're supposed to "starve" to lose weight - maybe that's a bit about punishing ourselves when what we really need is to develop new, healthier habits around food.

Enjoy your food, try some new foods and recipes (they won't all work but some will). With the right level of calories you shouldn't feel hungry, so that should reduce your need to snack (though I know we snack for all sorts of other reasons).

Good luck!

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Thank you, Mary! You’re right, sometimes I feel that if I’m not feeling hungry then I’m not doing it right. I know that’s not how it’s supposed to be but, as you say, it’s about establishing a balanced/healthy diet. I will get hunting for some new recipes! ❤️

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There are some great recipes here and I also use the British Heart Foundation - haven't got a heart problem but I like that they're calorie counted etc for me bhf.org.uk/heart-matters/he... Someone also mentioned this website recently choosetolivebetter.com/cont... - seems to be an NHS Northern Ireland site, and people are always coming up with other suggestions

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That’s great, thank you ever so much 😊

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