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How many calories should I be consuming?

I am 5’7″, weigh 200 lbs., female, 26 yo. I have been watching my diet and exercising for about two months now and have lost about 8 lbs. The thing is now that I have stepped up my exercise program, I am starting to feel a bit sluggish and my energy is down from when I started. I think it may be due to the fact that I am maybe not getting enough calories. I don’t count them but I eat a lot of healthy foods, fruits, veggies, whole grains that sometimes aren’t very high in calories.

If I do 45-60 minutes of cardio and strength training 5 days a week, how many calories should I consume in a day to give me enough energy and still lose weight? Also, how should I space the calories, ie more calories earlier in day or many small meals?

I know I should just listen to my body and I don’t want to start counting calories obsessively. I just want to have a starting point. Thanks!

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6 Responses to “How many calories should I be consuming?”

  1. babydollof4kids said:

    Take the weight you want to be and multiply it by 10 and thats the calories you need to eat daily.

  2. iwonder said:
  3. Heidi B said:

    You really should count calories, it’s a great way to ensure weight loss. Exercising is only so good, because if you consume as many calories as you burn you’re not going to lose anything. You have to burn 3500 calories above and beyond what you take in to allow for 1 lb of fat loss. You don’t need to count daily or anything, just be aware of what some of the regular stuff you take in has, like a medium apple has 50 calories or 1 cup of watermelon has 120 or 3 oz of chicken breast (boiled) has 140 calories. It’s surprising how much things actually have. I personally have been taking in only 1000 calories and have lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks. My exercising only consists of walkin 2 miles every other day. Hope this helps.

  4. SubJ said:

    Eat only when hungry and not more than thrice a day. Nothing other than water in between. Include plenty of uncooked vegetables and fruits in each meal, preferably 50%. Chew each morsel at least 32 times to activate ur body to generate signals of hunger/fullness. Obey these signals.

    Take light exercises and brisk walks regularly preferably twice a day.

    U will achieve what u have not even dreamt and that too in a reasonable time. Do not be in a hurry.

  5. Andee said:

    You need at least 1200 – 1500 calories a day. I think you may need to get more protein in your diet. The foods you are eating have little or no protein in them, and you need about 50 grams of protein per day. You may also need just a little more fat — the unsaturated kind– in your diet. Drink some low-fat milk; eat some yogurt; eat beans like kidney beans, pinto, pork and beans, baked, etc.; peas are high in protein; nuts– almonds are best; eat some lean meat like turkey or chicken breast. Also, if you are not taking a multi-vitamin everyday, then it would be a good idea to take one.

  6. bygracealone said:

    To determine how many calories YOU should be burning, you need to do a little math.

    First, determine your Body Mass Index. There are plenty of BMI calculators online, or you can do it yourself by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height squared (in meters)

    Second, determine your weight loss goal. Since losing more than 2 lbs a week isn’t healthy for most women, you probably shouldn’t set a goal above this.

    Then figure out how many calories you’re burning per week. If you do 45-60 minute cardio 5 days a week, that’s great. Find a calories burned calculator (for example, http://www.caloriesperhour.com) and determine how many calories on average you’ll burn in exercise per week.

    Your BMR (basic metabolic rate) is the number of calories your body needs in order to perform basic functions. For females, the formula for BMR is:
    655+(9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

    Now, assuming that most people have a sedentary lifestyle during most of the day (basically, if you don’t do hard labor for a living), multiply your BMR by 1.2 to allow for light activity throughout the day.

    Since you’re exercising, though, divide your weekly calories burned by 7 so you know how many calories per day to add to allow for the exercise you’ll be doing.

    Now, in order to lose weight, you have to create an appropriate calorie deficiency per week. Since one pound of body fat is 3,500 calories and two pounds is 7,000, in order to lose 2 lbs a week you must cut 1,000 calories daily.

    To get your final calorie range, subtract 250 from your weight loss calorie goal (which is your BMR – calories needed to cut daily) to find the low end, and add 100 to find the high end. Round up to the nearest 10.

    I know that’s confusing, but it’s helpful! If you sign up with http://www.sparkpeople.com, they do all the math for you AND create a custom meal plan that fits inside your calorie needs.

    Good luck




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