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  1. #1
    Senior Member Big Pete's Avatar
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    HELP ME!! Calorie question?

    What I need to find is the amount of calories I need to intake in a day so that weight loss can commence!

    I'm 300lb - drive 1 to 4 hours a day - and install grainite kitchens and baths for the rest of the day.

    When I was on weight watchers I was totally maxed out on points and would be for a while with my activity and current weight.

    I usually spend 2 hours in the gym a week. Always starting for 30 mins on eliptical and 30 mins on the machines. I also ride 30 to 100 miles a week but not at race pace but more than standard casual pace.

    Thanks in advance for you suggestions!
    P.S. I just downloaded a calorie counter on my Blackberry to assist with the tracking.

  2. #2
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    OK - I am not a nutritionist, nor do I play one on TV. But I am obese and under the supervision with a nutritionist. There are calculations you can do to figure out your caloric intake - just google basal metabolic rate - and you should come up with some plug in equations.

    I was just reading a book on the "Biggest Loser" diet - and they figure caloric intake this way - Your weight x 7. People 300 lbs and up they say should start at 2100 calories.

    I do know this. I am hiring a personal trainer - and my nutritionist wants me to increase my caloric intake when I'm working out. I am much heavier than you - but I will increase my intake from 2000 cals a day to 2500 when I work out with my PT.

    I'm not sure if this helps, but I'd thought I would chime in. Good luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member bigvegan's Avatar
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    First, buy a book of food counts, and start tracking your daily calorie intake for a few weeks or so. This will tell you how many calories you're ACTUALLY eating, instead of how many you "think" you're eating. This information is as surprising to many as hanging their bikes on an actual digital scale for the first time.

    Then, you have a few choices.

    1. Simply cut your average calorie intake by 500 calories per day. A pound of fat has about 3500 calories, so if you cut 500 calories a day, you're on track for a pound a week of weight loss.
    2. Pull up a calorie calculator and see how much you should be eating for someone at your weight, and see what they recommend for weight loss.
    3. Pull up that same calculator, and see what they recommend a person at your goal weight eat, and then eat that much.

    There's no magic though. It's really just a question of eating good healthy foods at regular intervals, instead of gorging on fat/sugar/salt at irregular intervals.


    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    What I need to find is the amount of calories I need to intake in a day so that weight loss can commence!

    I'm 300lb - drive 1 to 4 hours a day - and install grainite kitchens and baths for the rest of the day.

    When I was on weight watchers I was totally maxed out on points and would be for a while with my activity and current weight.

    I usually spend 2 hours in the gym a week. Always starting for 30 mins on eliptical and 30 mins on the machines. I also ride 30 to 100 miles a week but not at race pace but more than standard casual pace.

    Thanks in advance for you suggestions!
    P.S. I just downloaded a calorie counter on my Blackberry to assist with the tracking.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Saltybeagle's Avatar
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    I was 312 november 2008, was 242 november 2009, riding as much as possible, control portions, no fried, no soda/beer, no icecream/candy/pie. actually eat more food now, but good stuff: fruit, veggies, less processed meat. Ride 100 miles or more per week, usually on saturday and sunday, often >200 miles/week especially in summer. Its a see-saw; intake (food) - calories used, hit a plateau at 250, was there 1.5 month and christmas was steady state even with lots of riding. Track riding and input n(food), you will see what is holding you back. I weigh myself every day. Once a week one anything goes meal, within reasonable limits.

    I like a bike computer with hr, cadence and calories in addition to speed and distance.
    Last edited by Saltybeagle; 01-17-10 at 06:03 PM.

  5. #5
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Good advice from both minnesotamongo and bigvegan. Remember that not all calories are the same and that protein, fat, and carbohydrates all play different roles within the body. Defenitely find out what your caloric intake is, but also find out where those calories are coming from and when you are consuming them.

    I tend to prefer a ratio of around 40/35/25 or 40% protien, 35% carbs, and 25% fat. I also try to space out my eating every couple of hours with most of my carbs preferably in the morning or after a workout. Sometimes it's not all about calories, but changing the ratio in which they are consumed and when.

    My advice is to find out how many calories you are normally consuming, where those calories are coming from, and the time they are consumed. Write down a food journal for a couple of days and be honest with yourself. Like bigvegan said, it can be sobering.

    Something like 7am...Sausage McMuffin, Lrg Coffee, Hashbrown...9am Lrg Coffee, Donut...12pm Two Eggsalad sandwiches, 8oz bag of cornchips, can of Coke...2pm Snickersbar, can of Coke...5pm Hungryman dinner, 8 oz bag of Doritos, Lrg glass Koolaid...7pm Turkey sandwich, slice of pie...9pm Doritos, Lrg glass Koolaid...11pm slice of pie, Lrg glass milk.

    After you have a journal you can go and look at what the nutrition profile is, how many calories they are, and you have a time of when they are consumed. Don't drastically cut calories but do cut some. Also look for alternatives and try to come up with what is doable for you.

    Fiber rich foods tend to make you feel fuller longer even though you took in less calories. Remember, they don't have to be child portions either. Replacing one Snickers bar with two apples and two hardboiled eggs give you about the same amount of calories but in a vastly different ratio. They may both satisfy your hunger, but which one do you think would be better for you?

    Diets shouldn't be difficult to maintain. If a diet is leaving you hungry then it is doomed to fail. If a diet has you simply eating bland food it will be difficult to fight off temptation. If a diet has you simply cutting calories, what if they are not the calories you should be cutting?

    Find out what you are eating, how much, and when. Understand the basics of what Protien, Carbs, and Fats do for the body. Find alternatives that will work for you. Tailor your diet for you. Be patient and give yourself time to loose the weight. Perhaps seek out expert advice from your gym or a nutritionist. There is no one size fits all. Rather one size fits most. What works for me (activity level, overall health, nutrition, training, goals, etc.) may not work specifically for you.

    Sorry for the long post. Hope you find something that works, and good luck.
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  6. #6
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    In August I was 5'11" and 296. I am still 5'11" but 255 now. My goal is 5 lbs a month. The end goal is 185 lbs.

    What works for me is the following: Weight X 10 = calories eaten per day. Reduce your fat intake and increase your protein intake. Portion control is as important as what foods you eat. Don't order supersize anything. Remove soda from your diet, get rid of Mickie D's fries, order the grilled chicken sandwich w/o mayo and not the double whopper. You don't have to cut all "bad food" out, but be very selective on the portion size and frequency you eat it.

    I try to ride 45-60 minutes per day. Like everyone else, life can get in the way and somedays I miss doing this and that is why I try to do it everyday. Don't say you haven't got the time, make the time. If I have the time anyone does...my wife and I have 9 kids from 3 years to college age.

    My goal is long term sustained weight loss. A crash diet will help you loose weight, but in the long term you are more likely to regain it. You have to change eating habits. After a few weeks of paying close attention to this it will become second nature (a good habit).

    Good luck

  7. #7
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    I should chime in - there are plenty of online sites that help you track and record your caloric intake. I personally use "livestrong.com" - very nice website - and their "Daily Plate" is perfect for tracking and counting calories. Plus - it's free.

  8. #8
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    I gained a lot of weight last year and lost it just as fast. I usually weigh in at around 200 lbs, but I was up to 225 last year and weigh just under 190 now. All the weioght gain was due to eating high-fat food. Once I ditched the crap-food, I lost weight rapidly.

    In my view controlling calorie intake means little. What matters is the type of calories you eat. There is a big difference between usefull calories and eating garbage.

    Let me explain. If you take in 3000 daily calories of highly nutritious lean foods, you will have a ton of energy and will most likely go out and get some exercise. Over time, you will find that because your body is fully nurished, your appetite is less. Before long, you will lose weight and be eating a 2000 to 2200 calorie daily diet --- and, you will be full.

    However, if you take in 3000 calories of cheese fries and/or Big Macs, you will need to take a nap. You will wake up hungry. You will then gain 50 more pounds over the next year.

  9. #9
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    Calories are calories. Although, nutritious foods is better - it's still a numbers gain - calories in vs calories expended. You eat 3000 cals of carrots vs big macs, you still have 3000 cals to burn. Simple math - and that's the science behind it.

  10. #10
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    LOTS of good advice above.

    Net weight loss is a function of less calories.. yet insulin levels are the inside story. Smaller meals... as little junk calories are possible.. ie, white bread, breakfast type cereals.. foods that make you hungry in a few hrs... that effect the high insulin levels created by these "foods". Fats in themselves.. of the quality types are not the real enemy... save the calorie density. See-saw up (very high) and down high insulin levels.. this is the base cause of many health issues.

    When I read the protein diet claims back when I thought those claims nuts. I read medical textbooks.. sure enough.. high insulin levels cause many health issues. Yet I find many of the people pushing the protein diet the same hucksters.. the same 'used car sales' people as one sees hawking info shows on the brain dead cable channels.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotamongo View Post
    Calories are calories. Although, nutritious foods is better - it's still a numbers gain - calories in vs calories expended. You eat 3000 cals of carrots vs big macs, you still have 3000 cals to burn. Simple math - and that's the science behind it.
    Correct.

    My point is that if you eat Big Macs you will be good for nothing other than taking a nap and then waking up to eat more Big Macs.

    However, if you eat a properly balanced diet, you will be awake all day (I haven't napped in a year, even though I often stay up all night), full of energy (I never sit still anymore), capable of exercising all day long (I hiked up a mountain for four hours a few weeks ago and then danced all night), and not be hungry until mealtime, if even then (I can skip meals at any time). It's all in the body being filled with the proper vitamins and minerals.
    Last edited by baron von trail; 01-18-10 at 10:03 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Calories are calories...they're a measure of the energy content of the food. Some foods contain little but energy, others provide other nutrients that you need. The amount of calories you need depends on your metabolism and your lifestyle...people vary. Find out what you're consuming now to maintain your weight, and reduce it by 250 to 500 calories a day. Start by eliminating the so-called empty calories (the items that are little or nothing but calories). For example, if you're drinking a couple of cans of Coke or Pepsi or equivalent a day, eliminating that or switching to the diet versions will save 300 calories. If you were maintaining your weight, doing that without changing anything else would cause you to lose a couple of pounds a month.

  13. #13
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    How to lose weight Calories In < Calories out. It is so prevelent on all these boards you'd think Obama could just say it and cure obesity.


    Problem for me is it seems like it got simplified a step or two too much. All the below is just things I think about when I read the Calories In < Calories out thing and what what in the world am I doing so wrong, which I think often when reading this forum. Calories In < Calories out make it seem like fueling a car which is far simpler if only because I don't have to somehow figure out how much fuel it used parked for the 22 hours a day I wasn't driving it.

    Calories in is easy to measure for the most part. I think just measure your servings and know what your eating. Hunger based on what you eat is another issue but if you have the willpower it might not affect you. There may be some truth to some food slowing digestion of others or making them harder to digest but that is all sort of on the calories out part?

    Calories out hm. This is where I get super lost.
    Doesn't what you eat has an effect on chemicals/hormones released that determine what your body does with what comes in, how much energy is required to process it, how much energy you have and how much your body burns just sitting around along with lots of other stuff that at least I can't really calculate or keep track of?

    Exercising. If you do or don't allow enough recovery time to rebuild muscles and such do you burn more or less calories. I'd think recovery would be good let your body use energy to rebuild and then those new muscles use more calories just to be right? I also thought if you repeat the same exercise like cycling your body burns less and less because either you become used to it or don't push harder to do it.
    Then even if your heart rate is actually higher does that mean you are neccessarily burning more calories or are you just affected by something you ate/drank or things that happened during the day?

    All of this ignores that whole hunger thing mentioned before which does play into the calories in/out thing. If you don't have super willpower the idea that I could sit and eat 3 boxes of life cereal and gobs of mountain dew or other empty drink and still feel hungry but now I have consumed thousands of calories and still want more. I then go and eat a few cups of spinach and it will keep my full for a long time alone or preceding a meal make me eat/make alot less and that only costs me a few calories. Tracking calories should help identify things like this which is good. Making sure your body stays on full burn optimized for burning away calories is something else.

  14. #14
    Lanterne Rouge
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    You can do a calculation of your Basal Metabolic Rate, which will give you your resting/baseline calorie intake, and then add in the activity you add to that.

    I don't think "weight x 10=calories" or "weight x 3=calories" are correct or incorrect... if you eat about 2000 calories, you'll probably lose some weight consistently, and if you go under that, you are on a somewhat aggressive weight loss setting. If you are particularly active (in terms of recreation and labor) 2000 might not be enough to maintain weight. It might not be bad to try a halfway point... but checking to see how much you are actually eating, and taking a real inventory would be a good idea over a few weeks.

    Be honest, and behave normally over that time, then take a look at real steps you can take. The answers are not always simple, and are rarely easy...
    "Having modest aspirations RULES." --patentcad
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  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Doctor told me once to lose weight, take your weight, multiply by 10 and then subtract 400. Dont drink milk while on this diet though. He said why but I just dont remember why.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

  16. #16
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    The simple formulas are too simplistic. Find out what you need to consume to maintain your weight at your level of activity. Keep track of your calorie intake for a while, and see what it is. That'll give you a baseline. Then, without changing your activity level, reduce your intake by a moderate amount (250 to 500 calories a day). Don't try for a radical change, don't try a crash diet, don't try a fad diet.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    The simple formulas are too simplistic. Find out what you need to consume to maintain your weight at your level of activity. Keep track of your calorie intake for a while, and see what it is. That'll give you a baseline. Then, without changing your activity level, reduce your intake by a moderate amount (250 to 500 calories a day). Don't try for a radical change, don't try a crash diet, don't try a fad diet.
    Sorry, but you are wrong. The formulas are correct. If you want to be hyper-accurate - go have your Basal Metabolic Rate figured out and work from there. Calories in vs Calories out.

    Now, for the hunger/I want to eat deal - that's a whole 'nuther issue. As a hyper-obese person I can tell you that food is a ***** goddess that has to be understood and controlled. Even though the formula is simple - the application is not. Our minds do interesting things to us along the way.

    If I could bottle the motivation and focus I have, right now - to not over eat - I would be a billionaire. That being said - losing weight is simple math. And I have 121 lbs off since July 20th (no surgery) as proof. I'm no expert - just experienced!

    Good luck on your lifestyle change!! I hope everything goes well...

  18. #18
    Senior Member Big Pete's Avatar
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    Thanks to all its great to see how passionate everyone is about there suggestions. 2 days down eating healthy foods 2600 day one and 2700 today. The calorie calculator said 2600 to 2700 is mt fat loss range and thats what I will try for a while.

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