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  1. #1
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    How to establish calorie needs?

    I've read some really interesting info on nutrition and caloric needs recently. But, I'm still unsure what numbers to use to establish a daily calorie target. I'm at 190 lbs and want to be at 180 some time in April. Back in the day (I'm now 60) I would just take my target weight and multiply it by 15 to get my daily calorie needs for my target weight. That ends up being 2700 cals. which I'm sure is too high. I'm on my 9th day of a 2300 cal diet and haven't lost a pound. What's happening here? Am I too impatient or are my calculations off? (FWIW, I'm on the weights 3-4x wk. and take 2 spinning classes a week. Also just started riding my rollers again last night.)

  2. #2
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    I did the hydrostatic fat% test and they can determine fairly precisely the muscle/fat content of your body. They can then determine your basal caloric needs(what you'd need if you laid in bed all day and didn't move). I just work from there...adding calories for active lifestyle + cycling - for weight loss.

    If you just started the weights and spinning, there's a chance that you're losing fat and gaining muscle. Has your waistline gotten any thinner?

    also you are probably underestimating the calories in the food from restaurants

  3. #3
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branman1986
    I did the hydrostatic fat% test and they can determine fairly precisely the muscle/fat content of your body. They can then determine your basal caloric needs(what you'd need if you laid in bed all day and didn't move). I just work from there...adding calories for active lifestyle + cycling - for weight loss.

    If you just started the weights and spinning, there's a chance that you're losing fat and gaining muscle. Has your waistline gotten any thinner?

    also you are probably underestimating the calories in the food from restaurants
    I started by going to www.hussmanfitness.org, which is a really good site. I determined BMR to be 1560 and multiplied that by 1.5 (their suggestion for people who workout) and that gave me 2340 calories. However that doesn't tell me what my weight will end up being once I lose weight and plateau. I've been doing the weights and spinning for about a month. As for eating out, I don't do that very much anymore. And, when I do I eat only what I know. What kind of facility might do the hydrostatic fat test? I've had the caliper test done at various time and vary between 20-25%. I'm really shooting for less than 20% at this point.

  4. #4
    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
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    it looks like you have already determined your BMR?? so i am some what confused on what your question is?

    anyway, you will maintain your weight at that level of calorie intake. To lose weight you need a calorie deficit of 500 per day, every day. 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories. so to lose at least one pound you to a deficit of 3500 per week. you need to burn more then take in. as you lose weight you have to reavaluate you BMR.

    a great site for tracking calories is FitDay.com. another with calculators and info is CaloriesPerHour.com.

    my experience shows that most underestimate their intake and over estimate their calorie burn. good luck. later.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aham23
    it looks like you have already determined your BMR?? so i am some what confused on what your question is?
    Well, I've been using an estimate of 25% body fat based on a caliper test done 3 mo. ago. Everyone tells me that they are highly dependent on the skill of the person doing the testing so I'm not sure of the accuracy. I'd be willing to do the hydrostatic test but no one seems to know where to go for one around here. I think one of my questions is this: If my BMR is 1600 and given a daily excercise regimen that allows me to use the 1.5 X BMR formula (total daily cal. intake of 2400) if I follow that where will I end up? As in, what weight will I settle in at?
    Last edited by bruce19; 02-26-07 at 01:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    Software for Cyclists SSP's Avatar
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    Eat less, eat right, and have patience.

    It's very difficult to answer your "what weight will I settle in at" question, because:

    a) measuring daily caloric intake is not always accurate or possible.

    b) measuring daily calories burned is nearly impossible (it can only be roughly estimated based on your age, weight, gender, and level of exercise).

    c) your Basal Metabolic Rate is also only a rough estimate.


    The only real way to lose weight is to eat a little less, exercise a little more, or do some of both. Give it another week or two and if you're not seeing results, focus on cutting down your portion sizes and/or increasing the length of your workouts (especially your aerobic workouts...those burn more calories than lifting weights).

    As for a "target weight", if you want to improve as a cyclist and you're not built like The Hulk, aim for a Body Mass Index of 24 or less (or, a body fat percentage of 10-15%).

    Mostly, have patience...you won't lose it quickly, especially at age 60.
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
    WeightWare.com - Weight Management Software

  7. #7
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19
    Well, I've been using an estimate of 25% body fat based on a caliper test done 3 mo. ago. Everyone tells me that they are highly dependent on the skill of the person doing the testing so I'm not sure of the accuracy. I'd be willing to do the hydrostatic test but no one seems to know where to go for one around here. I think one of my questions is this: If my BMR is 1600 and given a daily excercise regimen that allows me to use the 1.5 X BMR formula (total daily cal. intake of 2400) if I follow that where will I end up? As in, what weight will I settle in at?
    Once you lose a little weight you have to redo the calculations. One trap people fall into is calculating the amount of calories they need to maintain their fat selves. They then subtract 500kcal/day or whatever from that number and lose some weight. Once they are happy with their new weight they go back to eating the amount that kept their heavier weight stable. Once you are lighter you have to eat less forever.

    A better longer term strategy is to enter your ideal weight (if reasonably close to current) and work out the base needs for that lighter you. If you follow a maintenance program for that new weight you will lose weight moderately quickly at first but as you approach goal weight the losses will slow, but at least it should be permanent.

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