Calories and Weighloss have made my mind explode! Argh!

Helloooo All,

After a weekend of scouring the web I am finally at breaking point!

I am 29 years old, 5ft1 woman weighing around 9st9, so carrying a little extra than i should. and looking to lose.

I run between 17-25 a week at about 8.30's and split it into 3runs, am currently just on tickover till mid december when I start training properly for VLM.

I have no idea how many calories I should consume, when i look on apps like myfitnesspal and bmr calulators on the internet, they are saying  should eat only 1250-ish a day.... is that right? it doesn't seem much, and i am hungry all the time on that, or am I just a piggly wig?  


Please help!! x


  • Yes, 1250 calories is a pathetically small amount. But it won't cause you to become malnourished or anything, so if you can force yourself to stick to it it WILL work. And if you can eat real food and no sweet snacks, you're less likely to be hungry. Also I don't know if you've actually used myfitnesspal yet, but it counts exercise against calories, so while it may give you a base amount of 1250 cals a day, if you go running for an hour and log it, you'll get an extra 600-800 cals allowance as that's what you burned off while running.

    But maybe a better idea would be just to reduce your calories slightly. Use myfitnesspal for, say, two weeks, but just to log everything you eat and drink. Be brutally honest and count everything. After two weeks you can look through it all and see what your average daily/weekly calorie intake is, and also if you're eating too much fat or too many snacky foods.Then you can decide what to change.

    One pound of fat is roughly equal to 3,500 calories, so if you can reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 cals a day, you should lose 1lb a week. Or 250 cals a day would be 1lb a fortnight. Or you could increase the amount of calories you burn through exercise by adding a training session to your weekly schedule.

  • Hi Jennie,

    For your height, age and weight, then a sedentary lifestyle would burn 1700calories per day. So, if you eat that amount and maintain your current running - that should burn up near to 2000 calories from your "cuddly curve reserves" every week.  So, as RWD says, that's just over half a pound per week. 

    I'm a firm believer in slow weight loss (have gone from 12st 1lb to 11st 0lb, steadily over the last 6 months).  If I was you, I'd cut out rubbish. 97% of stuff you eat and drink should provide some real nutrition - but leave room for the odd treat.  

    If you're content to lose weight at that rate, then I'd say - be happy, eat 1700cals, and  wait patiently for those runs to deliver!  Help it along by being a bit more than 'sedentary' in day to day living. 

    But if you want to accelerate weight loss, then perhaps find another 200 cals a day - which should take you up to about a pound a week.  Any more than that, then I think people tend to get into an unhealthy cycle of rapid weight loss, obsession etc... your body gets confused (and panics that you're in some sort of famine situation) and it's the sort of weight loss that is less likely to be permanent.("less likely" doesn't mean "impossible" before loads of people tell stories of how it worked for them!!)

    I used these calculators, if you want to play with them.  Good luck with the slimming down and getting fitter & healthier...  but for me, the secret is not to starve yourself.  1250 Cals just sounds like an unsatisfying way to live. Stay happy image

  • On My Fitness Pal (MFP), it'll give you a daily calorie amount based on your height, how much you want to lose each week, and whether you are sedentary, lightly active or very active on a daily basis in your job. It is a bit of a blunt instrument and relies a bit on people being sensible with it.   A lot of people set it so be losing 2 pounds a week, which unless you are very overweight is probably quite a lot to ask and can limit your calories quite severely. Depending on where you are in the BMI scale you are probably best of setting it to lose between 1/2 pound and 1 pound a week and this'll give you your base calories with the appropriate defecit to lose the pound each week. What MFP expects you to then do, is to log your exercise, and this then calculates a rough calorie burn (or you can enter it from your heart rate monitor). The system that MFP uses expects you to eat those exercise calories in addition to your base calories to keep your calorie defecit constant and so you have enough fuel to power your body if you are doing a fair amount of exercise.

    I've used MFP for three or four years. Firstly to lose weight, then to maintain. I don't log every day now, although I did religously for the first couple of years. I lost about 5 stone over the first two years, and have kept if off since.

    Slow weight loss is best, especially if you are asking a lot of your body with running - you need to fuel the engine otherwise you will be constantly hungry and that can lead to bad choices and binging.

    Let me know if you want to know anything else about MFP.


    Edited to say that I see runs with dogs already explained all this - I should read things more carefully.



  • Thank guys for all your messages, going to have a go at sticking with 1500 a day and see what happens, if nothing I will drop back to 1200 and add on workout cals....

    Thanks guys image x

  • Aside from the diet side of weight loss, you could try adding some interval running into your training that will burn more fat than running steadily for an hour. Try mixing a 5 mile run up with some 400m fast running, followed by a recovery and repeat 8-10 times. There will be some good interval programmes on this site under training. Good luck.
  • Have you thought of joining a local running club? A whole bunch of training buddies to run with and a weekly schedule to stick to is a great way to stay motivated on grim wet nights when you just want to stay indoors. image
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