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How many calories to lose weight?
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solidgk

Hi all

I would like to get down to below 10% bodyfat for health, performance and aesthetic reasons.

Here are my stats:

26yo
Male
6'2
215lbs
20.5% bodyfat

To get my to my goal, I estimate I will need to drop to 180 - 185lbs, a loss of 30lbs.

I will be using a simple HIT program 2 - 3x weekly and will be going for 30 - 60m walks after dinner when possible.

How many calories should I consume? I would like to lose the weight as quickly as possible while not suffering from brain fog or having my mental performance slipping at all at work (I work in finance). My job can also be quite stressful at times.

Would the 1900 from Florida Dreamin be appropriate? Or should I go lower like the 1300 - 1500 as prescribed in the body leanness / flat stomach asap program?

Thanks
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perrymk

I can share what works for me. I hope it helps you. I'll try to keep it brief (smile). For any weight loss plan to work, one must burn more calories than one consumes.

1. Count calories. This is one of those things that no one likes to do, but for me it is essential.

1a. It is easy enough to use an internet search engine to find the calorie content of just about any food, including restaurant food.
1b. One can also use the internet to get estimates of the calories burned by various activities. For example, walking burns about 100 calories per mile for men, about 80 for women.


2. For calorie counting to be useful, one also has to know how many calories are needed to maintain and then eat fewer than required for maintenance.

2a. My experience is that most people (depending on activity levels) need between 12 and 15 calories per pound of bodyweight for maintenance.
2b. For weight loss I usually aim for 10 calories per pound of desired bodyweight. I adjust up or down depending on how the weight loss is going. 10 calories per pound usually works OK for me.


3. Aim for a healthy, balanced diet. That is, don't eliminate any food groups. I didn't count grams fat or carbs but did be sure to have at least 1 gram of protein per 2 to 3 pounds of bodyweight. For me this was 60-90 grams protein per day.


My quick example. When I weighed 224 I decided I wanted to weight 185. So my target for daily calories was 1850. I decided I would eat 2000 calories per day and walk at least 2 miles per day (each mile burns about 100 calories for me) for a net of 1800 calories per day. I was also weightlifting 2 to 3 times per week. It took several months (6-8 as I recall; this was in 2008) but I reached my target weight.

I am 5'6" and was past 40 years old at the time.

This can be as healthy or as unhealthy as one chooses to make it. I find healthy foods generally more filling. I used diet sodas for those times when I needed a sweets fix. I agree diet soda, or any sodas, are not healthy. Neither is being overweight. Everyone has to decide for themselves which is worse, the extra weight or the chemicals in a soda.

Building muscle helps raise the metabolism, but not by much. I see muscle and metabolism more for weight maintenance than weight loss. I've always enjoyed working out with weights and I continue to do so. I also enjoy walking and hiking which are great low impact ways to maintain weight.

The biggest mistake I see people making is underestimating calories consumed and overestimating calories burned.

My eating was more out of habit and boredom, and a genuine enjoyment of food. I had to find a way to stay occupied to stave off boredom eating. For me it was building and restoring old camp stoves. I probably have around 30 stoves in my garage of various types, some dating back to the 1800s. The homemade ones are simple alcohol burning stoves. It may be that finding a hobby, one that requires keeping the hands and mind busy but isn't so challenging that it wears you out, could help you too.

That's the essence. I hope there is something in there that is of use to you. Good luck!

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perrymk

As an enhancement to your walks, wear a small backpack. I estimate that for each 1% of bodyweight carried, add 5% more calories burned.

So if you figure you burn 100 calories per mile, carrying 10% of your bodyweight will burn about 150 calories per mile. Like weightlifting, start light and work your way up. I suggest never exceeding 20% of your bodyweight to avoid joint pounding. I know we all carried much more in our youth (in the army my packs sometimes weighed as much as I did) but for training purposes 20% is doubling the calories burned and is plenty.

The 1% bodyweight requires 5% more calories is something I figured out myself years ago. Basically I compared what various exercise machines were indicating I burned, how I felt after various day hikes carrying different loads, and what I read online. I'm not suggesting this is info ready for JAMA, but it works for me.

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sonny153

perrymk pretty much nailed it, a lot depends on how fast you want to lose as to how many calories you consume. Once you establish your caloric equilibrium then just cut by no more than 500/day, I don't even go that high. I was good most of the winter and only have about 2 - 3 lbs of fat to lose so when I kick in the diet I'm only going to reduce by about 200 which should give me about a pound loss every 10 - 14 days. I'm not going to add "cardio" or change my training program at all, just cutting the calories will work for me. I never went below 1500 cal/day and even at that level I didn't stay there that long..it adds up fast and I was too hungry!
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solidgk

Great, thanks guys.

I guess I will start off at around 1800 then. Do you think this will be enough to stave off hunger and retain my mental acuity? I'd like to lose the weight as quickly as possible.

One of the reasons I'm doing this is because I have a charity endurance event coming up (60m walk in 30 hrs), and I want to lose the weight before I start training so I don't injure myself. I have had issues with overpronation, shin splints, etc., so I made the conscious decision to focus on losing the weight (Body Leanness style) before I begin training.

As such, I'm pretty confident I will be able to keep the weight off, because as soon as I reach a desired weight I will up the calories to a more reasonable amount and increase activity levels.
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crazeeJZ

solidgk wrote:
Hi all

I would like to get down to below 10% bodyfat for health, performance and aesthetic reasons.

Here are my stats:

26yo
Male
6'2
215lbs
20.5% bodyfat

To get my to my goal, I estimate I will need to drop to 180 - 185lbs, a loss of 30lbs.

I will be using a simple HIT program 2 - 3x weekly and will be going for 30 - 60m walks after dinner when possible.

How many calories should I consume? I would like to lose the weight as quickly as possible while not suffering from brain fog or having my mental performance slipping at all at work (I work in finance). My job can also be quite stressful at times.

Would the 1900 from Florida Dreamin be appropriate? Or should I go lower like the 1300 - 1500 as prescribed in the body leanness / flat stomach asap program?

Thanks


I wouldn't change much to start. I'd estimate roughly what calorie level is presently maintaining my weight, and just switch the starchy carbs in my last meal for fibrous veggies and see how long that works for. It should work for a good while if you're at 20%.
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robinn3403

solidgk wrote:
Hi all

I would like to get down to below 10% bodyfat for health, performance and aesthetic reasons.

Here are my stats:

26yo
Male
6'2
215lbs
20.5% bodyfat

To get my to my goal, I estimate I will need to drop to 180 - 185lbs, a loss of 30lbs.

I will be using a simple HIT program 2 - 3x weekly and will be going for 30 - 60m walks after dinner when possible.

How many calories should I consume? I would like to lose the weight as quickly as possible while not suffering from brain fog or having my mental performance slipping at all at work (I work in finance). My job can also be quite stressful at times.

Would the 1900 from Florida Dreamin be appropriate? Or should I go lower like the 1300 - 1500 as prescribed in the body leanness / flat stomach asap program?

Thanks


Im same height but about 287 right now. Headed to 200 pounds. I'm not count calories, just eating small portions of as clean of food I can find. Have a wife and 6 year old son so whatever wife puts in front of me I just small portions. She likes steamed veggies and good stuff so..

At least half a gallon to ICE COLD WATER a day! That is so key! And of course 9 exercises 3 times a week. 8 hrs of sleep is most preferable.
I have friends with hunger. I'm not gonna die from hunger pangs. 4 meals a day as well. Just take it meal by meal / day by day and you'll come out on the other end ripped out!!
Good luck!
Rob
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solidgk

I have just started a low calorie diet in an attempt to lose weight.

I am 26 years old
6?2
216lbs
c.21% BF
36? waist (at navel)

My eventual goal is 180 at sub 10% BF, but the numbers say I would have to lose some ?lean mass? for that to happen. I imagine there will be a few pounds of water in there, and I?m also not averse to losing a little muscle. I am doing this for health reasons and I am training for an endurance event.

Here is my diet:

1800 cals / day

Bfast: 300 cals
Lunch: 400
Snack: 200
Snack: 200
Dinner: 500
Snack: 200

Breakfast is typically shredded wheat cereal with some orange juice.
Lunch is a packaged meal or sandwich.
Snack is either yogurt or fruit or a combination.
Dinner is some sort of frozen / microwaveable meal.

My training:

- 2x week HIT style circuit of 8 ? 10 exercises, 1 set to failure 8 ? 12 reps, 3/3 tempo, minimal rest between sets
- Daily prehab for lower legs and external rotators (face pulls and some cable work)
- Daily pull-ups and pushups (just a couple of grease the groove sets not to failure)

Is 1800 a good starting point? I was considering starting a little lower at 1500 or so, sort of like David Hudlow did. Any thoughts?

I am one day in:

Day 1: 216.0
Day 2: 216.0
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perrymk

My opinion is that what you are doing fine. Stick with it for 4 weeks or so and then make adjustments if you feel you need to.

I didn't see it mentioned but I might have missed it. Monitor your bodyfat also. I like using a Tanita bodyfat scale, but any method you use consistently, along with overall weight, should show changes in bodyfat versus lean weight.
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solidgk

Day 3: 213.8, 20.4% BF (according to bodyfat scale - I know they aren't too accurate)

Yesterday I ate 1600 cals.

Next week I am going to incorporate daily strength training, at which point I will bump up to 1800 cals.
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Hitit

perrymk wrote:
My opinion is that what you are doing fine. Stick with it for 4 weeks or so and then make adjustments if you feel you need to.

I didn't see it mentioned but I might have missed it. Monitor your bodyfat also. I like using a Tanita bodyfat scale, but any method you use consistently, along with overall weight, should show changes in bodyfat versus lean weight.


What Tanita scale is recommended as the most accurate?
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crazeeJZ

I wouldn't worry about monitoring bodyfat percentage as frequently. You're not going to go from 213 lbs. to 180 lbs. and stay anywhere near 20% bodyfat while weight training. Your bodyfat percentage will automatically go down because you'll be continually rebuilding lost muscle with weight training.

What's worked for me to curb hunger is early-loading calories. If for 1800 calories, something like:

Meal 1: 600 cals.
Meal 2: 600
Meal 3: 300
Meal 4: 300

I have a feeling this has curbed hunger better for me because my muscle glycogen stores were filled more the 1st half of the day. Plus, this might prevent weight loss plateaus a little better because the body isn't seeing similar calorie level meals for extended periods.
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perrymk

Hitit wrote:
What Tanita scale is recommended as the most accurate?


I'm sure the ones with handles as well as foot pads would be more accurate, but I don't have one of those. The last time I checked their website Tanita claimed accuracy to within plus/minus 3%. They also have scales with an athletic mode to account for the additional lean mass of athletes.

IMO the key to using a bodyfat scale is consistency. That is, use it under the same conditions each time. I use mine on Monday morning after a morning constitutional (trying to be polite here) and having had a glass of water. If there is an inaccuracy, it should be the same each time. So watching my bodyfat go from 33% to 18% meant I lost fat. It doesn't matter to me if my BF actually went from 30% to 15% or whatever.

I set up a spreadsheet to track my weight and %BF and it calculates my lean mass in pounds and fat mass in pounds. I agree it's not necessary to track BF, but for me it was motivating.

I suspect a tape measre comparing wrist, waist, bicep and flexed bicep, or other measurements would be pretty good too.
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NewYorker

New York, USA

I haven't found the Tanita scales to be accurate, either as a relative or absolute measure.
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HeavyHitter32

I find my Tanita scale to be fairly accurate in terms of trending.

If I am getting fatter, there is a trend with the BF%.

I am getting leaner, the trend can be seen there.

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Hitit

NewYorker wrote:
I haven't found the Tanita scales to be accurate, either as a relative or absolute measure.


Is there another scale that is accurate?
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Hitit

perrymk wrote:
Hitit wrote:
What Tanita scale is recommended as the most accurate?

I'm sure the ones with handles as well as foot pads would be more accurate, but I don't have one of those. The last time I checked their website Tanita claimed accuracy to within plus/minus 3%. They also have scales with an athletic mode to account for the additional lean mass of athletes.

IMO the key to using a bodyfat scale is consistency. That is, use it under the same conditions each time. I use mine on Monday morning after a morning constitutional (trying to be polite here) and having had a glass of water. If there is an inaccuracy, it should be the same each time. So watching my bodyfat go from 33% to 18% meant I lost fat. It doesn't matter to me if my BF actually went from 30% to 15% or whatever.

I set up a spreadsheet to track my weight and %BF and it calculates my lean mass in pounds and fat mass in pounds. I agree it's not necessary to track BF, but for me it was motivating.

I suspect a tape measre comparing wrist, waist, bicep and flexed bicep, or other measurements would be pretty good too.


Yea I see the value in doing comparisons but I would like to find a scale that may indicate the correct current BF if there is one.
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