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    Is there a mininum calorie requisite for losing weight?

    Asked Apr 10, 2008, 06:13 AM 4 Answers
    I am 54 and quit smoking 5 months ago. When I first quit I stopped exercising for a couple of months and gained about 15 pounds. For the last 6 weeks I have started a nutrition/calorie counting program and work out 2/3 times a week. I have stopped my weight gain cold, but have not been able to lose much, if any. Though I am getting in better shape and stronger through weight training and jogging/walking. Still no weight loss and I am about 268 pounds and 6'2" would like to get under 250 (where I was at before quitting smoking), then go from there.

    I average less than 1400 calories a day and am getting good nutritional grades from my program. With my size should I increase my caloric intake to a certain level to increase weight loss? No one has been able to tell me or am I doing the right things and just need to be more patient.

    Last edited by Dr Watson; Apr 10, 2008 at 08:10 AM.
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    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,489, Reputation: 1952
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    #2

    Apr 10, 2008, 06:31 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Watson
    I am 54 and quit smoking 5 months ago. When I first quit I stopped exercising for a couple of months and gained about 15 pounds. For the last 6 weeks I have started a nutrition/calorie counting program and work out 2/3 times a week. I have stopped my weight gain cold, but have not been able to lose much, if any. Though I am getting in better shape and stronger thru weight training and jogging/walking. Still no weight loss and I am about 268 pounds and 6'2" would like to get under 250 (where I was at before quitting smoking), then go from there.

    I average less than 1400 calories a day and am getting good nutritional grades from my program. With my size should I increase my caloric intake to a certain level to increase weight loss? No one has been able to tell me or am I doing the right things and just need to be more patient.
    Congrats on your good choices to improve your health! 1400 is quite low, especially when you consider the exercise program as well. When you go too low, and it can vary from person to person what is too low, you can cause your body to actually hold onto the weight as a form of self-preservation. It is not uncommon to plateau once in awhile, sometimes just mixing up your exercise routine, or trying something different can get things going again.
    Also, consider that you are working out and building muscle mass... this will weigh more than fat. Due to this, it is important to not look too much at the weight perse, but what changes you see in your body. How are your clothes fitting now? How do you feel in general? How is your stamina?
    Look to the foods you are eating... get your fill of fresh fruits and veggies. Go for whole grains, and foods in their natural state as much as possible. Avoid most packaged foods, hidden sugars, trans fats, and foods that offer little nutritional value... a trade off happens sometimes, such as nuts, high calories/fat but excellent source of some important nutritional needs... so some high calorie or fat items are not necessarily bad if you don't overdue. Doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of things you like once in awhile, just have them in moderation and fill up on the good foods... and don't overlook the importance of staying well hydrated.
    Slow and steady is the way to go... making changes you can actually live with will get your to your goal and keep you there. Keep up the good work!
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    Dr Watson's Avatar
    Dr Watson Posts: 26, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Apr 11, 2008, 05:37 AM
    Why is staying hydrated important? And should I increase my caloric intake? I think I am doing the right things. Though I haven't lost much weight, my clothes are fitting better and I acutally feel great. The right foods are helping. I think I could raise my daily calories, by just having a steak or pork chop grilled at night with a vegetable, after working out. Or is that wrong too?
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    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,489, Reputation: 1952
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    #4

    Apr 11, 2008, 09:14 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Watson
    Why is staying hydrated important? And should I increase my caloric intake? I think I am doing the right things. Though I haven't lost much weight, my clothes are fitting better and I acutally feel great. The right foods are helping. I think I could raise my daily calories, by just having a steak or pork chop grilled at nite with a vegetable, after working out. Or is that wrong too?
    Having an adequate intake of fluids, especially water, helps with the way your body functions. As far as dieting and exercise, it helps with digestion, how nutrients are processed, and it can help with avoiding some common aches and pains. Often when someone feels hungry, it is not hunger but thirst, but you eat instead... taking in unnecessary calories.
    As far as how many calories, it will vary depending on how much exercise you are doing... building muscle requires more calories as muscle will burn calories faster. If you don't take in enough, you can lose muscle as your body will hold onto the fat at a certain point... losing muscle can cause a slow down in your metabolism thus slowing down weight loss.
    Since you are feeling good, and notice the changes your body is making in the way your clothes fit, you may fine in your calorie intake... are you under a doctor's supervision with the level you are at now? Often you will see it recommended not to go below around 1600(for men) when trying to lose weight, but it depends on what sort of program or supervision you are following. At 1400 calories, you can likely afford to enjoy a bit more once in awhile... like that occasional steak... just remember, it doesn't have to be a 24 ounce one!
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    boredINmind's Avatar
    boredINmind Posts: 87, Reputation: 2
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    #5

    Apr 22, 2008, 03:03 AM
    Many diets suggest having a day or two a week that you eat regularly in order to help with the plateauing, this doesn't mean pig out, just have a nice big meal for a change.

    Also you need to bounce around with your exercising, so for example, one day jog, the next weight train, the next bike, and repeat. You have to rotate your exercising plans. And after a while you will begin to gain muscle, then you need to add intensity or else you won't be doing anything to build muscle, you will just keep what you have.

    Another thing to think about is LOSE THE SCALE, don't worry about what the scale saying, you are not losing weight because you are gaining muscle (weighs more than fat). If you are looking and feeling better than you are healthier and that is the goal.

    CONGRATULATIONS ON QUITING SMOKING, MY HANDS GO UP TO YOU!!
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