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# Any ladies in the ballpark of 5'3 and 120 lbs .... how many calories do you consume in a day?

Answered on April 17, 2014
Created April 17, 2014 at 3:06 AM

I've been told by multiple online calorie calculators that I must consume under 1300 to maintain. I'm currently eating around 1500 AT LEAST, most of the time probably around 1700. I wonder what the discrepancy is? 1300 seems like such little food, even for someone with a slow metabolism.

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(1974)

on April 17, 2014
at 09:45 PM

I am a female 5'8, 125-130lbs and maintain at around 2000kCal/day. I run a few miles every other day and have to walk a bit at work. I agree with the others that you probably need at least over 1500kCal a day to maintain.

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(1007)

on April 17, 2014
at 02:12 PM

Female, 5'4", 135-140#s varying. I maintain at around 2000kCal/day plus or minus depending how much phys activity I have. I think the guys are right, that the calculators are probably just showing you BMR needs. 1700 sounds like a better ballpark for an awake human female.

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(19413)

on April 17, 2014
at 11:38 AM

You're confusing your Basal Metabolic Rate with your actual need. BMR is how many calories you need to stay in bed, unconscious for 24h straight.

Here's a decent BMR calculator:

You'd then need to multiply that number by how active you are, here's some guidelines:

Even if you were sedentary, you'd multiply that 1300 by 1.2 and you'd get nearly 1600 calories per day.

Also, it's not about counting calories, while the BMR calculators and the HB equation is correct, calories-in-calories-out is a myth. It doesn't work like that. Your hormones dictate how you use your food, and you cannot extract 100% of the calories in your food - our guts don't absorb 100%.

To prove this, you know that you consume far less calories when you sleep - infact, that's what the BMR is - when you sleep, you consume far less than when awake. By that logic, to burn more calories, you should stay awake for 48hours at a time. But if you do that, two things will happen: 1) you'll become as insulin resistant as a Type 2 diabetic, and 2) your body will force you to eat a lot more in order to stay awake.

So really and truly, use these things as rough guidelines. Weighing and measuring your food isn't optimal, and isn't going to work in the long run. Instead, chose the proper macro ratios for your needs. Start with protein - eat 3 palm sized hunks of meat per day. Then add fats first, and then carbs for your needs to lose fat. If you do intense workouts such as crossfit, and often, eat lots of carbs. If you don't, eat fewer.

Your macros should be such that you don't feel hungry again half an hour later (i.e. like you would if you ate a large bowl of pasta or rice), and you'd want your food to be nutrient dense, not necessarily macronutrient dense.

Try this for a macro ratio that might work:

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(41757)

on April 17, 2014
at 11:33 AM

Not a lady but, are you confusing maintenance with BMR?

I ran your numbers (estimating age to 30) through this calculator and got a BMR of 1375. Now… to get your TDEE (maintenance calories) you multiply by an activity factor (which you can only guess at). Usually 1.2 if sedentary, 1.4 is normal, 1.5 or more if very active everyday. Normal activity levels puts you at TDEE of 1925.

Maintaining at 1300 is nonsense. Most women have TDEEs of 1800-2200 calories, a 2000 calorie is normal! You're still undereating at 1500 calories even if sedentary, eat more if you want to maintain.