Weight loss calculator: How many calories do you need?

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If you are planning to lose weight then you should know how many calories per day you need to maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that calorie restrictive diets work extremely well, but only when they are followed! The problem with implementing a calorie restrictive diet is twofold:

  1. People often overestimate the amount of food that they require
  2. People underestimate the amount of restriction that is required

Below we share daily calorie tables and then provide advice on how to use this information to lose weight.

Remember that these are just average figures so you may require more or less than the calories stated here. If you wish to have a more accurate figure then read our page Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Explained. Both of these are good weight loss calculators.

Also, you only need the higher figure on the days that you are most active. Doing 2 intensive workouts each week does not mean you need maximum calories on the other 5 days. If you need help with developing a diet plan take a look at our personalized weight loss plan - we do all the hard work for you and provide you with support for the next 6 months. If you want to learn more about healthy weight loss start here: How To Lose Belly Fat, or carry on to the calorie tables below.


Daily Calorie Needs for Females

Important: these are averages and provide a guideline only.

Age/years Sedentary Low activity High activity
2-3 1100 1250 1400
4-5 1200 1350 1500
6-7 1300 1500 1700
8-9 1400 1600 1850
10-11 1500 1800 2050
12-13 1700 2000 2250
14-16 1750 2100 2350
17-18 1750 2100 2400
19-30 1900 2100 2350
31-50 1800 2000 2250
51-70 1650 1850 2100
71+ 1550 1750 2000

Daily Calorie Needs for Males

Age/years Sedentary Low activity High activity
2-3 1100 1350 1500
4-5 1250 1450 1650
6-7 1400 1600 1800
8-9 1500 1750 2000
10-11 1700 2000 2300
12-13 1900 2250 2600
14-16 2300 2700 3100
17-18 2450 2900 3300
19-30 2500 2700 3000
31-50 2350 2600 2900
51-70 2150 2350 2650
71+ 2000 2200 2500


How Many Calories Do You Need to Reduce By?

In weight loss studies carried out by health scientists, women who ate 1000 calories less than their daily requirement lost around 2 pounds per week. This is considered a healthy and sustainable level of weight loss. The same rule applies to men. So, how many calories should you be eating?
The following two tables show the average calories requirements for males and females at various ages for varying levels of activity, i.e. sedentary (no exercise, rarely active), low activity (walking, housework, some play) and high activity (regular exercise, generally more active in work and life).

This is a general guide to the amount of calories you need to be in deficit to lose a specific amount of weight:

  • If you are in a deficit of 500 calories per day you will lose approximately 1 pound per week
  • A calorie deficit of 750 calories will help you lose about 1.5 pounds per week
  • A calorie deficit of 1000 calories will help you lose about 2 pounds per week (about 1 kg weight loss per week)
  • To lose 20 pounds in a year you will need to eat 200 calories less per day than you were eating when your weight was stable
  • To lose 20 pounds in 1 month you would need to eat 2400 calories less per day (this is why very overweight people who have been eating around 4000 calories per day can lose weight quicker than lighter people, as they can reduce their intake by 2400 calories per day and still eat enough to sustain themselves).

Exercise Does Not Require Many More Calories

What often strikes people who are new to dieting and exercise is that the high activity group do not require many more calories than the low activity group. Being very active adds 300 calories for men and 250 calories for women (compared to low activity), although during the teenage years the difference is higher.

This is the equivalent of a sandwich or a large white coffee in terms of food energy. This is why it is very important that you do not eat more food just because you are exercising! The exercise creates a calorie deficit but if you eat more to compensate you will fail to lose weight.

We have included information on activity calorie burn (calories burned for different exercises) in our article on What is the Best Exercise to Help Lose Weight?

Calorie Requirements for Teenagers

We have highlighted the calories needs of teenagers as this is a very important time during a persons development, and also a time when many people start to become more aware of their bodies.

Few teenagers are aware that their calorie needs are higher than that of any other age group, and for very active teens, such as those that play sports or are practicing martial arts or are learning to dance, they need around 500-600 more calories a day than their sedentary peers.

Also during this time the quality of energy consumed must be high as there are many nutritional requirements for healthy growth and development. What is very worrying is the trend for many teens to skip meals to keep their weight down. They could be setting themselves up for long term health problems as well as stunted growth. We have a page dedicated to teenagers here: Diet and Weight Loss Advice for Teenagers.

Calorie Needs As We Get Older

For a woman in her 30′s that is not exercising, 2000 calories a day is enough to maintain weight. To lose 2 pounds per week she needs to reduce her daily calories by 1000, which means consuming 1000 calories a day. If she is exercising 3-4 times a week then she can eat 1250 calories per day.

This may seem low, but it is how our bodies work. To lose weight you need to restrict calories, this is what is meant by a calorie deficit. Eating healthier foods help too. Lean proteins will be used to build new muscle tissue. Fresh fruits and vegetables will contain fiber that aids digestion and are full of essential vitamins and minerals. However, bread is full of energy (around 100 calories per slice) and has little of nutritional value.

Losing weight is certainly not just about counting calories, it is about eating a balanced diet and exercising too. Remember, that diet without exercise almost always leads to eventual weight loss failure – see our article MotleyHealth’s Guide To Losing Weight to learn why.

Calories in Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat

a Calorie and Nutrition Label

Typical Calorie and Nutrition Label

If you are counting calories to aid weight loss, then knowing how many calories are in carbohydrates, proteins and fats can help you to calculate how much you need of each of the main food groups (macronutrients).

  • Protein has 4 Calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates has 4 Calories per gram
  • Fat has 9 Calories per gram
  • Alcohol has 7 Calories per gram

At first glance you may think that the best way to create an energy deficit is to eat more carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are equal. To lose weight while eating carbs you need to eat low GI carbohydrates (effectively they contain less sugar) which tend to have higher fiber content, which means that you do not absorb so much of the energy.

All food that you consume is either used immediately as energy by the body or it is stored as fat for the future. So, you put on weight when you eat more than you burn, you maintain your weight when you eat as much as you burn, and you lose weight when you eat less than you burn. Understanding this is the key to losing belly fat and losing weight.

If you look at the calories in fat, it quickly becomes obvious why there has been such an emphasis on eating low fat foods in recent decades. Fat has more than twice as many calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein. A healthy and well balanced diet will have adequate macro-nutrients and still allow weight loss to occur.

So swapping fatty food for carbohydrate or proteins means that you can eat the same weight in food and take in less calories. Unfortunately, the health food industry has taken advantage of this basic fact and produced many foods that are low in fat but far higher in sugars than traditional home cooked meals ever were. Read Sugar, Carbohydrates and Your Health to learn more about this.


Structure Your Life

To lose weight you need to start to structure your life. You need to plan what you are going to eat each day so that you do not end up snacking on junk food when your fridge gets empty. You need to plan each exercise session in advance so that you never put off exercising because you cannot think what to do.

Ideally you should have a list of 5 or so workouts that you enjoy following, whether they be bodyweight exercisescircuit training workoutsweight training workouts or just sessions on the elliptical trainer. This ensures that you can get variety in your new lifestyle and this helps you to stay interested.

If you plan your weight loss well, and understand the role of calorie restriction and exercise in losing weight, then there is no reason why you cannot lose 100 pounds in 2 years. It will not be an easy task, but it will be extremely rewarding, and possibly the best thing you ever do.

2 years may seem like a long time to wait, but this is really the only healthy way to lose 100 pounds, and it will fly by. You will also start to get fit and reduce your risk of many serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Create An Energy Deficit

If there is one rule that applies to every single overweight person it is this:

  • To lose weight you must create an energy deficit

It is really that simple! Although as we all know, implementing a theory is never as easy as writing it down.

The amount of energy you consume is entirely related to what you eat and drink. So the first step in losing weight is to determine how much you are eating and make a guesstimate at how much you need.

Permanent Lifestyle Changes

OK, simply eating less will work, but not as effectively as eating less and exercising. When you consistently eat less food than you need you are in an energy deficit and you will lose weight, but your metabolism will slow down, i.e. your resting metabolism rate will reduce.

This means that you will burn less energy throughout the day, which reduces your requirements even more, so you stop losing weight. Then you have to eat even less, and the cycle continues until a point where you are not receiving enough nutrients and vitamins to maintain a healthy body.

By exercising while dieting you keep your metabolism high and you build new muscle tissue which requires energy. By increasing your metabolism you can more easily adjust your diet slightly to make changes to your daily energy deficit.

It is recommended that you make permanent lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight at a steady rate. Generally it is advisable to aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week (0.5 – 1kg per week).

Do not forget that there are a lot of calories in alcohol, especially beer. Just a few beers a week can put you over your daily energy requirements and stop you from losing weight. For example, drinking one glass of wine per day is enough to add 14 pounds of weight over a year. One bottle of wine has as many calories as a large meal. So if you are serious about losing weight you need to ensure that you are losing weight every day of the week. This is why diets such as the Dukan Diet are so successful, because they encourage you to give up alcohol completely.

Calories Are Hard To Count

The order in which food is presented to you can determine how many calories you think it contains. If you are shown a low calorie fruit salad and then a burger you are likely to think that the meal contains more calories than if you see a burger followed by a high calorie cheesecake.

Research published in the Journal of Consumer Research explains that simply changing the order in which 2 meals were shown to a person would significantly alter their perception of how many calories were in that meal.

This discovery could explain why so many people eat too much food and put on weight, especially those that love desserts.

For example, when people were shown a cheeseburger they estimated that it contained 570 calories, whereas when shown a salad first and then a cheeseburger, they thought that the cheeseburger contained 787 calories. Just by looking at another meal they thought that the cheeseburger contained more energy than it actually did.

“The sequence in which items are considered often influences our evaluations of these items” – Alexander Chernev, Northwestern University.

Just by changing the order in which the meals were viewed changed the perceived calories from 757 to 1,097 calories.

Self Regulation of Consumption

This research suggests that understanding this principal can help people to self regulate their food consumption which should reduce overeating. If you are trying to lose weight then eating main courses and then desserts will probably result in you underestimating how much food you are eating, and you will fail to lose weight.

Diet is the main cause of obesity and weight problems, but many people do not realise that this is the case. Also, many people really think that they are not overeating even though their weight problem is clear evidence that they are.

So next time you are shopping or ordering a meal, look at the starters first and then the main meal and think about how many calories they contain. Maybe this will help you to determine how much you should be eating.

This could also explain why people that love desserts are more likely to be overweight. They simply underestimate the amount of food that they are eating.

Using Calorie Counters

Counting calories is now easier than ever. Not so long ago the only way to record how many calories you had consumed was to use calorie tables in books and then manually calculate how many calories you had taken in. Today there are many computerized calorie counters. While there are many tools on the Internet, there also seems to be a new smartphone application each week, with tools for iPhone, Android and tablets.

The wonderful thing about modern calorie counters is that all you need to do is input the amount of food you have eaten and the computer will take care of the rest. Some will provide an estimation of nutrient intake too.

iPhone Apps

  • MyFitnessPal - claimed to be the easiest app to use on the iPhone to track your diet and fitness. It has a huge database of over a million foods and a user friendly food and exercise log to help you keep track of what you are eating and doing.
  • Calorie Tracker – this is a free app which calculates fat, protein and carbohydrate intake as well as calories.
  • 40·30·30 – this is a clever app as it will display the proportion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates that you are eating so that you can attempt to stay within the idea zone for each. It supports both scientific and standard values.

Android Apps

  • Fast Food Calorie Counter – this specifically records calories from fast food meals.
  • Calorie Counter by FatSecret - this app displays full nutritional facts for a huge range of foods and meals.
  • Absolute Fitness – a simple user interface provides easy diet logging and management. You can export the data too.

Website Calorie Counters

Many websites have calorie counters on them, these are the ones we trust the most:

  • Everydayhealth.com – a free online calorie counter. You need to set up a journal to start counting.
  • Myfoodapedia.gov - just enter the food you eat and it returns nutritional information.

Charts and Tables

If you prefer to look up the foods on a table or in a book, then these are for you:

What to do if you are 100 Pounds Overweight

Most people that want to lose weight only have 20 or 30 pounds to lose. However, as obesity rates continue to rise, more and more people need to lose up to, and often over, 100 pounds of body fat to reach their ideal, healthy weight.

100 pounds (or 45kg, just over 7 stone) is a huge amount of weight to shift. But it is certainly not impossible. In fact, Anthony Hopkins lost 80 pounds over a 2 year period just by walking and eating a low calorie but healthy diet. Sir Anthony only lost 2/3 of a pound a week, so following his 1800 calorie a day diet could take up to 3 years to lose 100 pounds.

To lose 100 pounds within a 2 year period requires you to average 1 pound a week. This is possible by consuming approximately 500 calories a day less than your daily requirement.

When you are so overweight, losing weight is actually easy, in theory. All you need to do is consume less calories than the average person of your age requires to sustain their current weight. However, as you carry so much excess weight, you should actually lose weight quicker than normal to start with. The secret to successful weight loss is to stick to the plan.

For example, an average 50 year old woman that is sedentary (never exercises, hardly walks) requires around 1800 calories a day. If you are 100 pounds overweight you are probably eating at least double this every day. So the first step is to reduce your diet down to 1800 calories a day, but make sure those 1800 calories are all healthy foods – fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, lean meats, fish and dairy.

As soon as you start doing some moderate exercise, say walking everyday plus some structured exercise 3 times a week, your daily needs increase to 2000 calories. Anthony Hopkins consumed 1800 calories a day, which is certainly not a very restrictive diet.

1500 Calories a Day With Exercise

So if your aim is to lose 1 pound a week until you reach your 100 pound weight loss, then you should eat around 1500 calories a day and exercise on a regular basis.

Your diet should be healthy and balanced. This means you should avoid sugar and saturated fats, and instead eat mostly low GI vegetables, fresh fruits, lean meat, fish and drink mostly water, tea and coffee.

For exercise you should aim to walk for a minimum of 15 minutes every single day. Plus also perform a 30 minute workout 3 times a week, or as you get fitter you can do a shorter but more intensive workout 5-6 times a week. This helps you to maintain a higher metabolism and so burn more fat.

It is important to see your doctor before you start a weight loss plan that will see you losing so much weight. If you have not done any exercise for many years then it is wise to get some professional medical advice. Generally a walking program is suitable for most people that are very overweight.


“Semantic Anchoring in Sequential Evaluations of Vices and Virtues.” by Alexander Chernev. Journal of Consumer Research: February 2011. A preprint of this article can be found at http://journals.uchicago.edu/jcr.

  401 comments for “Weight loss calculator: How many calories do you need?

  1. maggie
    November 19, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Thank you. and i really appriciate it. i will do what u said, but is it okay if i check in every week with a representative with email and get encouragement and to be true to what i am starting? thank u again!

  2. MotleyHealth
    November 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Maggie, we currently do not offer one-to-one support, although this is something we hope to do in the future if there is enough demand. For now it is best to update us on progress here. This page is designed to allow people to ask diet related questions, so you could check in here each week: Diet Questions and Answer Forum.

  3. Jiuu
    December 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    It doesnt show for teens

  4. Cimarron
    March 31, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Hi there,

    I eat between 900-1600 calories a day on average, and I’m gaining weight. I’m 23, I weigh 124lbs, and I’m female. I feel like eating 2,000 calories seems like a ridiculous proposition. Is that really what is recommended for an average young woman?!

  5. MotleyHealth
    March 31, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Hi Cimarron, yes that is the recommended calorie intake for an average woman. If you are a smaller build than average then you may require less. Your weight seems good at the moment, although without knowing how tall you are it is impossible to say for sure. If you are only gaining a little weight then get more active and that should stop that. Counting calories is very hard to do accurately and many people under estimate how many calories they have each day, so it really is likely that you are getting a little more on average than you think – especially if you are gaining weight.

  6. Denise
    May 27, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Is it true that metabolism slows down around age 30 for women? I am 31 years old, apple shaped and my height is 4’11. I’m overweight and having the hardest time losing weight. I have been walking and jogging and weight loss is slow.

  7. MotleyHealth
    May 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Denise. Metabolism does slow down as we all age, more so for women. Metabolism is largely governed by total muscle mass, so as people become less active muscle wastage occurs, lowering metabolism. Men have an advantage because they produce testosterone which aids muscle development.

    Weight loss is often slow, just focus on getting yourself fitter and stronger. Consider some bodyweight exercises too as these will activate more muscles and increase total muscle mass.

    Diet is also very important. Remember that a lower metabolism does not cause you to gain weight – it is continuing to eat the same number of calories after your metabolism has reduced that leads to weight gain. Reducing total calories will help too, and eating the right types of food will help you to manage your appetite.

  8. Elana
    July 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

    According to this, since I’m 36, I only need 1800 calories to maintain my weight. So, to lose 2 lbs a week I only need 800 calories per day? I am sedentary due to a physical disability.

  9. MotleyHealth
    July 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

    That is correct, although consuming such a small amount may leave you malnourished as it could be hard to have a balanced diet on only 800 calories a day. Generally the minimum recommended daily intake is 1200 Calories a day.

  10. Anne Lyken-Garner
    September 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Great article. What most interests me is the calories intake for a woman in her 30s. I like the fact that you said diet without exercise won’t help to stave off the weight in the long-run. I tell people this too.

    Also, diet without exercise will make you lose skin firmness. Women hate saggy flesh, but this is exactly what they’ll get if they diet and do no exercise whatsoever.

  11. Dani
    October 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I just wanted a little more accurate count for the calories I need. I am 15, 5’2 and female. I am not very active due to lack of time in the day. How many calories do I need per day? The chart says I need 1750, but I eat less than that and I’m still gaining weight. Thank you!!

  12. MotleyHealth
    October 30, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Dani, the table is just a guide. Also, what do you mean by “gaining weight”? You are at an age where you are going to be growing and developing fast. Weight gain is natural and expected. However, you really should make the time to exercise. Nobody is too busy to exercise. If Barack Obama can find time, so can you!

  13. Olga
    November 17, 2011 at 3:39 am

    OK, I am 34 but cannot decide when I am doing low activity and when high. I have started an fitness class in town, it is 45 minutes of lightish cardio. So do I need 2000 or 2250 calories? I was thinking of just trying to limit to 1500 calories a day but is that too little? Also, what about the other days? I guess I am sedentary on those other days?

  14. MotleyHealth
    November 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    That is a fair point Olga, and it is hard to know the difference. I classify light activity as anything that does not lead to sweating and heavy breathing, so walking, gardening, light aerobics, yoga etc. Anything that results in heavy sweating and being out of breath is high activity level.

  15. MotleyHealth
    November 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Mind you, a workout can involve both, so another question is, how long do you need to sweat for before a workout moves from low activity to high? Unfortunately I do not have an answer for that.

  16. robs
    November 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Hi I’m a 30 year old female and weigh 10 stone 9 at the moment I am 5ft 8 but am out of shape and have a lot of fat around my belly I need to loose a stone or near to that I have ten weeks to do this please can you advise me how many calories can I eat per day to do this x

  17. MotleyHealth
    November 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Robs, to lose 14 pounds (1 stone) you need to create a calorie deficit of 49,000 Calories (3500 * 14). So over 70 days (10 weeks) that is a daily calorie deficit of 700 Calories.

    If you exercise well everyday (high activity) then you will need to consume 2300 Calories a day (3000 Calories – 700 Calories). On low activity days this will drop to 2000 Calories, and on days when you do nothing, 1800 Calories.

    Remember, these figures are all averages based on your age only (not your height or current fitness levels) and the assumption that there are 3500 Calories in 1 pound of body fat.

  18. megha george
    November 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I am 19yrs old girl and of 66kilo weight…
    i want to know dat how much calories should have to burn in one day for reducing my weight in one week?? And what all food have to avoid..???

  19. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

    A good target is 500 Calories per day deficit, which is generally split between exercise (a few hundred calories in an hour) and diet. Foods to avoid is all junk food, processed food, candy, soda and ideally all high GI foods.

  20. megha george
    November 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    im using orbitrack and trying to reduce 1000 calories per day…this was started recently…and i want to reduce 5kg per week…is dat possible???

  21. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    No, it is not possible.

  22. Demi
    December 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I weigh at around 8 stone 5 and am really trying to lose weight as though it doesn’t sound much my stomach is really showing and I need to lose stomach fat QUICKLY… how is the best way to do this, because when I’m at college I often can’t pick what food is on and sometimes things like fish are all gone when I’m in for lunch!

  23. MotleyHealth
    December 6, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Hi Demi, just start doing more exercise. Join a sports and fitness club at college and exercise a few times a week. Try to make some healthier diet choices whenever you can and cut out as much junk food and soda as possible.

  24. shawn
    December 15, 2011 at 4:26 am

    I am a 29 year old male, im 5 foot 4 and I weigh 202 pounds. Ive been working out for two weeks now with weights and cardio. I now eat about 1700 calories a day ( I eat a lot of protein, egg whites, fish, protein bar, chicken etc etc). I work out six days a week. Every other day I do weights (40 minutes) and finish off with 15 minutes on the treadmill. The days in between I do just cardio on the treadmill. I do 30 minutes and burn approx 325 calories jogging at approx 4.0 mph. I feel like im getting enough food..so is this a safe and sufficient amount of calories that Im taking in?

  25. MotleyHealth
    December 15, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Hi Shawn, it is probably safe yes. It is over a 1000 Calories fewer than what you officially need. If you cannot sustain this for a long time you know that you can increase calories and still be running a deficit. You should be losing weight quickly on this regime.

  26. Renae
    December 25, 2011 at 2:47 am


    I used to be in great shape and the last four years have been up and down for me, i am at my heaviest again. I enjoy working out, i have a treadmill and weights at my house, plus a member at the ymca. It seems like the minute i take one week off from working out, i am quick to gain 7- 8 pounds in that week alone and i am only 32 years old a female 5’7..I am 30 lbs over weight. I dont understand why i can gain weight so fast, how can i get my metabolism moving again? There has to be some natural way, i am able to run (2- 3) ten minute miles a day, plus lift three days a week. I just don’t understand why i can gain weight so fast and its noticeable and embarrassing for me

  27. MotleyHealth
    December 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Renae, the only real reason why you will gain weight quickly when you stop exercising is because you are eating too much. Maintain the exercise, work on getting fitter, but also reduce your portion sizes and cut back on snacking.

  28. Shay
    January 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Hi, I’m wondering how to shed my body fat down in the next two weeks so then the two weeks after tht I can build muscle and get lean, I’m not sure how much weight I have to loose, I’m 5’6 128 pounds and a few more weeks until I’m 17. Please help!

  29. MotleyHealth
    January 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Daily cardio and a lean diet. If you exercise for 2 hours a day and eat really lean, no bread etc. all vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, nuts, eggs etc. then you should lose as much as is possible.

  30. Mae
    January 7, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I’ve always been around 20-30 pounds from my ideal weight. I definitely want to reach my goal weight this year. My problem has always been belly fat. I’m really scared that if I just cut back on calories, I’m going to be left with extra flabby skin in the end. Are there any ways I can prevent this from happening? Thank you so much for your help!!

  31. MotleyHealth
    January 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Mae, there is no way to be sure that will not happen. A very healthy diet and regular, daily exercise will help. Exercise will help develop the muscles that tighten the skin. Lots of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins will also be essential.

  32. P. Flory
    January 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Just one of my meals alone each day is 3100 calories. I eat all day long. People watch like I’m a side show. So on average I consume way more than the average person in calories. I’m 5’2″ and weigh 121 pounds. Oh by the way if anyone thinks this is great, no it’s not. Very sedintary life style. Any thoughts? Been this way whole life. No thyroid problems ever detected.

  33. Dr.Aimal khan
    January 8, 2012 at 8:39 am

    how many calories need for any person on a day?
    I need and want form you to send me list of all kind vegetables and all kind of food and all kind of dry fruit and dry milk.

  34. MotleyHealth
    January 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Hi P. Flory, strange, but not completely unusual. I trust you have consulted a doctor recently?

  35. MotleyHealth
    January 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Dr. Khan, the average calories requirements are listed on this page. Age, gender and mass affect actual requirements. All kinds of vegetables, fruits and food? That would be a big list!

  36. holly
    January 14, 2012 at 12:19 am

    im 17 stone (238 lbs) and 19 years of age. about 5’6” tall and i’ve recently started dieting and exercise. im eating all low fat healthy things and my average calorie intake is between 500-1000 a day. i was just wondering if this was safe as some friends have warned me that my body will go into ‘starvation mode’ and i’ll actually put weight back on.

  37. MotleyHealth
    January 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Holly, 500-1000 is a very low calorie diet. It cannot give you enough nutrients. Really the you should not drop below 1200 Calories a day. Exercise is vital though – you must exercise every single day.

  38. Diane
    January 19, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Hi there..6I am 48 years of age, but am not defined by a number. I am 5’7″ in height, and weigh in at a lovely 164 lbs…Yuck…I use to workout 5 years ago, and weighed 135, I went back to college for four of those years and found I gained a little more each year. As of two weeks I began a modest diet, I tend to not count calories, as I don’t like junk food, and I do not drink alcohol, but love red meat, which I gave up, LOVE my coffee with it’s cream and sugar, but had a few bad days over that when I tossed it out. I have not experienced any hypotension, so I pretty much know my calories are okay….I stationary bike for usually 20 to 25 k a day, for 6 days a week, and alternate with lower and upper body workout every two days. I drink anywhere from 60 to 80 oz of H20 per day…Now for my questions….Is it possible to get my little 135 lb body back and toned with ample amount of time, or am I just kidding myself? Also, my genetics are great, and so is my frame of mind, so when do these radical changes occur? Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the workout and the bike, and am in it for the long haul, but will I see a difference in a few months on this road I’m on…..This nurse needs her break in the South, on a beach, with a bikini on her person and not in her hands….

    Thanking you in advance for your reply


  39. MotleyHealth
    January 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Diane, sounds to me that you are on the right track. Healthy diet, 20 km a day cycling, resistance exercises – it is just a matter of time. You will get your body back, so long as you stick to the plan. You should be able to lose a pound a week, you may lose more – impossible to say. Just keep working on it!

  40. Sharon
    January 21, 2012 at 3:23 am

    I am 58 years old, very active,weigh 165 lbs. For 6 weeks I have been taking in 1500-1700 calories daily,have been 45 minute workout with kettlebell (started with 5lbs., now doing 8lbs. The problem is I have not lost any weight,I do feel that I am more firm but am getting tired of getting on the scales and seeing no weight loss. Could it be my age? Is there any hope. I don’t want to give up, do you know anything I might do differently?

  41. Lauren
    January 21, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Hello, I’m headed to Jamaica in 2 months and recently had a baby id really love to loose 25lbs by then but I’m a little lost with how many calories i should be eating to get to my goal weight of 135. I’m 25 currently weight is approx 160 not really active since I work in an office setting sitting all day is there a certain # of calories I should be eating daily to reach my goal weight in 8 weeks?

  42. MotleyHealth
    January 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Sharon, give it time. It is frustrating when change does not happen immediately, or even after 6 weeks. But you have got fitter and stronger and this is the first step towards losing a few pounds an getting slimmer too. What sort of foods are making up your 1700 Calories? If too much easily digested carbohydrate then you may still be flooding your body with glucose which will keep the fat reserves topped up.

  43. MotleyHealth
    January 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Lauren, to lose 25 pounds in 8 weeks you need to lose over 3 pounds a week which is going to be extremely difficult. The general rule for fat loss is a 500 Calorie deficit leads to 1 pound fat loss per week. So you need to run a daily calorie deficit of 1500 Calories, which is a big task. If you can exercise intensively for 2 hours a day (2 one hour sessions) and burn 1000 Calories with exercise, every single day, and then only consume around 1400 Calories you may be able to do it (i.e. 1900 Calorie requirement, net Calories per day will be 400, so 1400 food – 1000 exercise).

    This is only an average and not a guarantee. It also means doing this every day, not just 4 or 5 days a week, but 7 days a week. One day of eating too much will stop weight loss. It is possible, but you have to be totally dedicated and determined.

  44. Debz
    January 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Hi there. I’m a 23 year old female, approx 170 lbs. I’m eating between 1,300 – 1,600 calories per day (rarely any junk food at all). I work out at the gym for 45 mins, 5 days per week, and do light walking/ gardening at the weekend.

    Can I lose approx 40 lbs within 6 months?

    Thank you! :-)

  45. MotleyHealth
    January 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Debz, possibly. You may be doing enough to lose 1.5 pounds a week which will allow you to achieve your target. Just monitor your progress. Also ensure that you are getting fitter – each week you should be able to work harder in those 45 minute sessions.

  46. Debz
    January 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for your speedy response and great advice. What can I do to lose 2 lbs per week? Less calorie intake or more time working out (or both)?
    Thanks again. Your advice really helps. :-)

  47. Linda Ryan
    January 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I have been counting calories on a website here, for the last two weeks, the first week I lost 1.8, now this week I am up about a 1lb. This is so discouraging. I am 51 years old female, struggling with weight all my life. since I turned 40 the weight does just not want to move. I am enrolled in a booty camp for two days a week, and an hour long Zumba class once a week. I walk my dog everyday for up to an hour. I consider myself to be close to highly active. This calorie count recommends around 1300 calories a day, with a weekly reduction of calories by about 10 cal a day, per week. Reading this article, I can eat a great deal more calories, am I not eating enough calories for the amount of exercise? Do you believe that fat turns into muscle therefore you weigh more? I find this hard to believe when a person has 30lbs or more to lose. They must lose lbs also don’t you think. So I am confused as to how many calories I need can you help

  48. MotleyHealth
    January 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Debz, both is best. Exercise for 60 minutes each day and eat fewer calories and you will lose weight.

  49. MotleyHealth
    January 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Linda. Highly active is a little ambiguous, but your daily regime is really not going to be classes as highly active. The best advice is really that you keep a good journal of everything you eat and drink and all the exercise / activities you do. Then monitor progress and if you are not losing weight make changes in your diet and increase exercise.

  50. Madde
    January 26, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Hello, im a 16 year old girl and ive pretty much been eating lots and lots of candy, chips, cookies etc since when i was like 8 or 9 and i have never really had a exercise routine. the problem is, i am not overweight and have never been at all, which im happy for. i have never had any health problems either. i am 161 cm and i weigh 56 kg. i do have a little bit of stomach fat, but i guess im not the only teenager with that problem. id like to loose it now to look a bit more fit and feel a little more good looking. i still dont really have a exercise routine but i do run sometimes when i feel like it, i sometimes do pushups, situps or leg exercises as well. simply when i feel like it. now my question is, about how long would it take for me to get in really good shape? with a decent muscle tone and less body fat.. ? i still dont eat perfect but i try to avoid sugary stuff, chips and all that. sometimes i find it really hard to not eat candy, i guess its somethin to do with comfort eating i dont know.. anyway.. do u have any tips to get in a good routine , both for diet and exercise? i think my problem is motivation , thx advance.. / Madde.. btw sorry my english isnt the best, i am from Sweden :)

  51. MotleyHealth
    January 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Madde, it sounds like regular exercise (every day) and a healthier diet will get you in shape pretty quick. With such a bad diet in the past you have done well not to gain too much weight. Exercise will tone you up. Running and some bodyweight exercises is a good combination. I would suggest that you start by alternating these exercises each day and see how that goes. How long? Depends on how much effort you put in. You do not need to lose much weight, just get fitter and healthier. At 16 you really need to improve your diet too, as your body needs good nutrition to develop properly – that means less junk and more vegetables, fruits and lean proteins.

  52. Cherie Ashe
    January 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Hello! I had a baby 14 months ago and lost 70 pounds since then. I’m proud of myself, but I still have 20 more that I would like to lose. I’m still seen as obese on the BMI chart, which is also frustrating since I’ve been working so hard. I’ve been eating right and exercising; I’m actually training for a 5k in March right now. I’m frustrated because I can’t seem to lose these last twenty pounds. I’m 5’7, weigh 200 pounds, and I’m large boned. I workout 4-5 times a week (usually 5). How can I lose these last few pounds? Am I eating enough? Two boiled eggs and an apple for breakfast, apple for snack #1, tuna, a salad and carrots for lunch, carrots for snack #2, yogurt snack #3, grilled chucked and veggies for dinner, and yogurt for snack #4. Please help…

  53. MotleyHealth
    January 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Cherie, well done for losing 70 pounds, great effort indeed! So, have you lost any weight in recent weeks and how long have you been on your current diet? How far are you running each day at the moment? Ideally you should be exercising daily for around 45 minutes and also maintain your diet 7 days a week. Are you doing this?

  54. Elana
    January 27, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Cherie, I would say that you should stick to one fruit per day and change the carrots to another veggie. Fruit and carrots have sugar, although natural, and can inhibit fat burning. Good luck!

  55. MotleyHealth
    January 27, 2012 at 4:06 am

    It is not just the type of fruit / vegetable but how it is prepared. Carrots when raw are low GI (low sugar), but when boiled they are high GI. The cooking of many vegetables helps to breakdown the carbs, it is a type of pre-digestion. This means that when you eat them you can digest them quicker, and this leads to a more rapid increase in insulin. This is why raw vegetables can be good at controlling weight. Same goes for pasta – al dente is actually not bad, boil it until soggy (as most people do) and it becomes high GI.

  56. Jami
    January 29, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Ok so I am trying to loose weight, but nothing seems to be working for me! Or maybe I am being too impatient? I started eating healthier and exercising Jan 6th this year I weighed 219 at that time, I am 5’10″, female and 33 y/o. I use my fitness pal on my ipod. It says that I should eat 1500 calories a day at times I eat less then that. The first two weeks I lost 13lbs……….but have lost nothing since, so please tell me what I am doing wrong?


  57. MotleyHealth
    January 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Jami, you have lost 13 pounds in 23 days – sounds like you are doing well. Maintain the diet and keep exercising – increase your workouts too. You will not have the same results each week, but so long as you are getting fitter and eat healthy you will eventually get in shape.

  58. Christie
    January 31, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Hi there, I’m just wondering if you have an opinion on the Hot Yoga craze and my diet plan. I enjoy taking the class (an hour/day) because I am aiming to get back my flexibility and range of motion…plus a little focused me time. I’m just unsure of the calorie burning potential as my chosen exercise for the day. I have only been back at this and “on my diet” for a few days. I highly doubt it’s upwards of 900 calories as the Hot Yoga enthusiasts boast, but I do find that my breath becomes heavy and my muscles quiver from lack of strength so I must be burning something. I am 32, 5’8 and currently 143lbs. My goal weight is 130-132 lbs and I am consuming a very calculated 1293 calories/day on the Zone Diet. I would like to achieve my goal weight by mid March. What do you think of this plan? and what about the Hot Yoga?

    Thanks for any input!!

  59. MotleyHealth
    January 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I have not actually done hot yoga, or even seen it in action. If the exercises are working your muscles well and you work up a sweat in normal conditions, then it should be sufficient. My wife did Ashtanga for a while and the many sun salutations really helped to burn the fat.

  60. Hugo
    February 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Hi, i am 16 year old male, but a late bloomer . i have never been fat, but in the last few years i have got a little chubby. I am 6 foot one, and weigh 76 kg. recently i have started to only eat between 4:39 pm and 10:00 pm, and in that time eat around 1500 calories. i lost half a stone in the first week, as i used to eat around 5000 calories a day. I have also started to do a 5km run 5 times a week, and do weight training. bench press, situps, bicep curls. i was just wondering how long it will take for me to get to a low enough body fat to see my abs? And start going from a pear shape to a v shape? Please don’t tell me this is unhealthy as i need to have a good body before my summer holiday with my friends. thanks Hugo.

  61. MotleyHealth
    February 3, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Hi Hugo, hard to say how long it will take, rather than worry about this just focus on getting fitter, getting stronger and eating healthy. Monitor your weight, your muscle growth and your diet so that you can make an informed decision when it is time to change something. 5000 Calories is a lot, so no surprise you put on some weight.

  62. raj
    February 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    hi m raj my current weight is 127 kg and height is 6 ft . and i want to reduce 45 kg in 1 year tell me how many calories i’ll need to achieve my goal with exercise

  63. MotleyHealth
    February 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Raj, if you are looking to lose around 1 kg a week (2 pounds a week) you need to restrict calories by around 1000 Calories a day. Depends partly on your age, but on days you are exercising hard then you need to have around 2000 Calories. See the charts above.

  64. Michelle
    February 11, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Hey, I’m 13 weighing 47 kg and around 155 cm. I have read your article several times, although I still don’t understand this: You have said cut away 1000 calories. I am sedentary for 2 more days, until I start the new school year, where I will be (probably) lightly active. According to your chart, to lose weight, I have to consume 700-1000 calories per day. I also read that people should not consume less than 1200 calories, but I assume that statistic changes for people below 18. And yes, I did read the category on teenager weight loss. I admit, I don’t know very much about this, which is exactly why I have started getting into it.
    So, if you ended up paying attention to my post, could you please give me some feedback? Would be greatly appreciated. ;)

  65. MotleyHealth
    February 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Michelle, a daily calorie deficit of 1000 Calories should result in a 2 pound a week weight loss. However, if you are sedentary most of the time this will not be a healthy way to lose weight. Also, as a teenager you do need more food and better nutrition to aid your growth and development. Focus on getting fitter and eating healthier and the rest will follow in time.

  66. shalini ahuja
    February 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    hello i am 115 punds in weigh and 22 yrs old . i lost 14 pounds through workout . and now due to being busy i could not do my workout . and i want to maintain this weight of mine.what should i do to maintain it .
    kindla help… plzzzzzzzzz. i dont want to be fat again .

  67. MotleyHealth
    February 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Shalini, you need to make your diet very healthy and not eat too much.

  68. shalini ahuja
    February 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

    how many calories do I need to maintain 115 pounds? I don’t have time for workouts. plzzzzz tell calorie intake of each day? what should I avoid?

  69. MotleyHealth
    February 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Shalini, it really is not as straight forward as that unfortunately. What you need to do is to maintain a healthy diet and control your own eating. See out diet and nutrition section for some articles on healthy eating. Unless you have a very efficient and accurate way to counting the calories in all the food you consume you will actually miscalculate. Also, all calorie figures are approximate.

    The best way for you is to simple monitor your weight often and if you increase above 115 pounds then you modify your diet.

    As for workouts – you really should make the time to do some exercise. Everyone has time to exercise, although you may have to make some little sacrifices.

  70. Cristian
    February 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Hey, ok so im 16, 17 in a month, i weight 220 im 6ft tall,im trying to lose weight to about 190.
    I Work out at the gym about 4-5 times a week for 1 hour
    According to this artice becasue of my age i should consume 2700 or 3100?
    Started the gym about 2 weeks ago, before that i didn’t do exercise
    Usually would eat out at least 3 times a week
    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated

  71. MotleyHealth
    February 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Christian, the most important thing for you at the moment is to focus on eating a healthy and balanced diet. If eating out means eating junk food you may want to change this habit. Those 2700-3100 Calories need to be all healthy with fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

  72. Mimi
    February 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Hi, I’m 30 year old, weighted 102 kg and 163 tall. Based on your table so I need to consume 800 calories a day. It’s too hard to do.
    I plan to loose 50 kg (around 100 lbs) by eating 1500 calories a day and workout (walk) twice a day each 20-30 minutes. After 3-4 weeks I want to make it 45-60 minutes.

    Is it possible for me to get my normal weight (53 kg) by doing my plan? Thank you.

  73. MotleyHealth
    February 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Mimi, the table is just a guide, it is generally not recommended to go below 1200 Calories a day. Your plan can work, it is wise to make long term plans that are manageable. Just keep walking daily and keep the diet healthy. As you lose weight and get fitter start to consider more intensive activities.

  74. victoria carr
    February 24, 2012 at 12:21 am

    this is so so so so wrong girls could work the same amount of accitivitys
    a day as boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. MotleyHealth
    February 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hi Victoria, this is not saying that girls cannot do as much exercise as boys, it is a guide to how many calories are needed. Girls / women are on average smaller than boys / men, and therefore require fewer calories each day.

  76. Aylish
    February 27, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Hi There,

    I am eating really clean and healthy…workout very hard 5days a week. 3 days weight training, 2 days intense intevals cardio for an hour or more and on Sundays I hike some pretty good terrain. I m 32yrs, 5’6 and 147lbs. I have noticed my clothes fit better and friends say I look fitter. Question is my measurments are the same as when I started 2 months ago and weight only changed by 3 lbs. How many calories should I be eating to lose 10 lbs in 8 weeks? Also why is there not more results so far?

  77. MotleyHealth
    February 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Aylish, it sounds like you are making good progress. If people have noticed that you look better and your clothes are fitting better then this would suggest that you are fitter and healthier, regardless of those stubborn measurements. At 147 pounds you are not overweight, so really your focus should be on improving fitness and maintaining a healthy diet. In time your body will adjust.

    As a rule of thumb, you need a daily calorie deficit of around 500 Calories to lose 1 pound per week. So to lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks you need to really be eating around 1500 – 1750 Calories a day, depending on how active you are on any given day.

  78. claud
    February 28, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Hi, I am an extremely active 37 year old female (5’2″ tall) and weigh 91k . I train 6 days a week, currently bodybuilding, and cardio on my none training day. I have already shed 70lbs over 2.5 years, but i need to lose around 19k. I am consuming around 1200 cals a day, with a diet of lean meats, vegetables, fruit and no bread.(i record everything i consume) Do you have any suggestions other than what i am already doing, to reduce the remaining weight i am looking to lose? Thanks

  79. MotleyHealth
    February 28, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Hi Claud, well, you have two options: 1. Do more exercise. 2. Eat less. OK, option 3 would be do a little more exercise and eat a little less!

    As you are already down to 1200 Kcal a day I would suggest adding some additional cardio to your weekly routine, maybe 2-3 sessions a week. It will mean exercising twice some days, but sometimes this is what has to be done.

  80. Candacejo
    March 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Please help! For the last six weeks I have used My Fitness Pal faithfully. Reduced my calorie intake to 1200 per day and I do aerobics every single day for at least 50 minutes. I do not use the extra calories that MFP gives as rewards for exercise, only occasionally. I am 50 years old, 5 feet tall and weigh 195…..I cannot tell you how discouraged I am to have not lost a single pound in these six weeks! I am beside myself this morning after getting on the scales again expecting a loss and only staying the same. I actually had a tiny loss last week of two pounds, my first loss at all, and then this morning I gained it back for no reason! Help!

  81. MotleyHealth
    March 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Hi Candacejo, how are you feeling though? 6 weeks of exercising and healthy eating must be having some positive benefits on your body. Just stick to the plan, it is certainly doing you good, assuming that you diet is healthy and that you have not just reduced the amount of food without improve quality too.

  82. Nicole
    March 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Hi, I am 30 year old female. I am 5’4 and weigh around 120lbs. I would like to lose between 5 and 8 pounds. I have been doing 45 minutes of intense cardio(running, stair master, elliptical) 5 days a week and yoga or pilates 2 days a week for the past month. I have been using myfitnesspal to log my calorie intake and exercise. I feel like I am doing everything right, but gaining weight! I am trying to lose my extra stomach fat. I am on a 1200 calorie plan plus extra for exercise, I usually burn about 200-300 calories per cardio session). I am always within my calorie limit for the day. What else can I do? Why am I gaining weight?

  83. MotleyHealth
    March 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Nicole, please explain what you mean by “a 1200 calorie plan plus extra for exercise”. How much extra? If you are gaining weight, and that weight is fat and not muscle, then you are eating too much food. There is no other possible explanation.

  84. Cindy
    March 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Just turned 51. 4’11″ 145. What is the recommendation for weight and calory. Plus sedentary.

  85. Joyce
    March 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I am so glad I found this site, it has given me so much inspiration. I am 55 and have type 2 diabetes and am about 4 stones overweight, I am only 5ft 2 and so it looks much worse! I also have an umbilicle hernia which I am terrified of having corrected because of being so big. I am a single mother to four children and do a part time job and although I walk and try to do some exercise it is very hard as most people would know when being so busy but, reading your informative pages and all of the comments and questions by others has given me a real boost. Thanks so much for this. I will now begin a proper diet and walk every day and hope that I can lose my 56lbs of unwanted fat within the next year. Once again, thanks so very much. Joyce.

  86. MotleyHealth
    March 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Cindy, according to the table. approx. 1650 Calories a day. For your height your weight should be between 92 lbs / 41.7 kg and 123 lbs / 55.7 kg, so maintain a healthy BMI.

  87. MotleyHealth
    March 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    We wish you the best of luck Joyce, just maintain the extra activity and exercise and keep eating healthy. More exercise and a healthier diet will also help you to control blood sugar levels better and this should improve your long term health.

  88. melissa
    March 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm


    i really enjoyed this article! im a 26 year old female who should be 145 pounds for my height but alas, i weigh 195. i recently reduced my calorie intake to 1200, and i do about 2 hours of cardio each morning,(im going to get my endurance up before incorperating strength training) burning about 600 to 650 calories per session. is this an apropriate plan to stick to? im just learning about health n fitness so any etra pointers are welcome

  89. MotleyHealth
    March 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Melissa, this is a good plan. As you get fitter you should be able to work more intensively and more economically. For now just keep doing it.

  90. Kate
    March 14, 2012 at 5:15 am

    I am 5’5, 124 pounds and a 19 year old female. I weighed the same amount in high school when I ran cross country and danced and was happy with my body and never gave too much thought about what I was eating, but since graduating I have found myself increasingly frustrated and unhappy with my weight/exercising/eating habits. Granted, I haven’t officially gained or lost any weight, but I am really worried that I am doing something wrong. Should I be trying to lose weight or start counting calories at age 19 and am at “healthy” weight, or is this just going to put me in a bad mental state about food for the rest of my life?

  91. MotleyHealth
    March 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Kate, you are a healthy weight now, so well done you! Do not worry. Just make sure that you remain active. As we move from teenage years to the 20′s we generally become less active. Maybe now is a good time to look to take up some active hobbies again, such as running or dance. Eating healthy is vital, it really does not take too many extra calories to start slowly gaining weight. Few overweight or obese people now in their 30′s got that way overnight. A pound a month over 10 years adds up (to 120 pounds!).

  92. Sarah
    March 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Hi, I’m 5’5″ and weigh 184 pounds. I have lost 30 pounds on and off over the last year and a half, and am now seriously wanting to lose 30 pounds in the next 4 or 5 months as I am sick of not being able to buy nice clothes. For the last 2 weeks I have been counting calories and am eating roughly 1650 calories per day (sometimes hungry at that) and working out in the gym 5/6 times a week burning 900+ calories. I weighed myself today and I have PUT ON 2 pounds!!!!
    I’m so annoyed and I just don’t understand what is happening… :-(

  93. MotleyHealth
    March 14, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Sarah, do not worry, stick to the plan. 2 pounds is not a lot. Did you weigh yourself the same time of day as normal? Remember, 1 litre of water weighs about 2 pounds, maybe you had a drink or two earlier and had not been to the loo yet? Or were still digesting some food? Do not worry – of you are eating healthy and exercising you will get there in the end.

  94. Ambrea
    March 15, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I have a question. I started eating better and excercising January 2nd. I a 5 feet, 5 inches tall and my starting weight was 269 lbs. I count calories and have stayed at 1500 calories per day. I walk 5 days a week for 90 minutes, go to the gym 4 days a week and do the eliptical for 20 minutes, the bike for 20 minutes and either walk the track for 10 minutes or lift weights for 10 minutes. I also do Just Dance 2 or Zumba on the wii 3 nights a week for about 30 minutes. I am drinking atleast 64oz of water each day, usually more. I have lost 12 lbs but I am wondering why I haven’t lost more. It has been 10 weeks and I was hoping to lose atleast 2 lbs a week. I am trying to lose 100 lbs in 14 months. Thanks

  95. MotleyHealth
    March 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Ambrea, hard to say to be honest, but if you are very active then you may possibly be mis-counting the calories. Studies show that people under-estimate calories very often. Take a look at all your meals for a day and look for places where you can cut back a little more.

  96. Judy
    March 17, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Hi, I’m trying to understand how to create an energy deficient . So if I consume 2,000 calories and burn 200 calories through exercise, will this create and energy deficient and allow me to lose weight?

  97. MotleyHealth
    March 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Judy, these really are just guidelines. Basically, that is right though. All an energy deficit is is when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current muscle and fat mass. Consume fewer and your body has to break down energy reserves.

    These charts take into account activity, so the high activity column indicates the amount you need to eat when exercising. You probably need to use the Low Activity column if you are burning 200 calories a day in exercise. So to lose weight, you actually need to consume fewer calories, say 1500 Calories a day.

  98. anop
    March 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I am glad I found this website I am 48 yr old female, weighing 214 lbs. Two weeks ago,I started 45 mins intense workout( its group excercise at the gym which is getting very popular in the neighborhood) 6 days a week( sunday closed). i have been going yoga 4 times a week and walking 3 miles for an hour 7 days a week.( thats the best I can go becuase of my Osteo) I keep my calorie log through myfitnesspal and keeping 1200 calories. But in 2 weeks I have lost only 2 lbs. Where I am doing wrong?
    According to you, how many calories I should eat to lose 20 in 6 weeks.

  99. April
    March 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I am in the same exact situation as Candacejo and feel her pain. I’m 54 years old and 5′ tall. I quit smoking, I know congratulations…blah blah blah, and gained 30 pounds. In the last year and a half I’ve managed to lose 10 pounds but then became stuck, no matter how good I tried to eat, so I also enlisted in myfitnesspal and cut my calories to 800 per day. Like Candecejo I did not eat more for my exercise rewards either and have not lost a pound! Telling her that she must feel better was a slap in the face. Nobody feels better when they can’t eat, have to exercise every waking moment and never sees results. At our age our BMR is only 1200 calories a day. How in the world can people our age and height lose any weight!!?

  100. MotleyHealth
    March 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Anop. You have lost at a rate of a pound a week already – that is good. To lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks you need to lose 3 1/3 pounds a week. This is going to be much more difficult. The only way though is to eat less and do more exercise. Sounds like you are doing a fair amount of exercise already though, so look again at diet. Not just total calories, but the type of food you are eating.

  101. MotleyHealth
    March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Hi April, stick to the plan. I have not used Myfitnesspal so cannot suggest why you are not losing weight. But, if you are really only eating 800 Calories a day and also exercising, then you must lose fat. It would be impossible not to. This suggests that your method of calculating calories may be wrong.

  102. anop
    March 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks for your reply! But how many calories was my question. Yes, I am eating healthy: Omelette with mushroom or spinach for breakfast, smoothies loaded with low GI fruits, protien pd shake given by trainer and home made soups( one bowl…differnt types…today i will be making Asparagus) with 5 sour dough crackers for dinner…this is a sample menu.

  103. MotleyHealth
    March 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Anop, how many calories in the protein shake your trainer gives? Your diet certainly looks healthy, and soup is a great way to ward off hunger. If you are having omelettes every day I am not sure that you need a protein shake too. Maybe reduce this if you are not losing much weight. Generally people take extra protein to grow muscle after doing a lot of weight training. If your goal is to lose fat then reducing calories may be more important, especially as you are getting an excellent source of protein from eggs. Also, how many smoothies? Low Gi fruits are good, but you can have too much of a good thing. These are the areas where we have to be careful. One extra glass could be the difference between losing more weight and remaining steady.

  104. lara
    March 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hi there.
    26, female and 5ft 10…71 kg. size 10/12. I generally do not watch what I eat, and I have put on 6kg in the last 3 yrs (2kg per year).
    I am just worried that I will be 80kg by the time im 31.

    I do not want to lose any weight as I still want a bit of fat on me, seeing as I am tall so I do not look too skinny.

    My question is, what can you recommend to maintain one’s weight without losing any.

    My fitness level is basic, I do situps 30mins 3 times a week, and I walk to and from work (10mins each way). I take the 4 flights of stairs as often as I can. Im just concerned that if I work out: cardio etc I will lose weight.

    Pls reply.

    Thanks :)

  105. anop
    March 22, 2012 at 5:01 am

    125 cal, per scoop and I am taking one scoop only.Yesterday and today I had one 100 cal toast with Almond butter for breakfast. Only one smoothie for lunch, which has low GI fruits and one green vegetable( either Kale or Spinach). To experiment I didn’t had smoothie today to see what happens tomorrow.

    I printed chart from your website and shared with my colleague at the gym. According to her, thinking I have sedantary life, i should have 1800 cal and then I should minus my exercise to lose weight. my roughly calorie burn is 300+ 280( exersise and walking). So please advise what is correct calorie intake for me? I will appreciate it!

  106. harshad patel
    March 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    hi, i am 27 years old. I am 5’8″ hight and 90 kilogram(198 pound)weight.
    I want to loss my weight 20 kilograms(45 pound). What should i do for this?
    Please reply

  107. MotleyHealth
    March 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Lara, perform weight training or bodyweight workouts and eat healthy and you will get leaner, fitter and healthier. 2 kg a year is not a lot, a little extra exercise should stop that dead.

  108. MotleyHealth
    March 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Anop, I would go with 1800 Calories and focus on the exercise.

  109. MotleyHealth
    March 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Harshad, to lose 20 kilos you are going to have to make some big changes. You need to radically change your diet – cut out all junk and reduce calories. Cut out most if not all bread too. Then get exercising, every day. And get more active in general, walk more etc. Do not spend any time sitting in front of the television or the computer – find things to do.

  110. Laura
    March 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Hi, I’d love some advice please. I’m a 27yr old female, 5ft4in and I weigh around 12.5stone. 3 years ago I was tipping the scales at 18stone and followed a very low calorie plan(vlcd) and shed 8 stone in as many months. I managed to keep the weight off for 2 years but this last year I’ve started to gain and struggle again. I’ve started to eat 600 cals a day, I know this isn’t a lot but following the vlcd I was only eating 500cals. I can keep up the good will for so long but after 3-4weeks I’m craving food and I end up having a huge binge. Please help, how can I stop this happening?!

  111. MotleyHealth
    March 23, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Hi Laura, you really need to plan your meals more. If you plan your meals and stick to them you cannot have additional food. Most people binge on whatever food is available in the house at the time. Also you should be taking regular exercise to help manage your appetite better. I am not a fan of VLCD in the long term, really you should stick to around 1200 calories and exercise often.

  112. Amber
    March 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hello. I’m having some problems. I’m a 214 pound female, 5’7″.. I’ve been eating 1500 calories and exercising 3x a week. When I was eating 1500 calories I was losing about .5 pounds a week, then when I started exercising my weight loss stopped. Can you help me figure out how many calories I need to be eating? In 3 months I only lost 6 pounds so I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Other than my 3 workouts a week I’m very sedentary. Working out long periods of time uninterupted is impossible with my 1 year old. Please help!

  113. MotleyHealth
    March 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Amber, what I think you are doing wrong is this – you are eating too much. Few people accurately count calories. One or two small snacks stop weight loss dead. What is your neighbourhood like? Can you go for walks in the day with your child? If not, why not do a fitness DVD in the evening when they go to bed? Ultimately, food is the key, or specifically, eating less of it.

  114. claire
    March 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    hi im 39yrs old, housewife and weigh 280lb how many calories do i need please

  115. Joanne
    March 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hello. I hope you can help. I am getting married in 3 months and at the moment I weight 12 stone 4 and am 5ft 6 and am 39. I have tried every kind of diet all my life, lose and then put on, lose and then put on. I am now trying to change my eating habits and not do a very low calorie diet, but do something I can maintain forever. I am eating 1200 – 1500 calories a day, and exercising for an hour 3 or 4 times a week, but the weight isn’t shifting. I wonder if I have messed up my metabolism by yo yo dieting and now I need far less calories to begin with, therefore to have a 1000 calorie a day deficit and lose 2lb a week, I need to be eating only 800 calories on the days I don’t exercise and 1000 calories on the days I do? 2lbs a week, would give me a weight loss of about 24lbs which I would be happy with, but I’m staying the same with my current plan? Please help!

  116. Christine
    March 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Hi. I recently started a diet. I weigh 294lbs which is around 21stone, as you can tell I am morbidly obese. I joined the gym, and have been doing 40 minutes 4 times a week, and also walking to the shops the rest of the week. I am eating a low calorie diet and have restricted myself to 1000 calories, which has been fine as I haven’t been feeling hungry much anyway. However, 8 days after starting my diet, I got weighed and have only lost 2lb. I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong and would appreciate any advice? Thanks.

  117. MotleyHealth
    March 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

    According to the table you need only 1800 Calories a day. Remember that this is an average and the calories you need to maintain your weight as a sedentary person.

  118. MotleyHealth
    March 27, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Hi Joanne, firstly, if through dieting you lost weight in the past, the diet did work. The only reason people gain weight afterwards is because they go back to the bad way of eating. Permanent lifestyle change is required. There are no quick fixes. You need to focus on getting fitter and eating healthier. I suspect that you are actually eating more than 1200-1500 Calories a day. It is very hard to count calories (I never do) and most people do get it wrong, and often by a long way. So focus on eating smaller, healthier meals and taking regular exercise. You will also need to increase your exercise intensity each week to force the body to get fitter too. This will help burn calories and tone muscles.

  119. MotleyHealth
    March 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hi Christine, although it may be disappointing to lose only 2 pounds, do not be disheartened. Stick to your plan. The weather is improving, so now is a good time to do more walking and more outdoor activities – and maintain the gym workouts.

  120. Tanya Greer
    March 29, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Just struggling here. I am eating between 1400 and 1600 calories most days and exercise between 1800 and 2200 and the weight is not coming off..ANy suggestions?

  121. MotleyHealth
    March 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Hi Tanya, just stick to the plan. If you are burning more calories than you are eating, you will lose weight. If you are not losing weight then you are mostly likely miscalculating how much you are eating – a very common problem. What are you eating each day?

  122. michelle
    March 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    hi im 19 years old, female, and my height is 5’7. i weigh 180 pounds and trying to have a goal to lose at least 1.5 pounds a week. im not sure if what im doing right now will help me reach that goal.i count my calories and try to keep it at 1400 a day with as much healthy food as i can. i also workout at the gym for an hour and a half 3-4 times a week. i do about 50 minutes of cardio and the rest weight training. would this be enough to lose 1.5 pounds a week?

  123. Sonia
    March 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Hello, I just started my weight plan, and i wiegh 100kg :( and my hight is 6.8. how many calories am I to consume per day? as I am confused please needing your help

  124. MotleyHealth
    April 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Michelle, that may be enough, although you may want to consider exercising 6 days a week. Maybe not the gym, but a walk, some callisthenics at home or dance routines – just to keep active and keep burning the fat.

  125. MotleyHealth
    April 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Sonia, hard to put a figure on it, but if you are serious about losing weight then maybe dive in and eat 1500 Calories a day and exercise each day too. Make sure you are still getting healthy food.

  126. Kailene
    April 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm


    So I’ve just started dieting and exercising. I’m 5’9″, 159 pounds, and 20 years old. I’ve been limiting my caloric intake to about 1300 calories per day, and I’ve been working out 60-120 minutes 6 days a week for the past few weeks. The first week, I went down four pounds (I was 162 originally.) The next week I went up a pound, and now I’ve been stable. I don’t understand why I’m not losing any more weight- I have been eating healthy food as well as exercising! What do you think is up?!

  127. Renisha
    April 2, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Hi my name is renisha and i’m 31 5’7 and weigh 170 pounds i exercise 4 times a week I do 60 min of cardio. What do I need to cut my calorie intake by to lose 2 pounds a week? My doctor says for health reasons I need to drop 40 lbs. Please let me know on my non active days as well thank you

  128. MotleyHealth
    April 2, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Hi Kailene, you have lost 4 pounds in the first week which is a good sign. I suspect that in your second week your diet slipped a little. You cannot gain weight without eating more than you need. Just stick to the plan and keep a diary of everything you eat, no cheating. If you are not losing weight examine your diet for the last week and look for items that can be replaced or removed.

  129. MotleyHealth
    April 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Hi Renisha, to lose 2 pounds a week you need to consume no more than 1600 Calories on the days you exercise and 1350 Calories on the days you do not.

  130. Shannon
    April 3, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Well, This was very interesting! I am going to be 44 in May. I have 4 children oldest being 19 and the youngest being 4. I am 100 lbs over weight, and losing energy, knees starting to ache I see myself going down hill and fast! I am going to commit to walking 15 minutes a day and working with the Wii fit 3 times a week for 30 minutes a day. I am also going to cut my intake to 1800 calories a day.
    I would like to post my progress on here if that is okay?
    Well here is to a healthy me!!!!

  131. kelly
    April 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Hi,im hoping to lose 10lbs in three weeks as i have a friends wedding to attend,i usually go to the gym 3-4 times per week but its easter holidays and my kids are at home so no gym although i do own a fitness dvd!as of yesterday i have reduced my calories to 800 per day,i am 5ft2 and currently weigh 8st10lbs,i know its not recommended to eat such low calories but its just for a special occasion,is it possible to lose 10lbs in three weeks eating just 800 cals per day?

  132. MotleyHealth
    April 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Shannon, you are welcome to post updates here.

  133. MotleyHealth
    April 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Kelly, with exercise it may be possible, without exercise it will be harder. Try to do some exercise everyday. 45 minutes of the fitness DVD once the kids have gone to bed should help a lot.

  134. Kari
    April 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I am 28 years old female and 5’4″ tall. Two weeks ago I started to eat healthier foods and use myfitness to track my calorie intake. I’ve been eating around 1200 calories a day. I have also been using my eliptical for 20 minutes 4-5 times a week. The first week I lost 4 lbs. In the middle of the 2nd week I weighed myself and I had lost another 4 lbs! I was excited and didn’t change anything but at the end of week 2 (my offical weigh in day) I had gained back 2 lbs! How? Why? What am I doing wrong? My official weigh in day is on Mondays…today is Friday but I weighed myself again today and the scale is up another 2 lbs today…How can my weight be so up and down and what am I doing wrong?

  135. MotleyHealth
    April 6, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Hi Kari, you would have gained weight back either because the diet slipped a little, or it is just food / water that has not passed through yet. Stick to the plan, focus on getting fitter and do not worry so much about little fluctuations.

  136. Savanna
    April 7, 2012 at 3:46 am

    I’m a 42 year old woman, 5’3″ tall, I had a “pear shaped” figure, most of my weight is in my thighs, hips and butt! I’ve been fat since i was a child. Currently i weigh at 360lbs. I’m working out daily at the gym (cardio/weights), eating healthy around 2000 calories. The problem is that my weight loss is going V E R Y S L O W and it’s frustrating me! My body seems to retain alot of water, i feel stronger and lighter but the scale isn’t changing! What am i doing wrong? I NEED HELP!

  137. MotleyHealth
    April 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Savanna, how long have you been doing this? If you are feeling fitter and lighter then that is a very good sign. Weight loss can take a while, but if you stick to your plan you will be successful. You really need to be strict with the diet. Do you keep a diet diary? This will help you to eliminate snacks and other problem foods that may be slowing you down – you have to record everything you eat and drink.

  138. Meri
    April 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm


    I have one question. I am 24 years old. My weight is 66kg and height 165cm.
    Please, can you tell me how much calorie do I need per day to lose weight ?
    I need to lose 10 kg:(

    many thanks,

  139. MotleyHealth
    April 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Meri, if you limit yourself to around 1600 Calories a day and exercise every day then you should be able to lose 1 kg a week. However, as you are not all that overweight, in fact according to your BMI you are a normal weight, this may be harder. Your focus needs to be on fitness – exercise often, always work up a good sweat and push yourself harder each session for fitness improvements.

  140. tattoo
    April 10, 2012 at 2:35 am

    I am 5’2″ 33 years old and use myfitnesspal to track cals and exercise. It gives me a net of 1350 and I workout 6 to 7 days a week burning between 300 to 500 an hour. 3 days of weights and cardio and the rest of the days cardio and abs. Now myfitnesspal gives me back my workout cals to eat. If I don’t eat these back I fall under 1200 net. Should I be making sure I net 1200 cals after exercise which means I would be eating like around 1700 or 1800 to lose weight? So should I always make sure my net doesn’t fall under 1200 cals?

  141. MotleyHealth
    April 10, 2012 at 10:08 am

    That sounds about right. Always hard to be sure, even when tracking carefully. The best method is to your monitor progress – take measurements, weigh yourself, check that you are losing weight as planned. If not, then you need to adjust workouts, review diet etc.

  142. Jennie
    April 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Hi, I am a 5’7 46 year old female and weigh 176 lbs. I am looking to lose 40lbs by the end of August = 2lb a week due to healthy eating, 5 days of 4 mile running and 2 days of 1 hour gym workouts. The question I have is I have type 1 diabetes plus just been told I have a very underactive Thyroid, will this prevent me reaching my goal?

    Many Thanks


  143. Lex
    April 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I’m 23 year old female.
    I use my fitness pal and it gives me a calorie allowance of 1270 per day.
    I weigh 200 pounds and walk/jog 6 days a week with usually 3-4 30 minute aerobic classes per week as well.
    I eat almost entirely vegetarian diet with fish 2-3 times a week and red meat only once a week.
    I have been on this fitness and diet regime for 3 weeks and although my body feels tighter and fitter I haven’t lost any weight on the scales..

    Is there something wrong with me?

  144. Bella
    April 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Hi, I’m 5.4 foot tall and weigh 1201bs- I’m also 41 yrs old. I look slim other than a massive flabby tummy that people comment on. I follow a healthy low fat diet of lean meat and fish and lots of vegetables and have a small handful of nuts a day, I eat just over 1200 calories a day as I’m stuck at my desk for 8 hrs without exercise. I don’t exercise much on an evening other than 15 mins on a ex bike- any more than this and I feel unwell and run down all the time. If I reduce my calories I can lose weight but not from belly – it seems to come off my chest instead making me look flat chested with a big belly – help !!

  145. MotleyHealth
    April 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Jennie, this is a tricky one. I think that it will certainly make things harder for you, but it should not stop you reaching your goal. So long as you are monitoring your diabetes carefully (taking blood sugar readings before exercising and ensuring that you have enough insulin) then you should be OK. An underactive thyroid slows down your metabolism, but exercise does increase metabolism, so in theory exercising will certainly help you to maintain your weight. Have you been given medication for your thyroid? There are certainly some athletes with the condition who manage to train hard and stay fit.

  146. MotleyHealth
    April 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Lex, give it time. If your diet log is accurate and you are doing all that exercise you will start to get fitter and lose weight. Be patient, just keep going!

  147. MotleyHealth
    April 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Bella, it is possible that you are not getting adequate nutrition to exercise properly. Try to do more exercise and if you still continue to feel unwell after 15 minutes then maybe speak to a doctor for some advice, there may be other underlying problems. Do you have a stressful job? This could be making the problem worse too.

  148. ann
    April 12, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Hi I recently started counting calories and i eat about 1200 a day sometimes 1500. I exercise a bit each week. BUT I spend most of my days in bed with my laptop. I have a mental illness so it’s harder for me to get out or be active. I am about 5.2 and i weigh about 180 pounds. But it’s freaking me out that 1200 may be what my body needs just to stay alive and because I’m so lazy I won’t lose weight. Can you recommend how much time I have to walk each day at normal speeed and how many times I have to exeercize a week to keep losing weight? When I exercize I play badminton and ride my exercize bike for 45 min on low setting

  149. MotleyHealth
    April 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Ann, I would suggest that you start with a daily 45 minute walk. Walking is a great way to not only stay active, but you get to see your local neighbourhood, find out what is going on and get some fresh air too. If you have shops nearby you can stop off there on the way home too. So, start by walking every day for 45 minutes. Carry on doing you exercise bike sessions and badminton too.

  150. Amanda
    April 13, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I’ve been on a diet now for about 6 Weeks, started out at 150 pounds because I had a baby and i’m 5’2 and now weigh 137 my goal is 125 but i’m having problems with the loose baby tummy. I have the biggest loser Mac cardio workout DVD and I have an ab roller but its not getting that extra loose skin, any advice on what exercise too do (I watch the doctors and have been eating a 850 calorie a day diet mostly berries because the doctors say berrys are belly burning foods)

  151. tina
    April 13, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Im 36 years old and weigh 217 pounds. I just started really trying to lose weight. I burn around 700 calories a day by exercising. The rest of my day Im pretty busy I dont just sit around. I am eating around 1300 calories. will i be able to lose weight pretty quick?

  152. MotleyHealth
    April 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Hi Amanda, total body workouts are the way really, with cardio, bodyweight exercises and some weight training. Give it time, eat healthy with plenty of different fruits, vegetables and lean meats, fish etc. Give your body the nutrients to repair. This is all you can do for loose skin really, hope that in time it tightens up.

  153. MotleyHealth
    April 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Hi Tina, this will work yes. Just stick to the plan and do not give yourself any cheat days / treats until you reach your target weight.

  154. Deb
    April 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I’m 32 y/o female and 208 lbs. I’m trying to get my weight down to at least 145 in a year. I’ve been eating about 1500 calories a day for the past 6 weeks and I’ve lost 5 lbs during that time. I exercise about 3 times per week for an hour each time and walk during my break at work for 30 minutes, but by night fall I’m still hungry…Is 1500 too little? Or do I just have to train myself to make due with 1500 calories per day?

  155. MotleyHealth
    April 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

    1500 is not too little so long as you are getting a nutritious diet from it. So, what are you eating? More exercise is always good, do as much as you can each day and maintain a more normal diet.

  156. Nicole
    April 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I really liked reading the article, but I guess I want to absolutely clear for my own individual situation. I am a 25yr old female and I weigh 175lbs at 5’6”. I actually downloaded the myfitnesspal app on my phone and have been using it for about a week now. It suggests that I consume 1200 calories a day. I will be working out everyday using my Turbo Fire videos with at least an hour of cardio each day and 2 sets of 8 minute abs. Today was the first day i worked out and when I added my info, it jumped to consuming about 2300 calories total for the day. I would like to lose 30lbs as quick as possible while remaining healthy. Can you tell me how many calories I should be consuming a day at this level of excersise?

  157. MotleyHealth
    April 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Nicole, if you goal is to lose fat then reducing calories is vital. It is of course important to remember that all of these charts and apps are just guidelines based on averages, they do not take into account your activity levels outside of exercising either.

    According to the table here, an average 25 year old female will require 3000 is highly active (lots of exercise etc.). So a 1000 Calorie a day deficit will see you eating around 2000 Calories. More than the 1200, and less than Myfitnesspal.

    Of course, nobody ever accurately calculates their calorie intake any! So just aim to get somewhere in the region of 1500 Calories and you will probably go over (almost everyone does) and hopefully hit the target.

    What is really important is that you monitor your diet and your weight so that if you do not lose weight you can easily analyse your diet. But you have to write down everything you eat, not just the things that you think are important at the time.

  158. Helly
    April 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Hi! I’m 31 years old, female, at 140 lbs and 5’5″. My body has the tendency of storing fat around the belly. I consume 1650 calories with a balanced diet and have been exercising 5 times a week for 2 hours each day for the past 3 months. The calories burned per day range between 650-1000, depending on the type of exercise (spinning, kickboxing and treadmill combined with weight training). Eventhough I appear to be fit, I have not seen real improvements on my stomach. What can I do?

  159. MotleyHealth
    April 17, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Hi Helly, you need to adjust your diet. 2 hours of exercise a day should be enough to see some fat loss. I suspect that you are actually consuming a little more than 1650 Calories. Also, ensure that you are eating the right foods, i.e. low GI carbohydrates, lean proteins, no junk etc.

  160. Isabella
    April 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I am 17 years old 5′ 3.5″ and weigh about 118. I know i am not overweight but i want to get a tighter, leaner look. my goal is 110 lbs. i do interval training on tuesdays (spinning) and thursdays (sprints) and due mostly strength training on mondays wednesdays and fridays and sometimes take a 4 mile run on sundays. is it realistic for me to lose these 8 lbs in 6 weeks at a rate of about 1.3 lbs a week and if so how much calories should i consume daily?

  161. MotleyHealth
    April 19, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Hi Isabella, you should take about 1800 Calories on the days that you are exercising and 1250 on the days you are not. This should lead to about a pound a week weight loss. The exercise plan sounds good. Work on your fitness though. If you are still doing the same amount of work in 6 weeks then you will not be losing fat at the desired rate.

  162. Liz
    April 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Im 19, female, 5-5 at 150 pounds. I am trying lose weight, I eat around 1300 calories per day and work out 5 times per week lossing 750 calories per day. Is this a good plan?

  163. MotleyHealth
    April 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Liz, yes, that plan will work. You may lose weight too quickly or find that you are feeling very tired. Make sure those calories are of the highest quality – fruits, vegetables, pulses, lean meats, dairy, eggs etc. No junk.

  164. Bali
    April 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I am 168.5 cm in height and weigh 45-46 kgs and I am struck on my weight loss despite eating 800 calories maximum and burning more calories than I eat.what am I doing wrong?how to overcome this problem?

  165. MotleyHealth
    April 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Bali. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 16.3 – you are very underweight. If you are consuming 800 kcal a day and burning more than 800 kcal a day with exercise, you will be losing a lot of fat, very quickly. You need to start eating more – eat more fruit, vegetables, dairy and lean proteins.

  166. Sebastian
    April 23, 2012 at 1:33 am

    I’m a 23-year-old male, 178cm 78kg (BMI 24.62) and mostly inactive apart from few minutes of push-ups, sit-ups and squats maybe 100 each daily. I’ve been consuming around 4 MJ (1000 kcal) a day and have lost weight quite successfully. However, I’ve read that this might not be healthy and I should probably eat more, but I’d like to keep up the current rate of weight loss. What are the indicators for deteriorating health due to energy insufficiency and how long will it take for symptoms to appear?

  167. MotleyHealth
    April 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Hi Sebastian, good question. Really it could be a number of conditions, from suffering tiredness, low immune system (catching colds easily), developing brittle nails, dry skin etc. If you are not receiving adequate nutrition in terms of macro-nutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrate) as well as micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals). However, being overweight has its own health issues. Take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement and make sure that you are eating some eggs each day (they provide protein, healthy fats and vitamins) and you should be OK.

    Increasing food intake and exercise would be a better solution though. In the long term you need to be able to maintain a healthy weight without having to go on restrictive diets whenever you gain a few pounds, so a balance of diet and exercise is vital.

  168. Ann
    April 24, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Hi! I am 24years old, am 5’4″ and I currently weigh around 265. I come from a low income household so I cannot afford the luxuries of getting all the healthy foods that I need. I was diagnosed with PCOS in January of 2010 and Ive had weight issues all my life. I hit my biggest when my husband and I became OTR truckdrivers (coast to coast). We have been home for about 3 years now and I am at my whits end trying to lose this weight. My husband has added more pressure as he has decided that he is ready for a child (we currently have none and I have never been pregnant before). I need to lose (I think) around 70lbs as soon as I can. Can you help me and just give me advice? I feel like Ive hit a road block and I dont know what to do anymore. My OBGYN actually put me on metformin to try to help with the weight lose but after being on it for 2 months I only lost a half a pound…….PLEASE HELP ME LOSE THIS WEIGHT!!!! LOL…….Thank you for your time!!

  169. MotleyHealth
    April 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hi Ann, well, for a start, you can afford healthy food. Healthy food is generally cheaper than junk food. What you need to do is change your attitude to eating. Start cooking your own meals – this will be a vital skill when you have children – so that you only use fresh ingredients. Stop buying all ready meals, junk food, soda, chips, etc.

    Buy carrots, potatoes, broccoli, peas, beans and some lean poultry and fish. Buying food this way really can be cheap. Do you have any farm shops or independent grocers in your area? If so, get down there and see what they have.

    Most important is to reduce portion sizes and get active. Do you exercise at all now? If not, start by walking for 45 minutes, every day.

  170. Amanda
    April 25, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Hi my name is Amanda and I am 16 years of age and am 5’4 and weight about 140 pounds. I look okay in clothes, but i dont feel good about my body when i have to wear a swimsuit. Im going to a different country for the summer in the very beginning of July and maybe middle if im lucky. I really want to lose weight in that time period. I just started restricting my calories more than ever, and i now go to the gym every day except for fridays. I eat less than 1000 calories for sure each day, but that doesnt matter because i just really want to lose weight. I am on the treadmill for an hour 6 days a week and am burning 600-700 calories. If i keep on going at this rate, would it seem possible to you for me to lose around 20-30 pounds before Mid-JUly?

  171. Carmella
    April 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Hi! I really need your help. I am 60 5′ female 169lbs. I eat very healthy. Fruit veggies no white flour lean meat mostly chicken and tuna. I have started to walk 3-4 miles daily on treadmill at 3.0. I also do some light weights for upper body strength. I was 179 when I started. I am eating 1200 daily and when I exercise which is at least 6 days a week I eat 1250. Any suggestions the weight is very hard. I keep going up 1-2 lbs can’t get on the road to lose steadily without going back and forth.

  172. MotleyHealth
    April 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Hi Amanda, you really need to focus on exercise and getting fitter, rather than reducing calories. Your body needs more energy and nutrition to develop in a healthy way. 1000 calories a day is not going to provide adequate nutrition. Daily exercise is good though and running each day will help you to lose fat and tone up. Losing 20-30 pounds in the 12 weeks to mid-July is going to be a challenge, in fact, it will be very hard to achieve. Just focus on getting fitter and your body will look better.

  173. MotleyHealth
    April 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Carmella, how long have you been doing this? 10 pound weight loss is a good start, and daily exercise with 1200 Calories a day should result in fat reduction. Review your diet, recalculate how much you are eating and stick to the plan.

  174. Muphigh
    April 26, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Hi, I recently was diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). Apparently it causes issues with insulin and the body’s ability to use fat. I am 30, 5’2″ and 164. I am do high impact aerobics 4 times a week and have just started some resistance training. I have been trying to loose atleast 30 lbs for two years with no luck in calorie counting. I stayed at 1400 calories forever and ended up with some serious vitamin deficencies. My doc recommended a very low carb higher Protein diet with no other suggestions or numbers to follow. So for the last two weeks I have been following a plan that only allows 20gs of net carbs. Can you help ? It is hard to encoorperate fruits on such a low number. Please any suggestions to my email would be great! Love this site! Thank you!

  175. MotleyHealth
    April 26, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Hi Muphigh. Rather than go for low carb you may want to try a low GI diet. This allows plenty of carbs but you only eat carbohydrate which is digested slowly. This releases the sugars into the blood slower which means your insulin has more time to work. Ideally your doctor should advise more on this though. It may be wise to take a multivitamin to prevent deficiencies. Also eat eggs – the yolks are full of vitamins and the white is almost pure protein.

  176. Carmella
    April 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for the advice. I would like to know how many calories I should eat when I exercise and the amount when I do not. The program I do on the treadmill at home is the weight loss program and I go as high as 3.5. When I go to the gym I do a 3.0 walk. This gives me 1 hr of intervals at home and 3 regular at the gym. Is it ok to eat lean cuisine meals for supper? I am very serious about this and I want to see results and reach my goal. Thank you

  177. MotleyHealth
    April 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Hi Carmella, this is a bit harder to answer to be honest. According to the table, if you are in the “low activity” group you need 1850 Calories to maintain weight, and if you are in the high activity group you need 2100 Calories for weight maintenance. So the big question is, is the exercise you are doing plus your other activities enough to push you into the “high activity” group.

    I think that you should probably stick to your current plan of 1200 Calories a day really. In time you should get fitter to be able to do more. As for eating lean cuisine meals – so long as they do not give you too many calories, they should be OK. Although they are a type of processed food and may contain more easily digestible sugar and more salt / fat than freshly prepared veges and a lean protein.

  178. lynne
    April 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Hello, I’m 20, 5’4″ and weigh about 157 pounds(63% of that being muscle) and my body burns 1,500 calories naturally. i drink 12 8ounce glasses of water per day, workout 5 days a week with a two day resting interval, one on friday and then again on monday , twice per day with varying exercises from running on the treadmill to yoga and body weight training along with pilates. I eat about 1,200+ calories per day as I fear eating anymore could make me gain weight. I’m still losing the healthy amount of weight per week but as of late I feel as though my body isn’t getting enough calorie wise but i’m not sure what’s causing that. I know my fear may be causing me to restrict myself to less than i need but if i eat above 1,220 calories i tend to hop on the treadmill for about half an hour at 5.0 speed to kill another 350+calories but then i notice that even after my extremely intensive workout i’ve maintained the same weight as the last time i weighed in. what are some things i can do to increase my weight loss and make sure i dont plateau?

  179. MotleyHealth
    April 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Lynne, how long have you been doing this? If you are doing exactly as you say then you should be losing weight at a steady pace, it is not possible to maintain weight if you are eating less than your body needs. Of course, nobody ever accurately calculates how many calories they are eating without the aid of a health scientist and some clever testing apparatus!

    It may be wise to take a fresh look at your plan. Look at all the food you are eating and check that everything is healthy and that the diet is well balanced with mostly low GI carbohydrates. Also be careful with drinks – anything other than water has energy / calories.

    If your body is not getting enough nutrition then you will suffer some muscle wastage and this will slow down your fitness improvements. Do you have a carby snack before the workout or a protein snack after weight training? Good nutrition is vital, as it exercise and rest.

  180. Allan marsh
    April 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I am male 41 and weigh 186 pound I have dropped to 1200 calories per day, I excersise with cardio and strength training, running, walking and weights. Everyday I am doing excersise will I be ok at this level and will I lose much weight, I am not fat I just have fatty stores in horrible places.

  181. MotleyHealth
    April 27, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Hi Allan, it should work, yes. If you are getting fitter, stronger and eating healthy but limited calories, you should burn off that fat. Any problems come straight back. Feel free to drop by and let us know how you are getting on.

  182. Sara
    April 27, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Hi – I’m writing on behalf of my daughter. She’s 17 (will be 18 in July) and 5’3″. When she was 15, already naturally petite, she became semi-anorexic, consuming 1100 cal/day and exercising vigorously every day, bringing her down to 96 lbs (though I don’t remember what she weighed in the first place. This year and last, she developed a binge-eating disorder, which – though she was restricting calories during the day and binging at night – brought her to 124 lbs. She is frantic to lose the weight, now that the binge problem is petering out, but we are unclear as to what she should weigh at her age. We think maybe 105-110 lbs would be about right? Similarly, we are unclear on what her caloric intake should be, both to lose the excess weight (however much that is) and then, how many calories she should eat to maintain a healthy weight once she reaches it. She jogs 30 minutes about 6 times/week. Thank you.

  183. MotleyHealth
    April 28, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Hi Sara, this is difficult. It may be wise to try to move away from the calorie counting completely and instead focus on eating 3 well balanced and healthy meals every day and getting regular exercise. Do you have a good eating routine at home, with meals together? Maybe family activities also?

    For someone at 5’3″ a healthy weight will be 104 – 141 lbs (47.1 kg – 63.9 kg). So she is a healthy weight now at 124 pounds. There is no need to encourage her to lose weight. Focus on being healthy – eating proper meals and being active.

  184. nadine
    April 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Nadine on 28th April 2012

    Hi, I am 70, presently weigh 150lbs. 5ft 4inch. Small build and can see I carry too much body fat around stomach and hips. Sedentary. Doing only house
    and a lot of garden work. House with stairs. Big garden with lots to do. Really bodily tired at night. Over the past 4.5 yrs, working in a store, added 25lbs to my weight and now seem unable to reduce my weight. How many calories should I have to bring down my weight to 130lbs?

  185. MotleyHealth
    April 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Nadine, according to the table you will need in the region of 1850 Calories to maintain weight, so to lose a pound a week, about 1350 Calories a day (on the days you are gardening etc.). About 1200 Calories on the lazy days. Focus on making your diet healthier, avoid sugary foods like biscuits, cakes, white bread etc. Get your carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits. Eat some protein with all meals to prevent / slow muscle wastage.

  186. Sara
    April 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Hi – Sara again. Thank you very much for your thoughtful response. Unfortunately, my daughter has refused to participate in family meals for several years now, insisting on making her own food, as she does not trust me to be as careful about counting calories as she is, and as she was first a strict vegetarian and now a strict vegan. I do not count calories and never have. At this point, I am just trying to avoid her eating too few calories as she tries to lose the excess binging weight of this year and to help her understand a healthy – versus an anorexically-thin-model – weight for her height. A nutritionist with whom we consulted said that one can tell whether one has a petite build by wrapping thumb and middle finger around one’s wrist to see whether they overlap. My daughter seems to be of a petite build. But I still do not feel that she should weigh less than about 105 lbs. Do you agree? Also, I worry that – as a stubborn vegan (unlike the rest of the family – she is not eating enough protein as she tries to lose weight. She only listens to nuts and bolts calorie and weight and gram numbers, feeling she knows what she is doing from her own research, so I am trying to glean those numbers from you in terms of appropriate weight and appropriate number of calories per day to get to – and then to maintain – that weight so that she does not hurt herself. Thank you so much. – Sara

  187. MotleyHealth
    April 30, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Hi Sara, this is obviously a very delicate subject and I really feel that you should consult with a dietician of family doctor. While I can suggest that your daughter consumes an amount in line with the tables on this page, it would be wise to get advice from someone more qualified.

  188. lynda
    May 1, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Hi, I am 35.6 years old.155cms height and weigh 62kgs. I have started going for 30 mins walk every morning but i realised i gain more weight and developed hunger pangs after my walks.I would snack on an apple or cucumber but feel hungry right after. I would like to lose 10 kgs weight. Please help how to shed this weight. I also delivered a baby a year ago and my belly fat has not come down at all.

  189. MotleyHealth
    May 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Hi Lynda. First you need to tackle your whole diet. Reduce portions, eat healthier. It is great that you are snacking on fruits, but ensure that you are a balanced diet also. A 30 minute walk is great for improving fitness and health, but do consider increasing your exercise, start jogging or going to a fitness class or gym to get a better workout – or do some home workouts.

  190. lynda
    May 1, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Thank you so much for quick response, Could you please suggest a diet that is suitable for me to lose weight.Do i need to cut out eating rice/bread completely. I normally have wholemeal bread.I have two small kids and is almost impossible to go to the Gym in the evening as i need to attend to the house chores after coming from work. for my morning walks i take my younger one in a stroller till 6am then i have to go to work. What exercises do you recommend to lose weight.Could you help briefly about a balance diet you mentioned. Im grateful for your advice.

  191. MotleyHealth
    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Hi Lynda, read our information on a balanced diet and our 20 minute home workout.

  192. Sandy P
    May 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I’m been eating healthier and drop 27lb in 4 months, currently my calorie intake its 1500, really active, doing a 1/2 marathon on may 20th (first time ever)still over weigth 224lb 5’6. Schedule excersie 4x a week, upper body, lower body and cardio; want to drop at least 40lb aprox. 5 month but I hit the platao mark!!! Use calorie traker, I do not use the calories expense! How can I go over the platao, Do I need to drop the calorie intake to 1200, During the marathon which foods are best to eat? Thanks this web its awesome!

  193. MotleyHealth
    May 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Sandy, for now I suggest you carry on as you are, do not reduce calories while preparing for a 1/2 marathon. Healthy carbs are best for long distance running, pasta, rice, vegetables, pulses. After the race you can consider cutting back to 1200 Calories. If you do it before you may become malnourished and weakened. Just stick to your plan of doing a lot of exercise and eating healthy.

  194. harlyhops
    May 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

    hi, im 18 years old and although am in the recommended bmi have alot of extra body fat to shed. I am 5’6 and weigh 8 stone 13.8 pounds (so basically 9 stone). If i go to the gym 4-6 times a week and loose on average 400 hundred calories on cardio machines and eat around 2000 calories i wont be loosing weight? How many should i reduce my intake to to loose 2lbs a week and what particular exercises would you suggest i do to get a flat stomach and thinner inner thighs.

  195. MotleyHealth
    May 5, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Hi Harlyhops, just work on your fitness. Do not stick to one exercise, keep it varied. Do some pure cardio sessions, so bodyweight workouts, some weight training, plus other activities to work different muscles. Get more active in general too, make an effort to walk more. For flatter stomach and thinner thighs you really do just need to work on losing overall body fat with more exercise and healthy eating.

  196. Summer11
    May 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Hi -
    I am a 21 year old female, 5 foot 7, weighing 138 pounds. I am recovering from bulimia (have been good for over a month now) – but I am struggling with the fact that since getting properly healthy – I have put on quite a bit of weight ( water weight I assumed) and am struggling for my body to regulate back to my normal pre-bulimia weight of around 129 pounds. I am very active, exercise for between 45-55 minutes a day – with pretty high intensity, and I am using the MyFitnessPal ap to track my food intake which is roughly 1600-1800cal a day. I am going on holiday in 6 weeks and really wish to be a little slimmer, I am frustrated that I have not gotten any results since being so healthy – and it’s really getting me down. Any information about how long it takes a body to re-regulate and start to recover (and maybe lose a bit of weight will be great). I feel like no matter what I do, I am getting no where, and there is honestly not much more I can do. If I eat any less I will be struggling with low energy, I would just like to know when the weightless may kick in – and if I’m doing to right thing?? Thanks!


  197. Chryz
    May 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Hi I’m 37yo. Trying to lose 15lbs im 5’6″ tall. I do workout w/ my mini stepper 5xady for 60 min. And recently joined MFP and calculated my calorie into 1200 per day with a daily deficit of 530cal. I’m confused w/ this daily calorie deficit, what this mean??? What do i have to do w/ this 530 cal deficit. And one more ? Do I have to eat all the 1200cal per day to lose weight and what about the calories I burned. I hope you can helped me. Thanks…

  198. MotleyHealth
    May 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Summer, 138 pounds is a very healthy weight for your height. If you are eating healthy and exercising often then your body will be healthier for it. Try not to look at the scales, focus on being fitter and healthier. Your BMI is 21.6 at the moment, that is a good number to be at.

  199. MotleyHealth
    May 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Chryz. First, remember that this is just a guide. The average 37 year old woman who follows a low activity lifestyle (a little light exercise, walking etc) needs 2000 Calories a day to maintain weight. To lose weight at 1 pound a week you need to experience a daily calorie deficit of 500 Calories. So that would be like eating 1500 Calories a day if you are following a low activity lifestyle (which is possibly what you are following). The exercise you do is actually factored into these guidelines (sedentary = no exercise, low activity = some exercise, high activity = lots of exercise).

    Another way to look at it is that if you are eating 1200 Calories a day and burning an additional 500 Calories, your daily calorie balance is actually only 700 Calories. A sedentary 37 year old woman (on average) needs 1800 Calories, so you will be 1100 Calories under what you need. This should equate to about 2 pounds fat loss per week – if you do this 7 days a week.

    In short – keep eating healthy, keeping portions smaller and exercising daily.

  200. Chryz
    May 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Thanks for a quick response.

  201. jenny J
    May 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Hi there. I found this article really eye opening. I’m 30 and weigh 308lbs. I have no idea how many calories I eat per day – it must be close to or over 3000. One of my friends has lost 140lb following Lighterlife. I would like to do the same, but prove to the world that it can be achieved by diet and exercise, not restriction of real foods! I’m aiming for a weekly gym session and walking each day until i get fitter. My diet plan averages around 1200 cals per day. I begin tomorrow – wish me luck! How much weight would you envisage I could lose in the next 6 weeks? (I go on holiday on June 11th!) Many thanks, Jenny x

  202. MotleyHealth
    May 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Jenny, a realistic weight loss goal is really about 2 pounds a week, so 12 pounds. You need to plan and think long term really, the moment people start trying to lose weight with quick fixes there is a real risk of yo-yo dieting. Take your time, stick to the plan. As you get fitter increase your exercise too, ideally do at least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise. Walking is good to start with but do keep pushing yourself.

  203. creamy
    May 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Hi am creamy,pesently i weigh 98kg,173cm,27 yrs old,have not exercised in a long while,and have decided 2 go on fruits,veges n lean protein(egg,beans) 4 d next one month,before i start counting my cals,pls advise me on which fruit 2 use on dis exercise,thx

  204. Summer11
    May 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks for the quick response! I was just wondering whether you could give me any indication of how long you’d think it will take for my body to re-regulate and stop gaining – no matter how much I eat? I know that I am in the healthy range – my doctors and I are watching that closely – but I more just wish to know whether there is any way I can make the recovery faster? The hardest part is knowing that I am doing to right thing by my body by eating healthy, but I feel like I’m being punished and it’s very hard. I don’t wish to lose weight – I just want to know how long itll take to stop gaining if I keep eating well/ exercising?! Thanks!


  205. MotleyHealth
    May 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Creamy, eat whatever fruits are available that you like. Variety is the key.

  206. MotleyHealth
    May 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Summer11, I think that you misunderstand how eating works. Nobody can ever eat as mich food as they like without gaining weight. THere will always be a point where you take in more food than your body needs and you accumulate fat. Just follow the diet and exercise plan that you have worked out with your doctor and try to stop worry about what may happen – just enjoy your exercise and your new healthy lifestyle.

  207. craemy
    May 8, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Hi tnx for your quick response pls can i eat egg white everyday as breakfast?then fruits for lunch n dinner?

  208. MotleyHealth
    May 8, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Yes you can. Eggs are very healthy. Unless you are eating a lot, eat the yolks too. Egg yolk is full of vitamins and minerals and also provide essential fats.

  209. Samantha Owens
    May 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Hi, I am Sami. I am 23, 5’2″, and weigh about 120 pounds. I work out around 3/4 times a week. I try and fit two days of cardio in (usually a 30min interval run) and do weight training or circuit training. I try and consume around 1200-1300 calories a day… I eat mostly fruit, and meats such as grilled chicken, and grilled salmon. Or sometimes I will skip dinner and just have a protien shake after my work out. I have been following this routine since October 2011, and I am not seeing any results, in fact I weigh more now than I ever have, and I know that some of the weight increase has been to increases in muscles… I know that muscle weighs more than fat. The only area i have noticed change is in my biceps and my shoulders. I have noticed no change in the problem areas… tummy,thighs, and butt. I also cannot defeat the small amount of cellulite that I have noticed. I was extremely active growing up. Cheerleading, swimming, diving, gymnastics, softball… and my body was always very toned. I know that our bodies change over time, but I am just making sure that I am doing everything I can to make sure I am healthy and toned. Should I be doing anything else?

  210. MotleyHealth
    May 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Samantha. This good news is that with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 21.9 you are a healthy weight. A first change would be to start pushing the fitness a little more, maybe do another weight training session each week to start with. To see no results in 7 months on a 1200 Calorie a day diet and exercise seems a little strange though. Maybe there are some snacks, drinks, alcohol etc. that you are not counting in the calculations? Worth reviewing the diet again to be sure.

  211. Leah
    May 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm


    I am 24 years of age. My height is 169m and I weigh 79kg (I was 85kg 2months ago-the biggest I have ever gotten). I have a medium hourglass shape. I gained over 10kg in a year and I honestly don’t know how it happened. I think it may have something to do with my job (I’m at my desk for 8 hours a day). I have lost some weight by eating healthy but it has come to a point where it just wont budge. My fat % is 36,3. I rarely exercise, just go on walks 2-3 times a week. I have also tried Herbalife but that had little effect. How many calories do you suggest I eat a day (i eat 1000-1100 calories). And how much should I exercise in order to get quicker results? Should I not eat after a certain time?

  212. MotleyHealth
    May 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Leah. Firstly, if you are eating just 1000 Calories a day you will be losing fat. But you must be eating more. Review your diet, write down everything that you consume (including all drinks, all fruits, all healthy snacks etc.).

    You need to exercise more than 3 times a week to make a big difference. While walking is good, you must push yourself harder to do more. Do some circuit training exercises, attend a fitness class, do some dance workouts etc. Just get more active, more often.

    Things like Herbalife only work if you are only having their products. The moment you start adding extra calories (even in terms of fruits, coffee with milk, juices etc.) you risk consuming too many calories to allow for fat loss.

    It really does not matter much what time you eat. The main reason why not eating in the evening can work is that it ensures that you do not snack. If you are going to stick to 1100 Calories a day you would be hard pressed to be able to eat after 6pm as your quota will run out pretty quick!

  213. uma sub
    May 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    This is a very informative web site, which explains in a straight forward way how the calorie intake/output works. I started to control my calorie intake based on info given for each age group and started an excel spreadsheet, entering everything I ate with the calorie count. I was amazed at the calorie count by 5.00 pm – even though I eat an absolutely healthy diet – boiled eggs/ 1% milk or proten shake for breakfast; snacks – banana or apple (with some humus) or handful of almonds); cottage cheese/ or soup for lunch, with greek yogurt & carrots/cucumbers…and my calorie count is already around 700-850 before I leave work not including dinner!! I don’t count the exercise even though I work out at least 4 times a week ( I am in my 50′s). I lost 5 pounds within 2 months but I am stuck there….not sure what else I can do to keep reducing the weight.

  214. MotleyHealth
    May 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Uma, maybe the first step is to up the activity levels. Maybe more walking or swimming.

  215. Lance Reymond
    May 11, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Hello, my name is Lance reymond and I am 18 years old and weigh 247 pounds. this whole week i’ve been eating only turkey and ham pita bread sandwich, string beans, having soy milk with my cereal, waffles with no syrup, whey tech powder chocolate milk, etc. But i need more advice on what else I should do about my weight and what can I do to atleast lose 20 pounds by the end of the summer

  216. MotleyHealth
    May 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Lance. Why are you drinking whey tech powder chocolate milk? Are you lifting weights every day? If you are not lifting weights, stop drinking this. Waffles are high calories, low nutrition. Ham is full of saturated fat. Eat some fruit. Exercise every day.

  217. Mat
    May 12, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Hello, I am a 25 y/o male, 6’2 and 205lbs. Ive gained almost 20lbs in the last year, but started exercising and eating better (cut out alcohol too) about two weeks ago. I generally exercise an hour a day 5 days a week, and 30 minutes the other two. This time I spend about half jogging, and half doing weights or body weight exercises. I consume 2000-2500 calories a day, sometimes less though I have a hard time being consistent. If I keep up the exercise, will I begin to lose weight, or do I need to consume less calories? My main concern is belly fat, as the rest of me seems pretty fit. I also want to gain muscle, which I have, but have not lost any weight yet. Ive been afraid if I eat too little while lifting weights, I wont gain the muscle properly. Is this true?

  218. MotleyHealth
    May 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hi Mat, that is true. For muscles to grow they need energy and nutritions – protein. To lose fat the whole body needs to be getting less energy than it actually needs. However, if you really focus on the fitness side of things and ensure that your diet continues to be healthy ypu will get there and you will be stronger and fitter for it. Better to get athletic slowly than waste away quickly IMO.

  219. Lissy
    May 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I am a 37 y/o female, I weigh 65 kg and am 163cm tall and want to lose 10kg in 12 to 14 weeks, how many calories should I eat if I’m exercising and burning 500 calories per day?

  220. Manu
    May 17, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Hi. I am a female and my weight is 62 kg and height is 5 ft. I need to reduce approximately 10 kgs over 3 months. Is that feasible? I am doing gym exercise daily for half an hour. What extra thing I need to do in order to burn calories and loose weight? What should I add to my daily diet? I am purely vegeterian.

  221. MotleyHealth
    May 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Manu, 10 kg is 3 months is possible, but it will be hard work. You will need to do more exercise than 30 minutes a day. And the question should not be “what should I add to my daily diet?” but what to take away from it. To lose 10 kg in 12 weeks you need to be losing over 1 kg a week, that requires a daily calorie deficit of around 1000 Calories. Possible, but it will require a lot of work on your part.

    Remove as much saturated fat and bread from your diet as possible (many vegetarians tend to over do the cheese and bread!) and focus on low GI vegetables and fruits with plenty of protein from pulses, nuts and eggs.

  222. Jean
    May 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I have been on the weight watchers program since Oct. 20 2011. They have a point system and trying to find out the exact number of calories for a point seems to be a big secret. But on the on line forum other members say it averages from 38-50 cal. per point. After reviewing my tracking sheets, I estimate that I average about 1200 cal per day. My problem is that I have adhered to the system religiously, weighing everything, eating all the required foods and exercising every day. I have been given 26 days points and they also give you weekly points to use. But I never use these points. In addition, you get extra points for exercising which I dont use either. They say to use these points so that you dont feel deprived. I weighed 191 pounds on Oct 20 and now I weight 178 pounds. THat is less than one half pound a week. WW believes that losing between 1/2 to 2 pounds per week is what the program recommends. Clearly I am not doing that.The group leader really doesn’t know what to recommend and she suggests seeing my MD.I had an annual exam in Dec and all the blood work is fine as well as my thyroid. My question to you is is it possible that I am not eating enough with all of the exercising I am doing. I walk on the thread mill for 2 miles each day and some days more. It takes me about 50 minutes. I am 73 years old and have no physical disabilities. Is it possible that my metabolism has slowed down because of not getting enough calories? For four weeks in a row I did not either lose or gain. This week I finally lost 1/2 pound. I am so discourage when I hear other members at the meeting report that they are losing consistently 1-2 pounds a week. I am at a lost as to what I am doing wrong and what corrections I need to make. I would appreciate any recommendation you might have. Sorry this is so long.

    Thank you.

  223. mishia
    May 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Hello I weigh 198lbs and my weight goal is 160 lbs. I just turned 33 and I have 3 kids. I have never been this size I’ve always been a slim person but am now concerned about the weight I’m gaining. I recently started working out at the YMCA and attending zumba class on sat but still haven’t gotten down the calorie reduction side of things. According to your article I should be eating 2000 on non workout days and 2250 on days that I workout which is 3days a week 30 minutes of cardio plus 2 reps of 40 arms and legs aside from the zumba class. Is this right or should I cut the calorie intake by half? Please help, I’m new to all of this.

  224. MotleyHealth
    May 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Jean. Age does play a big role. Unless you have been really active in recent years you have probably suffered quite a bit of muscle wastage – this is what slows metabolism. What is important to remember is that you have lost some weight (albeit only a little) and you must be getting fitter by doing the exercise, and I trust that the point counting also means healthier food choices in general too.

    So overall, you must be fitter, stronger and healthier. Just stick to the plan. If you can do more exercise, do a little more. Make sure the diet is healthy – not too much bread, cakes and other baked goods etc. Get some good proteins inside you (eggs and fish etc.).

  225. MotleyHealth
    May 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Mishia, remember that the table shows how many calories you need (on average) to maintain your weight. If you set a target weight loss of 1 pound a week then you need to take 500 Calories from that figure, and for 2 pounds a week, 1000 Calories. So, consuming 1250 Calories on workout days and 1000 Calories on non workout days should (in theory!) help you to lose 2 pounds a week.

  226. mishia
    May 21, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Thanks for replying. Would you suggest eating mostly fruits and veggies with some protein to get maximum results? I struggle with what foods to eat to help boost my metabolism. I’m not a big fruit person but I have a sweet tooth and I know fruit would be the way to go. Any advice?

  227. kristin
    May 21, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Hi, I’m 22 years old, approximately 5′ 8″, and 108 lbs. I recently lost about 50 lbs. through diet and some exercise (4-5 days a week at first but then just walking to class lately). I try to never eat more than 800 calories a day and I don’t really exercise. So, my question is, am I healthy and what must I do exercise-wise (even though I dislike exercising) to build back my muscle tone?

  228. MotleyHealth
    May 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Kristin. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 16.4. This means your weight is within the Underweight range. The best way to build muscle is to start weight training (either free weights or resistance machines) and get more protein in your diet. Start eating more food and make sure you are eating a balanced diet.

  229. MotleyHealth
    May 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    A balanced diet is best – fruits, vegetables, pules, dairy, meat, poultry, eggs, fish etc. as well as some grains.

  230. Andrea
    May 23, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I just started the Grey sheet for Overeaters. I have a sponsor and I’ve been following orders, but when I enter my food into my log it says i only eat 900-1000 calories per day. I am 258 lbs is this healthy for me to eat this little? I work out about2-3 times a week light work out though because i am scared to do what i normally would do for a couple hours 4 times a week. Will I be able to lose weight and stay healthy? I am 25 years old.

  231. MotleyHealth
    May 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Andrea, we are not familiar with the Grey sheet for Overeaters approach. However, 900-1000 Calories is below the recommended minium, but many people follow stricter VLCD (very low calorie diets) and successfully lose weight with them. At 258 pounds you focus must be on losing weight at the moment, carrying that amount of weight will have more serious long term health problems that a relatively short-term low calorie diet. So stick with it. Make sure that the calories you are eating are nutritious – limit all baked foods, bread, pasta etc. and eat fruits, oats, vegetables, lean meats, eggs, fish etc. Improved nutrition will reduce risk of following a low calorie diet. Consider taking a daily multi-vitamin too.

  232. Erin
    May 25, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Hi, I like your article, thank you! I have been following a weight training program that is 3 days on, one day off, for about two months. My body fat percentage isn’t budging and I am trying to figure out how many calories to eat. It has been recommended to me to eat 2400 calories with a 50% carbs, 30% protien, and 20% fat nutrition balance. I am 5′ 10″ tall, 28 year old female, and weigh about 190lbs. My body fat % is 28.9% my RMR is 1662. I am very active, burning between 800-1100 calories a day with weights and cardio 5-6 days a week.
    My question to you is: this table above includes or doesn’t include the 500-1000 calorie deficit? I think if I were to only eat 1400 calories a day, and burn another 800 in the gym that would be 1662+800+500(being active threw out the day)=2962-1400=1562 calorie deficit? I really don’t want to work hard on this and go back to get my body fat measured and see that I have lost weight, but it was muscle, not fat. Which is what I think will happen with such a high deficit. But, the 2400 I am eating now, seems to be too high to lose weight, at least to most people I talk to with knowledge on the matter.
    I do not focus on the scale. Yes, 190 is high, but mostly I just don’t want chubby legs, so my goal is to lower my body fat percentage to 20%.
    Do you have any advice for me?

    Thank you!

  233. MotleyHealth
    May 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Hi Erin, the table is approximate calorie needs to sustain weight. Losing weight and building muscle at the same time is never an easy task, which is why so many bodybuilders cycle their diet and exercise routines with periods of muscle growth and weight gain with periods of “cutting” to reduce fat. Best thing to do really is simply monitor your progress. If you are not losing fat then you are certain still eating too much food (or not doing enough cardio).

  234. AJ
    May 26, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Hi. I’m a 17yr old girl and I need to lose about 20 pounds over the next three months. I was just wondering if say, 100 of my calories on a particular day weren’t necessarily healthy calories. Would that be wrong? I mean, would that keep the diet from working?


  235. MotleyHealth
    May 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Hi AJ, it will not help to have 100 unhealthy calories really. Best to make them all healthy. If you were to limit yourself to 1000 Calories a day, that would mean 10% of your diet is unhealthy.

  236. Pam
    May 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    My daughter is 5 years old, 4 foot 1 inch tall and weighs 117 lbs. She has several medical issues..high blood pressure, borderline diabetes. Her A1C is 5.6. She has a heart condition called patent ductus arteriosis. Her doctor has demanded she go on a diet. I’ve tried dieting with her in the past, but she will steal food when you aren’t looking. What are your suggestions as far as how many calories she needs per day? We’ve already switched her to skim milk and cut out all snacks that aren’t a fresh fruit or vegetable, and yet she’s irritable and cries for food. I know she didn’t gain all of this excess weight over night and she’s not going to lose it fast, but the main goal here is to get her blood pressure down as well as her blood sugars. Her father is an insulin dependent diabetic and I don’t want her to have to go through this especially at such of a young age. We have considered weight watchers point system, but they don’t recommend it for a child under 10.

  237. MotleyHealth
    May 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Pam. Speak to your doctor again. If your doctor is saying that a 4 year old needs to go on a diet to help treat a medical condition then they should be setting that diet. If they cannot advise then demand to be referred to a dietician (i.e. a university degree qualified person to advice on nutrition for health) to help.

    As for the crying for junk food and stealing, you can certainly do something about this. Lock food away. Make distractions for her – get her involved in outdoor activities, walks, sports etc. It will be tough but you have to be strict. Start making positive changes now for the whole family to follow. Remove all junk food, baked foods etc. from the house. The whole family will benefit from a healthier diet and lifestyle and children do follow what their parents and carers do.

  238. Kearsten
    May 29, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Hi. I am a 28 year old female, 5’2 and about 119 lbs. I am trying to take off 5-7 lbs and cannot lose for the life of me! For years, I haven’t eaten many calories… probably about 1200/1300 total daily intake. Plus I exercise pretty consistently about 4-5 days a week. I’ve lost weight in the past going down to 800 daily, but have heard that that might not be healthy, especially if you are exercising on top of that. A few months ago I also tried increasing my daily intake to 1400 for a month or two to see if my body needed the extra energy, but still no change in weight (so frustrating). Currently, I average 1300 daily calories, with a ratio of 25-30% fat, 45-55% carbs, and 15-25% protein. In the last two weeks, I’ve exercised 6 days a week, about 45-60 minutes each day. I don’t know if I’m eating too much or too little! I’ve also thought about other factors, such as food intolerances that might be halting my weight loss. I’m just not sure. HELP! Please let me know your suggestions! Thanks!!

  239. pauline King
    May 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Hi, I am 61 yrs of age. I am 5ft 5ins. I have always been very active, my main exercise has been walking. I would walk my two dogs for an hour and a half every day through countryside. Last September I had a bad fall which has left me needing major spinal surgery. Consequently I am not able to walk far any more. I have gained approximately 10-12 lbs over the last few months which doesn’t sound much but it has all gone on around my hips.

    How many calories should I be eating in order to prevent any further weight gain?

  240. MotleyHealth
    May 29, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Pauline, really it is hard to say. Why not just reduce portion sizes to start with and cut out all baked foods, white bread and any treats and see how that goes?

  241. MotleyHealth
    May 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Kearsten, you need to keep a very strict food diary for a week. Write down everything that you consume and try to calculate calories that way. If you are exercising 6 days a week and consuming 1200 calories you will lose fat. It is very likely that you are mis-calculating your calorie intake.

  242. Nicole
    May 31, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Help… I’m 35 and my metabolism has shut down. I’m planning on taking in no more than 1000 calories a day and working out to Zumba 3 days a week..,, will I loose any weight???!!!

  243. Madde
    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Hello, just have one question.

    I had a junk food eating day today, i dont really know why.. my body just craved for sugar.
    I usually eat 1450 kcal / day, i should eat near 1700 but im trying to loose weight slowly until christmas. Today i ate Special K cereal for breakfast… which i calculated was around 400 kcal. Then i ate several biscuits and a small chocolate bar, + a small packet of chips.
    This all added up to 1285 kcal. I did skip dinner because i felt sick the whole afternoon and evening.
    I then went for a run and burnt about 200 kcal, but my question is, have i gained weight from this? since i ate even less kcal then i usually eat everyday, i still must have lost some? or? im really scared.

    Thx in advance, (srry for any bad english but i hope you understand me :D)

  244. MotleyHealth
    May 31, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Hi Madde, do not worry about individual meals or even days. The key is to be healthy and active most days. Everybody has a bad day sometimes. Focus on getting fit and eating nutritious food.

  245. MotleyHealth
    May 31, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Hi Nicole, if you follow that plan you will certainly lose weight. However, you metabolism has not shut down, if it had you would die. Metabolism is simply the process by which the body metabolises (breaks down) food for energy. Without energy there is no body function.

    Start getting more active and really focus on eating a healthier diet. Reducing portion size is important, but it is also vital that you do not eat junk food when on a restrictive diet. Salads, fruits, fish, lean meats, vegetables, cereals, some dairy etc. is where you should be getting your energy.

  246. Madde
    June 1, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Hi, I needed to ask another question :)

    is it ok to have 2 panncakes for breakfast with strawberry jam two times a week?
    I usually have Special K and I eat healthy the other days. I run 3 times a week and i do some weight training 2 times a week.
    Im 17 years old soon btw.

  247. MotleyHealth
    June 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    While pancakes with jam is not a very nutritious breakfast, so long as you are not exceeding your daily calories requirements you should be OK.

  248. viv
    June 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    hi,im 19 years and im trying to lose 20 pounds in 1 month.iim currently weighing 78kg. i cut my calorie intake by 2000 calories and im consuming 500 calories daily. i ate a medium sized bowl of coco pops today and milk. that’s all i have had today. i hope this works. what other things can i eat during this time?? thnks

  249. Maddie
    June 8, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Hi again, and thanks for the previous answers :) much appreciated!

    I have calculated that my daily calorie intake is around 1700 kcal.
    I eat 1350-1400 kcal a day at the moment and i have done that for about 3 weeks.
    I can see that i have become a little smaller, specially around my legs. Even though the scales doesnt say much.
    I do weight training 3 times a week (usually i do quite heavy, i can do about 8-10 reps), and i try to run 2 times a week as well.
    I want to loose some bodyfat and gain some muscle mass (not bulky but just lean)
    My goal is to build some muscle until december, and then after that i will try and loose more fat but still maintain my muscle mass.
    Now my question is, if i eat 1400 kcal a day, and then when i have achieved my goal, do i still have to consume 1400 kcal or can i eat 1700 like i should be eating? or will i gain weight from this? will my metabolism slow down? And since i do weight training, should i eat more calories? i really dont want to gain any more fat. Im 17 and im a girl. I weigh 56 kg and im 160 cm tall. how many calories should i actually be eating a day if i want to build lean muscle and then loose some fat? can i do both at the same time?
    Sorry theres many questions at once. Hopy you understand me :)

    Thx in advance

  250. MotleyHealth
    June 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Viv, 500 Calories a day is not enough really, and your choice of breakfast cereal is really not much more than just sugar. You need to get vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. If you are going to go really low calorie then make sure you are eating nutritionally dense foods not processed and refined meals.

  251. MotleyHealth
    June 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Maddie, if your main goal is the build some lean muscle then you still need to eat more. At your age you are in a period of natural growth so more calories are actually needed for healthy development too. If you have lost fat already then it sounds like you are doing well in that area. Ensure that your diet is healthy and well balanced and keep up with the cardio. Focus on getting fit and everything else should gall into place – you have youth on your side!

  252. Didi
    June 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Hi, I am a 25 y/o female about 5’5 149 lbs. I am a student and now work part-time, which means I am not active. I am trying to understand how to lose weight and keep it it off. No matter how much I lose weight I always seem to gain it back. Thank you.

  253. MotleyHealth
    June 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Didi, if you can already lose weight then all you have to do to keep it off is not eat too much again. Exercise will help you, it really is recommended that you make the time to exercise a few times a week.

  254. Maddie
    June 15, 2012 at 9:42 am


    Is it bad for a 17 year old girl to lift really heavy weights?
    The weight im lifting with now i can do about 8-10 reps.
    I do this 3 times a week.
    and another question,
    If you dont eat enough calories (or protein), can u still build muscle, or is it impossible? or is the process just a lot slower?

  255. shelly
    June 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Hi I am a female and I am around 238pounds and about 5ft 7. I would like to loose weight but do not know how many calories i should be eating a day. for the past week i have kept it at 1200-1400 is this right or do i need to be eating more. I have started going to the gym 3 times a week also.

  256. MotleyHealth
    June 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Maddie. I guess you need to define “bad” and “really heavy”. With the correct form / technique, good warm-up and good nutrition and rest you should be OK. At 17 there may be some more development in your spine though, but then again it really depends on what lifts you are doing. Women do start competitive weight lifting at your age, China’s Wang Li snatched 110 kg (240 pounds) when she was 17 years old. However, that does not mean that they do not, or will not, have problems in the future. If you are lifting 8-10 rep sets then you are not actually lifting “really heavy” – when people “go heavy” then the sets are usually down to 3-5 reps per set.

    Protein is needed for muscle growth. With a balanced diet you should actually get enough protein to grow stronger and leaner muscles. For optimum growth, i.e. growing as much as possible for the work you are doing, then ensuring that you feed your muscles adequately will help. If you main goal is to get fit and get in great shape then a healthy and well balanced diet will actually provide all you need.

  257. MotleyHealth
    June 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Shelly, 1200-1400 Calories a day is a good target for fat loss. 1200 Calories is the minimum daily intake you should have for healthy weight loss. What is important is to make sure those 1200 Calories are healthy – a good mix of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, cereals, dairy etc. to get all the nutrients the body needs.

  258. Keith
    June 19, 2012 at 12:13 am

    If I don’t have a job and am more low activity in my daily life, but exercise heavily 7 days a week, would I be classed as low activity or high activity?

  259. MotleyHealth
    June 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    That would probably be high activity Keith, although remember that this is just a guideline and not a prescription so adjust for your own needs.

  260. Lesley Goodchild
    June 20, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I’m a 50 year old woman who works shifts 7 days on for 10.5 hours per day and then 7days off, what would you advises as a good diet for the shift when i’m working, I work until the early hours of the morning and crave carbohydrates

  261. MotleyHealth
    June 21, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Hi Lesley, really if you follow a balanced diet then this should help you to avoid the cravings. Have plenty of vegetables and lean meats, start the shift with a bowl of muesli / oat based cereal, have a soup snack if peckish and make sure lunch is a healthy and well balanced meal (vegetables, salad etc.).

  262. Lena Chia
    June 21, 2012 at 5:26 am

    I’m a 19 year old female, wanting to lose weight. When I type my info into Myfitnesspal, I get an allotment of 1,200 calories a day. Is this amount ok? I don’t feel that hungry when I eat that amount. Thanks.

  263. Maddie
    June 21, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Hi again MotleyHealth, thank you for previous responses to my questions :)
    But I have another one, can whey protein drinks harm my body?
    I’m 17. Just wondering if you have to be a specific age to drink them. I’d really like to start it as a supplement for my weight training.

  264. MotleyHealth
    June 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    1200 Calories a day is a good target to set. It is considered to be the fewest Calories you can have and maintain good health. Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet, no junk at all.

  265. MotleyHealth
    June 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Maddie, no, whey cannot harm the body. Some people have suggested that when taken at very high volumes it may lead to some kidney damage, but nothing official has been proven on this subject, and for more casual users it is not going to cause a problem.

  266. RELL B
    June 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

    hello,i am a 34 year old woman strugglng to lose weight.i am 5’3 216 pounds,trying to lse 50 pounds.i have been doing 1200-1300 calories daily walking on treadmill 40 min per day 4 days per week for 1month with no results.am i doing something wrong.i would also like to know how do i increase my calorie intake without gaining the weight back after i reach my goal?

  267. MotleyHealth
    June 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Rell B, first focus on the immediate goal, that is losing weight. Take another look at your diet – everything that you eat and drink. You cannot eat 1200 Calories a day for a month and not lose weight, so you must be eating more. Also keep working on increasing the exercise, ideally exercise every day, you do not need rest days when you are walking / jogging on a treadmill.

  268. sarah
    June 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm


    i’m 21 and about 5’10′. My current weight is 94KG. I eat about 1000 calories a day, but burn 570 on thre treadmill everyday. Sometimes i will go on the treadmill for an hour in the morning and again at night, bringing the total of calories i burn to 1140. Is this is a healthy method to lose weight?

    Thank you

  269. MotleyHealth
    June 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Sarah, if you are eating 1000 Calories and burning 1140 Calories with exercise you will certainly lose weight. It may not be healthy in the long term, but if you are eating a well balanced diet to ensure that you are getting all the nutrition that your body needs, then it should be OK in the short-term. If you feel that you lack energy, suffer poor concentration or are feeling feeble, lethargic etc. then you should increase the calories.

  270. Melanie
    June 28, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Hi there – I need some help and motivation/inspiration. I am a 42yr old woman who weighs 146lbs. My goal weight is 132lbs – so need to lose about 14lbs. I run 3-4 times per week (for 40 mins plus) and do 2 weight training classes a week also. I obviously need to cut my calories more to lose weight (have not actually counted them on a daily basis)but find as soon as I do this I get really hungry and feel really fatigued and often don’t have enough energy for my runs or weight classes. I have battled with my weight ever since I was in my teens. I am feeling quite despondent. Some advice would be great.

  271. MotleyHealth
    June 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Hi Melanie, what sort of foods are you eating, and when? Maybe reduce calories but ensure that you are getting most calories from low to medium GI vegetables, and always ensure that you eat a small meal before your exercise to give you the energy when you need it the most. Also be careful with drinks – drinking only water will ensure you are not taking in too many calories from other drinks.

  272. Ben
    June 28, 2012 at 11:51 am


    I’m an obese 16 year-old male, 5’10. I currently weigh 135kg. I would say most days I am moderately active as I walk to and from school (5-10 min walk) and play football and soccer during the 15 and 45 minute breaks throughout the day, I also previously used a home-gym regularly for 30-minutes a day (I am considering getting back into this 3 days a week). I am currently on a diet of an average 1400-calories per day, without eating any bad food (take-away, chocolate, chips etc) and consuming sufficient amounts of fruit and vegetables each day.

    I find 1400-calories per day to be more than enough for me and am not tempted to eat more or feeling starved, just slightly hungry every now and then.

    By doing moderate exercise 3 days a week for 30 minutes, walking to school each day and playing football and soccer during the day, while eating 1400-calories per day, will I lose weight?

  273. MotleyHealth
    June 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Ben, yes you will lose weight on that regime. As you body probably needs around 2700 Calories a day this is a large deficit. Doing more exercise will help. While walking is good, 5-10 minutes is a very short walk. I also assume that you are not playing football very intensively in those breaks. While light exercise is good, intensive (sweating, panting) is much better. Stick to the plan though and you should see results. Take your time, do not expect to lose all the weight in a few months. If you can lose a kilo a week it will take a year to get down to 83 kg. Work hard and you can do it quicker than that, but do not get despondent, keep working at it.

  274. Tina
    June 29, 2012 at 6:13 am


    I am 18 years old, 5’3, and weight about 178lbs. I am walking with a little bit of running on the treadmill for either 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours.
    I am eating around 1300 – 1500 calories a day. I don’t eat any bad foods, and only drink water.

    I have been using myfitnesspal and for example: I eat 1300 calories, and burn 300 with exercise. It shows my net for the day being 1000 calories.
    Is this bad? Should I make sure my Net is 1200?

    I have been hearing people talk about starvation mode and I have become worried because I want to do this the healthy way and keep my metabolism working fine. Am I doing okay?

    Thank you

  275. MotleyHealth
    June 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Hi Tina, you are doing OK. The 1200 Calories figure you may have seen is a recommendation of the minimum calories. As you are eating more than that, nothing to worry about. Starvation mode is not really relevant if you are exercising for 60-90 minutes a day and taking 1500 Calories. They key for now is to ensure you are eating a balanced diet – vegetables, fruits, lean meats, eggs etc.

  276. angela
    July 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Hi I’m 50 years old i want to lose 30 pounds how many calories should i consume in a day i need? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

  277. Sunil Navale
    July 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Dear sir,
    my age is 35 year old (men) my weight is 90 Kg. i want loss weight 20 Kg, can you suggestion me.what i can do

    sunil navale

  278. MotleyHealth
    July 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Angela, it really depends on how you plan to lose weight. But, if you can stick to around 1200 Calories a day and also take daily exercise then you should be able to lose 1-2 pounds a week. Make sure you avoid all low GI foods, so little or no bread. Instead – vegetables, pulses, eggs, chicken fish etc.

  279. MotleyHealth
    July 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Sunil, read the articles in the weight loss and fitness sections of this site. Basically, you need to start exercising every day and eat less. It really is that simple. They key is to eat mostly low GI food, maintain a well balanced diet and do a variety of exercise.

  280. Adriana
    July 4, 2012 at 8:26 am


    I’m a 19 year old female, and looking at the chart provided on this page, it looks like it recommends that teenagers would need more calories, even when wanting to lose weight. So I want to make sure if it’s healthy for me to eat 1,200 a day. At 19, would I need more calories than that, even to lose weight?

    Thank you.

  281. MotleyHealth
    July 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Adriana, that is right, the rapid growth and development during puberty and adolescence requires a lot of energy. It really depends on your development though. If you eat 1200 Calories a day that will be 900 fewer than the average requirement for a 19 year-old woman in the “low activity” group. This should provide weight loss of around 1-2 pounds a week. The key is to ensure you are getting a healthy balance to your meals. Exercise really is important, it makes weight loss easier, healthier and more sustainable. As mentioned previously, the biggest problem with using charts like this is that it is actually very hard to accurately count calories.

  282. carol
    July 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hi, I am 45 and about 45lbs overweight, I do lots of exercise during the week, 2x 1hour Zumba sessions, 1 x Piloxing class and 1 x Pilates, I also do 1 hour walks up hills. I need to know how many calories I should be eating a day, as I started off losing 1kg a week steadily and have now gone down to 400 grams, I feel this is not enough considering all the exercise and healthy eating I am doing.

    Please advise.

  283. MotleyHealth
    July 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Hi Carol, it sounds like you are doing great. To lose a little extra weight each week you just need to make your portions a little smaller. There is little point in setting a calorie target as you are already losing weight and measuring that weight loss too. 400 g a week weight is still good though, that is almost a pound a week. Just look to make a few little changes in your diet and maintain the exercise.

  284. Rockwela
    July 10, 2012 at 5:30 am

    I have been steadily losing weight, a total of 25 pounds, but my weight loss has stalled. I am 22, 5’6, and 201 pounds. I do Zumba 4 times a week, sometimes 5, for an hour each time. When I began losing weight, I was eating 1200 calories a day, but lately it has become harder to restrict my calories. I struggle with snacking out of boredom, and I find it almost impossible to turn down a cookie or ice cream when it is readily available. I now average about 1500 calories a day, and I haven’t been losing. I know that all of the extra snacks have been sabotaging my diet, but I’m confused with all of these calculations. Some places say I’m not eating enough, but I’m not sure if I should try eating more and see if it works, or to try to go back down to 1200 calories a day. I am cutting out the sweets, so I know that will help, but I am still confused about how many calories I’m supposed to have.

  285. MotleyHealth
    July 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Hi Rockwela, probably best to stop counting the calories really. If you are eating ice cream and cookies on a regular basis then this is probably the main problem. Stop that and you should start losing weight. Dropping the snacks may seem like a hardship at first but soon you will not even want them. If you really want to lose weight then you have to do it. Just make sure they are always out of sight.

  286. Vicky
    July 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Hi. I an 5′ 4″ and weigh 190 lbs! What should I do?

  287. Liz
    July 11, 2012 at 12:47 am

    I am a female division 1 athlete, and I have been trying to lose weight to perform better during season. I’m 6′ tall and weigh about 170 and use My Fitness Pal on a daily basis. I have been eating very healthy lately and consequently am worried I’m consuming too few calories to maintain my high metabolism. However, I fill up my entire plate every meal and am quite full afterwards. Is it okay to have a lower calorie intake since I’m eating healthy?

  288. MotleyHealth
    July 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Vicky, eat a leaner, healthier diet or 3 meals a day and no snacks, and exercise every single day of the week.

  289. MotleyHealth
    July 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Liz, if your goal is to lose fat then you do need to create a calorie deficit somehow. If you cannot do more exercise (e.g. if you are training hard already) then you need to reduce total calories. The key is to ensure that your muscles are receiving adequate nutrition, so plenty of good quality carbs (vegetables, pulses, fruits, nuts) and lean proteins (fish, eggs, lean meats, poultry and maybe supplements) will reducing all the starchy foods, breads, rice, etc. And ofcourse totally ditch all junk, snacks, soda etc. Water is your friend. So in short, yes, it is OK to lower calories to lose fat. As an athlete you need to do this before the season starts though otherwise you may lack some strength during competition time.

    Generally you should be following a routine a bit like this:

    Out-of-season: working on fitness and strength, bulking up
    Pre-season: working on fat reduction and cardio, maintaining muscle
    Season: focusing on energy and recovery and maintaining fitness and muscle

    Easier said than done! Do you have a coach?

  290. John
    July 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Hi, I am 5’9 male, 25 years old, 145 pounds, and I am wondering how accurate the table listed is. I do 80-90 minutes of intense spinning (around 12-14 MET’s, or 225-250 watts) daily, and I walk with my girlfriend 2-3 miles in the evening. Does that mean I can really eat around 3000 calories?


  291. MotleyHealth
    July 12, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Hi John, it is of course just a guide. But 90 minutes of intense spinning is certainly going to increase your calorie requirements. Do you know how many calories you are eating at the moment? You may already be eating this much.

  292. John
    July 12, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Hi, thanks for the response. No, I am not sure- I eat healthy foods most of the time, like oatmeal for breakfast, chicken breasts, salads, fruits, etc. My doctor recommended 3500 for my activity level and I thought she was nuts, but this site is kind of close to what she said. I looked up some stuff online and it seems some days I’m around 2000, whereas somedays I eat as high as 4500, so I’m all over the place, haha.

  293. Maddie
    July 13, 2012 at 6:00 am


    I have been on a 1400 calorie diet for about 2 months now.
    I have lost some weight and id still like to loose some more.
    Now my question is, when i’ve reached my goal weight, i want to start eating normally again.
    I want to eat more without gaining the weight ive lost.
    I weigh 55 kilos and i am 161 cm long and i am 17 years old soon.
    I just want to eat like a normal teen after ive reached my goal weight.
    I do strength training 3 times a week and i try to go for a 45-60 min walk a day. Should i increase my calorie intake gradually or what can i do to keep my goal weight when ive reached it? i really dont want to gain everything back.

  294. MotleyHealth
    July 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Maddie, really the best option is to increase your calorie intake gradually an monitor your progress. As soon as you start gaining weight you know that you have gone too far and need to cut back. Also do bear in mind that at 17 you may still be growing.

  295. MotleyHealth
    July 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Hi John, the key is to ensure that you vary how much you eat depending on what you are doing. So if you are exercising for 2 hours intensively one day they you may well need 4500 Calories, if you are doing nothing on another day and hoping not to gain any fat and maybe lose some, then 2000 Calories could be a good figure to aim for.

  296. hannah
    July 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    hi, I’m 14 years old and my current weight is 82 kg and I wanna lose 30 kg in two months. I also have planned to jog on treadmill for two hours a day, but it’s hard to do it all at once, so I do it 4 times a day and every time it takes 30 minutes. I started to eat only a nectarine for breakfast and for lunch I ate three fried shrimp, that’s all, is it enough? I don’t know but help me as much as you can but I really need to lose 30 kg. and if I should add something to my daily diet what should I add and how much?thank you for your time and advice.

  297. Michelle B.
    July 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I am currently jogging 3 miles a day and doing 0.3 mile cool down. It is about 400 calories burned from calculations. I eat a total of 1400 calories a day. That makes my net Calories 1000. What I am trying to figure out is, is this enough or should I bump it up to 1500? Or should I decrease it to 1300. I find it hard to know if what I am doing as far as exercise is low or high activity. I just don’t want to slow down my metabolism by eating too little.

  298. MotleyHealth
    July 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Michelle. What are your goals? To get fit, or get fit and lose weight (fat), or to get fit and tone up? If you are trying to lose fat then what you are doing is OK. If you only goal is to get fit then you may need more calories. The only way to know though is to monitor your progress and adjust your routine to suit your needs and goals.

  299. MotleyHealth
    July 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Hannah. Firstly, you cannot lose 30 kg in 3 months. That is 2.3 kg a week, or about 5 pounds. It is possible to lose that much weight weekly if you are extremely overweight, but not at 82 kg. As for your diet, no, it is not enough to eat a nectarine and 3 fried shrimp every day. You need more energy, more vegetables, more protein. If you do a variety of exercise you will stay interested for longer, hopefully permanently. A regime of 4 workouts a day is going to be hard to maintain and take a lot longer than doing a single workout – assuming you have a shower after each jog. If you are not sweating enough to need a shower after then you are not working hard enough.

  300. Jualia
    July 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Hi I am 46 yrs old and weigh 200 pounds I am 5ft 9in and have a semi active job and an active home life (I have a small farm) but how can i lose weight i eat about 1500 to 2000 calories a day,what more can i do

  301. MotleyHealth
    July 23, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Hi Jualia, the answer is simple – eat less. While you may think that you are controlling your diet and always sticking to 1500-2000 Calories, it is exremely likely that some days you exceed this figure. Bear in mind that the average 46 year-old woman needs 2000 Calories the maintain their weight, you do need less to lose weight. Having an active lifestyle is important, but many people working on farms, in liveries etc. still manage to eat too much. Snacking on the go is often a problem, as is eating very large meals in the evening when tired. So start by being much stricter with your diet throughout the day. A diet diary really helps.

  302. Teri
    July 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Hello — I have lost nearly 100 pounds, and have another 50 to lose. I teach Zumba fitness five times a week, keep track of calories burned using a heart rate monitor, drink an average of 10 glasses of water a day, and journal my food intake daily. According to the program I use I am supposed to consume about 1900 calories daily before exercise. On a light workout day I burn 1000 calories and on a heavy workout day 2500. I have found myself at a plateau for nearly two months and am not sure what to do to jump start the loss again.

  303. MotleyHealth
    July 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Teri, as you have kept a diet diary you can now analyse everything that you have been eating. Maybe you can cut back on some foods, or swap some items? Remember to look at all drinks too. You are exercising enough so diet has to be the main solution, although you may also benefit from some weight training to help build muscles in the upper body.

  304. Yuuki
    July 29, 2012 at 1:32 am

    i am 17 years old and my weight is 80 kg…. i do treadmill for one hour in a day ….breakfast : cereal… lunch : chicken without oil with three bran bread… any fruit … dinner : chicken with rice(without oil) and a fruit…

    My body has stubborn fat… please recommend me any exercise for thighs and hips.

  305. MotleyHealth
    July 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Hi Yuuki, nobody has stubborn fat. Your biggest problem is probably the 3 naan breads for lunch and rice for dinner. These are full of energy, far more than your body needs. Start by having half a naan for lunch and no rice for dinner – have some steamed cooked vegetables instead, but not a huge portion. One hour of exercise a day is enough to get in shape so long as your diet is good.

  306. Sharon
    August 3, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Hi! My husband is overweight . He is 5’11″and230lbs. The doctor says he is borderline diabetic. He is to lose weight but he is on his feet all day and doesn’t want to exercise. I would like some good recipes that would be good to prepare. Do you haveany suggestions? Thanks

  307. ai
    August 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    im 33 yrs;old i always have a diet and now i realized i should be counting calories because before i eat lots of fruits in a day like mangoes then i also have wheat bread.is that okay?im always gaining back .what should i eat coz i dont know if it makes me fat but i dont eat rice anymore just wheat bread.

  308. MotleyHealth
    August 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Sharon, your best bet is to go to Amazon and look through some of the books available there – search for “healthy recipes”. However, a lot of men eat healthy at home and then snack at work or when out with friends, and this is where all the extra calories come from! Our Low GI Diet ebook provides some diet advice that may help you to prepare healthier meals, but again, without making some lifestyle changes it will be hard to break some old habits.

  309. MotleyHealth
    August 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Ai, counting calories is one way. Just giving yourself smaller portions and being more aware of how much food you are eating every day is another way (and a simpler way). Set yourself 3 meals a day and do not snack. Take regular exercise.

  310. GC
    August 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Hi – I am a 63 year old male that started at 223 pounds and lost just under 20 pounds in 14 weeks with weight watchers. I am 5’10″ My weekly weigh-ins fluctuate and it’s disappointing that last week I only lost -.2. I was extremely active, treadmill, 45 minute works outs and never exceeded 1878 calories. I think it’s difficult to monitor my weight because of a lymphedema condition in my right leg. On any given day my leg can retain more fluid than the previous day or week.

    With that said, I am trying to reach a goal weight of 185 pounds. I find it more and more difficult as time goes on. I also find that eating a lot of bananas actually hampers my weight loss. Can you suggest what I can do to lose weight at the rate of 2 pounds a week and what you feel the fluid retention in the leg accounts for- as far as actual weight?


  311. MotleyHealth
    August 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Hi GC, if fluid retention is a big problem then measure your progress in a different way – measure your waist circumference instead, this should provide a better measure of fat loss. I always find it a little odd when people are so specific about calories – how do you measure the 1878 calories that you eat – just curious. You should lose fat on that diet with 45 minutes of exercise. How often though are you exercising? Are you otherwise active with walking etc. or mostly sedentary? This makes a big difference too.

    Eating a lot of anything will hamper weight loss – especially bananas. They are healthy but full of energy. Vital for athletes, not so important when fat loss is the main goal.

  312. GC
    August 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the reply – it was helpful!
    Yes, I am mostly sedentary other than a 45 minute treadmill work out and 2-15 minute walks with the dog. I also use a new gadget hot off the press from weight watchers. It’s an activity tracker that tracks your activity. At the end of the day you plug it in your computer and it measures your activity goal and whether or not you reached it. If you reached it, you receive activity points that I never use. I also count my calories on about.com and compare them with my points on weight watchers. It’s extremely odd that some weeks I lose weight using all my points and other weeks I lose miniscule weight not using activity points or weekly extra points. Oddly enough, weight watchers does not count fruit as calories but about.com does. Like I indicated previously, I would be thrilled to lose another 15 pounds and just maintain that weight. My challenges are my age and medical baggage but I’m determined. I just think I’m making it harder than what I should be. Thanks again.

  313. MotleyHealth
    August 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Well, I do not understand why Weight Watchers do not count fruit in calories – I guess as they do not want to put people off eating it! But fruit contains calories, and to lose weight you have to reduce total calories, not just unhealthy calories!

    If you are eating loads of fruit then cut back a little and monitor your progress.

  314. leins
    August 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Hi, I already lost 4 kilos but then when I weighed few hours ago I gained 4. Is that because im so full when I weighed. I count my calories everyday I drink a lot of water I don’t eat rice. Breakfast just oatmeal or wheat bread same in lunch or dinner just non fat milk, but somtimes I cheat I may eat pasta or noodles..what must i do in order to lose some pounds and how to maintain f i reach my goal already..thanks

  315. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Leins, the weight gain could be because you are so full, especially if you had just drunk a lot of water. How often do you eat pasta and noodles? To lose weight you just need to be consistent with your diet and your exercise. Each time you cheat you halt weight loss.

  316. leins
    August 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    i only eat noodles once a week or maybe none…yes i weighed so full drinking lots of water and eating a fruit like sweet potatoe but if i weighed again tommorow and not yet eating well i lose 4 kilos so i just want to maintain my goal weight f ever.thanks a lot

  317. leins
    August 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    my exercise is only baby sitting i always carried my 9 months son and a body twister

  318. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    You should really just weigh yourself once a week, ideally in the morning after going to the toilet but before eating breakfast. As for exercise, you need to do more.

  319. Fareeha pirzada
    August 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Hi I’m 37 years old and my height is 5’4 and I weigh 8 stones 5. I have fat mainly around my belly. I read in Rosemary magazine that for my age I need around 1285 calories a day, it’s mainly my stomach so how many calories should I burn a day? I am going to exercise around 4 times aerobics.
    What can you suggest?
    Also if I exercise aerobic exercise 4/5 times a week will I need more calories than my daily allowance?

  320. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Fareeha. I assume that the figure you read of 1285 calories a day refers to the amount to eat to lose around 1 pound a week? According to our table a 37 year old woman needs around 1800 Calories on sedentary days and 2000 Calories on low activity days. Anything below these figures, combined with exercise, should aid weight loss.

    However, as you BMI is 20.1, you do not really need to lose any weight. Your focus should be on getting fitter and eating healthy. So exercise more, and get around 1500-1800 Calories a day, but make sure these calories are mostly nutritious plant based foods and lean proteins.

  321. Fareeha pirzada
    August 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Hi It was a personal calorie allowance for my weight and age so I’m confused, ok so I should aim for 1500/1800 and should I eat fish/ veg / fruits etc small portion?cause I get bloated quickly
    My main question was if I’m exercising high aerobics 4 times a week will I need more calories because I am using more energy or stick to 1500/1800

  322. Fareeha pirzada
    August 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    What can you suggest for loosing the belly fat?

  323. Fareeha pirzada
    August 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Also shall I spilt my calories like have 200 for breakfast 300 lunch etc how will I know how. Much to have?

  324. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Fereeha, if you wish to lose weight you need to restrict calories – do not consume more on the days you are exercise, otherwise you will not lose fat. As for how to split your calorie allowance, the traditional 3 meals a day works very well. Try not to overcomplicate things – just eat smaller portions and exercise more.

  325. Fareeha pirzada
    August 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Hi when I exercise how many calories should I be burning each day?

  326. MotleyHealth
    August 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    As many as you want! Focus more on getting fitter and setting goals, rather than counting calories. Do 30 minutes of intensive exercise every day and you should be able to attain your goals.

  327. Paula
    August 24, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Thank you for your article and all your advice you have given others. I have been dieting my whole adult life and for the first time I really understand what I need to do to reach my goal weight and maintain it.

  328. sandra
    August 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Hi, i am 36 and currently weigh 133lbs and i am 5’4 and i want to lose about 15lbs in two months. what do i need to do to reach that goal? please advise.

  329. MotleyHealth
    August 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Hi Sandra, 15 pounds in 2 months, that is around 3 1/2 pounds a week weight loss. This is possible for those who are very overweight, however, your BMI is 22.8, you are not overweight, so losing that much weight in 2 months is not going to be healthy.

    What you need to do is simply exercise daily, with 3-4 very intensive workouts each week, and eat really healthy and really lean.

  330. nikki
    September 15, 2012 at 6:16 am

    HI! I weigh 138 pounds and I want to lose 15 pounds in 2 months. If I run 2.5 miles every day, how many calories can I intake each day?? Thanks!

  331. nikki
    September 15, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Oh and I forgot to mention that I’m a 19 year old female

  332. MotleyHealth
    September 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Hi Nikki, to lose 15 pounds in 2 months means you need to lose about 1 3/4 pounds a week. This will require (on average) a daily 875 Calorie deficit. 2.5 miles is probably classed as moderate activity, so you will have to restrict yourself to 1225 Calories a day. It is possible, but it will be hard. You also need to ensure that the food you are eating will aid fat loss – so low GI foods, protein etc. Bear in mind that 125 pounds is not very heavy and depending on your height, this is a lowish bodyweight, so it will become harder to reach that target as you get closer – especially with only 2.5 miles running every day.

  333. Candice
    September 30, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Hello, I’m new to losing weight and exercising and was wondering if you could clear up a few things for me. I’m a 24 year old female who is 5’7 and I currently weigh 188lbs. I would like to get back to my pre-baby weight and lose about 30 lbs or so. I’m currently eating about 1200-1300 calories a day and doing 30 min cardio workouts everyday. Am I eating the right amount of calories and working out enough to lose my goal weight? Or can you offer any advice? Even though I’m eating small meals and portioned servings I still fear that I’m eating too much to lose weight. Can you please help? Thank you!!

  334. MotleyHealth
    September 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Candice, your portions / calories sound good for weight loss – and about the minimum you should eat. Make sure those 1200 calories are healthy – fruits, vegetables, lean proteins. As for exercise, 30 minutes of cardio is a good start. But you want to build that up – focus on getting fitter, working harder. If you are still doing the exact same 30 minute cardio workout in 3 months you will hit a wall. Keep getting fitter and stronger. Vary your workouts and keep challenging yourself.

  335. natasha
    October 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Hi i am a 31 year old female im 5ft4 and 157lbs and i want to lose 13lbs in 8-10 weeks i aim to do 20 mins exercise 4 days a week.I also suffer from pcos so i do find it a bit hard to lose weight but i have done it in the past so i know its achievable how many calories should i eat per day,should i up my exercise or add weights any info would be great

  336. MotleyHealth
    October 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Natasha. 13 pounds in 8-10 weeks is certainly achievable (weight loss of 1.3-1.6 pounds a week is needed). However, you are going to need to do more than 20 minutes of exercise 4 times a week. If you do this, this will be 80 minutes a week – a single fitness session can easily last 90 minutes. So yes, do more. More cardio (aim to get fitter each week, do not do the same workout for the next 10 weeks) and do some strength training too. You are going to need around 1500-1800 Calories a day. Make sure everything you eat is nutrient dense and get plenty of protein too.

  337. sushmajain
    October 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I am 53 my weight is 108kg. I start taking food of 1200 calorie a day. how much time i will take to loose 30 kg weight

  338. MotleyHealth
    October 8, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Hi Sushmajain, If you do manage to stick to that diet and you start exercising then it could take around 60 weeks, in theory. Set yourself a target of 1 year to get to your goal weight.

  339. Ryan
    October 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Hi I currently weigh about 6 foot, 80kg, 16 , male and I wouldn’t say I appear fat by I have an obsession with having a flat stomach, I have a lot of fat around my stomach and its my only problem area I have a bf percentage of about 25% which has been really annoying me for days, I have increased my exercise progressively over the last month and I currently do minimal strength all over my body 3 times a week with 30 mins cardio and cardio on a Sunday for about 45 mins, I have always been kinda tubby for about 8 years and just really want to be lean and feel good about myself and it really gets my family down as we have a very busy lifestyle so I usually have junk about two meals a week (although I try realistically I can’t exclude this due to time restrictions and my parents convenience) and we have loads of the junk in the house and I can’t break the chain of permanently dropping the idea of the odd bag of crisps or biscuit, I don’t really count cals I only try to keep it round about/under 2000 I have bran flakes for breakfast fruit for mid morning snack tuna sandwich(brown) for lunch, im going to increase my whey protein shakes to pre and post workout (rather than just post) and my dinner (eg. Chicken stir fry, lasagne, brown pasta and pizza, chicken tikka and brown rice) I only have one protein shake on off days but have more fruit as a sub meal, and as I said most days although minimal this includes crisps biscuits etc and odd junk meal. I am sorry for going on and on but would really appreciate the help as I want to break bad habits and be healthier. Any advice would be appreciated. How much should I lose. I want to look good for my holiday next October in Florida but would like to reach my goal before then.

  340. MotleyHealth
    October 17, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Ryan, you have to stop the junk. Simple. By the sounds of it for the last 8 years junk food has been leading to slow and steady weight gain. Stop the 2 junk meals a week, stop to biscuits, the crisps. If you carry on with your current diet and add protein shakes you will gain weight faster.

  341. Ryan
    October 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    So is my diet ok minus the junk? That’s my diet improved over the last month or so. And I added the whey to add protein and reduce my ‘snackage’ I lost half a stone since coming back from holiday? Is my training ok? I am planning on making the no junk comitment very soon and have my calorie in take around 1500 to 1800 per day with sufficient amounts of proteins. Does this sound ok? Many thanks!

  342. MotleyHealth
    October 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Ryan, it sounds OK. Just do it and log / monitor your progress.

  343. gail ramsay
    December 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    hi I’m 59, female, 5ft 6. I’m retired but a cyclist so i take fairly regular but light exercise.I spent a year reducing my weight gradually to 10 stone 6 from my 5 year average of 11 stone 8. A year and a half of being just slightly more sedentary than usual saw me shoot up to an obese 14 stone 2lb.I could not face repeating my previous diet of giving up butter,cheese,bread,pasta sugar. So i looked for something that could be more of a life style choice and have now lost exactly 30 lbs since starting an alternate day fast regime from 1/8/2012.My fast day is generally a complete fast with only water (if I feel deprived I do allow myself a light broth at 7pm)I keep a food and calorie diary and my average daily calorie intake is 730 calories if i average out my eating and fast day.I know this is extreme but I feel OK. Very active on an eating day slightly less so on a fast day and it appears to be very effective in reducing inflammation and consequent pain from an arthritic ankle and knee which was a factor in the reduced exercise that led to obesity.I want to continue this till i reach 10 stone then move to a 2 day fast out of 7 as maintenance.Do you know of any specific dangers from this level of reduction that would make me rethink this regime

  344. MotleyHealth
    December 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Gail, I am not aware of any specific dangers. Losing weight is generally a good idea in the long term too. So long as you are getting plenty of healthy food / nutrients on your eating days, then you should be OK.

  345. Kari
    December 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Im 24 yrs old hight 5’2 180 lbs right before my daughter i was 160 (about to be 2 y/o)i have always struggle with my weight.I want to go downt to 130-120 thats should be like 50-60 lbs. I have always try to lose weight but always fail like i really dont try, but this time i really want to try and lose weight and keep it up and lose it. i just bearly started 12-18-12 i started counting my calories my plan is to eat 1000-1500 calories per day eat healthy stuff i will try to drink a lot of water, also greet tea, and eat lots of fruit and other healthy good. my plan is to walk one hour3-4 times a week and the other 3 walk 30 mins and do some cardio 30 mins. can this will be able to work for me or what should u recommend?

  346. MotleyHealth
    December 21, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Hi Kari, this should work. Ideally increase exercise intensity over time. Aim to lose the weight in a year – average a pound a week. If you want to lose weight quicker you will need to exercise more and eat leaner some days.

  347. sara
    January 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    hi, im 23 and 138lb.i work for a bank so its not hard work.i try to do exercise for 15- 20min a day and eat under 1500 cal.what can i do if i want to loose 12lb in 4weeks.

  348. MotleyHealth
    January 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    OK, according to the rules of human biology, to lose 3 pounds of fat a week (based on a goal of 12lb in 4 weeks) you need to have a total calorie deficit of 10,500 Calories, which is a daily deficit of 1500 Calories. The average 23 year old woman who is a little active (20 mins exercise a day probably makes you “low activity”) needs 2100 Calories. So that means you need to eat 600 Calories a day to lose 12 pounds in 4 weeks. That is not much food.

    In all honesty, you should set a different goal. Increase the amount of exercise you do, in addition to daily workouts do 3-4 longer sessions each week, each of 45-60 minutes, or more. Join an intensive fitness class in the evening if possible. Aim to lose the weight over a period of around 2-3 months so that you are in good shape by the Spring and all through the Summer. 1100 Calories a day is doable, but 600 will leave you tired, lacking energy, concentration etc.

  349. sara
    January 11, 2013 at 10:50 am

    thank u

  350. Navs
    January 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I am taking food of 1800 calories daily and i am fat because of hereditary and also i take minimal food taking breakfast,lunch and finally in dinner.weight of the body is 92 and age is 23, what are the tips to take diet in daily.

  351. MotleyHealth
    January 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Navs, hereditary / genes has next to nothing to do with your weight. Do not deceive yourself. If you weigh 92 kg at the age or 23 years, it is only because you have been eating too much food and not exercising enough. Make the positive changes that we suggest here – eat healthy, exercise daily. See our nutrition section for healthy diet advice, everything you need is there.

  352. misty martin
    January 14, 2013 at 5:42 am

    hi! I am 25 yrs old, and 5’7…i weigh 150 lbs….I WANT so badly to lose 20 lbs as fast as possible and also firm up my belly….can this be done in a month? And can you please give me some pointers??….THANK YOU!!! :)

  353. MotleyHealth
    January 14, 2013 at 11:09 am

    20 pounds in one month is possible, if you are very overweight / obese. However, you weight is pretty healthy at the moment. What you need to do is exercise a lot, ideally twice a day with one endurance cardio session and then later a weight training / bodyweight training session. Aim for at least 2 hours exercise a day. Plus, restrictive diet, with mostly lean proteins to ensure that the you do not suffer from muscle wastage. Stop all refined carbs (anything baked, all ready meals, all sugar based foods etc). You should be eating fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, eggs and dairy, nuts and maybe some oats and seeds. Drink water, coffee, tea.

  354. Raj
    January 16, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Hello, I am 42 and 180 lbs. I want to lose 20 lbs. currently I am taking between 1700-2000 calories. I went to gym for two weeks stop going to gym after bad cold. I can see that I lost some weight. What should I do differently to lose 20 lbs in 3 months.
    Thx Raj

  355. MotleyHealth
    January 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Raj, why do you need to do something different? You say you went to the gym and lost weight, so carry on. Do not let a cold stop you from exercising for more than a few days. Just improve your diet and keep exercising.

  356. Essra
    January 31, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Hi there,

    Been reading the above comments, very informative thank you.

    I am a 21 yr old female who has lost about 15 kilos (32 or 33 lb im guessing) in the past 4-5 months. I am currently at 63 kilos, and my height is 160. whilst im considered at a healthy weight range, it’s better to go a bit less so I’m hoping to keep losing weight until I reach 55 – 58 kilos. I’ve been doing rigourous exercise 1.5hrs 5 days a week high level workout and I walk almost everyday. Once I hopfully reach this weight in 2-3 months, what measurements do I need to do to maintain that weight? Would I need to maintain the 5 day/week intensive workout forever or can I drop it down a little just to maintain my fitness and weight?

  357. MotleyHealth
    January 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Essra, really there is no way to answer this. You need to determine your own balanced lifestyle. This will certainly involve regular exercise, walking and a healthy diet. How much exercise and how much you eat are going to be your own personal choices. If you can train yourself to eat less then you can also exercise less. Ideally, once you reach your target weight you will be nicely settled into an exercise routine and you will be able to carry on with this, but have the option to tone it down a little and not exercise so intensively, or for so long, or so often. You may find that 45 minutes 4 days a week is enough to stay in shape. But it is something you have to workout for yourself. Well done on getting this far.

  358. lisa
    February 27, 2013 at 3:47 am

    My doctor told me that i needed 2000 calories a day to lose lbs. I also excercise 3-4 times a week so she said i can add 200 more calories and i will still lose weight. She told me eating less 2000 calories would cause my matobolism to slow down, although i would lose weight at first, i would put the weight back on instantly. So far 2000 calorie diet has been working for me. I was consuming around 3,500 calories a day, now i am consuming 2000 calories and have lost fat. I think you should consult with a doctor before doing any diet!

  359. MotleyHealth
    February 27, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Hi Lisa, good advice – always speak to your doctor if you can. However, the metabolism slowing down is not entirely correct though, as with a balanced diet and exercise you can maintain your metabolism. Metabolism is largely controlled by muscle mass. And you will always regain the weight if you start eating too much again, regardless of how you lost it. But, if 2000 Calories a day is working for you, great.

    This does fit with the table above, as women between 18 and 50 need 2250-2350 Calories a day (on average) if highly active, and any less than that should result in steady weight loss.

  360. Daphne
    March 2, 2013 at 10:28 am


    I am 23 this year. My height is about 1.55m and weight is 80kg.

    And I just started a new job on friday, is a 5.5 workweek and is about 2.5km away from my house. And I took 30-40mins to walk to my workplace. So I will be walking 5km for 6days per week.

    For my diet, I rarely eat breakfast, my lunch is usually curry rice and dinner usually instant noodles or fruits (Banana, apple, kiwi). I am kinda picky when comes to food, as I don’t take milk, cereal, cake, carrot, vegetable. I only eat chicken and seafood.

    And I want to lose 30kg, roughly how long do I need to take? or is there any changes I have to make?

  361. MotleyHealth
    March 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Daphne, 30kg will take a while to lose. Really you should make it your goal for 2013, give yourself the rest of the year. While you may be able to lose as much as 1 kg a week, it will be hard to do that without more intensive exercise. Go easy on the rice and noodles, reduce portions. Eat plenty of fruit (but not too much) and had a small breakfast, this prevents you over-eating at lunchtime, and gives you more energy to concentrate at work.

  362. Shaquitha Hawkins
    March 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This article was very helpful. Im 5’6 and im 181 pounds and im trying reach 135 pounds and stay that way forever. I stopped eating sugar and fried foods, and eating healthy foods an drinks. What was also helpful for me was the websites you provided.

  363. MotleyHealth
    March 3, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Glad it helped Shaquitha, there is certainly a lot of good and free information out there on the Interweb!

  364. gabrielle
    March 6, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Hi, I’m gabrielle, 16 years old, I’m 5’6 tall, I weigh 155, (lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks) I do exercise everyday such as; 30 min. treadmill running & dancing as a daily exercise , I want to lose more pounds, 25 more If possible, a month ago, I be eating like about 4000 calories a day, but if I would estimate the calorie I be eating these days, it’s almost about a half, approximately 1200 calorie a day. I don’t know what to do to lose more pounds, any suggestion from you guys will help :)) thanks :))

  365. MotleyHealth
    March 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Hi Gabrielle, 1200 Calories is a lot less than half of 4000. At 16 years you really do not want to restrict your diet that much. If you consume around 1600 Calories a day you will still lose weight, just make sure those calories are all healthy – no junk food, no processed food. Eat low GI vegetables (salads, fresh fruits and pulses etc), cut back on bread (empty calories) and eat lean protein sources such as eggs, fish and chicken (not fried). See our nutrition section for more.

    As for exercise, carry on, but consider making it more intense, and start some resistance exercises, such as yoga or weight training. Circuit training is a good option as is works your whole body and helps to tone muscle better than running or dancing alone. Our 20 minute home workout is a popular choice.

    If you cut calories too much you do risk longer term health problems – your body is in a stage of growth and development at the moment and it needs healthy, nutritious energy.

  366. Geoff R
    March 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    To lose 20 pounds in 1 month you would need to eat 2400 calories less per day (this is why very overweight people who have been eating around 4000 calories per day can lose weight quicker than lighter people, as they can reduce their intake by 2400 calories per day and still eat enough to sustain themselves).


    Sorry but could you explain this. Surely a very overweight person eating 4000 calories is eating way too much. First they would have to reduce to a ‘normal’ amount so as not to gain any further weight and THEN they would have to reduce still further so as to loose weight ??? This would suggest that their daily intake to achieve a desired weight loss would be no different from the ‘thinner’ person but the amount of calories that the fat person would have to reduce by would be substantially more and hence much harder for them ?

  367. MotleyHealth
    March 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Geoff, what I meant was ….

    Say an overweight person had been eating 4000 Calories a day. If they went on a diet, eating 1600 Calories a day and started exercising, they would lose weight easily. 1600 Calories is still a fair amount of food, so you can have 3 meals a day and have a well balanced diet. They will be eating 2400 fewer Calories a day, which is a huge change to their diet.

    A thinner person who wanted to lose the last of their weight may want to cut down calories to around 1200, depending on their muscle mass and exercise regime etc. 1600 may be too much for somebody looking to lose the last few pounds.

    Of course, the key is the prepare a few healthy meals a day and get active. Counting calories is not actually very easy (unless you use scales, a calorie counter and a spreadsheet to keep track of everything).

  368. Rocky Lobo
    March 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Hi. I am 47 years old and I am 5′-5″. I weight 73 kgs. And I want to reach at 65 kgs
    I have been walking and jogging daily for about 30 mins. abt a year back I was 81 kgs and I lost nearly 8 kgs in a year.
    Then I stopped reducing further after I reached 71 kgs. and now I am again 72 to 73. So now I want to come to 65 kgs for which I am now having a bowl of milk with meusli for breakfast, steamed vegetables for lunch and normal roti and rice for dinner. Can u please help advice if what I am doing is correct or I should change my dinner menu ? Thanks

  369. MotleyHealth
    March 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Rocky, your diet looks good, maybe just adjust portion size, add some protein and do some weight training exercises 2-3 times a week.

  370. sanam
    April 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    hi im 26years old women my wt is 150 lbs n height is 5 feet 4 inch.plz tell me what should i do to loose my wt.how many calories i take daily to loose 2 lbs per week.n how much i use cardio to reduce my wt.thanks.plz advice me.

  371. MotleyHealth
    April 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    1200 Calories a day will result in approximately 2 pounds weight loss a week with some moderate exercise performed daily. It is not possible to specify exactly how much to do, just aim to do 45-60 minutes a day.

  372. Suzette
    April 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I am a 17 stone, 5’10″ disabled woman and need/desire to lose weight asap as I am to have an operation. My calorie intake ate the moment is just about 1000 calories. Will I lose more than 2lbs a week as my weight is higher? If so, at what level is the weight loss likely to slow down? Woild it be safe for me to eat less calories?

  373. MotleyHealth
    April 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Suzette, you may lose more than 2 pounds a week, and while weight loss may slow down, it is not really possible to put a date on it. Eating fewer than 1000 calories a day is not recommended – you need to keep your strength up for any operation really. Ideally your consultant / doctor should be able to advise you on the best course of action.

  374. Melanie
    May 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I weigh 144.2 lbs, age 43, height 5ft, my goal weight is 121.3lbs. When I calculated my calorie intake should be 1340 per day, however to lose weight at say 1lb a week (500 calories deficit), should I consume 1090 calories a day and excercise equivalent to 250 calorie loss a day?

  375. MotleyHealth
    May 7, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Hi Melanie, based on the charts on this page your daily calorie needs are approximately 1800. So 1300 Calories would be your target, which could mean eating 1550 Calories and exercising 250 Calories.

    If you aim for 1200 Calories a day then you have room for some margin of error in calculating how much you are eating.

  376. Shoaib
    May 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    My Age is 39 (SEX -M) Sedentary
    Weight 109 KG & Height 5 feet 8 inches.

    Can you please suggest me how many calories do I need on daily basis and how many calories do I have to burn on daily basis. Thanks

  377. MotleyHealth
    May 8, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Shoaib, your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 36.6. This means your weight is within the Obese range. I guess you know that though.

    You will need around 2350 Calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. So to lose weight at a rate of around 1 pound a week (about 0.5kg) you need to run a calorie deficit of about 500 Calories. So if you eat 2000 Calories a day and exercise off about 300 Calories a day you run a daily deficit of more (about 650 Calories).

    This will allow a healthy rate of weight loss.

  378. Noura
    May 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    hey there..i also wanted to ask on how much time do i need to lose 10 kgs ? i lost 20 pounds in 8 weeks! and i think thats pretty slow right? and my diet is really hard and makes me faint sometimes coz there’s zero enegry. my diet is breakfast: glass of milk
    lunch: 2 grilled peaces of chicken ,dinner: a pair of fruit and a 6 hrs difference between each meal. should i keep going? as i mentioned before im a 17 year old female and my hight is 158 cm. thank you for you helpful words :)

  379. MotleyHealth
    May 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Noura, you need to eat more. 20 pounds weight loss in 8 weeks is fast, probably too fast to be healthy for you. You lost 2.5 pounds a week. 1 pound a week is healthier.

    If you are feinting you must be starving yourself. Eat more, have some cereal or fruits for breakfast, have some salad with your chicken at lunch and eat something more substantial in the evening.

    You must also consider the long term health problems that can be caused by extreme dieting at your age. Trust me, you do not want to develop brittle bone disease. – read this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/221100.stm

  380. Joseph
    June 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Simple people follow juice diet once in a week to keep the calorie intake the least and stay full at the same time. How well do you think a weekly juice fast work.

  381. MotleyHealth
    June 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Hi Joseph, it really depends on 2 things; 1. what you eat for the other 6 days. 2. Your definition of a “juice fast”.

    If somebody eats 20,000 Calories in 6 days and then just has juice for one day it is unlikely to make any difference. Also, you can have too much fruit – fruit is full of calories and if your juice “fast” (a fast is usually considered no food at all) means you can drink as much juice as you like, weight loss is unlikely to be on the menu.

  382. jini
    June 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    hi m jini n m 22/f
    my weight is about 90kg so plz tel me how can i lose my weight in 1.5months
    i have a baby after baby i got too much weight now i dont know how can i controll myself

  383. MotleyHealth
    June 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Jini, take a look at our weight loss section, all your questions should be answered there. In short – you need to start exercising and eat healthy, eat less. You can make some good changes in 6 weeks, so long as you start today and work hard.

  384. salman
    June 22, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I’m just 17 yrs old. I’m somewhat fatty and also having a shapeless abs and oblique. I would like to reduce abs and oblique. So, what should be the diet plan that I should follow? How many calories do I need?

  385. MotleyHealth
    June 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Salman, you need to basically limit total food intake but still eat a healthy and balanced diet. So cut out bread and rice, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. And get active with regular exercise.

  386. Kajal
    June 24, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I want to ask that I am 17 and my weight is 50 kg and height is 5.5′. So I want to ask that how much calorie I should lose so that I should lose 5kg per day…!!!!

  387. MotleyHealth
    June 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Kajal, it is impossible to lose 5kg per day. You will struggle to lose 5kg in a month. At 50kg you are actually slightly underweight. Your focus should be getting fitter and eating more healthy food

  388. lizy
    July 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I have a two months ago baby and I noticed that I have a big appetite, I have gained 25 pounds in two months. I tried dieting but didn’t loose any weight. I want to loose weight because I am feeling heavy and lazy. How do I loose weight and still have a nourished milk for my breast feeding baby

  389. MotleyHealth
    July 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Hi Lizy. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water (more than normal) as this is vital for milk production. Try not to take too much bread and other “empty carbs”. You need energy and nutrition, not just energy. If you if more healthy food your appetite / cravings may actually reduce.

  390. Danielle
    August 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I have recently started monitoring more closely my calories and macros, before that I was just eating healthy, not paying attention to calories or a balanced diet in general. I eat extremely healthy 6 days a week and often have a treat on the 7th day. I’m only 17 years old and I exercise 6 times a week, both cardio and strength training. I have been really confused about how many calories I should be eating, I have been trying to range somewhere between 1600-1800 but now that I’ve read this article I am even more confused! haha. I am almost 6 foot as well, if that sheds any light on the situation… :(

  391. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Danielle, yep, at 6 foot tall, 17 years old and exercising 6 days a week I reckon you need more than 1800 Calories a day. But you did not say what your goals are. Are you trying to lose weight at the moment, or are you already at a good weight? If you are getting fitter and feeling good then the chances are everything is OK. Although you are at an age of rapid development so you may need more calories. But on the plus side, most of us under-calculate calories anyway.

  392. Danielle
    August 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I have already lost around 10kg and now weigh roughly 66kg and I am hoping to still lose a few more kgs, and generally tone my whole body. I have been really trying to lose the last few stubborn kgs but just nothing seems to be working. I don’t regularly weigh myself because I know that muscle gain is likely. I do feel though, that I can’t find the tummy space to eat more food. Does that mean that I am eating enough?

  393. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    It really is hard to say if you are eating enough. From what you have said it sounds like you may not be getting enough nutrients. Over what time span did you lose the 10kg? 6 foot tall, 66kg, that is a BMI of 19.8. If you drop to 63kg your BMI will be 18.8 and that is as low as you can go before being “underweight”. Focus on fitness now, and get some good nutrition inside your body. Long-term health can be affected by extreme dieting during teenage years.

  394. Danielle
    August 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I lost the 10kg over 7-8 months in total. Thank you for the tips though! I will focus more on the nutrients I’m getting.

  395. MotleyHealth
    August 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    That is a pretty healthy rate of weight loss. Focus on fitness and nutrition now, not on losing weight.

  396. Laura
    August 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Hi. I hope you dont mind that I have printed most of your article out for a motivational read once a week, just to remind me of what I need to do. I have has some successes but mainly failures in ‘diets’ Ive tried over the years. I am a 34 year old female that weighs 182lb and find ‘healthy eating’ very expensive and sometimes tricky to work in a budget for the foods I need, which then results in impulse buying of more convenient cheaper foods. Do you have any suggestions on what my weekly menu should consist of? Many thanks :)

  397. MotleyHealth
    August 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Laura, healthy eating need not be expensive. Buy cheap vegetables like carrots, cabbage, peas, potatoes, and buy chicken legs/thighs, pork and some fish. Learn to cook healthy meals using simple, fresh ingredients.

  398. August 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I am new to your site. I read many Knowledgeable things on your site. This truly has given me quite positive feeling. I thought of sharing my info. too. If you can suggest me how I can reduce. Basic background:- was a sports girl played state level championship and due to head injury, stopped playing from 9 years. I am 35 yrs. old, and height is 5.4, and also suffer from Hypothyroid problem.

    Now , I want to make a come back again as my injury is cured fully. But hypothyroid remains as an issue. Anyhow, I started workout session from last month july 15, 2013. I weight 87 kilos, when I started. But today I am 83 kilos. I want to reduce further, and working on myself.

    Idea is to reduce 28 kilos, further. I think my BMR is 1591 and calories intake daily is 2745. I started from small walks of 1km – 3km everyday for 2 weeks. But after that I increased walks from 3-5 km.

    Now, I am striking Gym and exercises as body is easily accepting it, otherwise it was difficult. I try to keep my goal of 2000 calories which is 20 km on treadmill.

    But till now, I have touched only 9 km in 1hr .30 min i.e. 900 calories, everyday. Calories intake is 1600 each day/ sometime less.

    I would like to know, whether I am going right way and how much time it will take me to reduce extra loads of weight. I plan to increase from 10km -25km from next week, keeping a target till 15 september, and would like to check whether it is too fast or it is ok?? All your suggestions will do an immense favor to me.

    Please suggest. I shall be very thankful to you.


  399. MotleyHealth
    August 31, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Hi Sonia, if you are only taking in 1600 Calories a day and burning 1597 daily, plus an additional 900 Calories with exercise, you will keep losing weight. You have lost 4 kg in around 6 weeks, this is fast weight loss. Ensure that your diet is well balanced with plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein. Keep exercising and stick to your plan, and you will reach your target weight.

  400. caaishah
    October 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm


    As i was looking for answers i came across your site it was truly interesting.

    I am 23 years old i am a housewife got 2 boys and recently i had a baby girl 4 months ago my height is
    5’2 i weigh 120 lbs now.

    After i had my baby i weighed 143 lbs, i went on a strict diet eating just 1 meal a day less then 1,000 kcal’s drinking plently of fluid and chasing my boys around so i lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks. Before i started exercising i weighed 133 lbs i started exercising and i lost 13 lbs its been 5 weeks, My daily routine was 1 hour on the treadmill burning up to 500 to 550 depending on my speed. My diet is 1 meal per day having just salad with chicken and snacks every 2 – 3 hours my intake kcal’s daily was 350 to 450 kcals and drinking water. Now its coming up to my 6 weeks of Training and i have made a few changes, this week i have done 3 days of burning 1,000 kcal’s and 3 days of 500 kcal’s on the treadmill but my diet has been the same, but i only lost 2 lbs this week. Its really getting to me!! I thought i was going to loose at least 3-4 pounds because of the extra kcals im burning on the treadmill,
    i know what im doing is intense but im just looking for good results

    Basically i hope to loose 5 – 10 pounds before 15th October, i have big event coming up
    Do you think i can loos it?
    please give me good suggestion! i would be very grateful!!!!!!!!

    Thank you

  401. MotleyHealth
    October 7, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Caaishah, according to your current BMI, which is 21.9, you are now at a healthy weight. When you were 143 pounds you were overweight, but you are now doing OK. This means two things – 1. in terms of health, you do not need to lose more weight. 2. In terms of weight loss, it is going to be much harder to lose more weight, and additional weight loss could lead you to becoming underweight.

    But a weight of 110 pounds is still a healthy / normal weight for your height. Can you do it in 8 days? No, that is not going to happen. Your current diet plan is pretty strict, and you really should start to focus on fitness and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Too little food may lead to problems later in life caused by nutrition deficiencies.

    2 pounds weight loss in a week is good for people who are overweight. For somebody with a BMI of 21.9, it could be too much.

    Focus on fitness and healthy eating – fuel your body.

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