Home > Weight Loss > Confused by Calorie Targets

Confused by Calorie Targets

Today I thought I’d work a little on setting some weight loss-related goals for myself.  One idea I had was to set a goal of when my BMI would go from the “obese” to the “overweight” category.  Well that’s not going to happen – it is a good long-term goal, but I’m at least 100 pounds away from that.  So, I need to look at some more realistic short-term goals that can keep me motivated to real my long-term goals.

The WebMD website has a neat tool where you can input your information and it will spit out things like your BMI, waist to height ratio (that’s a new one I hadn’t heard of before but it tells you about your body type), and so on.  I initially entered into the tool that I was “lightly active” (which I would consider since I’ve been exercising regularly), and that I wanted to lose 1 pound per week.

Know what it said?

Apparently my resting metabolic rate is something like 3100 calories per day and I would need to have a caloric intake around 2600 calories per day in order to lose 1 pound per week.


According to that I should be dropping weight like crazy.  This past week, my daily caloric intake has been around 1200-1500 calories per day.  Granted, since sometimes that is after subtracting my exercise calories, I thought maybe I should try the calculator and say that I’m “not active”.  I also entered that I wanted to lose 2 pounds per week.

With those settings, it said my resting metabolic rate is more like 2600 calories per day and I needed about 1600-1700 calories per day to lose 2 pounds per week.

So why am I not seeing 2 pounds per week come off?

Maybe I haven’t been at this calorie level for long enough.  Even before this week I was trying to keep my calories around 1700-1800.  I’m going to really have to pay attention and make sure that I’m logging absolutely everything that goes into my mouth during the day.  I know when it comes to having a Hershey’s kiss here or there, I often forget to put that in.

Speaking of logging my food intake, I noticed that for the most part, from breakfast through dinner my caloric intake is just fine.  It is the after-dinner snacking that is what can really get me in trouble quickly.  So that’s the part I really need to be careful with.

My goal this week is to stick to my daily caloric intake of 1200-1500 calories per day, do my exercise 30 minutes per day (at least 5 days this week), and at the end of the week we’ll see if I’ve dropped two pounds.  Fingers crossed!

Categories: Weight Loss
  1. January 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    My fingers are crossed for you. I’m trying to eat a similar number of calories. Went over (up to 1880) last night ‘treat’ night, but other than that I was fine.

    Hoping you get some good news at the end of the week.

    • January 8, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Deb – I saw on your blog that you’ve been making really good progress! I’m really curious if I can continue to include these higher levels of carbs (granted, through whole grains) or if I’m going to need to restrict the carbs a bit more.

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