Does maintenance calroies vary for each person?

emmapetty

Going for Goal!
G: 13st0lb
Hi all,

I went to visit in-laws at the weekend, and they were asking when I could begin eating again. I found myself going up the steps.

My DMI looked at me in shock when I explained, then went on to say that she has always stuck to 1000 calories a day, because of her height (5"5) .If she had anymore than that, she would gain weight apparently.

When my HB got wind of this, he said that I should find out if I should be consuming less calories for maintenance because I am a short 5"3.5!

Is this correct - does your daily calories depend on your height? I was of the understanding we increased our calories slowly until we are maintaining at 1500 calories. Or do we actually stop increasing calories once the scales start to stick?

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LizzMB

WILL be Slim!
S: 14st0lb C: 13st7lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 30.5 Loss: 0st7lb(3.57%)
some of the other maintainers will know more, but if you go on weigh loss resource website, there is a calculater on there for how many calories you should consume and as far as i know, it has NOTHING at all to do with height but more to do with how much you do during the day, exercise levels etc.
I think i would probably need about 1500 to maintain....but i guess your MIL will know how many cals she needs....but its not a height thing else all short people in the world would be on about 800 cals with that logic! lol

xxx

KD

Gone fishing
My DMI looked at me in shock when I explained, then went on to say that she has always stuck to 1000 calories a day, because of her height (5"5) .If she had anymore than that, she would gain weight apparently.
Nah. Sorry DMI. Maintenance isn't that low, though she could put on some water if she was used to eating 1000 and suddenly ate more. Also if she had been on 1000, her metabolism could have slowed and she would need to 'up' the calories to get it going again. Either way, 1000 is way too low for maintenance figures especially at 5'5" Unless you are having some nutritional supplements, like a couple of cambridge packs a day with it, it's pretty difficult (and almost impossible) to get what you need in 1,000.

If she truly believes that 1000 is her maintenance number, she needs to consult her doctor and have some tests as something is very wrong.

Of course, some people believe they are 1000 for maintenance when what often happens is that they are 1000 for a few days, body needs something more, they 'blow' it and end up having a big eating session. Or they are miscalculating what they are eating.

It's very common for people to misreport. They can be the nicest, most honest people around, but misreporting calories in is so common that researchers often automatically take it into account when testing stuff.

I guess you shouldn't show her this message though

Is this correct - does your daily calories depend on your height?
Height, age, activity levels.

I was of the understanding we increased our calories slowly until we are maintaining at 1500 calories. Or do we actually stop increasing calories once the scales start to stick?
My scales 'stuck' at every level, but I continued to increase them to boost my metabolism up to 1800 cals. Gradually...very gradually.

Find you BMR rate here

Then use the Harris Benedict formula to work out your Maintenance cals

Here

JustJen84

Full Member
S: 14st13lb C: 11st11lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 29.2 Loss: 3st2lb(21.05%)
intresting post. i was wondering about life after cd with the calorie amounts i think i did the calculator things right it was 1660 a day i tend to gain weight very easily and know that the rda of 2000 calories a day would make my weight go back up which will not be happening again!

SteveM

Silver Member
As KD says, it is your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) that truly defines the "break-even" level w/ regard to calories. This is based on a sedentary lifestyle though - doing virtually nothing at all. Just by moving around during the day your body's calorific needs increase. Also, things such as your level of muscle affects BMR - muscle by its very existence consumes calories, not massively, but it does. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you need. And the list goes on. There are so many factors.

I think if you are active most days throughout the week, then 2000kcal a day should not make you gain weight that quickly, though it would depend on how you take in those calories.

I have always been told that it is not the case that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. A calorie from carbohydrate is different from a calorie from protein is different from a calorie from fat in the way that a body handles it. Also, the body does not handle say, calories from one carbohydrate source the same way as a calorie from another.

It is a minefield, and that is why it is difficult.

With regard to your mother-in-law surviving and maintaining on 1000kcal - I find that almost impossible to believe. I am only just taller than her at 5' 7", okay I am a bloke and am carrying quite a bit of muscle, but all the same ...... last week I averaged ~1200kcal a day (w/ no specific exercise) and I lost 6 lbs ......

I wonder if she actually has 1000kcal a day if she counts everything that she eats and drinks, or if she thinks she only has 1000kcal. When I was 18 st 8 lbs I thought I ate reasonably healthily ..... doh, no! Even recently I thought I was having a certain amount of calories a day until I started actually writing it down - everything - and found it was significantly more. It is east to forget the 3 Rich Tea biscuits with your cup of coffee .... but they amount to 100kcal! Most butter cookies are 110kcal+ each! Soon adds up.

Anyway - enough waffle - BMR, Exercise, and Intake Awareness are the three keys as far as I am concerned.

And yes - everyone is different!

Steve

emmapetty

Going for Goal!
G: 13st0lb
Thanks everyone for your replies! I'm relieved! I'm going to look up my calories so I can get a good idea of what I will be aiming for. TBH my MIL eats like a rabbit - she is always reading the back of labels, taking supplements, vitamins etc - I really don't know if she counts everything - but I wouldn't put it past her put it that way! I'm looking forward to telling my HB this (think it's easier to show him the post later!) As he has been most interested in the maintenence side of things - I know he just wants to make sure I stay the weight I end up with at goal, but I was a bit put out tbh when I mentioned how the "going up the steps" works.

SteveM

Silver Member
Put it this way. A few years back I achieved 11 st 10 lbs, and I was skinny. Probably too thin for my build looking back at the photographs, but that is another topic. What I am after saying here is that I got to that weight, and I exercised "hard" every day. Gym every day except Sundays for an hour to an hour and a half in the mornings. 3 times a week I would also do exercise classes in the evenings (Body Pump, Boxercise, and Kick Boxing). Lots of calories burned every day.

I ate pretty much whatever I wanted, and also pretty much as much as I wanted ..... and I still lost weight. I ended up at 10 st 12 lbs at my lightest.

My point is, I ate like a horse, but because my activity level was at a stupid level, I did not gain weight. I was still at a calorie defecit even though what I was putting into my body would have been far too many calories normally.

This was proved by the fact that I got injured (dislocated shoulder), and exercise stopped (apart from physio). Intake stayed the same, weight rocketed up.

Proves the point KD has made. You need to find a balance between your intake and your output in order to maintain, and in that everyone is different. You will find it though if you are careful and monitor yourself. The more active you are, the more you can eat .... simple equation really.

Steve