# Newbie with a few questions?

#### TheDarkDefender

##### Member
S: 9st6.3lb C: 9st6.3lb G: 8st5.9lb BMI: 22 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Hey all,

I have a few questions that I'm struggleing to make sense of, as it seems there is a huge amount of contradictory information posted all over the net.

Heres my stats...
5ft 5"
60kg
waist 30/32
BMI 21.3
33yo

According to the guide lines posted in this sections sticky... my resting BMR is 1489.46.

Then I am to multiply this by my level of activity... Let's say I'm lazy and don't do any exercise, this means I multiply by the lowest of 1.2 gives me a maintenance level of 1786...

Now according to the same calculator a male should NEVER drop below 1800 calories ever as this is dangerous and causes muscle loss and lack of nutrients?

Really, because the calculator just told me that to simply maintain my weight I need to eat less than 1800 otherwise I will actually put on weight?

Now if I want to lose weight, I'd need to drop 500/1000 from my daily maintenance level...

Let's say I drop the minimum amount of 500 calories, this is recommended to lose apx 1/2lb to a 1lb a week...

However, that contradicts the previous statement that a man should never drop below 1800 calories on a diet?

This 1280 caloric intake will allow me to only eat the minimum daily caloric intake of that of a woman, and will only allow me to only lose half a lb to a lb a week? what if I wanted to lose 2lb a week?

This means that a diet of any kind is not healthy or recomended for me at all and even just maintaining my current weight is dangerous and not recomended? Really?

How can a male, whose stats state his BMR is 1786 lose weight, when the study's all state I should NEVER drop below 1800? If I eat 1800 I'll actually put weight on as that's ABOVE my BMR that THEY state I am?

Can anyone actually confirm what I should be eating (Calorie wise) as a male to lose weight, bearing in mind my BMR is 1786 and those who calculate my BMR state I should not drop below 1800 as a male? :-/

This makes no sense to me?
Help

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#### Plums

##### Full Member
S: 16st7lb C: 16st7lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 35.1 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Hi I'd say go with what ever Myfitnesspal says you need, in the first instance. It's very popular and I don't think they would let your calorie intake go under what a male should have. Maybe if you are that worried about going under your 1800 then either set your weight loss per week at 1lb or up your exercise so you can eat more calories.

#### TracyGWill

##### Gold Member
S: 21st7lb C: 9st7lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 20.2 Loss: 12st0lb(55.81%)
Could I just ask why you actually want to lose weight? Your BMI is well down in the healthy range.

#### TheDarkDefender

##### Member
S: 9st6.3lb C: 9st6.3lb G: 8st5.9lb BMI: 22 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Hey,
yea MFP knows I'm male (although some would debate that) but it's not MFP that's the issue, it's the calculator in the sticky...

if you use the calculator in the sticky it spews out complete nonsense. It says to maintain my weight i need to eat 1780 calories (that's my BMR x 1.2) ...

But in the next breath it says men should never go below 1800 ON A DIET :-0 I'm on 1780 (below 1800) just to maintain...

Let alone diet...

By its own definition I'd be giant weight if I were never to go below 1800 and can not healthily diet what so ever and infact must only ever gain weight?? as my BMR is below 1800 even with the multiple of 1.2 for sedentary? It literally makes no sense and contradicts its self on every single example?

The reason for me losing weight is I have gained belly fat and my doc has said its not a healthy fat, I need to lose it, earth healthily and then be continuously more healthy. Diabetes runs in the family and I think she's just being preventative... By loosing a few Kg of belly fat I'll help reduce my chances of diabetes.

So, I came here, read a few diet threads, decided on calorie counting, went to the sticky to calculate calories and then it spewed out a load of contradictory nonsense

So I'm hoping someone here can help clear it up for me,
if my resting BMR is 1480 and I multiply by 1.2 to get 1786 or there abouts... And a male should NEVER go below 1800 then how on earth can I safely lose weight if my maintance level is already below the lowest a man can safely go :-/

Im so confused
but I'm aiming to lose 1st (6kg) of belly fat in the shortest possible time...

Thanks for the replys, Im just stressing and worrying so sorry if I seem a bit all over the place.

Edit:
Using this method

#### Babana

##### Full Member
S: 11st7lb C: 11st7lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 25.2 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I do not agree that a man must never eat below 1800 calories. My hubby is 5'7" and calorie counting and he nets below 1800 cals every day. He probably nets about 1300-1400 a day. He does work out for at least an hour a day though. He's at the very top of the healthy bmi and wants to lose about another stone. He's losing 1-2lbs a week.

I think the most useful tool for working out how many calories to eat is fattofitradio.com

The podcasts they made are really useful too.

#### TracyGWill

##### Gold Member
S: 21st7lb C: 9st7lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 20.2 Loss: 12st0lb(55.81%)
The most common advice I can see on the 'net is that a man shouldn't go below 1500, which makes more sense. But I'd still question the sense of a man of 9.5 stone being advised by a doctor to lose a stone - surely there are other ways to shift that abdominal fat ie. exercise?

#### Baby_Cakes

##### Dave's little girl
S: 15st8lb C: 13st8lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 30.7 Loss: 2st0lb(12.84%)
I've spent time belo 1200 calories a day and felt exhausted ALL the time. Even when I've VLCD'd in the past I have had to go to bed at 8pm in the evenings as I couldnt physically do much more!

Of course the other option is to try and see how you feel, every body is different.

#### ScarlettStar86

##### Gold Member
S: 12st12lb C: 11st4lb G: 11st5lb BMI: 24.7 Loss: 1st8lb(12.22%)
I would think having read and reread this that you would be fine going below 1800, go by what your calculations tell you.
With all due respect, I would assume that the 1800 threshold is for Joe average, and at 5ft5 and 60kg you aren't as tall or as heavy as what would be considered average. Therefore you need to adjust your allowances according to your workings out. It is a very individual thing and I find it bizarre how it can be given as concrete advice that a man should never go below 1800, or a woman below 1200 as we are all different shapes and sizes, with different body types and activity levels- why should we fit in nice little boxes xx

#### linski24

##### Gold Member
S: 10st12lb C: 9st13lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 27.1 Loss: 0st13lb(8.55%)
TracyGWill said:
The most common advice I can see on the 'net is that a man shouldn't go below 1500, which makes more sense. But I'd still question the sense of a man of 9.5 stone being advised by a doctor to lose a stone - surely there are other ways to shift that abdominal fat ie. exercise?
I agree with traceyGWill...... Why on earth are you dieting ..?????!!!!! 9.5 stone abd 5.5...???? That would be considered low weight for a woman ..!!!
I don't get it .! X

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#### toofatkat

##### Not such a fat kat now :)
S: 19st1.5lb C: 13st5lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 29.3 Loss: 5st10.5lb(30.09%)
I agree with the two above. I'm afraid you don't need to lose weight. Even your BMI is at the low end of normal. It sounds like you just need to cut out junk food and beer and do plenty of DIY ups etc to form up your belly. That way any excess visceral fat will go anyway.

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#### TheDarkDefender

##### Member
S: 9st6.3lb C: 9st6.3lb G: 8st5.9lb BMI: 22 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I agree with the two above. I'm afraid you don't need to lose weight. Even your BMI is at the low end of normal. It sounds like you just need to cut out junk food and beer and do plenty of DIY ups etc to form up your belly. That way any excess visceral fat will go anyway.

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Well, as I'm not a doctor and both my parents are dead, along with my grand parents and an aunt on dialysis I'm not really going to argue with a MD?

She says my belly fat is unhealthy, my BMI and weight is definetly not considered low for a woman? Every single BMI calculator puts me bang in the middle apx 21/22 between 18 and 25, so saying I'm low weight for a woman is a little dramatic?

I have to cut out things like pastry, no butter, and exercise more. My goal (what she wants) is a BMI of between 18.5 and 19 and a target weight of apx 55kgish with an aim to removing tht weight solely from the gut via diet, and exercise.

Due to a lot of death in my family, having a go at me for following the advice of my MD does seems a tad unhelpful.. But never the less im still doing it.

I'm 33 and my parents are dead from diabetes. I really don't want to be next and my doctor is just looking out for me and being preventative rather then reactive.
I for one embrace that ethos and don't mind loosing a few kg of fat from my gut for health reasons.

I weighed in today at 60kg and will weigh back in every Monday for the next 4 weeks in the hope of losing a 1lb a week from my gut.

Im in good shape, i don't smoke, i don't drink, and i used to Thai box from age 13/29 so I know I'm not fat or in bad shape.."
I used to fight to 54kg at 29 (just over 3 years ago) so aiming for 55kg is not unreasonable by any means... I see no reason to not do this at her request if it will help prevent diabetes even by .1 of a percent.

Im going to eat apx 1200/1400 calories a day along with 400 situps, 400 pushups plus 10 miles on my exercise bike every other day. That's about a 90 minute circuit every 2 days and is by no means strenuous or difficult for me but should help tighten up what's come loose over the last 3 years or so... With the diet, this should help shed a few lbs from my belly and reduce my chances of late onset according to her.

Ill kep you all posted though...

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#### ScarlettStar86

##### Gold Member
S: 12st12lb C: 11st4lb G: 11st5lb BMI: 24.7 Loss: 1st8lb(12.22%)
Good for you, I think whether we have 10lbs or 10stone to lose we all have our own personal reasons and I for one say good for you for being proactive in trying to reduce your risk. I wish you all the best and hope you achieve your goal x

#### Caz

##### Slimming down the aisle
S: 19st1.5lb C: 18st6.8lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 38.2 Loss: 0st8.7lb(3.25%)
Personally I'd recommend that you don't cut your calories at all. Focus on eating healthy foods and getting exercise so that what you're doing is instead replacing some of that fat with muscle. You're a healthy weight, cutting down a stone will make you extremely light for a man, I would say too light. What you need to do isn't lose weight but tone up a bit. So work on having healthy foods, good amounts of protein and exercising. You'll get the effect that you want without cutting calories.

#### TracyGWill

##### Gold Member
S: 21st7lb C: 9st7lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 20.2 Loss: 12st0lb(55.81%)
TheDarkDefender said:
Well, as I'm not a doctor and both my parents are dead, along with my grand parents and an aunt on dialysis I'm not really going to argue with a MD?

She says my belly fat is unhealthy, my BMI and weight is definetly not considered low for a woman? Every single BMI calculator puts me bang in the middle apx 21/22 between 18 and 25, so saying I'm low weight for a woman is a little dramatic?

I have to cut out things like pastry, no butter, and exercise more. My goal (what she wants) is a BMI of between 18.5 and 19 and a target weight of apx 55kgish with an aim to removing tht weight solely from the gut via diet, and exercise.

Due to a lot of death in my family, having a go at me for following the advice of my MD does seems a tad unhelpful.. But never the less im still doing it.

I'm 33 and my parents are dead from diabetes. I really don't want to be next and my doctor is just looking out for me and being preventative rather then reactive.
I for one embrace that ethos and don't mind loosing a few kg of fat from my gut for health reasons.

I weighed in today at 60kg and will weigh back in every Monday for the next 4 weeks in the hope of losing a 1lb a week from my gut.

Im in good shape, i don't smoke, i don't drink, and i used to Thai box from age 13/29 so I know I'm not fat or in bad shape.."
I used to fight to 54kg at 29 (just over 3 years ago) so aiming for 55kg is not unreasonable by any means... I see no reason to not do this at her request if it will help prevent diabetes even by .1 of a percent.

Im going to eat apx 1200/1400 calories a day along with 400 situps, 400 pushups plus 10 miles on my exercise bike every other day. That's about a 90 minute circuit every 2 days and is by no means strenuous or difficult for me but should help tighten up what's come loose over the last 3 years or so... With the diet, this should help shed a few lbs from my belly and reduce my chances of late onset according to her.

Ill kep you all posted though...
I'm sorry if you think we're being unhelpful, I can assure you that's not the intention! Of course you should follow your doctor's advice, it just seemed strange to hear that someone with such a healthy BMI has been advised to lose weight rather than taking another route to getting rid of abdominal fat, but no-one on here would want you to do anything against your best interests, far from it. My advice on the calories would be to experiment and find the level at which you can losr about a pound or two a week, but not to go below 1500. All the very best. x

#### linski24

##### Gold Member
S: 10st12lb C: 9st13lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 27.1 Loss: 0st13lb(8.55%)
TracyGWill said:
I'm sorry if you think we're being unhelpful, I can assure you that's not the intention! Of course you should follow your doctor's advice, it just seemed strange to hear that someone with such a healthy BMI has been advised to lose weight rather than taking another route to getting rid of abdominal fat, but no-one on here would want you to do anything against your best interests, far from it. My advice on the calories would be to experiment and find the level at which you can losr about a pound or two a week, but not to go below 1500. All the very best. x
Yes apologies .. Again I agree with above ... Wasn't meant to upset you in any way ... We're all here for one common reason and We are all fighting to get into the healthy BMI range which was why I was perplexed that you were encouraged to go lower .. That's all ...
I'm a nurse and have insulin deoendant diabetes in my family so I only know too well the dangers of diabetes and I aspire to be what you are now and im only 5foot tall
Good luck on your journey ... I hope you get to where you want
Xx

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#### Roziee

##### Gold Member
S: 22st10lb C: 17st4lb G: 12st0lb Loss: 5st6lb(23.9%)
I say use common sense reading from your post and just up your exercise.. If your BMI is ok and all you need to do is lose the belly fat then lots of cardio and I'm sure you'll have a six pack in no time

#### TheDarkDefender

##### Member
S: 9st6.3lb C: 9st6.3lb G: 8st5.9lb BMI: 22 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I say use common sense reading from your post and just up your exercise.. If your BMI is ok and all you need to do is lose the belly fat then lots of cardio and I'm sure you'll have a six pack in no time
well, my common sense says I don't need to do anything, I'm within a healthy BMI I feel good, I don't look fat/bad or out of shape, all my clothes are a size small, I don't smoke and I don't drink or eat fast/unhealthy food....

However, as I mentioned I'm not doing this because I want to, I've been advised to by my doc (who's know me since 0) to remove this excess layer that has appeared over my abdominal area.

Abdominal fat is a very serious sign and should not be taken lightly if it's out of proportion with the rest of your weight gain, it's something that is taken serious particularly when it comes to diabetes. Infant, it's a major warning sign, particularly for those with a family history...

After my meeting, I got worried, I panicked a little and wanted to get it off FAST! I have never dieted before as I've always been very active and healthy. Now I can't train as much as I used to, so I'm looking at 70% of my loss through food related diet and therefore came here for help/advice in that area.

Ive gone for between 1200/1400 calories a day, moderate excercise and calorie counting so hopefully it'll work out ad I'll lose the weight from the belly area...
Ill
Keep you informed though.

#### Caz

##### Slimming down the aisle
S: 19st1.5lb C: 18st6.8lb G: 13st0lb BMI: 38.2 Loss: 0st8.7lb(3.25%)
Personally, I recommend that you get a second opinion. If you're wearing small clothes, have a BMI on the bottom end of healthy, I find it incredibly strange that you're being told to lose weight. As I've said, I don't think that you need to lose weight, you need to lose fat and tone up, that's two completely different things. The chances are that if you as a man go for a 1200/1400 you're probably not going to be getting enough in a day to fuel your body and so you'll end up losing muscle alongside fat. This quite obviously isn't going to help you to lose that belly fat, it's all about your body fat percentage. If you're losing muscle mass as well as fat you'll be doing nothing for your BF%.

My advice to you is to forget about weight, weight isn't something that really matters, it's your body fat %, which is what your doctor is talking about. To drop your BF% you need to improve your muscle to fat ratio, so you need to lose fat and keep muscle the same, if not build it. So stick to a healthy diet with plenty of protein, do some cardio but also resistance training as this is what will help to build up muscle. I assure you that if you do that you'll have far better results than if you just try to lose a stone by cutting down to 1200/1400 calories a day.

#### TheDarkDefender

##### Member
S: 9st6.3lb C: 9st6.3lb G: 8st5.9lb BMI: 22 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Personally, I recommend that you get a second opinion. If you're wearing small clothes, have a BMI on the bottom end of healthy, I find it incredibly strange that you're being told to lose weight. As I've said, I don't think that you need to lose weight, you need to lose fat and tone up, that's two completely different things. The chances are that if you as a man go for a 1200/1400 you're probably not going to be getting enough in a day to fuel your body and so you'll end up losing muscle alongside fat. This quite obviously isn't going to help you to lose that belly fat, it's all about your body fat percentage. If you're losing muscle mass as well as fat you'll be doing nothing for your BF%.

My advice to you is to forget about weight, weight isn't something that really matters, it's your body fat %, which is what your doctor is talking about. To drop your BF% you need to improve your muscle to fat ratio, so you need to lose fat and keep muscle the same, if not build it. So stick to a healthy diet with plenty of protein, do some cardio but also resistance training as this is what will help to build up muscle. I assure you that if you do that you'll have far better results than if you just try to lose a stone by cutting down to 1200/1400 calories a day.
Hey,
while I respect what you are saying, but it seems you have not quite read my exact regime and speculated that I will just lower calories and lose weight? I will be cycling 10miles, 400 situps and 400 crunches along with my normal day to day activities. This will build muscle and burn additional fat. Coupled with a lowering of calories, I can definetly reduce my belly fat. I'm pretty sure that is the recommendation of almost every person on here? Excercise, plus watch what you eat = maintain/lose weight/tone up.

This Is being done on the advice from my family doc.
I do have a layer of fat that was previously not there, it's related to a laxed diet and less exercise than usual.
I'm definetly eating more than 2500 calories a day currently so reducing this can not be bad advice, I'm putting on abdominal weight, so loosing this can not be bad advice? However, this is not why I'm here? It's to get dietary advice not medical advice, I trust my doc and I respect her opinion as she is far more qualified than I.

Also, Im not at the bottom end of a healthy BMI. I'm at 22 which is the middle (in fact closer to the top end) so I can safely drop to 18.5 / 19 and tone up my muscle at the same time.

I previously weighed in 54kg (as many of my martial art friends still do) and they are by no means loosing muscle or Ill etc? In fact they are built like athletes as many of them indeed are. However, due to a very active lifestyle, I have never dieted, I have always been able to eat whatever I desired and would Maintain my 54kg weight due to intense martial art training and fighting... Now I have stopped training, my weight increased but ONLY in my abdominal area, which is a concerne to all doctors, particularly with such a strong family history of diabetes.

If I were still Thai boxing like many of my friends still are, I'd still be 54kg like they are, so while I respect what you are saying, I don't think you are correct. As you yourself and others here state,each personal is individual and all shapes and sizes and just because a chart says I'm a health BMI doesn't mean I don't need to lose a few lbs for health reasons.

Im happy to drop to 55/56kg however, i was asking for dietry advice on the fastet way to lose weight by calorie counting as I would then couple this with a relatively active exercise regime and would trade fat for muscle and hopefully either reduce my weight around my abdominal area or trade it for muscle weight...

I will definetly not lose muscle dropping to 56kg? I was previously fighting competitions at 54kg 3yr ago and I can assure, I was in incredible shape then compared to new... In fact, I would say I have lost/less muscle now than I have ever had in my entire life, yet I weight more!
I can safely lose weight, gain muscle and tone up... But again... My question was based around how I can safely do this if the guide printed on this site says not to go below 1800, when already, it states my resting BMR plus low activity is lower than this 1800 figure @ 1780 ... Meaning if I eat 1800 I would technically gain weight, even though this is the lowest a man should ever eat??? You see the guide on here makes literally no sense, it doesn't work, it's completely and absolutely, categorically borked! And I'd rather second guess a broken guide one forum than my doc

Any way,
i have created a target, an excercise regime, a 1200/1400 diet and I'll lose apx 8lb a month doing this. I'm sure I will have traded the abdominal fat for muscle within 8 weeks.