I’m currently 187 at 5’4. I started tracking my food and exercising about four or five months ago, when I hit 200. My progress has felt maddeningly slow, but because I’ve read your blog, I always remind myself that every body is different, metabolism takes awhile to catch up, and losing weight isn’t the only thing, and so as long as I’m feeling better (I am) and my other health indicators (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) are good, then I’m achieving my goal of healthier living. Still! I can’t help but get a bit frustrated.  I work out, on average, 3 times a week. I do 30 minutes of cardio with my heart rate at somewhere between 127-150. Then I spend about fifteen minutes on weights, alternating daily between my upper body, lower body, and core exercises. Once a week, I attend a two hour intensive dance class. After tracking my food for a few months (focusing on cholesterol, sodium, and vitamins rather than calories, because calorie counting makes me feel insane), I found I’m currently taking in about 2000 calories daily, which I thought was a healthy amount (that is, not starving and not overeating), so I tried to keep it there. But according to the equation here, I should be eating just over 3000 calories to maintain my weight, so about 2500 to lose weight safely. Is my math wrong here, or am I really eating too little? Could that help account for how hard it’s been for me to lose weight or break through plateaus? Am I potentially causing damage to myself here? I was really trying to create a low-pressure, sustainable, happy, better-eating/more-exercise plan specifically because I didn’t want to end up obsessed with weight and starving myself, but now it looks like that’s what I’ve done on accident. Am I doing okay here?


You are doing completely fine.  Your attitude is perfect, your focus is perfect, your math is good and your plan is good.

It seems like when you are doing everything perfect, your body should respond the same way, but sometimes it doesn’t always turn out that way.

Like I said with the calorie equation, everyone is a little different, and the equation is a rough estimate.  Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds for safe and lasting results.  A deficiet of 500 calories per day will help you lose about 1 pound per week (3500 calories in a pounds) or you can cut 1000 a day to lose 2 pounds (this includes calories you burn as well, so don’t just slash 1000 calories from your food- for example, slash 500 and then burn an extra 500.)

The recommended slow weight loss is meant to not only keep your body from going into starvation mode and ruining your efforts, but statistics show that people who drop weight at the recommened rate are more likely to keep the weight off.

You are doing fine with your calories, and your metabolism should be fine.  The heavier people are, the more calories they need to maintain (carrying around extra weight is like lugging weights around with you everywhere- it’s hard work).  The equation skews a bit the heavier you are.  To enter starvation mode you have to be consuming a lot fewer calories than you are, so you can relax there.  If you want to lose weight faster, try to up your calorie burn with exercise, don’t just slash the food the eat.

You seem to know it, but you have a great mind frame.  You are right on track, and should be proud of the weight you have lost.  It can be frustrating, but keep remembering the positives you are getting from your health over haul, and burn some extra calories with more exercise.