Finding Your Ideal Weight

*Note: this is an alternative way to approach weight loss and maintenance that has worked well for me. I hope that it might be helpful to people who are struggling to find a balance, and not finding success with more traditional approaches. If what you are doing is working for you, please keep doing it! My sharing my experience and approach is by no means a mandate that everyone should do it my way.*

**Note 2: I use the terms ‘energy intake’ and ‘calorie intake’ somewhat interchangably in this post. In general, when I say ‘energy intake’ I’m referring to the energy provided by the food you eat, which is measured in calories (much like distance is measured in meters).**

***Note 3: this post is a little more applicable to weight loss than weight gain. That said, if weight gain is your goal, you might find some valuable tools here.***

All my adult life I’ve had a weight that I thought would be ideal for me. Whenever I went on a diet, it was with the intention of dieting down to that weight. None of those diets worked, for a variety of reasons that I’ve discussed in other posts. I’ve learned a few things over the last few years, though, that have helped me reframe my approach to finding my ‘ideal weight’, and today I’m going to share them with you.

First lets establish the basics: a person’s weight is the product of their energy and nutrient intake (what and how much they eat) and their activity level. The more active a person is, the more energy intake they will need to support their weight. For instance: at my activity level, a calorie intake of about 2800-3000 a day will support a weight of roughly 160 pounds. My height isn’t a factor here, as long as I maintain this activity level and consume around 2800-3000 calories a day, my weight will be fairly stable at 160 pounds. Whether I were 4 or 7 feet tall, this activity level and calorie intake would support 160 pounds. The kinds of calories a person chooses CAN have some impact on how many calories they need to consume to support their weight, but that’s a topic I’ve already discussed. The basic idea here is that your activity and calorie intake will determine your weight. So lets reframe this whole subject. Instead of trying to figure out what your ideal weight is, lets instead work on figuring out what your ideal level of activity and calorie intake is. Once you have that dialed in, your body will eventually normalize at the weight those two variables support.

When I started this lifestyle change, I tracked my diet pretty closely. I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight at the time, although it was definitely something I was interested in! But in those early months I was more interested in seeing what and how much I was eating and figuring out ways I could improve my diet. I realized pretty quickly that I was consuming in excess of 4000 calories a day, sometimes considerably more. No surprise then, that I weighed 230 pounds and was gaining weight at a steady pace. So in addition to working on improving the quality of my diet, I also began to trim away the excess calories. For awhile, I tried to keep my calories relatively low, 1800 a day, but found myself constantly hungry and dealing with lots of cravings and binge eating episodes. Not good. So I added calories until I found an intake that allowed me to eat when I was hungry, feel satisfied at every meal, and meet all my nutrient requirements (both macro and micro nutrients). It took a LOT of trial and error, in fact it was about 6 months of fiddling before I really felt like I’d found my sweet spot. The magic number: 2800 calories a day. During those 6 months of fiddling, I lost about 15 pounds. During the 6 months after I ‘figured it out’, I lost 50 pounds without ever feeling deprived or hungry, and without horrible cravings and binges. I ultimately stabilized ay 160 pounds, a weight that I’ve maintained ever since fairly effortlessly. I know what you’re thinking, ‘how the HECK can a person lose weight eating 2800 calories a day?!?!? All the magazines say you have to eat 1400 calories to lose weight!’ Well, 2800 calories simply won’t support more than 160 pounds at my activity level. It just won’t. That is physics. Because 2800 calories won’t support more than 160 pounds, my body had to burn off the excess fat to get to the weight my calorie intake supported. It wasn’t fast. It took about 18 months. But I never had to go hungry, and I didn’t crap out my metabolism by undereating. Now, at this weight, I’m able to eat when I’m hungry, I feel satisfied after meals, and I don’t struggle with cravings and binge eating. For the first time. Ever.

For the record, 160 pounds is 15 pounds heavier than the ‘ideal’ weight I’ve had stuck in my head my whole life. Trying to force my body down to that weight was always unsuccessful, because in order to maintain that weight I have to restrict my energy and nutrient intake below what my body seems to require to function optimally. I have gotten down to about 150 pounds a few times over the last 3 years that I’ve been maintaining, and each time I’ve had to really be disciplined with my eating, and I’ve experienced cravings, compulsions and binges. My body has made it very clear that it wants/needs 2800 calories a day, and the weight that 2800 calories supports is 160. My interpretations: 160 is my body’s ‘ideal’ weight. At least at this stage of my life.

I don’t eat exactly 2800 calories a day. Most days I actually eat more than that. 2800 is more like the minimum requirement for optimal function and performance. Without fail, if I feel hungry at bedtime and add up what I’ve eaten that day, it comes out below 2800. Without fail. If I undereat for a couple days, I notice cravings start to creep in. This is why I harp so incessantly on eating enough to support your activity. Your brain starts sending out SOS signals in the form of cravings and compulsions when you’re not getting the nutrition you need. It is so important to find that sweet spot, the energy and nutrient intake that gives your body what it needs to function at it’s best, and that supports a healthy weight.

So how do YOU do all this? I’m going to give you the tools to skip over a lot of that trial and error I had to do. You will still need to do some fiddling, but I’m going to give you a head start.

1. Keep a food log. This will show you what and how much you’re consuming, and give you a realistic idea of the areas you’re doing great, and the areas you need to work on optimizing. If you are overweight and want to lose weight, you need to eat a little bit less than you’re eating now, so knowing how much you’re eating now is important! Don’t worry, you won’t need to track your diet for the rest of your life. It’s a great tool for getting a handle on where you are, and for helping you create new, healthier eating habits. Once those habits are in place, you won’t need to log your diet any more.

2. Once you’ve got a good picture of where you are, use the calculators in my Calorie Primer to get an idea of what calorie intake would support the weight you think is your goal. Be sure to figure your activity level into the calculations. That will give you a starting ‘target’. It will probably be higher than you expect, the reality is that it takes a fair amount of calories to support a healthy weight (hopefully your goal weight is a healthy one!).

3. Now start modifying your diet. Using that initial calorie target, put together an eating plan that will provide roughly that number of calories. It doesn’t have to be exact every day. Anything within about 300 calories on either side of the target is going to be fine. You will find that you simply eat more on some days and less on others, the balance over time is what is important. If you experience hunger, cravings, binges and compulsive thoughts about food, move your calorie target up. Make sure you’re getting plenty of protein, for a variety of reasons that I’ve discussed elsewhere. Aim for 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day. That’s a little more than you need, but I find that simply aiming for that much covers most peoples’ needs, even if they don’t quite get there. Experiment with fat and carb ratios until you find what works best for you. Every body is different. Spend some time working with different ratios and total calorie intake until you find your sweet spot. Your sweet spot will probably be within a stone’s throw of the target you got from the calculators, but if it’s higher it probably means your body’s ideal weight isn’t the same as your mind’s ideal weight. Go with your body on this one. It knows better.

4. Step 4 is patience. You likely won’t ‘get it right’ on the first day. It might take weeks. It might take months. But the beauty of doing it this way is that once you find that spot, you can just go on cruise control. Your body will take care of the weight thing, gradually, over time, with very little stress on your part. You just focus on giving your body the nutrition it needs. And that’s a much kinder, gentler way of approaching weight loss than fighting your body and trying to force it down to a weight that might simply be too low to allow for a sane, sustainable life. This way, you follow your body’s intuition, you support it’s needs every step of the way, and you give it the time and nutrients it needs to stabilize at a weight that is both healthy and sustainable for the long haul.

Hopefully this gives you a new way of approaching the subject of weight optimization. Working WITH your body is so much more pleasant than fighting and forcing it. It is also far more likely to yield positive results. I know this from personal experience.

45 thoughts on “Finding Your Ideal Weight

  1. Thank you for this post. We’re bombarded with so much ‘wisdom’ these days that sometimes it’s easy to forget to listen to ourselves. I love your posts and your philosophy on health. Much appreciated, thanks.

  2. Can I get an “AMEN!”?! This is so simple, and makes so much sense! About 9 years ago I lost 100 pounds, and every since then I’ve been struggling with trying to stay at my “ideal” weight…about 6 months ago it hit me…I’d only been at that magic number for no more than 2 weeks at a time! If you have to white-knuckle your way down to a weight and struggle miserably to maintain it, how is that “ideal”? About a month ago I found GoKaleo, started tracking my food, upped my protein and calorie intake, and I’ve lost weight AND inches! All that weight training I’ve been doing is finally noticeable! But the miracle is that I’m not obsessed with food every day, I’m not fighting cravings and feeling hopeless, like if I lost my focus for one minute I’d blow it. I’m not afraid of food anymore! I feel like GoKaleo has let me in on the “secret” to being healthy…even though it should be the most obvious thing in the world! But no money can be made from such simplicity, and so the madness continues. Thank you SO MUCH for your blog!!! You are changing lives.

  3. Thank you! I recently started a weight loss plan that involves tracking calories, protein, fat, etc. (I’m using a free online program) I’ve done the Weight Watchers points system in the past and reached my goal, but in the past year I’ve regained about 10 pounds due to stress eating and little activity. This new plan that I’m trying has set my calorie intake at 1200-1550. I’m 51 years old, 5’0″ and currently 138 lbs. (my goal is 125-128) I’m not muscular, I do moderate activity (I walk briskly for 30 mins. 3-4 times a week – I know I should do more and I’m working on that) and I have a sit-down job. I’ve been following this weight loss program since Sunday and have had two “hungry” days in a row. I was rarely hungry on WW so this is discouraging for me (I haven’t gone back to WW because of cost). Your post came at just the right time for me. I feel like I now have permission to increase my calorie intake to see if I can lose without feeling so deprived. The way I’ve been feeling the past two days, I know I’m setting myself up for a binge and I don’t want that to happen. Thanks for all the great info you put on this blog.

  4. What a great post! In reading this I have realized I am eating way less than I should and now know why I am having the cravings and binges. I to have always had an “ideal” weight stuck in my head but came to the realization that to keep my muscles I have worked hard for a weight of 120 can’t happen. I will check out your calorie calculator and try to find my sweet spot that I can feel full and still lose weight. Thansk for the awesome post!!!

  5. Thank you for another great post. I read you calorie primer last month and realized I was under eating and had likely crushed my poor metabolism. I’ve fluctuated between vegan and vegetarian for years eating only whole foods, nothing processed. I was never hungry and didn’t binge eat (likely due to all the good nutrients I was taking in?) but I was eating 1200-1400 calories a day and had been told that was accurate by a nutritionist as well as doctors. Sigh. As someone who is fairly active – moderate to heavy exercise for at least an hour 6 days a week obviously that isn’t enough to keep my metabolism healthy. The calculators show me at 2400-2900 depending on daily activity to lose 1-2 lbs a week. So over the last month I have essentially doubled my calorie intake. I haven’t lost but also haven’t gained so it seems like I am on the right track and maybe need to give my metabolism time to recuperate so am trying to be patient. I think it’s a good sign that now if my calories are low I am hungry. I’ve got about 100 lbs to lose (and doctors would still consider me to be obese at that weight so I don’t think it’s an unrealistic a goal) so have a long road ahead but I just wanted to say thank you for posting this info!!

  6. Great Post. But can I add that calorie counting is not for everyone. My girlfriend started logging calories and exercise for a work health thing. She doesn’t need to lose a pound in my mind and after a few weeks of doing it started feeling bad about herself if she went over calories. I asked her to stop calorie counting because she stopped seeing her beauty through the numbers.
    That said, calorie counting is a good way to see where you are at and get feel for what X number of calories really is. I will do it as a reset to check myself every couple of years.

    • Indeed! Which is why I led with ‘If what you are doing is working for you, please keep doing it! My sharing my experience and approach is by no means a mandate that everyone should do it my way.’. :)

  7. Great post! LOVE your site and FB page – I forward your posts/links etc. to many of my girlfriends. So many women frustrated and so many women with no self acceptance and so much body hate/negativity. I keep hoping to get the message thru and keep showing them these messages. Thanks so much for all your positive messages and your shared wisdom from experience!!! Now it’s up to us to be the experiment and carry it forward!

  8. I really love your approach to health, fitness and life in general, and this post is very useful and clear! Will you write a post about how to gain weight in a healthy way, sooner or later? I would really need some advice on that…

  9. Please feel free to direct me to a post if you’ve already answered this question (which I’m sure you have encountered before.) For a year and a half I’ve been cutting back on grains (don’t believe they’re evil either, just better food choices out there). My general health, mood, and energy has greatly improved, including a pregnancy and nursing a baby for over 10 months. Since January, I’ve been trying to improve on my physical fitness. I’ve been logging my food and that’s helped me learn a lot about my eating habits but I’ve also noticed a cycle of disciplined eating to all out binges and crashes and (although not my end all tool to determine success) the number on the scale goes up and down dramatically as a result. I’ve been gradually adding in more physical activity for the past three months and feel stronger but it’s only exacerbating the binge pattern. I guess I’m not finding a balance between my “ideal weight” and my calorie intake. I’m eating between 1800 and 2200 calories a day. I feel the least stressed at 2200 but after a couple days of that, the pounds (soft ones not strong ones) creep back on! Kinda frustrating. Enough rambling. What am I doing wrong?

  10. I am so glad I have subscribed to your page Go Kaleo. Your information really makes sense to me. I have been in the fitness world for going on almost 13 years. I initially lost weight …90 lbs to be exact in 2006, starting my journey in 2000 with on & off weight loss…up & down roller coaster. When I finally buckled down and starting in 2004 really got seriousand by 2005 I was down a total of 90. I gained back about 30 lbs and today am trying to figure out that “sweet spot” or ideal weight. This post is really going to help me at this point in my journey. <3 your posts!

  11. Another amazing post, girl! :) I am doing this right now even before reading this post! I used a higher weight than I am at right now as my ideal and now playing with macro ratios! :) I’m just wondering, though, when I’m tracking my intake should I be counting everything or should I not “count” the vegetables?

  12. Great post. Congratulation on your life changes! I’m going to share your story with a make friend of mine who really needs inspiration and help. I think what you’ve done is amazing. It will probably bring him some relief to hear the caloric intake numbers. I too eat 2500-3000 a day and people fall over when I share that. Thanks again!

  13. Hi! I am curious to hear your thoughts on the label “food addict”…I have been a part of a recovery program for food addiction now for five years. Here is the program in a nut shell: 3 weighed and measured meal, no flour and sugar, no snacking, and avoiding binge items. They eat no more then 4-6 hours in between. Attend 3 (recovery) meetings a week and study and live by the 12 steps of recovery we know of for alcoholics anonymous. That is the program. I was able to achieve what they call “abstinence” for a year and lost my weight. BUT….life happened and I went back to the flour and sugar. I am not back to my highest weight (not pregnant :) and miserable. I don’t want to do this program anymore. I want to eat the healthy food but I feel like I have been brain washed into thinking it’s this way or nothing. What are your thoughts on a program like this? What are your thoughts on the head part of being fat? Have you eliminated sugar and flour? Where would you go from here if you were me?

    Here is what I would eat on “clean” day:
    8 oz plain yogurt
    1 apple or any fruit/ 6 oz loose berries
    1 oz oatmeal

    4 oz protein
    6 oz cooed vegetable
    6 oz salad
    1tb dressing

    dinner same as lunch

    I enjoy reading your blogs and fb posts! And btw: I love your message and i think your BEAUTIFUL! :)

    • This is the weight loss food plan for FA or OA 90 correct? Contact me, I may have a solution for you. Same idea, No flour, No Sugar Weigh and Measure, A lot more food. Weight loss, far less people going back to ” day one”.. losing their hair, having the FA “freeze” , being nasty to each other.. We get to eat the food, and have support, and recover..

    • I too was on such a program, though my food plan was 3 meals and a snack. I’ve discovered that I am not a food addict, I was responding naturally and healthfully to a restrictive diet (not OA’s, WW) mentality by wanting to eat high calorie food. Once I decided nothing was forbidden, I lost any food cravings or desire to overeat. Sometimes I’ll get a little fuller at a special occasion, but no biggie, I can eat whenever I want. I do like having some boundaries around food, but they are not rigid and I am now trying to give myself plenty of cals, and still falling short. I won’t lie, I am at my heaviest now (size 14), but I am happier and feel really normal. I don’t have to be freaky when friends are over or if we go out and that is just fun. Now that I eat enough food, flour and sugar hold no special appeal for me. Tonight I had a yummy salad with marinated carrots, romaine, artichoke hearts, and poached chicken. In the afternoon I had some candy with my kids. Thai leftovers for lunch, eggs and toast for breakfast. I think most people who think they are compulsive overeaters are actually somewhat restrictive and then their brains orchestrate mini binges to compensate for that. Good luck to you!

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  15. I’m really out of the loop. I have no clue whatsoever how many calories I consume. I know it must be fairly high because I’m a “good eater” and always have been. But I’ve never counted. Now that I’m really interested in chanigng my body composition (not really my weight), I would like to fine tune my intake a little bit more to get the results I’m looking for, but I’m so unlearned in calculating my daily calorie intake. I make most of our food from scratch and sometimes and it’s pretty calorie dense if I tweak a recipe, generally speaking (I add olive oil and butter, sometimes cream or half and half).

    Do you know of apps or tools online to help me calculate my own recipes? Help!!

      • I’ve been using calorie count since 2008! :) I really like the community there in the forums, there are some really smart and down to earth people, and I’ve made some good friends.

    • There are probably other tools, but I use the recipe analyzer on Calorie Count. Once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy.

      • Perfect. This is the info I needed. Sorry this is so late a response, but Thanks!!

  16. And what happens when you do everything right and still don’t see results?

    I am short. My ideal weight is probably around 130. I was at a reasonably healthy 140 before I had babies, and now I’ve been stuck above 165 for two years in spite of my best efforts. Some of those efforts not so healthy– an 800 cal/day diet when I got desperate which resulted in only 4 lbs lost and then 6 weeks of plateau until I gave up. Some healthy… worked with a naturopath who upped my protein, decreased my carbs, increased my intake overall and promised me (like you do) that once my body readjusted to a healthy intake things would sort themselves out. That one resulted in an additional 5 lbs of weight gain that I’ve been unable to take off since.

    I’ve eaten clean religiously for 3 years. I am active every day. I lift heavy. I run. I work at a job that has me walking/running/standing for 10 hours at a time. I have no PCOS or thyroid issues.

    I love your manifesto. Really, I do. But I think it does people a disservice to make us think that EVERYONE can achieve a healthy body by simply moving more, lifting heavy and eating the food. Because those of us who can’t are angry and frustrated.

    Right now I eat over 100g protein per day. I eat healthy fats. My macronutrient breakdown usually falls around 40-30-30. My calorie count naturally falls between 1500 – 1600 daily. I find it difficult to eat more given that the volume of vegetables I eat is already large. My weight is stable.

    I am healthy, but I wear size 10-12. And I am only 5’3″. I am not happy. My weight makes many things in my life (particularly running) very difficult. I am not sure where to go from here.

    • It actually sounds to me like you have a very healthy body, Nathalie. Running is hard, and the heavier you are the harder it is. That’s not pathology, that’s physics. Propelling more mass takes more energy. And higher weight produces more impact. Running is difficult for me too. That doesn’t make my weight (or yours) inherently unhealthy.

      Objectively, you are eating a very restrictive diet. Both your total calories and your carbohydrate intake are quite low, especially given your weight and activity level. It sounds like you’ve had a couple stints with even MORE restriction over the last few years.

    • continued.

      Since you’ve tried restriction and it hasn’t worked, how about trying eating more? Specifically carbs and calories. It doesn’t sound like you have any physiological need to restrict either to the extent that you are.

      • I appreciate the input. But the only time I allowed myself to eat more (even if it was still ‘clean’) was when I was under the care of the ND. I’m still trying to lose the extra weight that crept over the six months while she assured me that things would level out. I can’t image how much more I’d put on if I increased beyond that.

        I am healthy. But I am overweight. I am fat. There’s no way to justify it… Body fat percentage, BMI or weight, it’s still fat.

        • Even the diet your naturopath had you on sounds like it had restrictions. Sounds like she replaced carbs with protein.

          It’s not fair to tell me my recommendations don’t work when you haven’t tried them. :)

          • Nathalie
            Do you eat meat? Where’s your protein coming from? Beans? Grains? Dairy?
            You’d think a job with that much movement would burn calories – but i’ve met several people who work in movement jobs and have a “clean” diet and are overweight.
            Sometimes it is your stress. Sometimes you need to find some way to de-stress. I choose Yoga – and powerful yoga at that. May of the people in my yoga classes have tried everything else and nothing worked, within 60 days of 5 days of yoga a week – lost 20lbs and have amazing body transformations.
            If you haven’t tried everything, don’t say so.
            I have 3 kids, I’m 39, 5’9″, in the past 10 years my weight has fluxed between 120 and 160. I’m happy in the 130 area – but I have a tiny build.
            Been Paleo, macro, eat it all (gluten free of course – I have Celiac Disease), no dairy no gluten, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc.
            The only thing I avoid now is gluten…and well chicken – but that’s because I have them as pets.
            I’m not qualified to tell you how to eat, but I encourage you to do it differently than you have.
            Also – my ND would never recommend a high protein diet.

            • Thanks for the input. Since February, when I posted initially, I have stopped tracking everything that goes into my mouth. I got a Fitbit, which tells me that I burn 2100 calories on low activity days and 2800 on high activity days (greater than 10000 steps, formal exercise). I lift heavy shit. I do CrossFit. I do yoga. I run (completed a 10k on Sunday). I allowed carbs back in. I eat the occasional sweet. I still eat clean.

              Although I haven’t gained, I haven’t lost either. My BMI is still around 29-30.

              As much as I’m changing my focus thanks to Eating the Food, Go Kaleo and other sources, I am still heavier than I am comfortable being. I don’t avoid any food other than processed, fried or otherwise ‘fake’ foods.

              Stress may be a factor, I am a shift worker and probably have cortisol issues. I don’t sleep as much as I should. I don’t *feel* stressed, however, as I find regular exercise keeps that under control.

              Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I agree with the principles behind ETF, and I’m reading Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery currently.

              The irony? I’m a medical professional.

              • I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. If you’re healthy, you may be exactly where your body wants to be.

                • I have trouble accepting the fact that ‘where my body wants to be’ is in the ‘obese’ category of BMI. I don’t want to accept it or justify it. I want to have a weight where I feel healthy, that will let me do the active things I want to do. I am at LEAST 20 lbs above that now.

                  Probably more… since I last posted and stopped restricting my carbs, I’ve gained another 5 lbs.

                  I don’t think that 172 lbs at 5’3″ can really fit ANYONE’S definition of healthy.

                  • I really don’t think you can define health by weight. You describe a very healthy lifestyle, and it sounds like you don’t have any health issues. That sounds like ‘health’ to me!

              • Too much running, too much Crossfit. Stick with the weights and walking, and sleep and rest a lot.

        • Nathalie: please don’t feel as though you have to justify being fat. There is nothing wrong with you or with fatness. Be good to yourself.

  17. Love this post, love you. However, I’m a bit dumb lol. Could you clarify the calculator. My BMR is 1400 (based on my goal weight, this girl wants to lose some) and my TEE is 3100 (based on my goal for activity.). So where do my calories fall? Between 1400-3100? Sorry I’m just not catching on.

  18. Good stuff.
    I have been copying and pasting a few things (with you, Amber/Go Kaleo being credited, of course, on a few other sites when I believe they may be of help.)

    If you’d ever like to answer some questions for a Q and A, I’ll email you some questions and post it a few places.
    It’d be an honor.
    Take care.

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  21. The more I read, the more confused I am, but I am determined to understand.

    I’ve been eating 1500 calories for the last 16 months or so and I have lost 169lbs, but I am starting to stall so I want to learn more and make better choices about my body. I have another 100 or so to lose.

    Right now I walk/run intervals at Lake Merritt Monday through Friday during my lunch break. I also take kickboxing Mon – Saturday at Oakland Karate and Kickboxing. Sundays are my days off (although I am usually still out hiking or something…I have a 47lb pit and he requires the daily movement).

    So…based on all this math you suggested, I should be eating 1800-2200 calories. Given that I have only been eating 1500 (150 protein / 80 carbs / 60 fat…on average), how should I increase these without gaining weight? I use a Timex hrm, and based on it (not sure how accurate it is) I am burning 2500 calories a day with these workouts.

    It is crazy – at my heaviest at 430lbs, I had NO problems consuming 4000-5000 calories a day, and now, I am afraid to eat. I hate it! Hate hate hate it!

    Thanks for any advise, suggestions, recommendations! I so really appreciate this blog, you have NO idea!

    • Wow, amazing accomplishment!!! I wouldn’t make too many changes, and definitely not quickly. Maybe add in some formal weight lifting, and increase your intake to 2000 slowly, over the course of several weeks, or even a couple months.

      • Thanks! I start TRX with a trainer at my kick studio next week. I will be doing it with her 45 minutes once a week, but I can come in any time to do it on my own. I wanted to get a few guided training sessions behind me before I go it alone.

        I really love your site!! So much information.

  22. I love this blog and the honest advice you provide. I wish i found this when I was undereating and overexercising.

    I let go of my rigid eating rules and am not underweight anymore. I still don’t eat enough according to these calculators however. I rarely get hungry but I have a huge appetite which might be because of my history of dieting which eventually led to food obsession. With clients like this, do you just have them gradually raise their calories till their eating at maintenance? Do they begin to get hungry enough to eat that much food?

    If I were to truly according to my hunger/fullness cues I’d consume far less than what’s recommended for me as maintenance so I’m not sure if th

    Thanks for all that you do!

  23. I love this blog and the honest advice you provide. I wish i found this when I was undereating and overexercising.

    I let go of my rigid eating rules and am not underweight anymore. I still don’t eat enough according to these calculators however. I rarely get hungry but I have a huge appetite which might be because of my history of dieting which eventually led to food obsession. With clients like this, do you just have them gradually raise their calories till their eating at maintenance? Do they begin to get hungry enough to eat that much food?

    If I were to truly according to my hunger/fullness cues I’d consume far less than what’s recommended for me as maintenance so I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing.

    Thanks for all that you do!

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