Help! Do I have to maintain on diet calories??

Help!  Do I have to maintain on diet calories??

No!  You will maintain fine on a higher number of calories.

First, find your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – this is what your body burns when you do absolutely nothing but lay around all day.  There are many online calculators; here’s the one I use.  Mine is about 1390 calories.  This is an estimation; it’s not 100% accurate because everyone is different.  You can probably get your calculated at a local gym.

Then multiply it by your activity multiplier – 1.1 is sedentary (a secretary job), 1.2 is slightly active (a salesperson), 1.3 is more active (a trainer at the gym), and 1.4 is very active (a construction worker).  I’m slightly active: 1390 x 1.2 = 1668 calories.  This is what I burn without exercising, and these are my maintenance calories! If I burn more from exercise, I can eat that many more per day.  (Example: I run 1 mile, burn 75 calories = I can eat 75 more calories during the day, totaling 1668 + 75 = 1743 calories.)

Once you only have 5-10 pounds to lose, you can start to increase your calories (slowly).  Up your calories by 10% each week until you hit your maintenance calories.  Then hold there.  If you keep losing, you can eat more; if you gain, cut back.  You do NOT have to live on 1200 calories a day for the rest of your life.

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