If you have 200 pounds to lose, you're right that the computer will give you too high a range. Any computer program will; they're all based on mathematical formulas, and the formulas assume that every pound of body weight uses the same number of calories. They don't take into account the fact that muscle tissue uses a lot more than fat tissue, so the further your body composition is from average, the less accurate the formula. If the BMR you're quoting was calculated, rather than being measured in an oxygen chamber, it's almost certainly a lot higher than your real BMR.
There are two fairly easy, sensible work-arounds. The easiest is to look up what your maintenance needs will be when you get to goal, and use that as your range now. In other words, if it's going to take 1700 calories to maintain your goal weight, set your tracker for 1500-1800, for example. (Be a little conservative, because people who have been obese tend to burn less even when they reach goal.) This has two advantages; it's pretty sure to be healthy, and it also teaches you how you'll have to eat once you get where you're going. When you get within about 50 pounds of goal, you'll have to lower that amount to lose the rest, but you can make a lot of progress now by using your goal maintenance range as your target.
Another method is to forget about your lower calorie limit and focus on other nutrients. The reason we have a minimum anyway is to make sure we get enough nutrients to stay healthy. If you focus on making sure you get *enough* fiber, calcium, protein, and one or two other nutrients that matter to you, and be sure to get at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies, you'll get enough calories by default. (Only counting what you get from food; don't count supplements if you're doing this method.) It will also help you cut out sugar and junk food, because after you eat all the healthy food you need, you probably won't have room for junk. In a lot of cases, obesity is actually a form of malnutrition. If your food isn't meeting your nutritional needs, your body keeps demanding food regardless of how many calories you've had.
If I were your mommy and I got to choose for you, I would recommend the second version for now. Since you're hungrier at mealtimes, focus on three classically healthy meals with plenty of veggies and protein and calcium sources, and use snacks ONLY as a way to fill in whatever nutrients you haven't squeezed into your meals. This will probably push your weight loss back on track, and even if it doesn't, it'll make you healthier all on its own, which is the ultimate goal anyway.
| current weight: 132.0