JENNILACEY, I would estimate about 4k-5k calories on my cheat day. The 1550 figure is at the low end of the SP suggested range. I thought I might have mis-entered something so I tried another calculator fresh, and it said 1453 for 2lbs/week! Now I'm saying sedentary because I work a desk job, and don't feel I get much exercise. The last time I tried a diet was about 5 years ago, and I was doing the Gym with cardio and weights about 5 days a week and Karate about the same, and I was losing 1-2 lbs per week at just over 4K calories per day. So maybe my benchmark for activity level is skewed. Here's the numbers I just ran: www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html
SOAPSANDROPES, so far this doesn't feel difficult. I was unusually hungry in week 2, when I barely lost any weight, but I felt fine in weeks 1 and 3. I had breakfast at 8am, haven't eaten since and only feel mildly hungry now for lunch at 12:30pm. I do love the cheat day though. I could see myself doing something like that long term. I used to snack on junk food most nights, and keeping that and the high carb meals down to once a week seems like a good way to continue to enjoy those things without letting it get out of hand.
ANARIE, I didn't weigh myself until I decided to start for a long time - maybe a year? I was about 235 then, so my weight didn't climb much in that time. Yes, I was having really bad back pain when I took my first weigh-in. That was my motivation for starting. My weigh in time is Monday morning at 7:30am before breakfast, and I've been consistent with that. No puffyness that I've noticed. There was no pre-diet binge - I just decided to do it and started all at once. I thought the same thing about fluids for the week 1 loss, but I'm starting to wonder after this much continued loss. I'm drinking loads of water and haven't made an effort to reduce sodium. There's nothing unusual about the colour of my urine, so I don't think I'm dehydrated. I am on medication for my back, starting mid-week 2. It is called Meloxicam, but it has been linked to weight gain, not weight loss.
SPARK_COACH_JEN, the range from SP is 1,500 - 1,850. The first calculator I used said 1,550 and since that was within the range I made that my target.
Here's what I'm going to do... I'm going to stick with it a while longer, because I'm feeling great. I'll start taking daily weigh ins to look for fluctuations. I did this last time, and found that numbers normally fluctuated by up to 2-3 lbs each day but trended down. If I see larger fluctuations or I don't feel well I'll make an appointment with my family doctor.
Thanks to you all for your thoughtful feedback. What an amazing resource these forums are!