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RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/12/12 6:42 P

I assume by everyone, you include guys. I am 5'7" and I am 218. I want to get down to about 170, but like you, a healthy weight is not something I can pinpoint, because I was never at one.

I started increasing my exercise to 90 minutes a day, 7 days a week, and do 3 resistance band workouts on M,W,F. Because of this, and the fact that I started losing very fast, and then would cheat, I finally realized that I needed to up my calories, so instead of setting my own calorie range, I reset it, and use SP's range. It is 2,470- 2,820, and I burn 4000 calories a week. I am still losing, just slowly ( about 1 lb a week ).

I'm not sure you have the time to exercise, but since you are young, and healthy, why not look into some HIIT. Doing more strenuous exercise, might save you a bit of time, but let you burn more calories, while building more muscle, so your metabolism increases. You won't look like a man. Muscle doesn't grow that fast. As a man, trust me. I wish I could build muscle as fast as women fear they Mostly it is fat disappearing, which allows the muscle to show.

By burning more calories, you can eat more, while still losing. I play basketball twice a week, and that burns a lot. Find a sport you like, and maybe join a league or something. Not very time consuming, and you actually burn more playing a sport, than walking on a treadmill. If you do it with friends, you can fulfill some social obligations too. Better to spend time with friends exercising, than having a beer with nachos.

As short people we have to worry about 5-10 lbs, so we have to be a bit more strict, but exercise helps us do that, while actually eating enough to feel human.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
12/12/12 7:57 A

I'm 5'2 and I ate around 1350-1400 cals until recently. I lost weight steadily on that amount until I hit a plateau around 122 lbs. Unlike others here, I had to lower my cals and become more strict on measuring my food to break through the plateau. I now eat 1200 cals. I burn 2000/week as well as do strength training an hour + a day 3-4x a week. So what works for some, doesn't work for others. So I would play with your calorie range, try eating in middle for a couple of weeks and see if you're still losing weight. If you are, try in the top of your range. If you stop losing, then just lower it back down. Give it a good 3-4 weeks before changing to be sure.

Eating healthier means you'll stay fuller longer. And yes, it does matter what you eat. Saturated fats/trans fats are more likely to be stored as fat (harder for your body to break down), simple carbs (like refined sugars and refined grains) cause your GI to spike and produce insulin, which when not used gets stored as fat. High sodium causes you to retain water. Reducing sodium to half your intake will almost guarentee you a 1-3 lbs loss of water bloat. I also believe that people who do not treat this as "healthy lifestyle" change are more likely to gain the weight back. If you look at it as getting healthier that is a goal you'll want to keep up for life. If you look at it as just getting the weight off, where's the motivation to continue with your plan once the weight is off? It is also very easy to slip up on portion sizes once you lose the weight and fall back into over eating. Change what you eat as well. You learn to love healthy foods. Sure, I still like a piece of cake once in awhile or some chocolate but I'm disgusted by fast food now and would much rather have a greek yogurt and some fresh fruit.

When you are in maintenance mode you *will* be able to eat more. I figured it out for my weight, height, age and activity level and mine was around 1900 cals/day.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,299
12/12/12 7:33 A

I am not short; I'm 5'8" tall. But when I first started SparkPeople, my calorie range was 1200 - 1500 a day. Until I started exercising consistently-- then my range increased. So no, taller people don't just automatically get more calories.

And as other posters have said, strength training is NOT going to make you look like a man. It builds long lean muscles, not big bulky muscles.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,640)
Fitness Minutes: (195,052)
Posts: 15,862
12/12/12 5:25 A

I'm 5'2" and I was 135 at my highes weight, and maintain between 110-115 pounds.

I eat over 2000 calories a day.

GRANDMABABA SparkPoints: (304,636)
Fitness Minutes: (171,153)
Posts: 10,629
12/12/12 3:56 A

Great info here. I appreciate allof it.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,564)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,138
12/12/12 3:48 A

Below are some links that you may find helpful:

As far as calories are concerned, many of us have lost weight without doing a lot of exercise. I am just on 5'6" and to maintain I need to eat an average of 200 calories per day more than what I was consuming for a very slow weight-loss. When you do a fair bait of exercise, make sure that you eat more to ensure that your body not only has the energy to do the exercise, but also to repair the tiny little injuries that occur without our realizing it. Ensure that you eat a healthy, balanced diet, with lots of fruit/veges, quality protein (not processed meats), healthy fats and carbs from good sources, not processed as in white sugar, cakes/biscuits etc. MOST of the time. Remember, tho', that this isn't about deprivation or starvation - it is about healthy choices MOST of the time, and enjoying ourselves in the process :-)

I wish you well for finding what works best for you!


BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/12/12 3:02 A

You won't look like a man. Pretty much impossible due to the diffences in hormones. Cardio uses your muscles, but doesn't help to build them. Strength training is the way to go. I do ST 2-3 times a week and have done for 11 months. Check my pictures, I don't look like a man.

SARAHZ01 Posts: 5
12/12/12 12:12 A

Wow that makes me feel so much better, so eventually I can go back to eating a little more, restricing my calories to 1200 was a big deal! I always find that I want to eat more! Thank you so much for everything:-)

SARAHZ01 Posts: 5
12/12/12 12:11 A

Thank you so much! Any tips on how to gain muscle without looking like a guy! I'm always afraid to go to strength training because I'm scared I'll look like a stubby 5'1 man haha! Does cardio help build muscle?! Thank you!

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
12/11/12 11:59 P

I'm 5'3" and while I'm in maintenance mode, I'm still losing weight...5lbs in 2 months to be exact, eating 1700-1750 calories a day. So no, you will not be stuck eating 1200 calories the rest of your life :) When I started losing weight I was eating 1200 calories for the first 6 months, then I upped it to 1400-1500 when my weight loss stalled. That got it going again and I ate at that level until I hit my goal weight 2 months ago. As I mentioned, I upped to 1700-1750 and I'm still losing. Oh I should also say I don't exercise at all.... and I eat low-mid range for carbs, higher end for fat, and mid range for protein.

Yes, technically if you ate 1200 calories of junk, you would still lose weight. In the end, it's about calories in/calories out. But, for overall health and to feel satisfied, having a balanced diet is necessary.

GOING4MUSCLE Posts: 5,233
12/11/12 11:57 P

None of us, no matter how little we are, have to be restricted to eating so few calories, for life. The secret is...


The more you have of it..the more calories you'll be able to enjoy, without gaining. I weigh 104lbs, at 5'3.5", and I've eaten as high as 2100 calories, without gaining. I'm still in a cutting stage, presently, but once I'm finished, then I'll be eating at a much higher calorie amount, to help build a bit more muscle.

There are several ladies on another site I belong to, who are only 4'11", and they eat upwards of 2500 - 3000 calories, a day, without gaining fat. It's all about body composition.

MUSCLE! emoticon MUSCLE! emoticon MUSCLE! emoticon

SARAHZ01 Posts: 5
12/11/12 11:44 P

Hi everyone! So I have a question towards my calories and losing weight. I am 5 1 and I try to workout 3 times a week if I can, i'm 21 so I'm really busy with school and work. I'm 135 lbs now and would like to get down to 105-115 I want to trial and error and see which weight I feel the most healthiest at, but I was just wondering do woman who are taller get to eat more? Or will I forever be stuck at eating 1200 calories for the rest of my life. I feel like taller people can eat more carbs and not gain weight and I feel like if I eat to many carbs the scale wont budge..which leads to my next question, I would never do this because I would feel so sick but technacially if I wanted to eat 1200 calories worth of pizza or cookies or something bad (just an example) could I still lose weight? Or is it really based off of carbs proteins and fats? I know a guy who did a twinkie diet and lost so much weight! And all he ate was twinkies!!! You can check it out on youtube to! But I would just like some feedback on wheather or not calories matter.

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