I usually eat between about 1450 and 1550, but I have days where I might eat 2,000 or more. I actually ALLOW for it, and don't feel the least bit guilty.
When I started on this journey I was put on 1400 calories (no range) by my Registered Dietitian. She was aware that because of health issues including skeletal and fatigue, I didn't get anywhere near the amount of recommended exercise in. I started to lose weight. It was a slow process - 16 months to lose the first block (50lb)
I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted, one day every two weeks. At times it might stretch to a 3-4 week between, but occasionally it would be a little sooner. I have been at my goal weight for a few years now, and I STILL practice that method.
My message to you:
DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP!! This is not about deprivation and it is not about starvation. It is about a healthy lifestyle. BTW, 1600 calories is hardly pigging out!!! If you are getting in a fair bit of exercise, it is likely that you aren't eating enough most days, and that can be a reason to eat over usual calories if, unlike me, you don't plan to.
How many calories in a day? Well, when I lost just over 100lbs, I never went lower than 1650-2000 calories per day when I was being very sedentary due to health reasons, and most often was at the high end of that. I have maintained for almost 4 years now at a healthy BMI while eating around 1850-2200 calories per day, and even higher during more active weeks.
I used the approach that ARCHIMEDESII already suggested, but started out by finding out what calorie range would be suitable for maintenance at the high end of the healthy BMI range for my body. I used this calculator: www.health-calc.com/diet/energy-expenditur e-advanced and entered in the information for a standard day without extra exercise at my starting weight, and then at a weight in the healthy BMI range. I took the "calories burned" number, rounded it up to the nearest 50, then created a range around it ("burned" less 150 - "burned" plus 200). I kept that range in mind as something that I would not go UNDER, and very gradually worked my way down to it by making healthier choices, adding more and more vegetables and fruits, and learning to cook. I learned to eat to my hunger, and found that I generally wouldn't want more food on days when I was really active, but would want it a couple of days later --- so I eat above my range to suit my hunger and activity, with no negative reactions either physically or emotionally. This worked best for me, since I had no desire or need to learn how to "diet" --- but did want and need to learn how to live and eat healthfully (including a healthful calorie intake) for the rest of my life.
Seriously - if you are finding yourself having guilt feelings about eating something, especially about eating a very reasonable amount of food, then it is time to reassess what is going on. If you are working on being healthier and happier, then change your approach to being a gradual set of changes which you can sustain comfortably without negative emotional feedback, and which will become your "new normal".
You have done nothing that deserves a negative emotional reaction, and should be proud of yourself for realizing that the guilt is "nuts" and reaching out for other perspectives! Now give yourself a hug, take a deep breath, and start thinking about which small steps you enjoy and want to keep --- and which ones you want to try next...
Sir Terry Pratchett:
"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."
I give all new members one piece of advice and it's this,"don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". If the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.
While it's true that Americans eat too much and need to eat less, losing weight is more about the QUALITY of the food you eat more so than the quantity.
When a person decides they need to lose weight, they are almost always in a panic. All they want to know is what is the fastest way to lose. Why cutting calories ! The problem is that people tend to cut their calories TOO FAST TOO SOON.
In an effort to be "good", they starve their body of the calories it needs to be healthy. How long do you think you're going to last eating 1200-1600 calories before you give up ? Slowly decrease the amount you eat so that your body has time to adapt to the new changes.
yes, eat less. but not to a point where you can't sustain the amount.
What to do ? Start with some simple changes you can stick with. set some simple goals. example, if you're not eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. If you're not drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. If you haven't been exercising, don't start with an hour a day, set a goal to a take 30 minute walk each day for one week. Once you've achieved these goals, then you set new ones or do them again.
Setting simple goals is how a person slowly eases into healthier eating habits. If you just cut your calories, you'll end up failing. What I suggest is finding ways to make the foods you currently eat, more healthy. Set a goal to learn how to eat more fruit and veggies.
If I were go to back in time and give myself one piece of advice that would help me lose weight and be healthy, it would be to eat 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies each and every day.
How many calories are you guys doing a day . Just curious. I have been doing about 1250 and went up to 1600 today. How do I get over the guilty feeling. It's making me nuts. Anyone else have days like this 😞