So How Low Do I Go?
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I’ve reached a point in my journey to a healthier me that I’m closer to my goal weight of 225 than I am my starting weight of 388. Even if it is a small light on the horizon, I can at least catch sight of my goal weight. My goal weight is now enough of a reality that I began to wonder just how many calories will I eat to maintain a weight of 225 which I feared to be a very low number? As I was researching that answer I stumbled onto some information that I had never considered. There is in fact a number below which we should not eat, although that number is different for men and ladies. The original web site that brought this to light for me made the statement that a male my age should never eat below 1800 calories in a day. This is the point where they claimed the body will consider that it is being starved and will slow the metabolic rate accordingly thus slowing weight loss. Just for accuracy sake this site was not Sparkpeople, but rather one started by a former world class bicycle rider and cancer survivor who has been shamed by performance enhancing drug usage. Because of his approach to health I was a bit skeptical on such a large number of calories required to keep starvation away.
After reading up on more than a dozen websites both in the USA and the UK I’ve concluded that in fact 1800 calories is a good number to not go below for a moderately active man at age 54, ME. Let me explain what I mean by moderately active. Currently I’m exercising from 30 to 50 minutes a day with both cardio and strength between 4 and 5 days a week. There have been days recently where I have not eaten 1800 calories in a day. My low number for calories in a day on Sparkpeople is 1990 as I take part in the Summer 5% Weight Loss Challenge. To go from a weight of 305 down to 288 in the eight weeks of the challenge Spark has me eating in a range from 1990 to 2340 calories.
The real epiphany here is that for several days in recent weeks I had not only been eating below my Spark number, but had been risking slowing my bodies metabolic rate. My exercise has been slowly on the increase the entire time which is perhaps why over all I’ve still been losing weight? What I’ve had to wrap my mind around is that I will be healthier in the long run eating MORE. Seriously!?! For someone like me who has been overweight their entire life that is something my being struggles to grasp. However, in short, the numbers do not lie. In this case, more is better.
Oh, and my original starting point, calories required to maintain my goal weight, looks like 2800 or so if I do no worse than maintain my current activity level. Before anyone gets on to me about such a high goal weight this number was set with a consultation with my Doctor. Now she may try to talk me into a lower number in a year or so when I hit 225. With the knowledge I’ve recently gained about just how many calories can be consumed and still lose weight it may not be a hard sell for her.