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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
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Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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I am going to Weight Watchers and a gym 4 to 5 times a week.

Resolved Question:

I am going to Weight Watchers and a gym 4 to 5 times a week. I am not really losing any weight and I am trying to figure out how many calories I should be eating? I keep getting conflicting answers. Most answers are saying eat more if you exercise more
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.

Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.


In general, people who are active can eat more calories because they will use more calories. However, if you want to lose weight, you will need to eat less calories than you are using. So, if you are not losing weight with the increased activity, it is because you are eating more to compensate for the energy burned during your exercise.


You need to determine how much you are eating now, then reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day for an approximate weight loss of 1 lb. per week. You can reduce your intake by 1000 calories for a loss of 2 lbs per week. Keep in mind that weight loss faster than 2 lbs per week, or reducing your caloric intake below 1200 calories per day is not healthy, as you will not be getting adequate nutrients.


In addition to watching calories, you need to also make sure you are eating a variety of foods, with a balance of each food group to get in necessary nutrition. Also, eating regular meals throughout the day (smaller and more frequent is best) will help your body's burn more calories. If you are going to weight watchers, I am sure you are already aware of these things.


So, for now, start by keeping a food diary or log to see where you are as far as caloric intake. Then go from there.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

That was helpful but my question is how do I figure out how many calories to eat in a day. I have been told that I am not eating enough calories, is there some way to figure it out by weight, height, age etc?

Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.

Hi, sorry for the delay.


Yes, there is a way to figure this out. Here is the simple one:


Click on this link Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid tool

Just fill out the information and it will give you a pyramid with # XXXXX servings of each food group you need, a calorie count, and you can print a 4 page document that lists some common foods in each group along with serving sizes. You can start with the number of calories it gives you and adjust from there.


Also, to assist you in keeping track, this link: is free to use and will let you look up almost any food you can think of (even name brand products, as well as fast foods) for calories and other nutritional information.



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