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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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3-4 times/week doing 30-45 minutes of cardio and 20-30 free weights

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I would like to know how many calories i should take in each day. I work out 3-4 times/week doing 30-45 minutes of cardio and 20-30 free weights and on my off days i average 4-5k steps on my pedometer (11-13k on workout days). I am 30 years old, 5'11" and 230 lbs. In the past year I have dropped from 315 lb.s but now i can't seem to lose any more weight. I've been in the null loss zone for over 2 months now and my frustration is mounting. I do count my calories and my normal intake is between 1700 and 2000, with good days around 1600 and bad at 2200.
Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome. It seems you have hit the dreaded "plateau" that many people encounter when losing weight. However, you should be proud of yourself at this point. You have already lost quite a bit of weight, and it seems you have a good exercise regimen that does far more than just cause weight loss (as I am sure you are aware).
To continue to lose weight, try mixing up your exercise routine so that you are not "routinely" doing the same things. Your body has a way of adjusting itself to conserve energy (a survival thing), and will burn fat more effectively if you exercise differently each day.
Also, you need to adjust to a lower calorie diet now that you have lost 85 lbs. A 1400 calorie diet will encourage more weight loss. It is also very important that you eat the right amount of nutrients (food groups) each day so that your body can function optimally, and lose with fat it doesn't need.
To help you do this, here is a link to an excellent tool:
Put in your information, and it will give you the diet you need (calories, amounts of servings in each food group), as well as a four page document you can print out with information about each food group and what a serving consists of.
As you lose weight, come back to this tool occasionally to check on your calorie needs.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I thought that dropping below 1500 calories causes my body to enter starvation mode and would prevent me from losing weight. This was the advice given me by my doctor. I just want to make sure before i make that big of a change.
As long as you eat regular meals and snacks, and please note that this diet allows "extra" nonstarchy vegetables and fruits (four or more servings of each), you will not go into "starvation mode". At this point you need 2600 calories to maintain your weight and you would have to eat less than half of that to slow the metabolism of your body.
In one of the all-time classic studies (the Minnesota semi-starvation study), men were put on 50% of their maintenance calories for 6 months. At no point did the men stop losing fat until they hit 5% body fat at the end of the study. This is a drastic example.
Thing is this, at the end of the day, to lose weight or fat, you have to create a caloric deficit, there's no magical way to make it happen without affecting energy balance. You either have to reduce food intake, increase activity, or a combination of both.
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