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2,000 Calories? I Think Not.

I have a slight problem with this whole recommended daily allowance bullshit. All of the food labels are based off a 2,000 calorie diet. Who really needs 2000 calories? A 21 year old, 6 feet tall, 185 pound male, that's who. (Well, a 21 year old, 6 feet tall, 185 pound male that doesn't move all day.) But, seriously, not many people really need that much. I personally think this contributes to our massive (excuse my pun, and, yes, I can get away with this, because I am a fat girl--185 pounds and only 5'2") problem with obesity. You see a label, and it says, "Oh, eat me. It's OK. It's only 500 little, itsy, bitsy calories. You still have 1,500 more!" But, the truth is, you may only have 1,000 more. And that's if you're lucky. If you lead a sedentary life, you may very likely only need 1,200 calories in an entire day (depending on age, height weight, etc.). I found all this information at How Stuff Works if you're wondering if any of this shit is legitimate. The Harris-Benedict formula for calculating needed calories is as follows:

Adult male: 66 + (6.3 x body weight in lbs.) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
Adult female: 655 + (4.3 x weight in lbs.) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

This only gives you your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). If you are sedentary, it's pretty close--within a few hundred--to your actual daily burn. If you are active, you would have to use estimates for calories burned during exercise to see how many extra calories you need. You also use some energy digesting food--about 10% of your ingested calories. So, if you eat 2,000 calories, it takes about 200 to digest your food.

Using the formula above, I need about 1,600 calories every day to stay at my current weight. If I eat 1,600 calories, I would be using 160 of them to digest my food. Thus, I would really be giving 1,440 to my body's actual functioning. Add in any exercise, and we're talking some decent reductions. But, with no exercise, consuming 1,600 calories a day, and leaving 1,440 to my body after digestion, it would take me 3 weeks to lose 1 pound. Yes, it takes dropping a whopping (hey, I rhymed) 3,500 calories to drop just 1 pound. It's not looking so good. But, again, this 1,600 is just for staying alive. If I so much as lift my arm, that's going to increase. (Yes, I am lifting my arms up and down. I need all the help I can get.) But, still, I don't feel encouraged.

I have started (just today--we will see if it lasts) writing down every thing I eat and the calories it cost me. I really need to lose some weight. It is beginning to affect has severely affected my quality of life.


  1. you be my cheerleader and I will be yours. You can do this... but warning writing down what you eat and the calories associated will be an eyes wide opening... and then look around and see what others are eating... Be honest. It is a good experiment.

  2. What's the most disheartening is that I look at what other people eat, and I look at what I eat, and they eat TONS more than I do. And I'm still fatter. Rah! Rah! Ree! Let's get skinn-y!

  3. Try Weight Watchers...I know it sounds horrible, like something we joked about in HS - but it works miracles! I've lost 20lbs of baby weight on it and several girlfriends of mine have dropped over 30 in just a few months!!!


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