Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Thursday, October 08, 2009 Marie, Community Member, asks

Q: how many calories does a 243 lb woman need

How do I know how many calories I need?I weigh 243 and I've been dieting and exercising for 3 1/2 months and have lost 27lbs.My calorie intake is 800-1000.

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Answers (2)
Kristi, Community Member
10/19/09 11:16am
You are not consuming enough calories. Your rate of loss is good, actually, but if you feel that you are not losing fast enough, it's likely because your body is hoarding energy. I don't know your height or age, but at 243, you need a lot of energy just to get around. Up your calorie intake to 1200 calories minimum (probably closer to 1500) and space that as evenly as possible over the course of the day. Do not take in any calories within 2 hours of going to sleep. You should not lose more than 2 pounds per week if you have any chance of keeping it off later. It sounds like you are trying to lose quickly, but try to remember that the important thing is that you do not deprive your body. By taking in too few calories, like you are now, your body will send out signals, like cravings for things you shouldn't have, in order to replenish the energy source. Cravings make it a lot harder to diet. Try it for one week. You can do anything for one week, right? Reply
Marie, Community Member
10/19/09 4:52pm

Thank You so much for your help!!! I'm 5-5 and 38yrs old.My long goal is to lose 110lbs so  I would love to  lose 2lbs a week,I've lost it fast before and of course gained it all back and then some.I'm also exercising 4-5 days a week for about an hour.I will try to get 1200-1500 cal a day in .Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated:o) This is a lifestyle change for me and I have a long way to go..... 

Kristi, Community Member
10/19/09 5:16pm

I'll be glad to help you any way I can, but my disclaimer is that I'm just a regular person, not a doctor or fitness expert or anything like that.  I have, however, lost almost 60 pounds since February.  I average about 7-9 pounds lost per month.  I didn't lose anything last month because I had surgery on my foot and threw myself out of whack.  I'm back on track now.  I'm 43 years old, 5'4.5" and started out weighing almost 199.  I've topped out in the past at 210.  I currently weigh 140 and plan to lose 10-15 more pounds (I'm extremely small boned, size 4 wedding ring), although it's a thrill to be where I am now, I promise.


The way I did it was plain old moderation and good choices.  No diet, per se.  If I want it, I eat it.  If it's really bad for me, I eat just a little and fill in the rest of my hunger with healthy foods like lots of veggies.  I really try to save my "cheats" for when I really want it bad, though.  I always analyze the situation and make the decision on whether or not it's worth it at that moment.  Most often, I can talk myself out of it, but not always.  Sometimes it really is worth it!  I'm not a big fruit fan, but that would help, too, if you are.  I was exercising like you, but haven't done much since the surgery.  Hoping to get back on track soon.


We are almost the same age and height.  You are absolutely right.  It is a lifestyle change, but you can do it.  Just tell yourself these things.  #1, You can do anything for one week, so take it one week at a time.  Set a weigh-in day (mine is Monday) and write it down so you can monitor your progress.  If you want to weigh every day, go ahead, but only write it down and modify your plan once a week.  #2, You have nothing but time.  The next week, month, year will go by whether you take care of your weight or not.  Why look back a year from now and wonder why you didn't try.  You may just find yourself a year from now wondering how it went by so fast.  That's what's happened to me.  I know I struggled along the way, but I hardly remember it now.

Marie, Community Member
10/19/09 11:00pm

WoW 60 lbs ...That's Great!!! It's good to hear from a regular person who has been so successful.Do you write everything down that you eat?Also if you happened not to lose one week did you ever get discouraged weighing every week?If so how did you get past that to stay on track? Good luck with those last  few pounds and hope you have a speedy recovery with your foot.,youv'e come so far..Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Kristi, Community Member
10/20/09 9:56am

Well, first I have to say that I did weigh 139.8 this morning, so yay! 


I did not write everything down at the beginning and did not count calories or anything.  I started out with giving up something that was not good for me.  In my case, that was soda.  I was a Diet Coke-aholic.  I would easily drink 5-6 a day.  The reason I gave them up was because I knew I would never drink enough water in a day if I was drinking soda.  I only allowed myself a Diet Coke when I was out, which was not too often.  If I went a week or two without losing weight, then I would track my food and calories.  However, this works for some and not others.  Some people have a lot more success with a food diary.  I would suggest that you track for at least a couple of weeks, forever if it works for you and you don't mind doing it, but do it until you get a good feel for how much you have to eat to get 1500 calories in a day.  Some people find it comforting to always know exactly what they are eating and how many calories it has.  You are the only one who knows what will work for you.  But definitely, if you are not losing for a week or two, track it.


I never get discouraged if I gain in a week (which I have a few times).  The reason is that I have a chart where every week I write down my current weight, my loss/gain from the week before, and my total loss to-date.  That total loss keeps me going.  Even if I gained a pound or two that week, I always have the overall total of pounds lost, which was what I focus on.  You will gain a pound or two from time to time.  It's life.  Just always stay focused on the bigger picture and not on the small setbacks.  Also, if you want to set weekly goals, make sure you adjust for a gain.  For instance, if you plan to lose 2 pounds per week, but you gained 1 pound this week, then next week your 2 pound goal should be from the weight after the 1 pound gain.  You won't be shooting to lose 5 pounds (make sense?).


BTW, since my surgery, I've had to find my motivation again.  I decided to give up one thing because that's what helped get me on track the first time.  I gave up alcohol.  When I drink, even just a glass of wine, I tend to want to graze.  I definitely don't need to be doing that!  It's worked and over the last 2 weeks, I've dropped 5 pounds.

Kristi, Community Member
10/19/09 5:25pm

One more thing I forgot to say.  Set very small goals for yourself.  Do not give yourself a food reward for hitting them because that sort of behavior is likely a contributor to you getting here in the first place.  Your pride is all the reward you need.  But set small goals that you can achieve in a fairly short period of time.  This will do two things.  One, it will keep you excited.  With having so much to lose, you need to just focus on the next ten pounds.  Like seeing a 23_ on that scale, then 22_, etc.  If you think too much about that 110 you want to lose, you will feel like you are never going to get there.  When I was 199, all I wanted was to see 189, just to see that 8 again.  Eventually, my short goal was to get under the overweight BMI, which for me was about 150.  That was a good day.  From there, it's been back to the ten's.  My goal right now is to just see 139, which I haven't seen in over 20 years, but should by the end of the week.  From here, I'll go to 5 pound increments because it's starting to take longer.  I'm only averaging about 1 to 1-1/2 pounds per week, so I don't want to wait 10 weeks for a goal.

Marie, Community Member
10/19/09 11:09pm

That makes sense,it's easier to focus on 10 lbs than 110 lbs.You are right I try to reward myself with a massage ,pedi etc..rather than food.

Kristi, Community Member
4/12/10 3:58pm

Hi, Marie!  I was just wondering how you're doing.  It's been about 6 months since we posted these.


I've been doing okay, but not as good as I should.  Re-reading this has really helped alot.  I needed to find where my mind was back when success seemed easier.  I had gotten down to 128 with 125 as my goal weight.  Then the holidays hit... and hit and hit.  I've managed to gain back up to 134 as of this morning and am really not happy with myself.  It's amazing that someone responded to this post at this time and it popped up in my email.  I re-read the things I said to you and decided to take my own advice.  I'm really going to get back on track.  I still want to get down to 125 which means I need to lose 9 pounds.


Tell me how you're doing!



sekhmet, Community Member
4/11/10 3:29pm

Way to go...very good job!

I'm amazed that weight loss actually revolves around mathematics.

It has taken me 61 years to figure out that I can't carry around two to three times the amount of weight that a 110 pound person does on their caloric intake.  

I'm guess I'm slow in figuring things and the greater part of the medical world, except maybe Weight Watcher's.   

I use the American Cancer Society's Calorie Counter.

The ACS says that a 110 pound woman needs 1,500 calories a day when coupled with a sedentary lifestyle and in order to lose weight, one has to consume less than the recommended maintenance calories. 

At 243, I need some 2,700 calories to lose weight. I stated out @ roughly 300.

Eat less and watch the triggers. By the way, I eat one to two avocados a day for my fat intake with rice as a mainstay and lose an average of 3-4 pounds a week. I eat bread, butter and honey, too; among a few other things.  I eat mainly one meal a day & maybe two to three tiny meals, only because I'm not hungry, but need my nutritional needs met to cut out cravings. I eat before sleep and cling to that, as I still lose weight and when I belonged to Weight Watchers they said it was okey dokey.

So be kind to yourself and treat yourself gently and always be proud of what you've done!
So, good job you! You're a hero!

sekhmet, Community Member
4/11/10 2:02pm

As a 243 pound woman, you need 3,314 calories a day to maintain weight  with a sedentary lifestyle per the American Cancer Society's Calorie Counter:

In order to lose weight, decrease caloric intake by 500 calories per day.  This should allow a two pound decrease per week and as you lose weight, follow the caloric needs of the Calorie Counter.

I feel that 'weight programs' have failed people like us by giving us next to nothing to eat and that is sabotaging us to fail in the weight loss game. We fail because we need a certain amount of fuel to carry our bulk and we don't receive it when we 'diet'. 

When I weighed 300, I needed 4,091 calories a day to maintain my weight with a sedentary lifestyle.

I, too, now weigh 243 and am dropping daily.

The counter is simple to use.  

Further points of interest, per the American Cancer Society's Calorie Counter:

At 135 pounds, a person needs 1,845 calories a day to maintain weight with a sedentary lifestyle.

At 110 pounds, a person needs 1,500 calories a day to maintain weight with a sedentary lifestyle.

I find it humorous that anyone thinks someone can carry around 300 pounds with the fuel to carry around 110, as most 'diets' do. 

Where are the grownups when you need them?

I am assuming that the caloric restrictions lessen with lower weight numbers, especially when one weighs 110.

2,700 or 2,800 calories is still pretty easy, at the stage I'm at.

We can still eat what we want.

We just shave off the top and watch the trigger foods.

This has put life more in prospective for me.

Another thing was that I wondered why you never see obese Oriental people.

When cooking a cup of pre-cooked rice, by adding water, the bulk doubles. When consumed, I'm sure that one cup quadruples.

The heart of my diet is rice seasoned with lime seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and a certain company's Fiesta Seasoning. Even though I don't really cook per se, I fake it by adding chicken or pork or red meat with a seasoned base and hazelnuts or any other nut that's handy. Sometimes I add fruits after cooking like mandarin oranges or pineapple. I eat two to three eggs a day with the rice. The cholesterol in eggs will not diminish your healthy cholesterol readings.  I change up the recipes frequently, but rice is my key.  For fats, I eat one to two avocados daily which supposedly lessen cholesterol. I eat apples and oranges. For my sweet cravings, I eat a certain company's double fiber bread that has 50 calories and use about a half teaspoonful of real butter and honey.  I'm still losing weight eating three pieces of bread a day.  I'm sure soon I'll have to lower my intake to two pieces.  I stay away from pre-packaged except for steamers broccoli with cheese, of which a $2 package, to me, is two servings and about 75 calories and fulfills my need for cheese.  Except and this is a big except, I still drink two to three sugared carbonated drinks daily. I try to drink two sixteen ounce bottles of water daily.

I also find shopping in a strictly non-grocery store environment easier than not:  I quit my local grocer and have gone with a SuperCenter to lessen the food aromas and avoid pies that are showcased next to check out, of which I could probably still eat a whole one (pie) in two sittings.

This might all just be plain silly; but hey, silly works for me.

Please duly note, my non-medical opinion is to be taken with a grain of salt.

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By Marie, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/02/13, First Published: 10/08/09