T Nation

Caloric Intake For Women


My fiance wants to loose about 25 lbs or so. She's not sure how many calories she needs to consume to loose weight. I read John Berardi's artice about bulking and was able to do the math to formulate my claoric needs but I am unsure on how to do it for weight loss. Any links you know of?


Generally - a moderately active person burns 1 calorie per kilo of body weight per hour. Say she weighs 160 Lbs.


So she probably burns about that many calories a day. If she cuts her calories to 1,250, she will theoritically lose 1 pound body fat per week by diet alone.

Hope that helps.


BY GOD 1250 and she'd damn near lose an arm or leg in a weeks time. that not enough to Breath let alone keep and muscle etc. Unless she is VERY inactive and has a slugs meatbolism.

IMO like EVERYONE it (metabolism) is very individual. Track intack for a week or so. regular intake find how much she has been consuming to maintina and drop it a bit 250-500 from there and raise activity a bit. NO need to go very low from the start go slow.

You might also have her check out www.f-heit.com.

Hope that helps,


The first step in Berardi's calculations is 500 plus 22*LBM (in kilograms). This 500 kcals is the adjustment for bulking.

So follow through all of the calculations and then subtract a 1000. Subtract 500 kcals to estimate maintenance and another 500 kcals for cutting.

That should be a good place for your gf to begin her energy intake.


If i followed that I'd be eating less than 100cals ..... ya that's gotta be off :S


Here's a novel idea; how about exercise instead of starving herself? Let me guess - she wants to lose the weight for the wedding right? Then what's gonna happen?

I'm not trying to be harsh, but going on a diet is not going to solve her problem. She needs to be more active to take the weight off and KEEP IT OFF.

The key is a change of lifestyle, not just a reduction in calories.

My $.02



Before even worrying about caloric intake (as usually that can be controlled indirectly).

eliminate processed foods
eliminate sugar
eliminate trans fat

eat lean proteins with each meal
and consume complex carbs in each meal (both starchy and fibrous kind)

and eat frequently every 3-3.5 hrs

Aside from that make sure exercise is in order and then you can start to worry about calories if need be.


Read these articles by Dr. John Berardi:
7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs:

Tailor Made Nutrition Part I:

And this one by TC:
13 Power Food:

They were all really good for me when I was trying to get my diet in order. As the above poster said, it's not all about caloric intake. If you eat/drink 1,500 calories of Kit-Kat's and Coke then you're going to be tired, weak, starved, dehydrated and worthless.

It's all about changing what you eat. One of the biggest things that stuck with me in one of those articles (I think it was a Dr. Berardi article, but I can't remember) was when the author said if you try and change too many things at once, none of them will work.

They then suggested changing what you eat first, not how you eat. So go on eatting the same amounts at the same times for two weeks or so and get used to the new foods. Then start changing the amounts, then start changing the times until before you know it, you're eatting when you're supposed to and you're eatting what you're supposed to.

If you cut back on what you eat, change everything you eat and start working out heavily, chances are you're not going to succeed with any of them. So just take it slow and realize it's a life change, not a 5 month change.


this is GREAT advice. Also, she should try to get an accurate gauge of how many calories she's currently eating - just to be aware of where she's at. Then, rather than cutting back by a huge amount, she can slowly cut out a few extra calories, here and there, while focussing on eating healthy.

For example, if she cuts out junk food/processed food, and replaces it with whole foods/fruit/veggies, then she's doing two things - reducing calories and eating healthier. She WILL lose weight this way, provided she's also exercising. Nit-picky calorie counting is only necessary after the healthy habits have been established (though it's good to remember that even healthy foods, like olive oil, can be high calorie and will cause weight gain if you're overeating them).

Eventually, she might plateau... assuming her calories aren't already very low, she can gradually cut back a bit more (doing it gradually will keep the body from going into starvation mode).

When she gets down to a fairly low daily intake (depending on her lean goal weight and her activity levels, it could be anywhere from 1300-1800 a day), she can periodically spike her calorie intake - perhaps one day a week (though I think it's best if the increased calories still come from healthy food) - this will help keep her metabolism high, and keep her from feeling deprived. But the rest of the time she needs to be strict. And stay active - weights AND cardio.