Congratulations on your accomplishments thus far. Having lost a great deal of weight myself, I can appreciate the struggle you are facing. Losing weight is certainly challenging and involves the right combination of exercise and nutrition. Eating too many or too few calories can stall weight loss progress. A healthy rate of weight loss is between ½ - 2 lbs per week. And because most of us want it off quickly, we often assume that by dropping calorie intake lower it will help. But unfortunately, too low of calorie intake causes the body to begin conserving energy necessary for other functions. This translates into a slower metabolism, actually making it a more difficult to lose weight. Too few of calories also makes it challenging to ensure your diet contains all the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Dietitians typically advise that unless you are under direct medical care, it’s best that you aim for calorie goals no lower than 1200/day. Ace Fit has a number of free tools and calculators in the Healthy Living section of the website to help you reach your weight loss goals. One important resource to explore would be the Daily Caloric Needs Estimate Calculator.
After inputting your information, this tool will give you an approximation of calories needed to maintain your current body weight. From there you can apply a bit of math. The standard weight loss equation uses a formula of 3,500 calories equaling 1 pound. This means that in theory to lose 1 pound per week, you would need to create a deficit of approximately 500 calories each day below energy balance (the amount of calories it takes for you to remain at your current weight) either through food, exercise or a combination of both; 500 calories x 7 days/week = 3500 calories (DHHS, 2005). An effective approach includes creating that deficit through a combination of a little less food and a little more exercise. Therefore, if you set your goal to lose 1 pound/week, each day you could choose to consume 200-250 calories less and expend 200-250 more calories through activity/exercise.
All the effort you’ve put in thus far will certainly pay off in the end. Keep up the great work!