Hi I am currantly trying to lose weight and have tried going online to find basic answers to my question and have become very confused in the process.I have been overweight as long as I can remember and right now I am 5'2 and weight 190 lbs. There seem to be a vast difference in the amount of calories someone my size should eat. I am basically sedentary and have started exersizing three days a week consisting of a half hour of resistance training and a 20min cardio on an elliptical trainer. I have no physical health problems and my goal weight is 140. Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated. Adrian
Exercise is a great start.
As far as the amount of calories you should eat, it really depends on your activity level and how much weight you want to lose. I would shoot for about 1600-1800 calories a day, mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, low fat protein, and modest amounts of complex carbohydrates. Moderation is truly the key to long term weight loss success.
Caloric requirements are very individual and dependent on a variety of factors. For instance, if you're eating 2400 calories and still losing weight, you must be burning more than 2400 calories a day with your activity. If you're eating 1600 calories a day and not losing weight, my suggestion would be to increase your acitivity level (not cut back too far on your calories). If you cut back too far on your calorie intake, your metabolism slows and your body goes into a "starvation" mode.
Keep up the exercise, and I suspect you'll be successful. 2-3 pounds a month is a reasonable goal. Don't be in a rush, you'll only get frsutrated and discouraged. To lose 50 pounds may take you 1-2 years, and frankly, that is not a bad time frame. I'll bet it took you longer to gain the weight.