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to think a standard woman does not need 2000 calories a day?

(183 Posts)
CardinalRichelieu Tue 26-Feb-13 14:56:14

I know it says on packaging etc that 2000 is the standard intake for a woman but it sounds like kind of a lot. I reckon I eat maybe 1600-1700 per day? I am quite small (5 ft 3) and don't do much exercise except walking around and a bit of pilates. I work partly from home and partly out of the home and don't really burn that much off in daily activity. I am in the healthy BMI range (19).

I don't think someone like me needs 2000 calories a day - am I right?

libelulle Tue 26-Feb-13 15:34:28

I'm surprised that everyone can so accurately determine how many calories they ingest. Do you really weigh all your food? I suspect i eat well over 2000 calories, but I can't even begin to imagine how I'd find out .

For instance we had a stir-fry yesterday. It had noodles, prawns, broccoli, mushrooms, soya beans, soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, vegetable oil, peanuts, pak choi amongst other things! Good luck with working out the calorie content in that without scales and waaay more time and effort than I'm prepared to put into it.

StephaniePowers Tue 26-Feb-13 15:35:12

Wow. That is quite a weight for 5'3".

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 26-Feb-13 15:36:58

I do weigh and log all my food. It takes time and effort, but losing weight is not easy.

When I started logging I also realised I was eating 2500-3000 calories a day - I guess that was how I was gaining weight on what I thought was a healthy diet.

Mitchy1nge Tue 26-Feb-13 15:38:40

shock is the average woman full term with octuplets?

I'm quite good at knowing calories from the days of my daughter's meal plans when everything had to be very precisely weighed - but I round up generously

malinois Tue 26-Feb-13 15:39:25

It's a statistical average. For an average sized and aged woman doing an average amount of physical activity.

For a small person who doesn't do much physical activity than it would be too much.

I'm 1.79m and 65kg and can easily burn 20,000 excess calories a month on exercise and training alone, so I will need a lot more.

Most women lie somewhere between the two extremes (and some require a LOT more - I know full time athletes who burn an additional 5000 calories per day during hard training blocks)

No way could I eat 2000 cals a day without gaining weight.

I have about 1200 cals max and do loads and loads of exercise.

RedToothBrush Tue 26-Feb-13 15:42:09

Why the fucking hell are some people saying its smug?

Its a genuine question based on the fact that some people ARE SHORTER just as much as anything else.

Honestly, what are people supposed to do? Pretend they are taller or have higher bigger BMIs so they don't fucking offend anyone?

Fuck off!!

Its reverse snobbery, deliberately trying to make other people bad for their body shape. Fuck the fuck off.

Its an attitude as bad as laughing at someone for being fat. Its pathetic.


The OP's point is very valid. Guidelines of 2000 calories for an average woman are misleading and about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Who is an 'average woman'? Could any of you you tell me the height and weight and amount of exercise of an average woman off the top of your head. And how you compare to that. If you can't then those guidelines are worthless.

As it goes I know from the personalised calculations you can get that my calorie intake should be around 1400 calories. That a HUGE difference. If I blindly thought I was ok with 2000 calories, I'd have a problem.

And thats the rub. The 2000 calorie thing is probably more of a problem than a help.

CardinalRichelieu Tue 26-Feb-13 15:48:26

I AM average height - yes! Thank you ItsAllGoingToBeFine and yah boo sucks to everyone who called me a shortarse. (Although I am still the shortest of all my friends except 1)

ouryve Tue 26-Feb-13 15:51:53

I maintain at the top end of a healthy weight at 2000 and I'm 5'4. I'm sure if I limited myself to 1600 calories a day, long term, I'd be bordering on underweight, just like you, OP.

EmmaBemma Tue 26-Feb-13 15:53:55

YANBU, but it's been widely known for ages that recommended intake will vary according to height, age, and physical activity as well as gender. This is not new information, and is hardly rocket science.

EmmaBemma Tue 26-Feb-13 15:54:41

PS I eat a good 2000 calories a day but I am 5 foot 9, and my BMI is 21.

RedToothBrush Tue 26-Feb-13 15:55:55

You are slightly shorter than average height actually CardinalRichelieu. Marginally, but still slightly.

And you aren't average weight if you are 19 BMI. You are actually slightly under average weight for a woman. Marginally but still it makes a difference.

Mitchy1nge Tue 26-Feb-13 15:58:11

If the average weight is 11stone, or 70+kg that is quite a lot over weight isn't it?

StuntGirl Tue 26-Feb-13 15:58:16

I maintain at around 1600 - 1800 calories a day. So not massively far off the 2000 'average', which since it's an average isn't to be taken to the absolute letter. I'm 5'1 so imagine a taller or more energetic person would consume more.

ceeveebee Tue 26-Feb-13 16:00:01

I'm even shorter than you OP, at 5ft1 and a half. If I ate 2000 calories a day I would be the size of a (small) house. I try to stick within 1500 and I exercise 2-3 times a week and walk everywhere.

Actually according to MFP, the less you weigh the fewer calories you need to maintain your weight. So ignoring exercise, if I at 5ft1, weighed 11 stone and wanted to stay that weight , I would need to eat 1700 calories a day. At my actual weight of just less than 9 stone, I can only eat 1500 calories before I start putting weight on.

chickydoo Tue 26-Feb-13 16:02:00

I also have BMI of 19
Some days I eat 2000 +++++ and then some more calories
Some days a lot less than 2000.
All balances out Imo.
Does it matter?

SirEdmundFrillary Tue 26-Feb-13 16:02:42

The idea of a standard woman makes me want to smash things CardinalRichelieu and it is a wrong thing to say. What have you to say about that? Haha.

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 26-Feb-13 16:05:35

Isn't a bmi of 19 lower than healthy range (which is 20-25)?

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 26-Feb-13 16:06:21

<snort!> at "standard woman"! How about the irregular women?

carabos Tue 26-Feb-13 16:06:39

Mrs Average is 5ft 3 and 11 stone? Gosh, that's pretty heavy innit?

frogspoon Tue 26-Feb-13 16:07:25

Well your height is slightly below average, your weight is slightly below average and your activity is slightly below average.

So unsurprisingly your calorie intake needed to maintain your weight is

* drumroll *

Slightly below average

It's not exactly rocket science is it?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 26-Feb-13 16:07:48

I'm trying to lose weight at the moment and I'm eating between 1000-1500 calories a day. I don't feel hungry and I don't feel like my diet has changed, I've just made some slight changes to my options and I'm cooking more from scratch. It is very possible to do. I'm enjoying it (and the results) but don't really see it as a long term lifestyle choice because like others I like my food. I will eat more soon but and it doesn't take a lot to take you over that 2000 mark.

RedToothBrush Tue 26-Feb-13 16:07:55

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 26-Feb-13 16:05:35
Isn't a bmi of 19 lower than healthy range (which is 20-25)?

No it is not. A healthy BMI is 18.5 - 25. Yet you still have people ignorantly saying a) it is or b) its bordering on underweight and effectively using it as a stick to beat people with...

thesnootyfox Tue 26-Feb-13 16:08:06

It really depends. If I ate 2000 calories every day I would put on weight. I need to stay at around 150" to maintain my weight and 1200 to lose weight. My friend reckons she needs around 2200 to maintain her weight.

It obviously depends on how much exercise you take and your age and build etc. 2000 is an approximate figure for the average woman.

frogspoon Tue 26-Feb-13 16:10:05

Also whilst a healthy BMI is 18.5-25, the actual average BMI is 25.4 (i.e. slightly overweight)

So whilst OP's weight is healthy, it is below average.

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