The Harris-Benedict Formula helps you here.
I went and did this, cause I've been pretty sedentary for 1.5 weeks to rest my sprained ankle. For my age/height/weight, these formulas say my maintenance level calories as a sedentary dame = 1794. (This is for a normal person, I assume.)
At goal weight it would be 1700 cals.
Now, that's sedentary. However, I found that when I was more active recently at a similar weight, 1700 was maintenance for me--and that's walking 4 to 5 days, 2 hour long trainer led Pilates sessions. Clearly, I am metabolically challenged. The calculator says 2300 cals would be maintenance. Um..right. Thank you effed up thyroid and post-morbid-obesity metabolic slowdown. Thanks oodles.
It is consistent with what I've read about being able to take in LESS after huge weight loss.
At 1400 calories, with minimal exercise at home, I still can lose a bit. I refuse to go back down to 1200 calories, as I want my metabolism to heal, and my reading on the matter is not cheering about those who stay at low cals long-term. I've intentionally increased my intake to 1400 to (some days ) 1600, to let my body understand the famine is over. I'll take losing in tiny increments over more metabolic damage.
I know not everyone agrees on the caloric issues, but I've read enough to be convinced that I don't want to stay at the lower safe dieting range. I'd rather stay at the upper range and hope it stimulates things. (Fingers crossed.)
I wish I could eat 2300 and maintain. Hah. Then I could lose weight at 1800 calories. One pound a week eating that. Nice, huh?
It also says that at goal weight (160) at my previous level of moderate activity (consistently exercising), I would maintain 160 lbs with roughly 2200 calories.
Excuse me while I laugh so hard my teeth rattle.
Yeah. Dream on. Perhaps metabolic healing will occur with continued sound eating and time. Perhaps. But I know for a fact that's not what I see happening even with, say, TBL folks. Previous female losers (and younger than me, at that), had to exercise like mad and stick to about 1400-1500 calories or fewer to maintain those losses. Yes, that calculator isn't taking into account the metabolically screwed.
More than 2000 cals at moderate exercise activity at goal weight. Hmmm. It's hard to envision such a thing. That's not how this body rolls. Not even when I was morbidly obese. I was always below those calculations for burn-off.
Anyway, do the calculations. See where you fall.
Let me know what numbers you get for your current and goal maintenance level. I'm curious if it jives with your nutrition tracking. If you've lost oodles of weight, are you now showing the slowed metabolism, too?
Happy Monday. Enjoy this new week. We got a gorgeous day in Miami and I was thanking God for it. So nice here.....