Why so few calories for people reporting their calorie intake?

(Bob M) #1

As a relative newbie to this board (but not low carb, been on 5 years), I’m constantly amazed at how few calories people are consuming, when they report their calorie intake. Why is this?

As a point of reference, the famous Minnesota Starvation Diet (yes, it has “STARVATION” right in the title) used about 1,500 calories per day:


Yet I rarely see anyone posting calories that are higher than this level, at least if they are new to keto. Granted, the Minnesota Starvation Diet was a high-carb diet, and theoretically keto provides more access to fat stores, and the people here and in the Minnesota Starvation Diet are probably different. But it’s still a very low amount of calories per day.

So, why do so many people report such low calorie intakes?

By contrast, I commonly eat more than that amount of calories FOR LUNCH. And I’ve lost weight while gaining muscle and continue to do so.

(James) #2

I eat twice a day. My meals usually equal out to around 2000kcal a piece. I’ve been dropping weight on 4000+calories a day. :smiley:

(says mix it up! Let chaos reign!) #3

Because CICO is ingrained. Decades worth of it.

My biggest complaint - frequent it is - is that I can’t get enough food in.

Also, calories is a pretty useless metric, anyway.

(Lonnie Hedley) #4

Over 2 years and I don’t think I’ve ever had appetite suppression feeling. I’ll regularly eat 3000 kcals a day. Might gain a little, might not. Small fluxuations are completely normal, so it concerns me not.

(Carl Keller) #5

Not that I obsess with calories, I’m usually 1200-1600, occasionally near 2000. I don’t eat more because this fills me up and I am not hungry. I’ve lost 30 pounds and I feel better than I have in a long time. My metabolism has definitely not slowed down. I believe there’s a big difference between starvation and burning body fat to supplement caloric deficit.

(James) #6

I agree juice. Last night, I didn’t have anything prepped or planned for dinner. Had an extra long day at the workplace. I ended up having 6 quarter pounder patties from Mc Donald’s around 8:00 pm. lol You should hear/see the response sometimes on the server/cashier when I order my food. I’m sure it throws them for a loop a little considering I’m pretty fit. Most folk I run into think you have to starve yourself and spend countless hours at the gym to have a decent physique. I mainly started manipulating carbohydrates in the past essentially to feel better. Of course, I’m sure the weight loss also had a lot to do with my diminished knee pains.

(KetoQ) #7

Well, I’ve been tracking all of my eating since 5/31.

Avg calories per day is: 1797, and I am a bit surprised it is so low.

However, also included in that figure are all of my fasting days, roughly 30. So the days that I do eat, the daily calorie average is 2318.

Average carbs per day, full period, including fasting days is 55.

I’m down nearly 60 pounds.

(Janelle) #8

Curious what you’re eating? I could easily get in over 2,000 calories eating pizza but not eating eggs, beef, limited cheese, avocados and the like. My macros say I should have about 1,780 (from Carb Manager). I usually get in 1,500 on TMAD.

I was told not to add too much fat so I could use my own stores - but I realize that’s where a lot of the calories are. I do use butter, oils and the occasional MCT in a morning coffee.

(Cindy Ward) #9

The Minnesota Starvation Diet was heavily carbs (potatoes, turnips, bread, and macaroni). So the effects of a low calorie, high carb diet do not apply to a low calorie, high fat diet. It’s comparing apples to oranges…or should I say, apples to bacon?

I rarely eat more than 1500 cal/day, I think. I don’t track, so with keto, I might be eating more since I’m letting myself eat fats. But I’m just not that hungry, so it’s often 1 meal, maybe 2, a day. I’m NOT calorie restricting in that I’m not walking around hungry. I also have plenty of fat on board that can be used for energy, so I don’t worry about it.

I’m keeping my carbs low, eating when hungry, eating whatever fats I want. For example, just finished a salad of mixed greens, salmon, homemade dressing (homemade mayo and avocado), and 4 or 5 olives thrown in. In the past, the dressing would have been nothing but some balsamic vinegar, no olives.

(James) #10

To answer your question Catgirl: I fast myself, usually until around 1:00pm. My two meals usually consist of pretty large portions of fatty beef. A large ribeye(cooked in grass fed butter,ghee or tallow), angus beef patties, a pound of ground bison or grass fed beef cooked the same way. I’ll also combine a large salmon sometimes to go along with the steak.

Dinner is relatively the same. I’m usually home during this time. So I’ll incorporate fresh eggs with my meal.
A large ribeye w/3-6 eggs is my go to after the gym.

I mainly have just been eating high quality beef and eggs. On days were I do not fast per se, I will have a high fat blended coffee. With grassfed butter and or coconut oil, heavy cream, 100% dark cocoa, and a pinch of salt. I want to incorporate some good bone broth and collagen as well. It just isn’t the easiest to find. I may just make my own soon.

(Vivi) #11

Now I’m two months in and my kcal intake has stabilsed at +/- 3000kcal daily. Even though I’m not the tallest femal, but I’m quiet active not as befores keto, but still doing moderate movement.
This amount is divided in two meals. I can’t get along with just 1500…


Some people just aren’t & never have been big eaters I suppose. I can eat for Australia but even with tracking I’m probably underreporting - I track more for macros/micros than calories so I’m not always thorough.

(John) #13

Because so many people rely on on-line calculators which then automatically plug in a 20% calorie deficit. And many of them are women, who have fairly low calorie requirements compared to men.

At my height, weight, age, and gender, the BMR calculators figure me for about 2,100 calories for basic metabolism, and I think around 2,900 TDEE. If you take a 20% deficit, that would put me about 2,300 calories per day, or between 700 and 800 per meal.

But I am also male, pretty tall, and with a lot of weight left to lose, so I get bigger numbers than an average height woman who is only trying to lose 20 to 40 pounds.

I don’t track calories - I try to eat decent sized meals and just keep an eye on portion sizes overall, especially on things like dairy and nuts.

(Susan) #14

My “Daily Goal” on myfitnesspal says 1200 kcal. I only use it for sugar and carbs. For example on Tuesday i ate 1,360 kcal and on Wednesday i ate 798 kcal. I have lost 30 lbs since July and I eat OMAD, with some extended fasting. My Carbs total for Tue were 13 g and Wed my carbs were 8 total. I don’t pay attention to the calorie counter, I just eat till I am full.

(Laurie) #15

When some people report their intake (including calories), other people say “Oooo, calories are too low.” I don’t count calories. BUT I try for 80 grams of protein, under 20 grams of carbs, and let the fat take care of itself (it’s already in the food, or I use it for cooking, etc.). So let’s say I’m getting 100 grams of fat (it’s probably actually less fat than that):

80 g protein = 320 calories
20 g carbs = 80 calories
100 g fat = 900 calories

TOTAL = 1300 calories

It might seem like “not enough calories” to some, but I don’t see the point in eating more. I’m not hungry on keto, and in fact I usually have to force myself to eat that much.

(says mix it up! Let chaos reign!) #16

That would often be me, although not in those words :slight_smile:

And it’s mostly to noobs[1], who think calorie-counting is a thing they need to fixate on rather than getting fat-adapted.

[1] Even noobier than me :slight_smile:

(Todd Allen) #17

It’s pretty easy to under count calories. Forget a snack, fail to add up numerous small things like condiments, underestimate portions, etc. Getting an accurate number takes a lot of effort.

But I expect the biggest factor is simply people’s needs vary a lot. I tend to be weight stable somewhere around 1800 to 1900 calories per day and often eat 1500 or less calories. I notice people claiming to eat 3000+ calories daily more than those claiming 1500 daily. But I weigh 130 lbs with 15 lbs of fat to lose which is quite different from someone weighing 230 lbs with 15 lbs of fat to lose.

(Regina) #18

I’m all over the place, but I would say my average is around 1300 calories. I’m sure pre keto it was around 1800. I find that just eating meat and vegetables makes it really hard to get the numbers up. When I eat a lot of dairy, the calories add up. I’ve never been a big eater, and am not as hungry on keto.

(Troy) #19

Yes, For me as well

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #20

I would say, and I have found this to be the case most often than not.
Keto Calorie Calculators still include deficits, god knows why, but people seem to calculate their macros at a deficit, then they come here asking why they aren’t losing weight.
Um, because you are starving yourself and your body is holding onto whatever fat it can.