How many calories, etc...?

I just downloaded the cron-o-meter software, and I’m just curious how everyone knows how many calories they should be eating? I don’t know how many I need, or how much I need of certain vitamins or minerals but I’ve been anemic before, and I have a family history of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and osteoperosis, so I am very concerned about getting exactly what my body needs. However, I am very reluctant to take the standard USDA reccomendations for it.

I am 5’2” and weigh about 120 pounds. I’m fairly happy with my weight and not exactly looking to lose any, but 10 pounds or so wouldn’t hurt. I am moderately active. I walk to and from work everyday (about a mile all together), and my job is fairly active. (I work at Trader Joe’s) I do repeated lifting (10-50 pounds) a couple hours of the day, a lot of walking around, and I’m on my feet the whole day. I also ride my bike 2 or 3 times per week about 5-10 miles each time.

Does anyone have any suggestions of how I can find out what I need for calories and vitamins? Any advice is much appreciated!


  • I don’t have a definative answer, and I have only been raw since June, but I have a couple ideas. From the books i have read thus far, it seems as though some raw foodists fast a lot and that they say their weight drops (regardless of fasting) in the beginning of being raw pretty low; there cells become clean and then alot of them eat very little – nothing in the am, then fruit then maybe a salad. They say that their bodies are more efficient and therfore they only need a little raw food to sustain. And these are active people. Maybe that is the case; I am still researching all the info out there to try to find what works for me, but it could be that their metabolisms just slow down. I don’t think thats bad though. They eat what they need, it just seems like too little. Like the book I am reading now is The Raw Life by Paul Nisson. In the second half, he interviews a lot of long time big-wigs in the field – kinda interesting to get points of view. But that is where I am basing the above on. They also talk a lot about “combining” their meals so they digest properly. On the other hand, check out the archives on this dudes blog… He is way neurotic on calories. I saw some other girl posting how was hung up on calorie intake but because she was afraid of slowing metabolism and gaining weight. He is a good resource if you want to see how to take in a lot and still lose weight, esp for her because she can’t eat nuts and he hardly does. I don’t know, it’s still debatable for me. Maybe the blog guy lost weight because he was detoxing. Maybe you don’t need to worry about calories once you do. Just wanted to show you some things I have been tossing around. Sorry I don’t have THE answer, but some stuff to toss around, I guess.

  • Just calculate your BMR which is how much your body burns just by existing and then see how much extra you burn by doing your various physical activities by using the Harris Benedict Equation.

    Then you can see how many calories you should be taking in whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight. It’s very helpful.

  • Thanks jessica!! That is exactly what I was looking for. Now I just need to find some lower fat foods that are high in protein…

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