Hello. I’m about 20 pounds overweight and I just determined my daily calorie intake with the Healthy Body Calculator® on your web site. I must say that I was surprised (happily so) to see that I should be eating about 1900 calories/day. However, this seems REALLY high compared with what I’ve been told by magazines, companies, etc., which normally say that a 5’1″ woman should be eating between 1200-1500 calories/day. Why the difference? If I’m currently 125 lb., do Stairmaster 45 min 3-4x a week and want to lose about 20 lb., should I really be eating that much? I hope so.

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    First, there is no normal calorie requirements based on height alone. Your body composition and daily activity including exercise has a great impact on how many calories you burn. It is true that the taller / more active you are, the more calories you need to maintain your body. So, depending on how you entered your activity hours, there could be great variability in the calories calculated. Try entering various activities and see the results for yourself. BTW, your Stairmaster routine amounts to less than 20 minutes when averages over a week. Do you think you may have overestimated your activities when you used the Healthy Body Calculator®?

    With regards to your weight, you are only about 10 pounds overweight. So, go back and rerun the Healthy Body Calculator®‘ with your weight goal and activity hours included. I would also suggest you include weight training in your exercise schedule as muscle burns more calories than fat. Include a goal of increasing your muscle mass and reducing body fat through aerobic exercise and weight training while including a gradual reduction in calories. Weight loss that is slow is more likely to be kept off. Focus on increasing your strength while eating healthy rather than a number on a scale.