How many calories a day should I eat and what should I be eating to lose weight?

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Hello, I need your help. I am 6 feet tall, and I weigh 233 pounds. I’ve been going to the gym about 3 or 4 times a week for three weeks straight and every time I go I run 3 miles on the elliptical. I eat about 1500 calories a day. I started at 235 pounds, and now I’m at 233 pounds. As you can tell, I haven’t lost much weight. So I have a couple of questions. First off, how many calories a day should I eat? Secondly, what should I be eating? Please reply back as soon as you can. Thank you.




Welcome to the sports club Andrew! Young men your height and weight need a bit more than 1500 calories, even to lose weight. You need enough energy to fuel working muscles and for growth and development.

Calories to Eat: Between 1800 and 2100 calories, though the focus should be more on the types of foods selected and portion size to satisfy your hunger.
What to Eat: Three meals consisting of 1 cup of fruits or vegetables, 3 ounces of lean protein, 1 spoonful of plant fat, 1 cup of starch, and 8 ounces of milk each; and two snacks of 1 ounce protein plus 1 of starch or fruit.

Meal: 1 cup melon, 2 eggs + 1 ounce ham, 1 teaspoon oil, 1 cup bran cereal, 1 cup 2% milk
Snack: 1 string cheese, 1 orange
Meal: 1 cup coleslaw, 3 ounces pulled pork (no sauce), small ear corn on the cob, 1 cup 2% milk
Snack: ½ cup meat, bean + vegetable chili
Meal: 1 cup green beans, 3 ounces tilapia, 1 spoon tartar sauce, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup 2% milk

Healthy Choices: Choose foods with little processing. This means plant and animal foods that are as close to the form found in the original source as possible. For example, a filet of fish instead of fish sticks or an apple instead of applesauce. Select whole grains, like brown rice, instead of flour products, like noodles. The more wholesome foods have more bulk and fiber (not to mention nutrients) that make you full while ingesting calories.

Eating Out: Let’s say you are grabbing lunch from a fast food Mexican restaurant. Is the chicken salad or the chicken burrito a better choice? It matters what the toppings and condiments are. A salad might have cheese and tortilla strips in addition to dressing on it. The burrito might have sour cream and sauce in it. Either way, the standard menu items can give over 35% calories as fat. Customize your order or find another item with the best fillings of big pieces (or shredded) chicken breast, whole beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomato and guacamole. The rice or tortilla will just provide extra energy in the form of starch.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below. To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

Posted on October 12, 2015, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, LA Fitness, LA Fitness Blog - Living Healthy, la fitness reviews, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have just been diagnose with IBS, I am seeing a gastroenterologist now that I know what is going on, thanks to a colonoscopy. My question to you is what foods are good to eat with this condition. I was told not to eat fried foods, but I can’t keep eating yogurt forever. Do you have any suggestions. Thanks

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