Very low calorie recommendations?

My BMR in Cronometer was calculated at 1324 and to loose the minimum amount of weight (.5 lbs a week is the min setting) it calculated -249 calories under a day. So all in all I was recommended to eat 1100 calories a day. This cannot be right, can it? Seems really unsafe for people to get this recommendation.


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    Hi there,

    Something to consider when looking at how much energy you burn: your BMR is the calories your body needs to maintain basic body functions. This isn't enough to meet all your needs though. While you're awake, sitting, walking around, talking, even if you're not getting in much movement, you still burn calories above your BMR. I would recommend selecting an activity level in your profile to account for these calories burned too! Here's some descriptions for each activity level so you can choose one that is best for you: https://cronometer.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018472272-Profile-Settings#h_256650454331545174686943

    If your selected rate of weight loss results in a very low calorie intake, you're right to question it! To make sure you're setting yourself up for success I recommend speaking with a trained health care professional to help develop a plan that helps you meet your needs and goals. Cronometer includes some general settings for calories burned to maintain, gain or lose weight and there are a lot of factors unique to you that we don't know that a nutrition professional can take into account.

    Best of luck with your health goals!

    Karen Stark
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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    Try it for 7 days and see what happens to your weight, adjust as needed. Get rid of as much sugar as you can (all sources). Cut out as much oil/fat as you can. Using the Cronometer food dairy really helps track to see if you are making progress or not...

    I fell off the wagon last year and have put some weight back on. But, I am back on track and using the dairy to track my progress. It works for me, YMMV. And, for what it is worth. My body has no issues with less than 1000 Kcals per day.

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    The fact is that human beings are VERY efficient machines. If we weren't, we would not have survived--in fact, thrived--on this planet for all this time! 1000 calories is about right to maintain a 5'-6" woman at a 19-20 BMI--and that can be a LOT of food if you choose foods with low calorie density (vegetables primarily!). Our bodies are very efficient and use well what they are given--and if they are given more than they need, they add fat. The most successful humans over the millennia were, of course, those who were the MOST efficient--those who could do well on less food--b/c food was scarce and hard to come by. That is also why our bodies crave fat and sugar--not b/c we "need" it now, but b/c those were hard-to-find items for primitive people, and so they had to eat it ALL UP NOW when they found it. Our bodies just don't understand that now things are different, and fat and sugar are around every bend in the road!

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    Here are a few ideas for low calorie meals and snacks. These range from a little over 100 calories to a little over 400 calories. These are the types of things that work for me, but everyone is different, just ideas to get you thinking.

    Travel meal, apple and pistachios.

    Breakfast option.

    Chicken breast and broccoli with salad.

    Buffalo taco lettuce wraps.

    Langostini with seaweed wraps and strawberries.

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    I've found the calorie calculations in Cronometer surprisingly accurate for me. In the Energy settings when I set up my account, I entered that I'm relatively sedentary, remote work desk job. I do some exercise, but I enter that in the biometrics entries for the days that I do those, rather than trying to figure out where I would fit above the "sedentary" category.

    So as a 74-year-old woman, 5'4", my caloric intake was estimated at 1452, minus the 200 calorie deficit I set up to lose weight, so 1252. In four months I've lost 11 lbs, just what I wanted, a slow and steady weight loss, while I'm almost never hungry. I adjusted the carb limit to around 70 grams, so in effect this is a semi-keto diet, but filled with a lot of plant-based, low-glycemic foods for me, which I prepare almost always myself. I sometimes go over that limit for carbs while still staying within the calorie limits, but I try to keep the averages around those limits.

    I was fairly knowledgable about foods, especially carbs, before using Cronometer, but I became more aware of my eating habits with the fats and other nutrients by using the app. It does take some learning about what foods will be most nutrient-dense to be satisfying on those reduced calories, but it can be a gradual change and most worth it!

    If your calorie estimate really is too low for your activity level, you can adjust that in the Settings to a more active lifestyle. But also you have to expect that if you want to lose weight comfortably, there need to be some adjustments in your routine if you are used to heavy helpings of fast food or just many comfort foods. Sometimes it's just a matter of smaller portions so you don't feel deprived of your favorite foods.

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    My Mom is 5'1" 150 lbs and has been on 1000 calories for a few weeks now. She feels good and is losing weight. 1000 calories is more than you think if you eat enough vegetables and protein.

    I make her a nutrient dense smoothie and she drinks half for breakfast and half for dinner. It contains 4 oz of kefir, .5 oz wheat germ, .5 oz nutritional yeast, 1/2 scoop isopure zero carb protein powder, water soluble fiber powder, pinch of ascorbic acid, 8 oz celery, 4 oz zucchini, 3 oz cucumber, 1 oz raspberries, cinnamon stick, .5 oz fresh ginger, 1/4 tsp turmeric, artificial sweetener and water to taste.

    For lunch she has 4-6 oz meat, 3-6 oz more vegetables, generally broccoli and cooked spinach. She also has 4oz of red wine at bedtime. Snacks include sugar free gelatin cubes made with fiber and extra gelatin, almonds and walnuts and blue cheese.

    Try increasing your intake of non-starchy vegetables and lean protein.

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    Your BMR(basic metabolic rate) is what your body would burn if you were in a comma. Hopefully that is not the case and you are up and about. Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) would be what you would burn in a day just living your life. As long as you are eating under your TDEE you will lose weight.

    I personally do not feel well or function well eating under my BMR. It is usually recommended to eat at or above your BMR if you feel fatigue, hunger, or are active.

    I also caution eating under 1200 for a lady or 1500 for a male. It can cause nutrional deficiencies and fatigue. I would not eat that little without perfesional supervision.

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