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Should I really be eating 3500 calories a day?

By on March 17, 2008

Question: Hey Rocco I just read your recent advice about calorie intake. You said you add a 0 to your weight plus 400 if you workout. I am (I’ll be honest) fat – 310 lbs. I want to make positive changes to my life and since August I have been working out 3 days a week.

I have been weight training and I’m starting to increase my cardio to about
35 minutes mixed between the bike and elliptical. Plus, I do yoga 1-2 times a week. I have lost 10 lbs and am feeling much better. Should I really be eating 3500 calories a day that seems like a lot? Thanks, trying not to be so fat and lazy.


Answer: The short answer is, yes. The problem with that advice is that it isn’t necessarily true. Yes you need to be taking in about 3500 calories but that is to maintain your current weight. If you want to stay at 350 lbs than that is a good caloric intake but since you said you were fat than I am lead to believe you want to lose fat. I’m sorry to inform you but if you are 350 pounds I would have to think that you were taking in way more than 3500 calories a day for a long time. The average fat person takes in about 4500 calories a day. This is not ridicule it’s just the way it is. Back to your question…you cannot starve fat off of you; you can only burn it off. That’s why it is better to start off by taking in those calories and then gradually decreasing your caloric intake, creating a slight deficit. Some nutritionists say; decrease you caloric intake by 200 calories a day per week. Now here’s the tricky part: you need to figure out what weight you will feel comfortable at. Let’s say 220 pounds. Then you need only to decrease your caloric intake to 2200 calories. Keep exercising and you will keep your muscle, lose the fat and you will never feel starved.