Thanks to another bandit who posted on the UKGastricBand forum, I've discovered a web site called Calories Count. It has a useful tool for calculating the number of calories required for weight maintenance, but I also found a calculator for determining the number of daily calories required for weight loss. I entered my height, weight and age, and said I was lightly active. This is what it said: Current weight 168lbs; healthy weight range 123-161lbs; activity level - lightly active. Current BMI: 25.9 Healthy BMI range: 18.5 - 24.9.
Daily calorie level to maintain current weight: 1989 calories. To lose weight: 1489 calories.
"Please note you should not go below 1400 calories per day, as this is the minimum amount necessary to meet your daily nutrient requirements. If the calorie level determined for you is below 1400 calories, you may want to consider increasing your exercise. However, if you are unable to do that, you will still lose weight, it will just be at a slower pace (approximately 1/2 pound or .25 kg per week)."
"To lose one pound (.5 kg) a week, a person must burn 3,500 calories more than are consumed (500 calories per day over the course of a week)."
This is good news for me because I have been really struggling to maintain a 1200 calorie a day intake. I manage it on some days, and sometimes even have less. But on other days it seems woefully inadequate and I end up eating loads more. If I stick to about 1489 per day, then according to this web site, I should still lose one pound per week. I think that at this stage in the weight loss process (i.e. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel), it's no bad thing to increase my daily intake and try to be a bit more consistent - this should help when I get to the point of having to maintain.