Do the MinnieMaud Guidelines apply in my case?


The reason they apply in all cases, no matter the particulars of your case, is that the guidelines reflect the average intake of non-restricting, non-eating disordered people based on doubly-labeled water method trials that confirm actual food intake rather than relying on self-reports and surveys.

In other words, if you are eating less than the MinnieMaud guidelines assigned as a minimum intake for your age, height and sex, then you know that you are not eating in a non-restrictive way.

You have no doubt been told that 2000 calories is what an adult female should consume per day. However, that guideline is based entirely on self-reports and surveys and it has turned out to be much lower than what women actually consume when they are carefully monitored in a closed experimental setting.

The United Kingdom Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) drafted SACN Dietary Recommendations for Energy and it recommended an increase in the daily intakes that you currently see plastered all over all government sites on health and nutrition so that they might reflect confirmed total energy expenditure requirements measured in laboratory settings. Interestingly the first draft recommended an increase of approximately 400 extra calories per day, however the above copy released after 14 months of “consultation” suggests a much more modest increase of 100 calories a day.

… health campaigners and consumer experts warned that the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) could seek to “sweep this report under the carpet”, as it could send out mixed messages in the middle of an obesity epidemic.” [D Rose, The Times, November 14, 2009]

Problematically the belief that calorie intake and/or activity levels correlate with obesity onset or obesity maintenance is utterly unreplicated in scientific data [W. Kulesza, 1982; JA Baecke et al., 1983; RJ Myers et al., 1988; ML Johnson et al., 1956; L Lissner et al., 1989; AM Prentice et al., 1986; R Jeffrey et. al. 2006; P Togo et. al., 2001; J Holsten, 2009; J Couzin, 2005;  MA Grediagin et. al., 1995; BS Metcalf et. al., 2011; JS Speakman et. al., 2006 and H Pontzer et. al., 2012]

If you believe that your health and/or quality of life have been impacted by restriction or cycles of restriction and reactive eating (what you likely call bingeing) then you might want to turn your attention to allowing your body to have sufficient energy to meet its needs.