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Fewest calories I can eat and still be healthy?

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Old 10-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #1
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Question Fewest calories I can eat and still be healthy?

Hi Ladies.

I believe I lose best when I'm eating as few calories as possible.

Earlier in my life, I could and did starve myself to lose weight. Of course, that was unhealthy and I don't want to do that again.

However, I have found that the lower my calorie intake, the faster my weightloss. I want to eat the fewest calories necessary for good health. I'm trying to create the biggest healthy calorie deficit that I can.

I've used a body bugg. I usually burn about 1900 per day.

Can I safely and healthfully get by on 800 calories per day? 1000?

I've heard of those medical weightloss places where participants only eat 400 calories per day. Can I safely do that for a while and then inch my calories back up to 1000?

My current experiment/ goal is to have the FASTEST and SAFEST weigtloss possible.

Suggestions? Thoughts? Experience?

Thank you, Ladies.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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absolutely not. this is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:30 PM   #3
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1200 is the absolute minimum.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
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that burn rate sounds extremely low. i'm similar wt. when i'm very active i burn close to 3k cal a day.
if you feel your metabolism is too slow. this isnt the answer, and extremely hard if not impossible to get all the nutrients, including some fat, your body needs.

healthy ways to increase metabolism:
HiiT training- type of interval training

build muscle, there's lots of effective body wt movement exercises. to build muscle for free, or use items around the house to lift.

plyo training

eating! when you digest your food your metabolism increases a little. not eating every 4 hrs or so(it varies from person to person) slows the metabolism.

either you are sedentary, or much shorter than me, 5'4.5

eating so few cal. is too hard to maintain. we all want it to happen fast, but more important is that it STAYS OFF.
so if you want it to come off faster, try to increase your activity.

Last edited by katy trail : 10-10-2010 at 06:58 PM. Reason: spacing
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
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Hi. I know I'm not a forty-something (actually, I'm 20), but I had to reply to this. I've tried reducing my calories to some insanely low amount and it doesn't work. At least it didn't for me. What happened for me was I got so freaking hungry that I ended up on a huge binge. I was starving. I tried it again. Same thing. Except this time I made myself vomit. I felt so guilty. Then I kept with this cycle until I couldn't take it anymore and fessed up to my parents. They were so concerned and, you know what happened after all that? Here's what I accomplished:
I didn't lose much weight.
The weight I did lose I gained back.
My parents monitor what I eat and make sure I don't purge.
And I royally screwed up my metobolism.

The best way to lose weight is moderate exercise and a diet of no less than 1200 calories and, usually, no more than about 2000. Trust me, you do NOT want to go into eating disorder territory. It's not fun.

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Old 10-11-2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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If there were one thing I could "undo" in my life, it would be crash diets (diets under 1000 calories).

I crash dieted my way to nearly 400 lbs. Each one lowering my metabolism more than the one before - and it does lead to very warped thinking about food (less is always better, so eating anything triggers guilt, shame, and self-disgust).

There are risks associated with vlcd's (very low calorie diets) and rapid weight loss. Some of them are inconvenient (hair loss, dry skin, loose skin), some are painful (kidneystones, gallstones), and and some are life-threatening (kidney and cardiac damage).

When people are put on vlcd's by their doctors, it's not because it's a healthy no-risk plan. Rather the doctor and the patient have decided that the risks of remaining obese outweigh the risks of the vlcd. However, because most doctors get almost no training in nutrition, I don't think it's a very smart partnership. Rather, I think it should be between a patient and their doctor AND a registered dietician (but that's not the world we live in. Insurance often doesn't even cover visits to the dietician).

Vlcd's also result in more muscle loss than higher calorie diets (which is why so many of the medically supervised vlcd's are extremely high protein, to try and minimize muscle loss). Though very high protein diets put a person at risk (possibly even life threatening complications) especially if the person isn't drinking enough water or has kidney problems (especially dangerous if the person doesn't know they have kidney problems).
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:32 PM   #7
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I'm not sure why your getting so many responses about the dangers of crash diets. You said straight up that you want to lose weight safely. I'm totally with you! When I was doing Weight Watchers, they gave you point range. Going under your range was not advised, but staying at the low end was safe. When I stayed at the low end, I lost the most weight. And I don't know about the rest of you, but results are what keep me motivated. So, like I said, I'm with you about trying to eat as little calories as possible, but to do it safely.

Now, to answer your question, I got this right off another area on this site.
"What is the Lowest Amount of Calories You Can Eat in a Day?

When wondering how many calories you should eat to lose weight, you should concentrate on healthy diets. Most dieticians will tell you that the lowest amount of calories you should eat in a day is 1,200, unless you are extremely overweight and under a physician’s care. They will then probably say that even 1,200 is a bit low, and 1,400 is the advisable amount to keep you from feeling hungry and stay healthy."
Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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I ate 1200 calories from the start and have done quite well. Now, 1200 seems to be maintaining my weight quite nicely. I have dropped to around 1000, sometimes a touch less. This is not something I advertise widely.

BUT (and this is a very big but) those 900-1000 calories come from vegetables, fruits, and lean protein with very little sweets or treats. I believe that right there is the difference between healthy and unhealthy.

I recommend keeping your calories as high as you can while still losing weight. I recommend a good loss is 4-8 pounds a month, average.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliana View Post
I ate 1200 calories from the start and have done quite well. Now, 1200 seems to be maintaining my weight quite nicely. I have dropped to around 1000, sometimes a touch less. This is not something I advertise widely.

BUT (and this is a very big but) those 900-1000 calories come from vegetables, fruits, and lean protein with very little sweets or treats. I believe that right there is the difference between healthy and unhealthy.

I recommend keeping your calories as high as you can while still losing weight. I recommend a good loss is 4-8 pounds a month, average.
Ditto. I find it very easy to eat low cal when I avoid white foods, starches, grains & focus on the veggies and lean meats. Good weight loss, no hunger, lots of energy. Your body will tell you what it needs and it isn't as much as we might like.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:08 PM   #10
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The ladies here have given you some spot-on advice.


Restricting food and or eating extremely low counts of calories will slow down your metabolism and put your body in starvation mode. While initially you might lose a few pounds, your body will eventually stop at an abrupt halt, and start storing fat. You really don't want that.. It defeats the purpose of losing weight in an effective method.


I am a semi-recovering bulimic. I have a disorder that continuously plops weight onto me and I was able to ignore it for a couple years but now I'm back on the horse again. It has been a huge challenge for me to lose weight in a "healthy" manner. While my weight loss plan isn't perfect (like I said I'm still struggling with eating correct amounts of food and calories for my body) I am eating much better than I had previously on a food restriction of 200-300 calories per day and burning 2 or 3 times the calories per day. Though I hit a weight that most people would consider extremely small, I was never satisfied with it. I had done this for many years, since a young youth and it has caused me some health problems. I would not recommend doing crash diets or voluntarily choosing an ED lifestyle to lose weight. It's so NOT WORTH IT.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:20 AM   #11
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There's been a lot of advice on "crash diets" because the OP asked about diets as low as 400 calories. Also "fastest" and "safest" are to some degree mutually exclusive. The fastest diets aren't the safest, and the safest aren't the fastest (the safest doesn't necessarily have to be slowest, but it won't be the fastest - the more you restrict calories, the more risks you face).


To some degree, you've got to decide which is more important to you, speed or safety (and to most people, both will be important enough to compromise somewhere in the middle, but there is no magic middle, because everyone has different risk factors, which is why a medical checkup really is the best way to start a weight loss attempt).
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
There's been a lot of advice on "crash diets" because the OP asked about diets as low as 400 calories.
True. I guess I kinda glossed over that part of her post and focused on the part that said she wanted to do it safely.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:26 PM   #13
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Beth,
I have dieted a lot and I always seem to gain it back. I started a running program late last year (couch to 5k) and I have to say it started to change ME. I am not a runner. Not even close, but I thought I can do anything I put my mind too and had a crazy idea about doing a 5k. I feel different when I run. Better.

I was hit by a car while running a 5k and very quickly gained back 12lbs that I worked for months to get off. My doctor suggested I lose weight(great idea Doc I was until the idiot hit me!!) I came across the Ideal Protein diet. I have to admit, I am a skeptic. I decided I already felt like crap, looked like crap, I might as well eat like crap. Well the protein drinks weren't crappy at all.

I have been doing this for about 10 weeks and have lost just over 30lbs. I have a hectic lifestyle and the ease (right now) of making simple meals and drinks is the key to my success. I have about 30 more lbs to go and I am not loosing as fast now but I constantly see the scales drop, and that is a big deal for me.

I eat/drink anywhere between 400-700 cals a day and am never hungry because of the high protein drinks. I haven't lost that much muscle because of the drinks.(My face has not caved in like my past diets either). I feel right now for me this is a safe way for me to lose weight. I have no ill side effects and I am now in my healthy BMI. I was pre-diabetic and had high cholesterol.

I know everyone has their opinions and different things work for different people. This is what works for me. I do see myself gaining back control on what I eat and my choices. This is what is important to me. I can diet all I want but if I don't change my habits I will always be dieting.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:19 PM   #14
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Hello all,

I don't mean to bump this thread to the top again.... but... I did want to thank everyone for their replies.

I've read and 'weighed' everything written. Like kaplods mentioned, I think every one has to make peace for themselves with some sort of compromise between speed and safety on this journey.

For two full weeks now, I've sort of calorie cycled between 400-1200 calories per day. To be honest, the 400 calorie days weren't purposeful, but were the result of choosing not to eat rather than choosing to eat badly when i hadn't planned ahead.

For me, there have been great results. Effectively, i've lost 4 pounds in the two weeks. An average of 2 pounds per week. I have continued to exercise throughout. I have felt a bit more emotional than usual, but that might be attributed to positive and negative stresses in my life (my freshman aged son went on his first "date" last night to Homecoming! He was so handsome and she was truly beautiful.).

I don't know how much longer I plan to do this. The last couple of weeks it hasn't been too difficult. If it stays fairly easy, then I plan to continue a bit longer. If it begins to become too difficult, then I plan to up my calories a bit at a time and see if that helps. The *GOAL* for me, at this point is simple. I just can't quit. That's all. I just can't quit. Which is what I've done every other time I've tried to lose weight.

I believe there are lots of tools to weight loss. Because of this site, I have more tools than I used to have. Right now, I'm using this tool because it seems to be working. When it stops, I'll root around in my tool bag and try to find something else that will keep me going for a bit.

Anyway. That's it. I wanted to thank everyone for their input. And, I wanted to update where I am.

As always, best wishes to us all.

beth
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:45 PM   #15
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Beth, good luck to you. I don't believe you are going at it the best way for anyone, 400 cals is NOT healthy, but I do still wish you all the best.

When I stay on plan and exercise correctly, I usually lose an average of just over 2 lbs. a week. That means walking approx. an hour and a half 5X a week and eating between 1300-1800 cals a day of whole fods, veg, fruit, lean protein and complex carbs. If you decide to try something a little less extreme and want some hlep just give a holler.

If you start to feel not so good, please reconsider and whatever you do either way, please see a dr. and/or nutritionist to make sure you are staying "healthy" and not losing muscle or other important bodily components...

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