Weight Loss Support - 600 cal/day + multi vitamins

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01-15-2007, 07:29 PM
My friend has decided that a 600 cal/day diet is good for her. She justifies it because she needs to lose about 75 lbs. She further says she's not risking bad health because she takes a multi vitamin 2 or 3 times a day.

I told her that her body is going to take revenge on her. 600 cal/day is not a good way to go. She needs to double those calories.

Needless to say, she's not listening. I don't know how she's managed for 2 weeks. The last time I had less than that was the day I was prepping for my colonoscopy. She is losing weight but I told her that as soon as she eats 800 or 900 calories/day she'll put some of it back on.

I know who her doctor is. She has an appointment in a few days. I know with Hippa, the doctor can't tell me about her.

Now for my question. Can I call the doctor and tell her about my friend (her patient)? I don't think Hippa stops a doctor from listening, does it?

01-15-2007, 08:27 PM
thats tough. I have a friend who is on a clear liquid diet with out medical supervision. He said it worked before, he lost 80 pounds but once he started eating one meal a day he couldn't lose weight. I told him the same thing you told your friend, but he wouldn't listen. His diet is religious based for Lent(sp? sorry if I spelled it wrong guy) I just give him positive information and I told him to come here for support and more info. I cant badger him into being healthy, he has to make the decision for himself.

01-15-2007, 08:34 PM
That's a tough one! I can understand that you're concerned about your friend's health, but going to her doctor and talking behind her back just doesn't sit right with me. Maybe instead you could give her helpful healthy diet plan pamphlets or something without pushing the issue too much. She's only been on this extreme diet for 2 weeks, so (hopefully) your friend ends up falling off of it on her own and settling for a more realistic diet approach. Good luck on this!

01-15-2007, 08:45 PM
I don't know if you can talk to the doctor. Instead you might try and encourage your friend to talk to the doctor herself. Or I know there are programs supervisored by doctors (normally ran out of hospitals) where you drink shakes and then eat one real meal (I'm not totally sure about them some people here are on them I think they are called Optmi or Optium) anywas you might suggest she talks to her doctor about those maybe even if they don't put her on one they will be able to talk some sense into her.

01-15-2007, 08:50 PM
Maybe let her know that the brain needs fuel to think. No food or nutrition = stupid! :D: I would also let her know that her body will not be choosy about where it gets its fuel. The body will burn muscle as well as fat. Does she want to be a smaller "squishy" person, or a toned slender woman? As far as calling the doctor, IMHO, not a good idea. She will probably see this as a betrayal of your friendship and then you will be of no help to her at all.

01-15-2007, 08:53 PM
Everyone's an expert. MYOB. You'd be way out of line to call her doctor, and any doctor worth their practice wouldn't give an unrelated someone off the street the time of day.

01-15-2007, 09:08 PM
I think it's a bit harsh to say MYOB - this is her friend and she's concerned. It isn't just a "theory" that starvation is bad for your body... so I don't think she's being unreasonable by worrying about her friend.

I agree though, that you should not call the doctor. We can't control the actions of others, only ourselves. If you've made your concern clear, then I would let the issue drop for now. Hopefully she won't develop an eating disorder from this, and will give up and find it incredibly difficult to eat just 600 calories a day and feel good. Encourage her to take calcium supplements as well as vitamins, at the very least. Or ask her if she's putting protein powder into her 600 calories a day? Perhaps if you try to help her within her own guidelines, she'll be more likely to listen to you rather than put up a defensive wall. Good luck!

01-15-2007, 09:41 PM
I actually agree with and I don't think it is harsh. Sounds like she has already tried to talk to your friend. You can continue to try and talk to her, but in the end she has to be ready to listen. I also think any Dr. with some sense will tell your friend the same thing.

Everyone's an expert. MYOB. You'd be way out of line to call her doctor, and any doctor worth their practice wouldn't give an unrelated someone off the street the time of day.

01-16-2007, 04:21 AM
I third the opinion that it's not too harsh. And, no, HIPAA won't prevent you from telling your doctor information (it just prevents her doc from telling you anything--) and you're a considerate friend for doing this. And yes, there's a chance the doc won't take your comment seriously, and yes, even with doc and other people intervening your friend may not change, but it's better than not trying (and if the doc isn't already aware, he/she will be now and can screen for it.)

An unsupervised 600 calories a day is basically anorexia! And if she doesn't take at least 1,200 calories a day, it's basically going to leech it off her muscles and other vital tissues as WELL as fat -- which is a bad thing, leading to serious chronic conditions if not downright organ failure & death.

Furthermore, it doesn't set a good lifelong example (there's always the justification of "I'll stop this ultra-low calorie madness once I reach my goal weight" ~ except their goal weight always just a bit out of reach, so they can always have a cop-out for not learning good/healthy lifestyle adjustments.)

01-16-2007, 07:44 AM
I can see why you're worried! But let me tell you a story. Years ago a friend of mine who had developed rheumatoid arthritis was not taking his medication. Specifically, he had abruptly stopped his prednisone, which can be dangerous! I was really worried, so I wrote a note to his dr. to tell him what was going on. Well, on my friend's next visit, the dr. told my friend about the letter, asked who this "nut" was, and suggested my friend tell me to mind my business. My friend was not at all happy with me, needless to say. So not only did I NOT help, but I made a couple people irritated with me.

Yes, we all agree that 600 cals a day isn't enough. But aside from voicing your concern and giving some figures, there isn't much else you can do. It's her life and her body--she can't say she wasn't warned. And besides, maybe she'll tell her dr. on her own, and her dr. will give her a clue.


01-16-2007, 08:06 AM
cbmare, obviously you want to see her succeed with her weight loss. But I think from what you say, you HAVE been a great friend to her. Sometimes we need to take a few wrong turns before we find the right way to go. She is feeling very confident about her plan. Interfering with her Dr. will only make her annoyed, not greatful. It's her journey. I did a lot of stupid diets before I finally realized everyone else was right. It's hard to watch, but she has to learn in her own time.

01-16-2007, 09:17 AM
if she wants to eat 600 calories a day and have MVs it isn't a wise decision but it is her decision. The only thing you can do is to give her info and be supportive if she wants to change her ways. Telling her doctor is NOT a good option. She's an adult and can make her own decisions without the need for drastic interventions.

01-16-2007, 10:08 AM
We all have to figure out this weight loss thing for ourselves. I did something very similar in college. I lost a lot of weight, quicky, I thought I had discovered a good plan for me. I gained all the weight back, so quickly I got 2 permanent stretch marks on my belly. I learned from it. She might lose weight, she won't keep it off for long, hopefully, she will learn from it.

01-16-2007, 12:24 PM
More than one multivitamin a day is a bad idea. Some of those vitamins can be toxic in too high of an amount.

01-16-2007, 01:02 PM
Everyone's an expert. MYOB. You'd be way out of line to call her doctor, and any doctor worth their practice wouldn't give an unrelated someone off the street the time of day.

I can say after 20+ years of suffering from anorexia and bulimia I AM an expert on this. When I was anorexic, I consumed 500cals a day, maximum. Yes, I lost weight. But I lost muscle, water, my hair, use of vital organs, my toenails. I grew fur, my skin was horrible, my breath was like death, my heart was irregular, my liver almost ceased functioning. I was a ***** to everyone around me because without food, you turn ugly.

I'm not saying your friend is anorexic, but I've seen A LOT of girls in recovery who started out along the same path...extreme dieting to lose weight.

I wish people around me cared enough to intervene. DON'T mind your own business. I wouldn't recommend talking to her doc, but I would recommend talking to her. Don't try and talk her out of it, that won't work, and don't tell her she'll regain it back, that'll only encourage her to stick to this plan. She will probably faint in the next week or so or have severe dizzy spells and headaches. That is when you can gently encourage her to eat something "healthy". She will need your support and friendship even if at times it seems like she doesn't want it.

01-16-2007, 01:20 PM
No, I don't think you should MYOB in this situation. Would you mind your own business if your friend was bingeing and purging everyday? Would you mind you own business if your friend had developed a problem with drugs or alcohol? What your friend is doing is dangerous! This can be life threatening. No, I don't think calling her doctor would result in a positive outcome, however, I dont think you should leave your friend hanging either. I guess it all comes down to your interpretation of friendship.

01-16-2007, 01:26 PM
I would strongly encourage her to discuss this with her doctor. If she refuses I would call the doctor. The doctor is not prohibited by HIPPA from listening to your concerns. Any decent doctor will discuss them with your friend. You can ask the doctor NOT to mention your name.
Worse thing that can happen if you intervene? Your friend may find out that you care enough about her to try to help.

Worse thing that can happen if you do nothing? Your friend may suffer the consequences of such drastic starvation (electrolyte imbalances, heartbeat irregularities, and even death) or she may be very lucky and just suffer when she regains the weight.

She is lucky to have you as a friend!

01-16-2007, 01:40 PM
Everyone's an expert. MYOB. You'd be way out of line to call her doctor, and any doctor worth their practice wouldn't give an unrelated someone off the street the time of day.

I find this a bit harsh. I'm not claiming to be an expert. If I was an expert I'd be at my target weight and would never have been overweight.

That said, thanks everyone for the advise. I think I will forego calling her dr. It's true, she may listen, but then again, I'm not her patient.

Hopefully my friend will find that getting weaker and weaker is a result of not consuming enough fuel. I don't know how she goes to work everyday and maintains a spotless home with such a lack of food.

Like you all said, it's her body and mind. I'll just tell her that I don't back what she's doing if she calls again to complain about being tired. I will back a sensible eating plan and look forward to some bike rides.

Thanks again everyone.

01-16-2007, 03:05 PM
I'm a bit concerned that she may not tell the doctor what she's doing, or the extent of it. Those of us with disorders of one sort or another have been known to kind of fudge things a bit to keep "official" people - like doctors - from getting concerned.

I'd probably call the doctor - just let him know what's up, ask him not to mention your call. Would you rather your friend get the help she needs and be mad at you, or destroy her body slowly and think you're supporting her?

By the way, I'm with the "MYOB comment was rude" camp. No need to be harsh like that.

01-16-2007, 03:35 PM
You're right to be concerned but I agree that you shouldn't call the doctor. When she's put back on all of the weight she lost and more besides she may decide that you were right. Nothing more you can do.

01-16-2007, 03:40 PM
I had considered medifast, which is a 800-1000 calorie diet and I have more than 75lbs to lose. The big picture your friend is missing is that while she will lose the weight, the revenge will be she will, no doubt about it, screw up her metabolism making it impossible to keep it off and requiring her to live on fewer calories. I feel sorry for her and would intervene as a friend too. However, it's not in any way shape or form appropriate to talk with her doctor. You can only give her advice that sinks in.

"Friend, if you do it this way, this IS what will happen, you realize that right?" Let her make the decision for her, but fully armed. You can arm her....