LA Weight Loss - I've been eating to little all along???

01-07-2009, 10:40 AM
Hi!!! I'm new here and wanted to ask if anyone has had the problem I am having.

On Monday I had planned out my attack on changing my lifestyle. I researched the BMR (basal metabolic rate) and calorie deficit and all that. I like to have a plan that I know will work :)

But now...I am a little worried because in calculating how many calories I eat in a day, I am nearly positive that I am in the range that I should be to lose weight.

My bad habits that I am aware of basically consist of skipping breakfast, and drinking a couple cup of coffee instead, grabbing something on the run for lunch, and then being completely starved by dinner and then overeating. So is it that my body is in "starvation mode" and then when I eat dinner it is storing that?

I have begun eating six times a day and counting my calorie intake, but I am a little nervous that I may not see results, which is the reason I always quit whatever approach I try in losing weight.

Please give some advice??:^:

01-07-2009, 11:11 AM
Stay the course You may have to give your body a little while to get used to the idea that food will be coming regularly i.e. six times a day.

You may find that you need to eat a few more calories overall as well This may be especially true if you are going to exercise YOU ARE GOING TO EXERCISE TOO RIGHT!!!!

I was you a year ago I skipped breakfast Ate crap for lunch like a bad for you sub or take out Chinese or you name the bad high fat thing and I was probably eating it.

Drink plenty of water 6 - 10 8 oz glasses a day. There is no real substitute for water. I was also chronically dehydrated I think. I use a 24 oz bottle so I know if I have 3 of those a day I probably am in the right zone for water.

Set small attainable goals. Like how much you will exercise a week. That you will fit into something that is a little too tight. When I started I needed to lose 100 pounds. I couldn't focus on the 100 pounds so instead I focused on fitting into my too tight clothes. Then hey getting into the next size down. etc. These were small enough that I could stay upbeat.

Just give all of this a chance. Try not to get discouraged you can do this. There are people here to help.

01-07-2009, 11:16 AM
Hi There :)

What do you mean by "grabbing something on the run for lunch, and then being completely starved by dinner and then overeating". You could be getting too many calories if you're overeating, so having a good idea of what you're eating (and how much) will help determine if you're eating enough. Try plugging things into Fitday or The Daily Plate and start tracking your intake.

Also, you can't go into "starvation mode" by skipping breakfast, but your mom was right, it's a VERY important meal! It helps regulate your blood sugar and gets your metabolism going and prevents that "famished" feeling throughout the day. If you aren't a breakfast person, just amke sure you are eating something with some nutritional value and then have something more substantial later in the morning.

01-07-2009, 11:28 AM
While "starvation mode" does exist, in the sense that your metabolism will become more efficient if you feed it too few calories and so your weight loss will slow, if you have really been eating well below your base metabolic rate, you would have eventually begun to lose weight anyway. The formula of "less in, more out = weight loss" will hold true, even if the body thinks it is starving, it just may take longer and your metabolism will drop. So if you think you have been doing this for a long time, it is fairly unlikely that you have actually been eating under your calories for months/years...unless you have been eating JUST under your BMR calories...then it is possible because your metabolism could have become slightly more efficient, that is it has dropped a bit, from under-feeding it. It could just be that you are one of those "lucky people" who has a slightly more efficient metabolism than average...great in an apocolypse, but not so good for getting skinny...but this just means you need to ramp up that metabolism and figure out how many calories YOU need...we are all different and it takes a bit of trial and error. Most likely is that you are getting more calories than you think over the course of a week.

However, if "under-eating" is your to fix your metabolism? Or, if you have just underestimated your calories, how to raise your metabolism to make weight loss easier? Or if you have a naturally "more efficient" metabolism how do you raise it as much as possible?

There are some things that you can do to fix a broken metabolism...but they are NOT necessarily quick fixes and may take a couple weeks. To just raise a "healthy metabolism" requires the same approach...pretty much.

If your metabolism is, in fact, low from some level of need to increase your caloric intake up to "maintenance" level, your healthy BMR levels plus a bit for exercise, for about two weeks. This may cause you to gain a little weight, but don't panic over it. Your body needs a long enough chance to get over its sense of panic. If "under-eating" was not the problem, and you were just under-estimating, you won't gain weight eating your might stay even or even lose a little with exercise during that two week period. If you are just more efficient than your average bear, you might gain a little, but two weeks will not do much damage and it won't "hurt" your metabolism. After the two weeks, you can then drop your caloric intake to weight loss levels, but ease into the "1 pound a week" level for a while to avoid shocking your system and your "newly repaired" metabolism.

For all three cases, you need to increase your exercise...yes cardio, but ESPECIALLY some resistance/strength training. Lean muscle mass is a HUGE driving force for raising your metabolism. Strength training is NOT a quick fix...for noticeable results, it takes about six weeks, but changing the composition of your body...percentages of body fat to lean muscle mass will prime your engine and you will start to burn those calories 24/7.

For all three you also need to make SURE your nutrition is a supplement if need be...your body needs to feel like it is getting what it needs.

It sounds like you have already started eating six times a day or so...which is good...this will help your body "relax" and feel like it is not having to pack away reserves. Also make sure you are eating LOTS of protein. It will keep your blood sugar even and it will give you the building blocks for your lean muscle mass...which is a good thing to do no matter what the problem is.

Good luck!!!!

Thighs Be Gone
01-07-2009, 11:32 AM

What is your intake calorie wise each day? What are your percentages of fat, proteins and carbs? What is your workout? Without knowing these things, it is difficult for me to comment.

Thighs Be Gone
01-07-2009, 11:33 AM
While "starvation mode" does exist, in the sense that your metabolism will become more efficient if you feed it too few calories and so your weight loss will slow, if you have really been eating well below your base metabolic rate, you would have eventually begun to lose weight anyway. !!


01-07-2009, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the help.

My protein intake could be more than it is, but honestly, money is a huge factor and makes it hard to buy all the right foods. I am highly aware of the importance of having the proper foods in the house, and even though I can't always afford fresh fruits and vegetables, I do buy canned and frozen fruits and veggies. Never in syrup unless it's light.

Protein wise, I buy light cheeses, lots of milk, and some meats. Turkey, chicken, and hamburger is mostly what I buy. I wish I could buy more fish and chicken but it's so expensive. I do buy the leanest burger we can afford.

My meals are pretty much split 30/30/30 protein, veggies, carbs.

For a while there I wasn't eating too many veggies, cuz they are a little bit hard for me as I have never liked them :( but have made an honest effort in recent years because I know it is important.

I also use the elliptical at home for 20 minutes 6 days a week and do some strength training as well. I plan to incorporate some suats and use all my exercise dvds also. I have tons of stuff to help with exercise, it's pretty pathetic I never really got into the habit of it.

One of my problems is that my job is so mentally draining that I get home, make, dinner, eat, and go to bed. I don't always sleep well so even though I have tried to do it in the morning, if I am sleeping well for a change, I cannot force myself to get up early enough. I am totally in a vicious cycle.

Thighs Be Gone
01-07-2009, 01:31 PM

I eat very little meat and no red meat. I find it is too constipating for me. I do eat lots of fish though and mostly fresh--and whatever fish that has Omega 3s and is cheapest, is what I buy. Canned tuna is usually .80 a can or less. There are other sources of proteins that are cheap. I like making patties from chick peas or black beans in my food processor. They are usually canned and about .69. One can makes two big patties. I top them with lettuce, tomato, pickle, whatever.

Also, on the fruits and veggies that are fresh--buy whatever is on sale. I know, I completely get they are hard for you. They were for me at first but I eat them all now. There are great ideas on the internet. Kaplods (here at 3FC) had a great thread about ways to prepare them the other day--ways I had never thought of.

In the end, it's a VERY personal decision for each and every one of us. For me, I had to quit making excuses for myself and take responsibility for what had made me obese. There are 3FCers that have battled horrible health problems, divorces, financial issues, etc. and while some days are more difficult than others, they continue to strive for a healthier life.

I wish you the best on your journey.

ETA: Good for you to recognize you need your breakfast. As of late, I am eating one cup of oatmeal in the morning with fresh fruit in it along with my coffee. I cannot believe how filling it is. I find that I don't have the binge feelings late in the day when I eat it.

01-07-2009, 03:15 PM
Thanks Thighs. I forgot to mention that I do buy tuna. I also take Triple 3, and Omega 3 suppliment. I take a multivitamin too.

I always buy mushrooms, carrots, and bananas cuz they are pretty cheap. I also buy a huge container of Dannon light 'n fit vanilla and make smoothies using frozen fruit. That gets me my protein and fruit fairly inexpensively, plus they are so yummy!!