Weight Loss Support - Starved my body into shock I think




Art_Chick
06-24-2009, 03:20 AM
I have read about it and knew better, but I did it anyway I think. You all feel free to give me your opinions if you think I'm barking up the wrong tree here.

I have been on a lower calorie diet/lifestyle change for the past month or more. I added gym workouts 2 weeks ago and finally started seeing the scale numbers move. I lost 3 pounds total. Not a huge loss, but I was happy with it. As I exercised more I was wanting and needing less and less food it felt like. I've been writing down all my meals in my iPod app. I went from eating what I wanted in the beginning, to shooting for 1700 or fewer calories for a couple of weeks. Then went down to around 1500 and that's when I started losing. I did this for 2 weeks. I then went down to 1200 a few days ago, which was my mistake. I knew better! I actually didn't intend to go down that far in the beginning, but I thought I could do it as long as I took down the caloric intake slowly. Nope! I've been crying all day long! I'm worse off now than when I originally started out. 3 pounds over my starting weight from what my scale is telling me tonight! It will be a little less in the morning, but still....not that much. *smacks self on forehead* I've read about this on 3FC many times and yet I still did it! What was I thinking?!

All of this has gotten me so friggin' depressed. It's bad enough when you start out on a lifestyle change, but now restarting after all of this work and time. It's just such a let down. I know I'm whining and I'm sorry. I needed to get this off my chest, though, so I can move past it. Please, someone tell me I can get past this? Tell me something to cheer me up or get me back in a good frame of mind? I need some cheerleaders!


Kim K
06-24-2009, 03:34 AM
Hi. I am so sorry you went through that, but that's in the past and now you know what to do to lose the weight in a healthy way! It was a learning experience! You can do this!!! :cheer2: :cheer3: :cheer2:

srmb60
06-24-2009, 05:25 AM
Don't despair ... soooo many of us have tried this. And a heap of new folks will still try it ... unless of course they read your thread and learn early.

So you've not only learned something for yourself, you may have taught someone else. Fabulous!

Now, just take what you know and carry on. You do know what you're doing and you'll be fine.


rockinrobin
06-24-2009, 06:15 AM
Don't despair ... soooo many of us have tried this. And a heap of new folks will still try it ... unless of course they read your thread and learn early.

So you've not only learned something for yourself, you may have taught someone else. Fabulous!

We're all different. I personally lose beautifully on 1200 calories. Beautifully. For many months in fact, the year that I was losing. That was 1200 calories of HIGHLY nutritious, satiating, voluminous, DELICIOUS, never leave me hungry or wanting - calories. And I never, ever not even once hit a stall. We are all different and all require different things. To assume that 1200 calories is not the "correct" number for every one out there is just as "bad" as saying that it is.

Artchick, I'm glad that you've found out what works for YOU. As you're the only one that could. No one or nothing can tell any one what will work for them - since we're all experiments of one, we've got to figure that one out on our own - and you did. Yay - you did!!! That was not time wasted - but time well spent trying to "decode" yourself. Good job. :)

CJZee
06-24-2009, 06:52 AM
Art Chick -- I find when I have sore muscles (you mentioned you just started exercising) I often gain a little weight. I understand sore muscles retain water until they are healed. It's possible that's what the weight gain is, and -- if so -- it will whoosh away.

Meg
06-24-2009, 07:09 AM
Don't worry, ArtChick, you haven't done anything to hurt your metabolism in just two days. Any metabolic slowdown resulting from excessively low calories happens over a period of months, not days. There are lots of reasons for scale fluctuations -- but harming your metabolism with two days at 1200 calories isn't it. :)

Like Robin, I've never had a problem with 1200 calories of highly nutritious food (my calorie level for the last six months of my weight loss), but if you're concerned that it's too low for you, bump up by a few hundred per day. And please only weigh yourself at the same time every day because weight can fluctuate by 5 - 8 pounds over the course of a day!

seagirl
06-24-2009, 07:14 AM
We're all different. I personally lose beautifully on 1200 calories. Beautifully. For many months in fact, the year that I was losing. That was 1200 calories of HIGHLY nutritious, satiating, voluminous, DELICIOUS, never leave me hungry or wanting - calories. And I never, ever not even once hit a stall. We are all different and all require different things. To assume that 1200 calories is not the "correct" number for every one out there is just as "bad" as saying that it is.

Artchick, I'm glad that you've found out what works for YOU. As you're the only one that could. No one or nothing can tell any one what will work for them - since we're all experiments of one, we've got to figure that one out on our own - and you did. Yay - you did!!! That was not time wasted - but time well spent trying to "decode" yourself. Good job. :)

I wonder if the fact that there is a 7" difference in height between you and ArtChick has anything to do with making 1200 calories much too low for her but just right for you. ;)

I'm 5'8" and aim for between 1400 and 1700 per day, usually hitting the high 1600's.

And you aren't restarting anything. You are just experimenting to find out what works.

Wannabeskinny
06-24-2009, 09:09 AM
Two days at 1200 doesn't mean anything as long as you add calories the next day. In fact I strive to never eat the same amount of calories every day. I fluctuate between 1200-2000. I've dipped below 1200, and I've exceeded 2000 but rarely. In my mind (which is new to this but have been doing lots of research) calorie spiking is the only way this will work for me, you may want to adapt it into your plan if you need some change.

Lori Bell
06-24-2009, 09:32 AM
I think your gain is a result of adding vigorous exercise and weighing in the evening...(You couldn't put me on the scale kicking and screaming after I have eaten breakfast! ;))

1200 calories a day is a lot of food and an abundance of nutrients if you are sticking with lean meat, whole grains, low-fat milk products and loads of veggies and fruit. (You should have seen my giant 300 calorie breakfast!). 1200 calories worth of ice cream and chips is very little food and almost -0- vitamins and essential nutrients.

Something I think many people tend to forget when they proclaim "starvation mode" is that the human body has been designed to store fat for famine. We gain weight when we eat more calories than we need, to be used as fuel when we don't have as much to eat. The body doesn't store it there just to piss us off, there is a purpose for it...to be used as fuel when the times are lean... If you have substantial body fat...(enough to warrant a "diet"), then your body will use the stored fat as energy. Studies have shown that an obese person does not need a substantial amount of calories, (as long as they are meeting the RDA in nutrients). Unless a person has some rare metabolic disorder, the body works pretty much the same for everyone. ;)

Mrs Snark
06-24-2009, 09:57 AM
I totally agree with Lori Bell. I'm 5'10 and very active and I have usually 3 days a week around the 1200 calorie mark with no problems (usually days when I'm just not that hungry).

Moralia
06-24-2009, 01:17 PM
Thanks for that post, Lori!! :) I'm quite tall and most days it's all I can do to hit 1200 mark, BUT I am eating 100% healthy food and it's filling me up much more than when I was eating crap! The other day I hit 1300+ cals, but yesterday barely 1000... I figure it all evens out in the end! ;)

Oh, and that doesn't include the cals I burn off from exercising..

mysticshaz
06-24-2009, 03:50 PM
totally agree with the posts above 1200 calories can be loads of food if you make the right choices and split the calories right throughout the day, if i am being good and stick to it i find it works for me.

much love

Art_Chick
06-24-2009, 04:11 PM
Thank you all for the support and information. You've helped more than you could imagine.

I know I shouldn't have weighed myself last night, but it was all I could think about. I normally weigh myself first thing in the morning. I think this morning is the first morning in a long time I haven't weighed first thing or at all. My dog was about to scratch the door down to go outside and doesn't care one lick about what size Mommy is this morning. Haha..I love that about her.

So some of you think starvation mode can't happen in 3 days? It actually was longer than 3 days now that I'm looking back at my "Lose it" app at my caloric intake. I wasn't meeting the 1500 calories I had alloted myself before I decided to make the change officially. And now that I'm really looking at the past week I see Sunday I had 700 calories and Monday 900. :-O I guess I should start planning better and not only making sure I don't go over, but making sure I MEET the caloric intake goal for my days? Geez.....this gets more and more fun.:dizzy:

Oh, and you could be right about the sore muscles. That darn treadmill keeps my shins sore. Not too bad, but I'm definitely not used to this whole working out every day thing yet.

Thanks again to everyone for the pick-me-up. :hug:

srmb60
06-24-2009, 04:44 PM
I had to blink a couple of times at what I wrote and try to remember just what I meant.

Here's what I thought I was reading. Since I was losing on 1700, I thought it'd be faster if I cut down to 1500 and faster still if I cut down to 1200. And then there is the exercise ...
I read into it a downward spiral and crash!

That's what I thought Art Chick was talking about and what I thought was noteworthy. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Art_Chick
06-24-2009, 05:03 PM
SusanB, your original post to this thread was very helpful to me. Was there a misunderstanding? I'm confused. Seems to be a pattern with me. :o

Moralia
06-24-2009, 05:15 PM
Art chick... I find I am hungrier at certain times of the month too.. But the more fiber/protein I eat, the fuller I stay.. I'll have 2-3 sevings of good carbs a day (whole wheat bread, pasta, granola, etc) then fill the rest with fruits, veggies, dairy, & proteins & a little extra fat to round things out... I've been at it for 7 weeks and am down 17lbs! Halfway to my goal weight!! :)

Keep your chin up!! You can do it!!! :)

Art_Chick
06-24-2009, 05:27 PM
That's some good info and very inspiring, Moralia! Thanks!

I just had a snack. I'm so in need of a grocery run. I had half a large plate of leftover steamed garlic cauliflower and a serving of low fat string cheese. Weird snack, but like I said....need a grocery run. I also need to thaw the salmon we're supposed to have tonight. So why am I still sitting at this computer. I better get moving and stop surfin' 3FC! :lol:

srmb60
06-24-2009, 05:39 PM
I think it looked like I had something against 1200 calorie diets. I don't.
At my height and frame, if I was sedentary, my BMR would only be about 1600 cals.

In my line of work, I've actually seen starvation response and it's not from eating low cal for a while and certainly not a healthy 1200 cals.

JayEll
06-24-2009, 05:54 PM
If you can EAT MORE and still LOSE WEIGHT, why wouldn't you? :dunno:

Jay

Niecy
06-24-2009, 06:19 PM
Although I do have 3 1200 calorie days out of the week, the rest are 1500-1800. It sits somewhere between 1450-1480 for a weekly average.

I don't see anything wrong with a 1200 calorie intake if that is what works. Don't know if I, myself could stick to it every single day. However, I do agree with Jay that if you CAN eat more, take advantage of it. But like Robin and others, height more than likely plays a role in it. And it probably works for taller people like Tyler because it is not prolonged and 1200 calories just isn't severely low, IMO. (I assume height has something to do with it only because every calorie calculator I have seen wants input on height. Even still, I can't say the height thing is a fact.)

Anyway, I seriously doubt 2 days of 1200 calories wrecked your progress.

My thoughts on starvation mode is that it kicks in at lower cals (definitely not 1200) that are extremely prolonged, yet not enough low cal to start using fat stores for the energy. And the person would have to be pretty sedentary for prolonged periods. There is obviously some type of threshhold for this to occur, but I am also thinking it is highly individual.

chicky viv
06-24-2009, 06:25 PM
Hey Art Chick, don't be sad. The important thing is that you are eating healthier and working out. When you first start making changes in your diet and workout habits the scale moves up and down like crazy because your body is adjusting to the change. But if you keep working hard it like only go down for there. You can do it!! And yes, please eat more then 700/900 calories and never get on the scale at night. If your going to get on that scale always do it the first thing in the morning after you use the restroom.

Jacqui_D
06-24-2009, 06:48 PM
I agree with the others that there is nothing wrong with 1200 calories, It's generally accepted as a healthy low. Your 700- and 900-calorie days, on the other hand, are not considered healthy lows. But with 1200 calorie-days, it's like you're zig-zagging your calories, which a lot of people recommend to keep your metabolism "on its toes." I'm 5'8"-5'9" and I can eat only 1200 calories with no problem, as long as I eat the right kinds of foods--lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and veggies. However, I like what JayEll said--if you can eat more and lose, why wouldn't you?