General Diet Plans and Questions - 1200 calories way too much?




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SpaceCoconaut
10-15-2010, 06:17 PM
I've been dieting for exactly a month now and I've come to realize...

I gain weight when I eat 1200 calories or more.

Is that normal??

I'm not really active, I walk at least 30 minutes every day though.

When I eat less than 800 calories, that's when I start to lose weight, and I'm not talking about drastic weight loss, just like, 2 lbs a week.

I thought 1200 calories was a good number to eat at, but the pounds pile on when I do that. I was at 10 lbs down when I was doing the 800 or less and now I'm only 7 lbs down and I've been stuck at this. Haven't lost any more weight.

Is that normal? Does anyone else experience this problem?

I'm 5'5'' and currently 187 lbs.


AliceInFatland
10-15-2010, 06:22 PM
No offense, but it's impossible for you to lose 2 pounds a week at 800 calories and gain weight at 1200 calories. It takes 3500 calories for a pound. If you lose 2/week at 800, you would have to eat 1800 to neither gain nor lose weight. Even if you factor in a sloooooow metabolism, there's no way a 400-calorie/day difference is going to take you from LOSING 2/week to gaining weight.

SpaceCoconaut
10-15-2010, 06:24 PM
Well, that's what's been happening. I log everything in my online food diary to a T and this is what I've come up with. ;(


beerab
10-15-2010, 06:25 PM
Well what are you eating? Post a typical menu- you might find it's not how much you are eating, but WHAT you are eating.

Sunshine73
10-15-2010, 06:27 PM
That must be frustrating. Have you seen a doctor or nutritionist about it? That would be my first suggestion because I think that if you are eating 1200 calories a day and exercising, you should be losing weight based on your current weight.

Also, how closely are you recording your calorie intake? I know it's easy for me underestimate the amount of calories I've taken in...but I've also experienced the extreme frustration of cutting calories and not seeing the scales move.

SpaceCoconaut
10-15-2010, 06:36 PM
@beerab: I usually don't eat breakfast because I don't wake up in time for it, but I eat lunch around 2 or 3pm, and that usually consists of a bowl of pasta or a plate of fruit and veggies with ranch dip. For dinner (if I eat dinner) usually a bigger portion of pasta with a side of vegetables and low calorie slice of bread. And that's it, really. On days I eat more, I might eat another small bowl of pasta later at night.

@Sunshine: I use ************ to record my calories and I usually put in my own meals that I create when I can mark the calories pretty much exactly.

AliceInFatland
10-15-2010, 06:41 PM
Whaaaaaaaaat, dang, girl, who told you to eat pasta for weight loss???? That's refined starch and is one of the worst things for you to eat! Stuff like pasta will encourage your body to pack on the fat if you don't burn it off quickly. That's why runners eat pasta the night before a run, it turns into energy, and if you don't use that energy, it turns into fat. If you're eating that much pasta, you should be doing tons of cardio. Also, where's your protein? Where's your fat???? Where's anything but carbs?? Oh, gosh, girl, you really gotta examine WHERE your calories are coming from! Someone eating 1000 calories balanced between fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates is NOTHING like someone eating 1000 calories of simple carbs.

bargoo
10-15-2010, 06:45 PM
I agree too much pasta.

AliceInFatland
10-15-2010, 06:49 PM
Bread, pasta, potatoes--not great foods for weight loss! You want dense, nutritious food. If you're going low-fat/low-calorie, you still need protein and vitamins! Spinach, broccoli, peas, lean meats, eggs! If you have pasta, have pasta with meat sauce or a small piece of low-fat spinach lasagna. Have filling and fibrous fruits like berries and apples! Also--eat breakfast! Your body wakes up after not eating and is waiting for food. It doesn't get food--how does it now you aren't just going to keep starving it? Feeding yourself in the morning tells your body to get that metabolism going. If you don't eat breakfast, it won't know to get the machine chuggin' away.

You should spend a bit of time googling macronutrients and finding a balance that's right for your eating habits.

angelskeep
10-15-2010, 06:54 PM
Space-Try 1200 calories of BALANCED food instead and see what happens. low or non-fat yogurt, veggies, chicken or fish or beans or tempeh...lean protein. I'm willing to bet that you can eat a lot more if you eat more kinds of foods and that your body will cooperate better at losing the weight for the same amount of activity. Please remember that you can't just try it for a couple of days and then give up, but stay with it for say a month and see how you feel and if you are losing better. Also, take a multi-vitamin. If you don't know how to make a good balanced menu, lots of chicks here will help you with that, including me.

Barb

SpaceCoconaut
10-15-2010, 07:01 PM
I can't eat breakfast anyway. I get really sick. I can only eat a few bites.
I used to be able to eat breakfast, but I really can't stomach it.

But yeah, I figured I was eating too many carbs as I was typing that all out. Trying to cut that out now I guess. Oh, and I'm going to cut out soda too because I think that's making me bloated.

angelskeep
10-15-2010, 07:14 PM
I can't eat breakfast anyway. I get really sick. I can only eat a few bites.
I used to be able to eat breakfast, but I really can't stomach it.

But yeah, I figured I was eating too many carbs as I was typing that all out. Trying to cut that out now I guess. Oh, and I'm going to cut out soda too because I think that's making me bloated.

I don't eat my "breakfast" at breakfast time. I walk first then have a cuppa and it's usually around 11 before I eat. Just me.

And just curious if you are counting your sodas in your calories? If they are regular...not sugar free then that's a whopping lot of calories even if you only drink one a day...YIKES!!!! You can get a lot of chicken and veg for one soda's worth.

Barb

pammi2003
10-15-2010, 07:18 PM
Wow! No wonder you aren't losing weight. You are eating way too many carbs and not enough protein, good fats and fiber. Especially protein and fiber. These two will make you feel fuller so you won't overeat. And EAT BREAKFAST! :)
Good luck on your weight loss journey!

ValRock
10-15-2010, 07:29 PM
If I eat 1200 calories of simple carbs I pack it on. I can eat up to 2,000 calories of protein/fat foods and not gain, I've found. Simple carbs bloat some people up like there is no tomorrow. Have you thought of trying a low carb plan?

kaplods
10-15-2010, 07:39 PM
I also agree carb levels may be your bigger problem.

The first thing I'd recommend though, is a check-up to try to find out why you have such a slow metabolism. Gaining weight on 1200 calories, even if every one of those calories were coming from refined carbohydrates is a bit unusual, and could be a symptom of a metabolic disorder. I'd ask the doctor to run tests for hormonal and endocrine issues - tests for diabetes/insulin resistance, thyroid issues... For the insulin resistance/diabetes, I'd ask for a glucose tolerance test (it's a more sensitive test than blood sugar).

I do think carbs are the likely culprint. I have insulin resistance and borderline low-thryroid (not low enough to warrant thyroid medication, but high enough to slow my metabolism to half or less what it was even ten years ago). I understand where you're coming from though, because I've found that for myself I don't lose at all, or lose slowly on 1800 calories if I'm not eating low-carb. It shouldn't be possible at my size, but like you my food journals have proven it to me.

On low-carb food, I can eat 2000 calories or more and still lose weight. So you might find it isn't the calorie count that is preventing you from losing weight, it could be the carb content.

I can eat at least 500 calories more on low-carb eating than I can on normal or high carb eating, and still lose weight more consistently and at a faster pace. Everything I thought I knew about weight loss tells me this isn't possible, and yet my food journals prove otherwise. It's hard to believe even after proving it to myself.

Another wonderful side-effect of low-carb dieting for me is hunger control. On 4,000 calories of high-carb eating, I feel far hungrier than I do on 1,000 calories of low-carb eating (I don't usually eat that low on low-carb, because I don't have to - but it is true that no amount of food on a high-carb diet is enough to satisfy me). It just makes sense for me to reduce carbs because I can lose more weight on more calories and feel less hungry - it's a win-win situation.

For me, eating low enough in calories to lose weight on high-carb eating is miserable. I feel starved all the time and the weight barely comes off even at starvation levels.

It's at least something to consider and experiment with. Wouldn't it be great if 1600 calories of low-carb eating yeilded the same or better results than 800 calories of high-carb, and left you more satisfied? It's been my experience and it could be yours too. I'm not making a guarantee, but there are a lot of folks here who have had similar experiences (the low-carb forums, if you're interested).

ringmaster
10-15-2010, 07:43 PM
Coconaut, I get you on eating 1200 and not losing, I've been struggling eating low cals also and I've been exercising alot and I'm lucky if I lose a pound or 2 a week.

The other posters are right, pasta isn't the best for weight loss. If you are having trouble losing at 1200 then maybe look into more protein, vegetables, fruit..it'll be a bit low/moderate carbs and getting enough protein. For some a calorie isn't just a calorie, but also where those calories come from.

If that still doesn't help, have you had your thyroid checked?

eclipse
10-15-2010, 07:50 PM
How are you measuring your pasta to determine how much you're eating at a sitting and how many calories are in it? While I agree with the others that you really, really, really need more protein and fat, there is a lot of confusion about how to weigh pasta to determine the calorie count (wet vs dry, using cups to measure rather than weight, etc).

precieuseamande
10-15-2010, 08:04 PM
I do about 1200 cals/day as well and I have found that 1200 calories of processed food does not lead to as much weight loss as 1200 calories of unprocessed food. The type of calories does seem to make a difference. I think too if you want to eat pasta you should try a whole wheat variety if you can deal with the taste difference. Regular pasta does weird things to your blood sugar to keep you more hungry than whole wheat. (This is true of all carbs.) If you don't have a medical issue you can lose a lot of weight on 1200 calories if you pick more natural, unprocessed, whole grain type foods. I have been doing this for 2 weeks and have lost almost 10 pounds. I never lost nearly that much weight on 1200 calories of processed "regular" food. The more natural the food, the easier your body can pull out the nutrients and dump the waste (waste=weight.) And do make sure to measure your food. I found out that what I thought bye eyeballing was a cup was actually a lot more than a cup. You can take in a lot more calories than you realize just by eyeballing your portion sizes.

Breakfast early on in the day is important. That is how your body knows to turn on the metabolism and start burning your calories and fat. Exercise (even light exercise) is also supposed to tell your metabolism to turn on in the morning. So maybe you could try doing your walking shortly after you get up. Eating is important. Even if it is not "breakfast" food. Your body just needs a cue to flipping the metabolism switch to start burning calories rather than storing them.

Also, it is important to not eat too many calories at once, like maybe 300-400 at a meal is fine. Whatever calories your body does not need to use at that time will be stored as fat for later use. Regular small meals keep your metabolism turned on and keep your body burning the calories it ingests, not storing them.

If I am wrong about any of this information, I hope somebody will correct me. I have been reading a lot, and all this information has helped me to lose weight successfully for the first time in my life. I always went the Lean Cuisine and Crystal Light route before and that never, ever worked for my body. I hope maybe this can help you too :)

SpaceCoconaut
10-15-2010, 08:43 PM
@angelskeep: I usually just drink a glass of water for breakfast and I'm good, but even like, a shake or smoothie will make me full in just a few sips. And, I only drink diet soda, which I'm going to try to quit drinking.

@pammi2003: I get protein, I guess I'm just having too many carbs.

@ValRock: Do you know of any low carb plans that would do well for me?

@kaplods: I did notice that I was always hungry eating pasta. I would clear a whole dish in a day sometimes! Well, I did stock up on fruits and veggies, so I'm going to try this low carb thing. Thanks a lot for your response.

@ringmaster: I've had my thyroid checked and I haven't had any issues with it, but someone did say that there might be something else wrong with me since I don't menstrate and I'm infertile.

@eclipse: Calorie counter I use has measurements for cooked pasta and dry pasta per cup.

@precieuseamande: You may be right. I was trying to cut back on processed food, but I didn't consider pasta as processed. I do walk in the mornings, I really just can't eat though.

eclipse
10-15-2010, 08:55 PM
@ringmaster: I've had my thyroid checked and I haven't had any issues with it, but someone did say that there might be something else wrong with me since I don't menstrate and I'm infertile.

@eclipse: Calorie counter I use has measurements for cooked pasta and dry pasta per cup.



I would get a good food scale and go by weight rather than cups. Cups really don't work well for things that have any shape to them, because it depends on how things settle in the cup. Fruits and vegetables are the same way.

As to your lack of menstrual cycle, infertility, and tough time losing weight while eating a lot of carbs - you might look into PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Women with PCOS tend to do better (both reproductively and with weightloss) eating low carb.

SpaceCoconaut
10-16-2010, 12:29 AM
@eclipse: Yeah, someone said I might have that so I'll go to the doctor's next week to find out for sure.

ValRock
10-16-2010, 12:36 AM
If you don't want to go full blown Atkins you might have some success on South Beach. I've done well on it in the past until it hit the point where you put more whole grains back into your diet. I've just come to terms that I personally can't have that stuff (for a long while at least) it triggers binges and makes me feel sick. It's a really good plan for most people, though!

shcirerf
10-16-2010, 01:10 AM
I'd say ditch the pasta all together.

Lean protein and lots of fruits and veggies.

Eating only twice a day is not a good plan either. What time do you get up? Could you work breakfast in at say 10a.m.? Or get up earlier? If a regular type breakfast doesn't work for you try a couple pieces of lean turkey lunchmeat and some cheese. Or whatever you can manage. Breakfast does not have to be eggs, or oatmeal or the like. I eat lean turkey on Sara Lee 45 cal bread for breakfast most days.

I'd also recommend getting your hormone levels checked. Years ago when mine were out of whack, it played all kinds of havoc with everything.

Speaking of pasta, we haven't eaten any around here since I don't know when. There is some in the cupboard, we just don't eat it very often. Maybe once a month.

SpaceCoconaut
10-16-2010, 01:26 PM
@ValRock: I'll look into the South Beach diet. I have been eating whole grains, that's all I pretty much eat.

@schirerf: I'll probably try limiting pasta to the weekends only to start out with. I actually tried eating breakfast, but at noon today. That's the earliest I can eat, but I didn't eat much. Just two breakfast tacos on white corn tortillas. I'll make an appointment with the doctor next week.

StephanieM
10-17-2010, 09:33 AM
If your eating just whole grains, that's not good. Everyone here has made some really good points. I do think you should see a doctor, it could be and underlying condition, but either way you need to change how you eat.

It's just not healthy, and if you starve yourself too long, when you do try to eat normal you WILL pack it on.

I do Atkins, I feel good on it and it has helped my weight move quicker and without stalls than anything else. I didn't start it until I had about 20 lbs to go though.

Stay Puft
10-18-2010, 04:28 PM
SpaceCoconaut

Good luck on your research for a diet that works for you. I hope you'll post to update.

As for breakfast, don't worry too much about skipping it. If you can't eat in the morning, and some people can't, just focus on doing well the rest of the day.




Breakfast early on in the day is important. That is how your body knows to turn on the metabolism and start burning your calories and fat. Exercise (even light exercise) is also supposed to tell your metabolism to turn on in the morning. So maybe you could try doing your walking shortly after you get up. Eating is important. Even if it is not "breakfast" food. Your body just needs a cue to flipping the metabolism switch to start burning calories rather than storing them.

Also, it is important to not eat too many calories at once, like maybe 300-400 at a meal is fine. Whatever calories your body does not need to use at that time will be stored as fat for later use. Regular small meals keep your metabolism turned on and keep your body burning the calories it ingests, not storing them.

If I am wrong about any of this information, I hope somebody will correct me. I have been reading a lot, and all this information has helped me to lose weight successfully for the first time in my life. I always went the Lean Cuisine and Crystal Light route before and that never, ever worked for my body. I hope maybe this can help you too :)

I've been reading a lot about this as well. It can be very confusing because there is so much contradictory information out there. This is just based on what I've read and I could be completely wrong.

Your metabolism doesn't shut down overnight. It is slower only because you aren't moving around, unless you happen to be a sleepwalker I suppose. In fact, you could fast for 72 hours with no effect on your metabolism. So having breakfast doesn't turn on your metabolism.

What breakfast does do is boost your metabolism by the amount of energy required to process your food. That process can take up to a day. So you do receive the benefit of that boost, which runs around 10% of the total calories. Eat a 500 calorie breakfast and your body will spend the day burning off around 50 of those calories. If you instead eat those calories later in the day, your body will still need to spend the energy (50 calories) to burn them off, just starting later in the day.

There isn't any proof that it matters biologically when you eat the calories. There are studies that say frequent, spread out meals will boost the energy your body will spend processing. And there are studies that say eating the same number of calories in 1 meal will boost the energy your body will spend processing. And other studies which show no difference.

Of course, for some people eating breakfast helps them to control their eating the rest of the day. Or they just wake up hungry. Like most things, it is really about what works for the individual.

Ivonnely
10-18-2010, 10:21 PM
I m kind of experiencing the same thing.. Someday I would drink 2 meals of my fitsmart shake(140 calorie per meal) and have like a chickensalad lunch with a little more chicken breast because I m such a meat lover. and I would stay the same weight.....
Unless I just have super plain lunch like full veggie.

Wildflower
10-18-2010, 11:01 PM
If you aren't hungry for breakfast, try eating an earlier/lighter dinner for a few nights and don't snack after dinner. You can change when your body gets hungry by doing this. It's helpful because 1) it's really easy to snack late at night and 2) it's really easy to overeat during the day if you don't have breakfast

Most nights I go to bed fairly hungry and when I wake up I am ready for breakfast an hour or so later. If I eat late, I could go all day the following day without eating.

I guess I am the only one here, but I think it's fine to have a cup of whole wheat pasta every few days (once a week or so). I think what's going on is you are eating so few calories combined with the calories you are eating are ones that are easily stored. while I am not a giant believer in starvation mode, I think it's pretty easy to pack away calories from pasta and other carbs, especially if it's all you are eating and your not getting a lot of calories to begin with.

I went to a dance academy for college, and I knew lots of dancers who basically lived on water and rice or pasta and were rail thin. yes, the danced all day long, but they probably in the 4000 calorie range. the more in shape you are, the more effectively you can store and then burn up carbs - that's why runners, dancers, etc can eat so many of them.

The other thing is, pasta calories are easy to underestimate and it's easy to put a ton of unhealthy stuff on top of it. what kind of sauce do you eat with the pasta? do you add oil to the water?

Oh, and also, you said you've been dieting for a month. Are all these losses and gains for 1 month?

pamepinto28
10-18-2010, 11:39 PM
Definately get checked for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have it, it does effect your cycle, fertility, insullin, and weight. Sounds like you may have it, Good Luck,I hope you figure everything out soon :)

Shmead
10-23-2010, 11:05 AM
Just for the record, 2 lbs a week IS very solid weight loss for someone under 200 lbs. One pound a week on average is a good rate of loss for someone your size.

And no matter what diet you chose, there will be weeks when you seem to lose more and weeks when you seem to lose less. This is because even if your rate of fat loss stays exactly the same, your body retains and sheds water in response to various things.

EsmeCullen
10-24-2010, 08:18 AM
When I was much younger I couldnt work out how I dieted down to 116lb with walking and aerobics, yet still couldnt burn fat off my hips and thighs.

I was still eating white flour bread and pasta until it was coming out of my ears!

White flour products are the loves of my life. white bread, pasta (even better if its filled with spinach and ricotta!), gnocchi.....Ive switched to wholemeal and veggies. I dont cut carbs out - I just make smarter choices like not eating too much potato (I hardly miss it)

I would once have a coffee for breakfast and feel bloated (thinking i was full) - when i look back to how I was living/eating - its little wonder the pounds piled on.

I had to "force" myself to eat breakfast - but since I have, I dont get cravings for junk as much and the weight is falling off.

Try and eat within a couple of hours of getting up - give it time, your body will adjust.

QuilterInVA
10-30-2010, 05:50 PM
If you ate a balanced diet, you could lose weight and eat more. Your diet is totally unhealthy for anyone. If you don't weigh and measure, you are eating more than you think. A little 1 cup portion of pasta with nothing on it is 210 calories. Not eating breakfast is also contributing to your problems. I'm 5'4 and 69 years old and have hypothyroidism and I eat 1500 calories a day and lose 1-2 pounds a week. I exercise 1 hour a day every day alternating cardio and weights. I eat 3 meals and 2 snacks. What you are eating will mean you are losing muscle, not fat.

Asherdoodles87
10-30-2010, 06:09 PM
Definitely look into PCOS. I have it. I can eat carbs, though, without them stalling my weight loss. I have lost weight without going low-carb. But, again, everyone is different.

I feel you on the "not eating breakfast" thing. I did not eat it for years because when I was a kid I would get sick if I ate breakfast before school. Every time I tried I would end up puking or with a stomach ache. For some reason I can eat breakfast now as an adult without it bothering me.

It is good you tried a later breakfast. See if you can find some other foods you like besides all the pasta. ;)