General Diet Plans and Questions - Calorie Intake Question




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Aishah
09-05-2011, 04:24 PM
Hello! I'm really loving 3FC so far! Lots of support and helpful information. I'm on a specific eating plan with requirements and I keep a daily food journal. I noticed that in a lot of posts, people count their calories. I don't count calories rather I count and make sure I meet my daily intake food requirements. I was inspired by 3FC posts to go have a look at my journal sheets and see how many calories I'm consuming. It came out to roughly
900-1000 calories per day. I'm thinking is this too low? I meet all my food requirements and I'm never really hungry and feel like I'm always eating, but I do exercise 4-6 days a week. Should I be consuming more calories?


SC Vitamin C
09-05-2011, 04:42 PM
I am not sure what food plan you are on, but from everything I have learned. read about and listened to, yes you should be eating more calories than 1,000 if you want to lose weight the healthy way and not lose too much muscle. You can calculate your BMR using an online calculator which will give you the minimum calories your body needs to survive if you basically slept all day. Then you multiply that number by 1.xx (also found online) depending on your weekly activity level which will give you the calories you would eat to maintain your current weight. From that I would subtract no more than 500-750 per day in order to lose about 1-1.5 lbs per week. Of course, if you want to lose more per week you would create a higher deficit, however, eventually if the deficit is too high, your body will go into starvation mode and your body will hold on to fat as well as eat up the muscle.

Aishah
09-06-2011, 05:35 PM
Thank you for the help SC Vitamin C! =)


kelly315
09-06-2011, 07:05 PM
Trust me, from experience, you shouldn't go below 1200. I'm fine at 800-1000 for weeks and weeks, but your body does go into starvation mode at some point. For me, the eventual side effects were fatigue, general feeling of illness, and a huge hunger. I ate like a pound of carrots at one point because my body was telling me to prepare for the famine! Now I'm sticking to 1200, and it's not a problem. That's the cutoff number most doctors give for all dieters.

Beck
09-06-2011, 07:11 PM
I've been eating approximately 1200 calories a day for the past 6 months and have lost 81 pounds, which averages to a 3.2 pound loss/week. There are days here and there where I go below, but I try not to let that happen too often. There are also days when I'll go above by 100-300 calories, and I also don't let that happen often. This has worked well for me, and I've felt energetic and years younger.

You also want to eat a bit more now, so that if you plateau later, you'll have room to reduce calories. There's no way to reduce from where you are now.

kaplods
09-06-2011, 11:01 PM
What do you mean "food requirements?" What guidelines are you using?

Over the past four decades, I've used FDA guidelines, American Dietetic Association guidelines, and American Diabetic Association Guidelines, and I've never found it easy to meet their RDA's for under 1200 calories.

Aishah
09-07-2011, 01:51 AM
My requirements are what I have to get in every day and only certain types of foods. I have to have the following below, but the portions have to be followed and there is no mixing proteins or fruits. For example if I wanted to use Shrimp as one of my proteins for the day, it has to be fresh or fresh frozen 5oz ONLY. Eggs are limited to six a week.

2 Proteins (Can't mix proteins)

2 Starches (Only choose from: 1 piece of 40 calorie bread is one starch, 2 pieces unseasoned melba toast, 1 unsalted rice cake, 1 diet breadstick, 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/2 small baking potato, 2 tbsp unprocessed bran, 1/2 ryata cracker)

2 Fruits (No mixing fruits and never after 6pm or 5 hours before bed. No bananas, kiwis, red grapes, blackberries, raisins and there are a few others. Say I wanted green grapes as one of my fruits, I can only have 10 or if I wanted fresh cherries I can have 9.)

4 Veggies ( No carrots, peas, certain squashes, green beans, and a few others aren't allowed. It's strongly suggested that you eat 2 raw and 2 cooked per day. Portions are 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked)

1 Fat (lite margarine, lite mayo or mustard ONLY)

2 Snacks (One solid, one liquid. I usually have a protein bar and a lemonade)

4 oz Skim Milk

80 oz Water

Lite Morton Salt


*1/2 baked potato and brown rice are limited to 3x a week at the most.

canadianwoman
09-07-2011, 03:04 AM
Where did you get that plan? If I had to eat so little (and that restricted) I would be chewing my arms off by the evening.

bargoo
09-07-2011, 03:15 AM
I agree that is a very restricted diet. Diets that are so restrictive are hard to follow. Many people would get tired of trying to follow all the restrictions and give up un the diet.900 -1000 calories a day is too low. Much better to eat a well balanced, nutritious diet of lean meats, chicken and fish and fresh vegies and fruits. With calorie counting you have no restrictions,, it is much more flexible and easy to follow and will teach you how to maintain your loss.

Aishah
09-07-2011, 04:09 PM
Where did you get that plan? If I had to eat so little (and that restricted) I would be chewing my arms off by the evening.

I'm actually really used to it now. I've been following it for six weeks and down 21.5 pounds. I'm actually never hungry and feel like I'm always eating. Maybe it seems more restrictive typed up. But, I keep a food journal and a booklet with the allowed foods and portions in a binder in the kitchen that helps me keep on track. I'm limited on proteins because I don't eat meat. For protein I'm allowed: Shrimp, scallops, eggs, low fat cottage cheese, and I use vegetarian chicken breast substitute. I would eat legumes, but It's not allowed on the plan I'm on.

canadianwoman
09-07-2011, 07:24 PM
I'm actually really used to it now. I've been following it for six weeks and down 21.5 pounds. I'm actually never hungry and feel like I'm always eating. Maybe it seems more restrictive typed up. But, I keep a food journal and a booklet with the allowed foods and portions in a binder in the kitchen that helps me keep on track. I'm limited on proteins because I don't eat meat. For protein I'm allowed: Shrimp, scallops, eggs, low fat cottage cheese, and I use vegetarian chicken breast substitute. I would eat legumes, but It's not allowed on the plan I'm on.

I am just curious but why can you not eat fish? It is pretty low in calories depending on the type.
I could never give up legumes. I don't eat a lot of them but I love them too much and they are a good protein source.

kaplods
09-07-2011, 07:52 PM
I've been on many very low calorie crash diets like this over the past 40 years, and while they often have the advantage of rapid weight loss, they also often have extremely unpleasant side effects as well.

They're difficult to sustain (even when they feel relatively comfortable), and impossible to live on for a lifetime. Even if you manage to somehow stay on plan until you're at goal weight, transitioning to a healthier diet is extremely difficult.

"Starvation mode" isn't a really good description of the metabolic drop you can experience from crash diets. It's more like a factory dealing with a recession. They lay off workers, they shut down one or more shift, they may set the thermostat lower, they pay workers less, and the quality of the products produced may be jeopardized.

Our body reacts the same way to a food recession. Calorie restriction even to non-vlcd levels can result in hair loss, headaches, body temperature drops, less resistance to illness... Your body starts to send fewer resources to the least essential systems. The immune system may be the first to face the "budget cuts."

I have autoimmune disease, and it's quite possible that my years of yoyo dieting played a role. If not in developing the disease, then in developing it at such a young age.

If I could "undo" only one thing in my dieting history, it would be to have never tried even one vlcd diet (any diet under 1000 calories).

Even if everything goes well, and you somehow miraculously make it to your goal weight without any health problems, you're going to have to learn how to eat normally, and vlcd's do not prepare you for that. You inevitably start gaining, and it's very hard to get the gain under control when the only options you've experienced are overeating and starvation dieting.

You probably won't take any of the warnings from me or others seriously, because I didn't either when I was young and experiencing the "high" that rapid weight loss produces. That's probably the worst trap of crash dieting. The high of rapid weight loss is hard to beat. Even when I knew that rapid weight loss only caused my more health problems and only resulted in weight gain in the end - I still had a hard time resisting them, because of the implied promise of rapid weight loss.

When I'd been on 1000 calories and the weight loss slowed, it only made 800 and then 600 and then 400 more tempting. The less weight loss I acheived, the more tempted I would be by even lower and lower calorie diets.

Even though I experienced severe headaches, nausea, muscle weakness, fatigue, insomnia, hair loss, dizziness and light headedness even to the point of passing out - it was still years before I could permanently escape the temptation of crash dieting.

Getting on the crash diet rollercoaster is very easy, but getting off and staying off is very difficult. Even when you know the potentially disastrous consequences, the allure of rapid weight loss (even though it is less and less rapid with each attempt) becomes very difficult to resist.

Aishah
09-07-2011, 08:58 PM
I don't have any side effects. I work out 4-5 days a week and walk all around campus and errands, etc and I'm never worn out or tired. I do always feel full and I feel like I have a lot more energy. I haven't had any headaches or stomach aches. I don't really think it's a crash diet or anything. I really wanted to avoid the crash diet thing because I want to be making healthier eating choices and develop life long healthy eating patterns. The plan I'm on does include a maintence plan for 52 weeks after I lose my weight. You seem to be very knowledgeable kaplods.

I have a food journal sample. This is is what I had yesterday, would this be classified as too low calorie?


Breakfast
1 piece diet lite bread toasted (sprinkled cinnamon)
1 tsp lite margarine
1 fresh peach (1 pack sweetener)
4 oz skim milk
Snack
1 protein peanut butter bar
Lunch
1 cup raw lettuce
1 tomato sliced
6 oz chicken breast in strips (lite morton salt, lemon juice)
2 tbsp lite Italian Dressing
Snack
10 green grapes
Dinner
cup cooked broccoli (pam, lite morton salt)
cup cooked mushrooms (pam, lite morton salt)
cup cooked brown rice (2 tsp lite margarine)
5 oz shrimp cooked (pam)

And at night 1 cup crystal light lemonade and a cup of herbal tea.

bargoo
09-07-2011, 09:38 PM
I am curious about this diet, does it have a name? is there a book descrbing it ? Where did you find it ?

thinner
09-07-2011, 10:44 PM
i too would die on that kind of diet. as it is, i'd take out artificial sweeteners, and the cooking sprays usually have some things in them not good, and swap the salt out for a little bit of sea salt and some tasty spices. look for a buttery spread like smart balance that doesn't have trans fat in it.

canadianwoman
09-07-2011, 10:57 PM
I have a food journal sample. This is is what I had yesterday, would this be classified as too low calorie?


Breakfast
1 piece diet lite bread toasted (sprinkled cinnamon)
1 tsp lite margarine
1 fresh peach (1 pack sweetener)
4 oz skim milk
Snack
1 protein peanut butter bar
Lunch
1 cup raw lettuce
1 tomato sliced
6 oz chicken breast in strips (lite morton salt, lemon juice)
2 tbsp lite Italian Dressing
Snack
10 green grapes
Dinner
cup cooked broccoli (pam, lite morton salt)
cup cooked mushrooms (pam, lite morton salt)
cup cooked brown rice (2 tsp lite margarine)
5 oz shrimp cooked (pam)

And at night 1 cup crystal light lemonade and a cup of herbal tea.

I did the math on this amount of food using my food journal at livestrong.com and the calories came out to 863 for the day. No wonder you are losing weight on this. It is not enough calories for you. You should be getting at least 1200 a day, minimum.

pixiegotfat
09-07-2011, 11:03 PM
i agree it sounds like too few calories. are there any supplements you are taking?

Aishah
09-07-2011, 11:44 PM
i agree it sounds like too few calories. are there any supplements you are taking?

Yes. I take a lot of supplements for the day. It's part of the plan I'm on. I take in total about 23 total for the day. They are to be taken after every meal so it's 3 of one supplement after each meal, 2 of another, etc and they are at different times of the day. For example I take one called a carb blocker 10 minutes before every meal and 3 EFA's after every meal and then there are this other supplement called a release and 3 of those have to be taken one hour after every meal. I take a multi-vitamin in the morning and a drink supplement twice a day in my water to boost metabolism.

Aishah
09-07-2011, 11:46 PM
I did the math on this amount of food using my food journal at livestrong.com and the calories came out to 863 for the day. No wonder you are losing weight on this. It is not enough calories for you. You should be getting at least 1200 a day, minimum.


The protein snack bar is 170 calories so that might boost in up some. Also, the broccoli I used was the steam kind so it wasn't raw, so that would be a few more calories right?

I'm going to have to go over my meals and try adding a bit more variety. I was thinking of starting to add oatmeal for breakfast sometimes.

Oh and sometimes it's allowed only 3x a week at the most, but there is a really good chocolate meal replacement I've had to replace one starch, one protein and one fruit serving for the day. It has about 250 calories, but it's makes a pretty big shake, so I've had those at the most twice in a seven day time period.

kaplods
09-07-2011, 11:58 PM
I don't have any side effects. I work out 4-5 days a week and walk all around campus and errands, etc and I'm never worn out or tired. I do always feel full and I feel like I have a lot more energy. I haven't had any headaches or stomach aches.

I didn't experience unpleasant side effects either THE FIRST TIME, or even the tenth time.

Especially when your body is young and healthy, you can throw a lot of damage it's way and not feel the results. But the damage IS occurring, and it will sneak up on you. You may not see it this month, or next month, or even next year. You may not see it at all, because the damage generally occurs slowly and silently over time. It can take decades to accumulate life-altering damage - but once you notice it can be difficult or too late to reverse.

I only learned later in graduate school physiology, that the "increased energy" I often felt on these types of diet was actually a potential sign of damage. When you overstress your body, your body releases endorphins - natural pain killers and euphorics. The endorphins can mask the early signs of damage.

The parallel to drug and alcohol abuse is very similar. I never used drugs and rarely ever drank alcohol - but I worked in the field of substance abuse - and the pattern of physical damage is the same. When you're young and healthy, smoking, drinking, sleep deprivation, and even illegal drugs don't have as much impact on your perceived state of health. It's damage that takes it's toll slowly, and severe calorie restriction does the same.

By the time you notice the damage, there's a lot of it to notice.



I don't really think it's a crash diet or anything.

Yes, it is a crash diet - because "under 1000 calories" is the very definition of crash diet - and the days you've shared haven't even come close to 1000 calories. If you were only a little bit over overweight and under 5' tall, you might be able to get away with a 1000 calorie diet for a couple months (and even then, probably not an 800 calorie diet).

But as tall as you are, with 70 lbs still to lose, and wanting to stay as active as you are, you need more calories- especially from protein. One of the biggest risks to very low calorie, low-protein diets is the amount of muscle that tends to be lost with the fat. If you're not eating enough protein to maintain your muslce mass, even with exercise, you're going to lose muscle. And the worst part about losing muscle is that you don't get to pick which muscles will be damaged. If it's your calf muscle, you can build up more - but if it's heart muscle you risk permanent and life-threatening damage. Heart muscle damage is a well-known risk of very low calorie (especially low-fat, low-protein diets as you've described).



I want to be making healthier eating choices and develop life long healthy eating patterns. The plan I'm on does include a maintence plan for 52 weeks after I lose my weight. You seem to be very knowledgeable kaplods.


I've been studying weight loss and nutrition, informally for 40 years. I put more effort and time into studying diet, exercise and weight loss than I did my master's degree in developmental psychology.

I learned early what I shouldn't do, but unfortunately I learned bad habits even earlier. I was on my first diet in kindergarten, and on my first crash diet by 9 years old. Crash diets yielded faster results (at first) and our society is so anti-fat, that it's often much easier to ignore the risks because any risk seems preferable to being overweight.





I have a food journal sample. This is is what I had yesterday, would this be classified as too low calorie?


YES. As already mentioned it's not even 900 calories. At your height, if you're under 40, it's very likely that your maintenance calories (the calories needed to maintain a healthy weight at a healthy activity level) probably will end up around 2000 to 2400 calories (somewhere between 10 and 17 calories per pound. 10 being the average for older and inactive folks.). If you do lose muscle or if your metabolism slows due to the crash dieting, your maintenance calories could end up significantly lower. Eating less than half your maintenance calories is about as "crash" a diet as you can get. You're not giving your body even half of what it needs to maintain a healthy weight.


Personally, I'd recommend that any woman over 5' and under 50 years old, start with a diet around 1500 calories. Some experts recommend no less than 7 or 8 calories per pound of current body weight (assuming a person is currenlty overweight - for you that would be between 1650 and 1900 calories). Others recommend multiplying your goal weight in pounds by 10 calories.


But what I recommend more than anything at all is not listening to me, but educating yourself. Talk to a dietitian if at all possible. Read basic nutrition books. Eat the largest variety of food, in as many types and colors as you can.

There is no magic number, so if you were extremely short and tiny 1000 calories might not be a crash diet. But for someone nearly 6' tall, with 70 lbs to lose, there's just no good reason for short-changeing yourself - especially on the protein. Your fruit and veggie intake is good (but don't be afraid ot go even higher, especially with the veggies), but you could increase your protein, fat, and dairy and even grain/starch servings. I'm following a low-carb exchange plan (which fairly drastically cuts grain foods), and I eat 160-240 calories of grain-foods a day.

I'd recommend exchange plan dieting, at least until you get a better understanding of nutrition and a more generous idea of minimal requirements.

Michi702
09-08-2011, 12:01 AM
I'm not too well versed in taking vitamins/supplements, but 23 supplements per day seems a bit extreme to me. Is there a web site or link out there where you found this diet? I don't want to get all preachy on you but from what I've read of the diet plan you're following thus far, it concerns me :(

Aishah
09-08-2011, 12:10 AM
I'm not too well versed in taking vitamins/supplements, but 23 supplements per day seems a bit extreme to me. Is there a web site or link out there where you found this diet? I don't want to get all preachy on you but from what I've read of the diet plan you're following thus far, it concerns me :(

I go to a center. I was given which plan to follow and I go and weigh in 3 days a week. I have to keep a food journal and have every day's intake checked to make sure I'm getting everything in. I've been told, that I'm doing great and following everything right. Why I asked the question about calories here on 3FC is because I noticed there were threads on calories that seemed to be higher and some of my family wanted to make sure I'm eating enough.

I'm actually a little more than concerned now, reading kaplods and everyone else's comments. I'm going to have to really change my diet and make it more healthy. I don't want to be exchanging one type of unhealthy for another type of unhealthy. I'm going to make some positive changes. :):)

Also, I really would like to add some different items into my diet. I really miss cereal (not on plan) and would really like to add a little in, like Special K and a little more milk. 4 oz doesn't go a long way. I do eat dairy though. Low fat cottage cheese and eggs are on plan so I do love those. 6 eggs per week and cottage cheese allowed 3x a week. Legumes too, I would like to add some healthy legumes in for protein.

kaplods
09-08-2011, 12:14 AM
The protein snack bar is 170 calories so that might boost in up some. Also, the broccoli I used was the steam kind so it wasn't raw, so that would be a few more calories right?



Probably not. You specified cooked, so canadianwoman would have typed that into the livestrong.com calculator - and steamed broccoli actually doesn't lose quite as much volume as boiled does - so it's even possible that the calculator overestimated the broccoli calories. Also, most protein snack bars are in the 150 to 200 calorie range, so that would also be dead-on.

I estimated using my exchange plan diet calculations and didn't quite get to 850 calories.

kaplods
09-08-2011, 12:28 AM
Breakfast
(40) 1 piece diet lite bread toasted (sprinkled cinnamon)
(20) 1 tsp lite margarine
(60) 1 fresh peach (1 pack sweetener)
(40) 4 oz skim milk

160 calories for breakfast (probably less, because many lite margarines are no more than 5 calories)


Snack
(170) 1 protein peanut butter bar

170 calories

Lunch
(10) 1 cup raw lettuce
(5) 1 tomato sliced
(150) 6 oz chicken breast in strips (lite morton salt, lemon juice)
(30) 2 tbsp lite Italian Dressing

195 calories (again I'm probably overestimating on the lite dressing)


Snack
(30) 10 green grapes

30 calories

Dinner
(10) cup cooked broccoli (pam, lite morton salt)
(40) cup cooked mushrooms (pam, lite morton salt)
(50) cup cooked brown rice (2 tsp lite margarine)
(150) 5 oz shrimp cooked (pam)

250 calories (and I did calculate in the cooking methods)


(5) And at night 1 cup crystal light lemonade and a cup of herbal tea.


So my calculations comes to 840 calories, leaning towards overstimation on the lite products as well as probably the fruits and veggies and even the rice (many calculation sites do not subtract fiber calories - but humans can't digest those calories so they leave the body intact)P

canadianwoman
09-08-2011, 12:36 AM
The protein snack bar is 170 calories so that might boost in up some. Also, the broccoli I used was the steam kind so it wasn't raw, so that would be a few more calories right?

I'm going to have to go over my meals and try adding a bit more variety. I was thinking of starting to add oatmeal for breakfast sometimes.

Oh and sometimes it's allowed only 3x a week at the most, but there is a really good chocolate meal replacement I've had to replace one starch, one protein and one fruit serving for the day. It has about 250 calories, but it's makes a pretty big shake, so I've had those at the most twice in a seven day time period.

I calculated the protein bar in at 180 and when I put in the broccoli I put it in as steamed (I steam my veggies too) which is around 25 calories.

Perhaps you should calculate your daily calories for a little while and you can see for yourself how low you are in your daily totals.

kaplods
09-08-2011, 12:39 AM
I know it may seem like folks are "ganging up on you," but we're not. Many of us have gone down the crash diet path many times before, and have found it to be far more of an obstacle or even a pitfal than a help.

Unfortunately, these rapid-result diets are so popular that everyone on both side of the contract ignores the risks. I would bet that you had to sign a contract that releases them from any responsibility for any illness or injury you believe to be a result of the diet. It may be worded that you are willing to assume all risks, or it may be worded as a promise not to hold them responsible, or somewhere in the fine print there will be essentially a loophole that absolves them of any legal responsibility (it may even be worded as a promise by you to seek supervision from your own medical doctor).

I've seen it worded a dozen different ways, but it always ends up legal-speak for "whatever happens to you, it's not our fault."

indiblue
09-08-2011, 12:42 AM
Two quick points:

1. There is no inherent number of calories that "no one" should cross. That said, if you are tall and heavier, you WILL need to intake more calories than someone who is very small. Like kaplods said earlier, a 5'0 130 lb person may need to eat at 1100 to lose, but a 5'10, 230+ individual needs a lot more.

2. Just as important as getting enough calories is getting enough nutrients. The lower your caloric intake, the more critical it is that every bite you put in your mouth is of a higher nutritional density. When I eat at 1200 I have only about 150 calories for "empty" things like dessert. Everything else must be highly nutritionally dense in order for me to get enough vitamins, minerals, fat/protein/carbs to be healthy. If the diet you posted *were* okay calorie wise, you would absolutely need to critically examine it to ensure it was giving you the nutrients you need. Toast, margarine, rice have very little nutritional value. On higher calorie diets that may be fine, as you eat other foods which supply those nutrients. But on so few calories a day, you end up with precious few calories left to "spend" on other foods. At some point it ends up being impossible to get all the nutrients, protein, etc you need in the few calories you have left.

I would reiterate what others have said about upping your calories. I'd also encourage you to consider "power foods"- nutritionally dense foods that deliver a lot of nutritional "punch." Pomegranates, pumpkin, eggs, kale, etc are all really great foods that have a lot of nutritional yield for their calorie content. There's a great thread on these in another 3FC Forum: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/whole-foods-lifestyle/90444-superfoods-list-sidekicks-superfoods-rx-pratt-books-1-2-a.html

Good luck!

canadianwoman
09-08-2011, 12:46 AM
Probably not. You specified cooked, so canadianwoman would have typed that into the livestrong.com calculator - and steamed broccoli actually doesn't lose quite as much volume as boiled does - so it's even possible that the calculator overestimated the broccoli calories. Also, most protein snack bars are in the 150 to 200 calorie range, so that would also be dead-on.

I estimated using my exchange plan diet calculations and didn't quite get to 850 calories.

I was thinking of using the exchange plan calculations to total her diet up but I'm a little tired so using livestrong was easier. A half cup of cooked non-starchy veggies is around 25 calories anyway, give or take a couple of calories.
At least that was what I learned when I was using my Richard Simmons deal-a-meal exchange cards.

canadianwoman
09-08-2011, 12:47 AM
This is advice I use for the basis of my current diet.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX1cSgKUEGA

canadianwoman
09-08-2011, 12:51 AM
I know it may seem like folks are "ganging up on you," but we're not.


Oh god, I was just thinking the same thing as I scrolled down to this post.

No, we are not ganging up on you nor do we want to. We just want to see you get enough nutrition for yourself so you can lose weight in the healthiest way. :)

Aishah
09-08-2011, 01:21 AM
Oh god, I was just thinking the same thing as I scrolled down to this post.

No, we are not ganging up on you nor do we want to. We just want to see you get enough nutrition for yourself so you can lose weight in the healthiest way. :)

No, no I understand! I know you're not ganging up on me! :):) This is why I joined 3FC, for the advice, suggestions and support. I just REALLY want to do it the healthy way and the way it looks right now, what I thought was being healthy turns out isn't too good. I'm going to research (THANK YOU for the SUPER FOODS link!) and work on getting a healthier diet.

Kaplods, yes. I did sign a contract. The center I go to says I should be losing 3-7 pounds a week and will lose 92 1/2 pounds in 6 months time. (This is when I started six weeks ago and 21.5 pounds ago) So by Feb, I'm supposed to be at my goal weight of 165. The thing is, everyone is SO nice at the center. They are really supportive and have ensured me I'm eating healthy and giving my body enough nutrients. I have a weigh-in tomorrow and I'm going to talk with one of the counselors about the calorie issue. I'll come back tomorrow and post and update on what they say about calories.

I'm really happy for the suggestions and help!

kaplods
09-08-2011, 01:25 AM
I was thinking of using the exchange plan calculations to total her diet up but I'm a little tired so using livestrong was easier. A half cup of cooked non-starchy veggies is around 25 calories anyway, give or take a couple of calories.
At least that was what I learned when I was using my Richard Simmons deal-a-meal exchange cards.

Exchange plan calculations do tend to be a little less precise, which is why I used a calorie counting website when I did the calorie breakdown (it was more my anal fact-checking side seeping through).

I find it interesting and exciting that even though we used different calorie-counting websites AND an exchange plan estimation, all three estimations came up with totals between 840 and 860. To me, that shows that any of them can get you close to an accurate portait of your calorie intake.

It does annoy me that fiber calories aren't usually subtracted from many of the calorie counting resources, because it makes high-fiber foods seem higher in calorie than they are.

I'm reminded of my high school and college crash dieting days when I would eat 600 calories of only fruits and vegetables. I know that the resources I used would not have subtracted the fiber calories, so while I was thinking I was eating 600 calories, I was getting even fewere.

Even today, I'm surprised at how often the fiber calories aren't subtracted. As a result, it makes fruits and veggies seem higher in calorie than they really are.

I bought a bag of edamame at Target, and the calorie count was listed at 110 calories per serving, but when I saw that the fiber calories couldn't have been subtracted I did so. Of the 12 total grams of carbs, 9 of them were fiber. That means that of the calories coming from carbs was actually 12 calories, not the 48 calories calculated by the label.

Which means that instead of 110 calories, the serving actually contained only 74 useable calories.

That's a difference of almost a third, which means it's possible that at least sometimes when I thought I was eating 600 calories, I may actually have been eating as little as 420 useable calories.

Because many calorie resources don't subtract the fiber calories, the foods that are highest in fiber are actually significantly lower in calorie than we think they are. It's ironic that the healthier you eat (your calories coming from fruits, veggies, and high-fiber nuts and grains), the more you may be overestimating your calorie count.

It's kind of scary when you realize that if I took the nutrition labels literally, I would have concluded that 2 cups of edamame pods had the same caloric value as my favorite candy bar (Heath or Skor bar, at about 220 calories for a 1.75 to 2 ounce bar). If I had chosen the candy bar, I would have gotten 50% more calories than I anticipated (220 calories of candy versus 150 calories of edamame).

I now know the candy bar makes me a lot hungrier than the edamame, but it's still annoying that I could be overestimating calories by as much as 33%.

It's one of the reasons I did switch to exchange plan dieting, because I was less likely to think that a 50 calorie oreo was a better choice than a 70 calorie apple (which as it turns out may not even contain 70 calories of useable calories).

I'm getting off-track, but I think it shows how easy it is to not realize what you are and aren't getting in your food choices.

Dieting isn't rocket science - it's a whole lot more complicated.

graterandy
09-08-2011, 05:06 AM
oh. wow. WHAT. this is a revelation. fiber is counted in caloric content? how many calories are in a gram of fiber? I thought there couldn't be any, because we don't absorb fiber. that's...so confusing. I eat high-fiber cereals often (oatmeal, shredded wheat) so this could change everything.

bargoo
09-08-2011, 09:14 AM
Aishah, I am going to ask again, what is the name of this diet? I see you mention going to a center, what center ?

Aishah
09-08-2011, 02:46 PM
Aishah, I am going to ask again, what is the name of this diet? I see you mention going to a center, what center ?


I go to Quick Weight Loss Center.
I did weigh in today and nothing lost since Tuesday. It's TOM for me right now. I did have a chat about what I'm eating and calories and I was told that I'm eating fine. That I'm on a chemically balanced diet and I'm eating enough food and the right kind of foods to give my body energy and nutrients. They looked in detail at my food journals and said I was doing great. I made sure to ask about calories and they said I'm doing great.

kaplods
09-08-2011, 10:24 PM
oh. wow. WHAT. this is a revelation. fiber is counted in caloric content? how many calories are in a gram of fiber? I thought there couldn't be any, because we don't absorb fiber. that's...so confusing. I eat high-fiber cereals often (oatmeal, shredded wheat) so this could change everything.


Fiber is a type of carbohydrate, and like all carbohydrates, technically contain 4 calories per gram. That's how you can "double check the math" on a nutrition label (if you care to).

If there's no fiber, or very little fiber in a food, then there's really no need to check the math. I don't bother if there's 2g or less of fiber (because at most I'm going to be eating 8 calories less than you think you are).

But if the food does contain a lot of fiber, I will sometimes double check the math.

(remember 1g of fat = 9 calories, 1g of protein or carbohydrates = 4 calories)

Just an example let's assume you see these values on food label


1g fat (9 calories)
15g carbohydrates (the fiber are included in this number - 60 calories)
10g fiber (this means 40 of the carb calories "don't count.")
1g protein (4 calories)

The calorie content listed on the label is going to be around 73 calories or 33 calories. By doing the math, you can tell whether the manufacturer or calorie counting source is counting the fiber.


A lot of people just take the calorie count given, because they figure the number reflects "worst case scenario." They'd rather overestimate their calorie intake than underestimate it.

And that's a valid choice if you're eating in the mid-range of a healthy calorie level - but if you're eating at the very low-end, perhaps even into starvation or malnourishment calorie levels, it's really important not to overestimate.

I eat at the generous end (1500 - 1900 calories), so when I double check the math, it's usually out of curiosity rather than necessity. If I were eating less than 1200 calories, I'd want to be more precise.

canadianwoman
09-09-2011, 12:37 AM
I did have a chat about what I'm eating and calories and I was told that I'm eating fine. That I'm on a chemically balanced diet and I'm eating enough food and the right kind of foods to give my body energy and nutrients. They looked in detail at my food journals and said I was doing great. I made sure to ask about calories and they said I'm doing great.

Of course they will tell you that. They are running a business and they want you to continue to buy thier shakes, bars, soups, potions and supplements.

A chemically balanced diet??? That is a new one...never heard that before. LOL.

kaplods
09-09-2011, 02:42 AM
I go to Quick Weight Loss Center.
I did weigh in today and nothing lost since Tuesday. It's TOM for me right now. I did have a chat about what I'm eating and calories and I was told that I'm eating fine. That I'm on a chemically balanced diet and I'm eating enough food and the right kind of foods to give my body energy and nutrients. They looked in detail at my food journals and said I was doing great. I made sure to ask about calories and they said I'm doing great.

Of course they will tell you that. They are running a business and they want you to continue to buy thier shakes, bars, soups, potions and supplements.

A chemically balanced diet??? That is a new one...never heard that before. LOL.


Unfortunately, when it comes to weight loss science, we're still in the dark-ages.

I'm sure your counselors do believe they're telling the truth, but their paychecks can cloud their judgement. They have just as much incentive as you do to believe what they're saying.

We have a culture in which being overweight is almost seen as a fate worse than death, so the risks often don't seem all that important, to the point that often even the people who know the risks (whether they're the patient or the health professional) are willing to ignore them or dismiss them.

I had decided against weight loss surgery, for example because of health issues that put me at much higher risk for complications including death. For one, I'm very prone to sodium deficiecy/depletion (which puts me at risk for sudden death from cardiac arrest). Even on a healthy diet, with a daily vitamin supplement, I'm prone to vitamin deficiency (my doctor doesn't know why). I have a history of being extremely prone to staph infection (making any surgery a greater-than-normal risk), and I have an autoimmune and inflammatory disease of the connective tissue that is likely to put me at extreme risk for complications with either lapband or bypass surgeries.

I went to a new rheumatologist a few years ago, who told me that I would never lose any weight without wls, and that he wouldn't treat me unless I agreed to wls. I told him that my gp and I had decided that I was not a good candidate for surgery because of my added risk factors and explained them, and this doctor dismissed my concerns. He said he wasn't worried about the risks (it wasn't his life on the line) and that we could find a surgeon "willing to perform the surgery," (again the surgeon wouldn't be taking the risks, I would).

I've had doctors recommend crazy diets - probably because doctors get virtually no training in nutrition.


When it comes to crash dieting, so many of the risks are long-term. Most people can get away with one or two crash diets, even a dozen or two, without any obvious ill-effects. The damage is cumulative (and/or psychological), so it's often invisible until a person has been overweight for so long, that people can say "it's not the diet, it's the fat." Except that there's some compelling evidence that overweight people who do not have the crash dieting history, have fewer of these chronic health problems.


You may be able to continue on with your diet as planned, and may even get to your goal weight, with no apparent ill effects. I can't tell you that you WILL experience any of the horrible side effects and long-term results that I did, but I also can't tell you that you won't. I can't even tell you that you won't experience worse.

About a year or two ago, I read a story of a woman who died of a sudden heart attack just a day or two before her wedding. She was a beautiful woman who had only had maybe 30 lbs to lose, so she joined a very strict diet plan, and was going to the gym every day, and was drinking about a gallon and a half of water a day. To lose the last few pounds, she had upped her gym routine.

In the article I read, a doctor was interviewed (I don't remember if it was actually her doctor) and asked to speculate on cause of death (an autopsy had not yet been done), and the interviewed doctor had several theories. One that the woman had been exercising too much and drinking too much water and had died of hyponatremia (dangerously low sodium levels, sometimes called water poisoning, because drinking too much water is one of the most common ways this occurs, as the water "washes" sodium out of the body). Another theory was that she had a cardiac defect that had not been diagnosed. Another theory was that the crash dieting had been the primary cause.

There are so many possible underlying issues, that it's impossible to tell what could have been the primary cause. Was it the water, the exercise, the calorie restriction an underlying undiagnosed heart condition?


We just don't know enough. We know that crash diets increase the risk for both short-term and long-term (and both severe and merely inconvenient) health issues, but we don't know how to predict the risks, and who they will affect.

You probably won't have a serious health issue from one short, crash diet - just as you probably won't get lung-cancer from one puff of one cigarette. Unfortunately though doctors can't tell you how many cigarettes are safe (or if there is ever a safe amount), and they can't tell you how long or how many times crash dieting might be safe.

For people who feel that being fat is a fate worse than death, it doesn't matter, because to them any risk is worth taking just for the hope and possibility of weight loss.

And that is why I think so many of the risks of weight loss methods are often unexplored. It's as if most of us don't care. The promise of weight loss obscures everything else, because we think that obesity is so horrible that the risks don't matter (and maybe that would be a legitimate thought if most of those weight loss methods didn't contribute more to obesity than to weight loss).

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best luck.