Weight Loss Support - Low blood sugar grouchiness

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02-05-2013, 06:56 PM
I am rediscovering something that I already knew, but that hadn't happened to me for a long time, possible because I haven't done the yoyo dieting thing in a bit.

When I eat 1200 calories a day, I am SO GROUCHY by dinner. I feel like I could throw a toddler-style kicking and screaming tantrum and I tear up about things like "this building is too tall". And then I turn to my diet and say "YOU did this to me!". And then I decide the solution is to eat everything that exists because that'll show 'em, that'll show 'em all.

Obviously this is a problem. But I don't know how to solve it. I've never lost weight on more than 1200 calories a day, I'm not productive like this, and it is a major temptation to throw in the towel every time.

Are there some foods you've found that keep this sort of thing at bay, if this is a problem you have?

02-05-2013, 08:15 PM
I eat between 1200 and 1300 calories a day, and I find lots of protein and lowish carbs keep me going. I try not to eat anything processed or refined except the occasional microwave meal or vita muffin.

02-05-2013, 08:35 PM
i have exactly the same problem and to me also protein and things with fiber help a lot but if i eat fruit or even a whole wheat cookie or coffee i become even more hungry than before.

02-05-2013, 08:46 PM
My first question is, why do you think it's low blood sugar? Have you tested it or do you just feel grouchy and you're assuming it's your blood sugar? Unless you have a pre-existing BS issue, 1200 calories shouldn't do that to you.

It's very possible that you're grouchy because you're feeling deprived and put out and simply in a bad mood over it. Constantly having to say no to yourself will do that to even the most easy going person.

I lost my weight on 1200 a day and found that getting the most possible volume for my calorie budget was the key. Stick to lean protein, vegis and a little fruit and you get plenty of food and I found that my attitude was a lot better. Start working in processed carbs or a lot of grains or dairy and all of a sudden you're out of calories and you're still starving.

02-05-2013, 08:58 PM
I was going to ask the same question as Robin41... Are you sure it's actually low blood sugar causing the issue?

02-05-2013, 09:10 PM
I'm shorter than you and can lose on more than 1200 calories a day. Are you sure it's not what you're eating rather than how many calories you're eating?

Fat at every meal and snack makes my blood sugar much more stable. I know exactly the crash you're talking about, and if I limit carbs to 100-150 grams/day and make sure to eat fat and protein then I don't have that issue.

02-05-2013, 09:16 PM
Try focusing more on protein and fiber as others have suggested. Don't completely eliminate fat, it can be responsible for your bad mood. Your brain can't function without fat. Or simply try to find foods that are more filling

If that doesn't work, maybe you need to up your calories. You can try upping and then slowly start cutting again. Maybe you'll get used to eating less. If not, just eat more! It'll take longer to lose weight, but you won't torture yourself. Plus, nobody can guarantee how long it will take you to lose weight, anyway. Good luck!

02-06-2013, 12:02 AM
I've never lost weight on more than 1200 calories a day

Have you tried eating 1,500 cals per day and exercising 4-5 times per week, for several months at a time? Unless you have documented metabolic issues (such as hypothyroid), I'll bet you could lose weight on that regimen.


02-06-2013, 12:35 AM
Yeah, I would 'guess' that you were using a lot of 'diet' foods or fake/processed stuff.

Obviously that could be totally wrong, but I know when I drink diet soda (even though it is technically zero calorie), it creates the worse cravings and the same goes for other diet foods.

They are triggers for me. I even use real butter and sugar now.

02-06-2013, 12:44 AM
I think it is blood sugar based on the timing. I have for a long time seemed to have pretty sensitive blood sugar; I get severely down in the dumps after exercising or if I suddenly begin eating less than I have been, and it feels like the sort of mood swings you get with a fever or something, not like legitimate feelings.

Thank you about fat/protein! The problem I have with fat is that it is definitely kind of a trigger thing for me. Sugar kills my appetite, but fat brings it back with a vengeance. But I'll try using diet soda instead of fruit salad or something. So far as fiber, I actually try to avoid vegetables as a major part of meals when I'm dieting because they consistently make me hungrier. But I can definitely have oatmeal for lunch.

For some time I exercised 4-5 hours a day 5 days a week and then 2 on Saturday, (I was a hardcore fencer and jogged in the morning) and I did lose a lot of weight then, but I also ate less than 1200 calories a day. And I have a very hard time exercising that much or even, to be honest, at all without a team sport practice to keep me going. Generally when I exercise 30 minutes a day, which I try to do when I try to lose weight, my weight loss seems to slow and stop if I'm eating 1400 calories a day on average (Pattern goes: First week one pound, second two weeks half a pound each, third week nothing, fourth week nothing at which point I have usually historically thrown in the towel). It's possible it would work out long-term if I stuck with it and that this is just a temporary stall that I'm seeing. I'm going to try to be more patient this time. Nonetheless, I'd rather up my fiber intake or something first before upping my calories.

Anyway, thank you all!

02-06-2013, 07:28 AM
By fat I don't necessarily mean "eat something fatty". More like, if you're eating water with white paint in it and calling it healthy 0% milk, stop. Get full fat milk. It's about 50 extra calories but it does help your mood unlike sugar. Sugar will give you a quick high and then a low and that's what you're trying to avoid, right?

Vegetables have so little calories that you only rely on volume to stay full and it doesn't last long for me, either. But some protein with them will certainly help. I know that eating 155 calories worth of protein and veggies keeps me fuller much longer than 300 calories worth of carbs. And one steak or half a chicken breast with salad on the side is definitely filling.

02-06-2013, 09:44 AM
I know every person is different but I'll tell you MY experience.

I've fought to eat basically as little as possible for long periods throughout my weight loss, 1200 being of course the "magic number" of low-ness. I'm a HANGRY (hungry + angry) BEAST when I eat at that calorie level, yet I'd do it anyway.

I've recently entered maintenance and have been maintaing on around 2300 calories a day. MAINTAINING under 140 pounds at 5'6" with that many calories. It's unbelievable to me! 1200 calories at THIS weight (much less at the much higher weight I started from) that would put me in a 1000+ calorie deficit, that's huge! No wonder I was cranky! I was legitamately HUNGRY! I tried to tell myself it was in my head and that it was emotional or whatever, but no it was actual real stomach gnawing hunger, especially with my activity level (2 very small children, plus any workouts I did). I can't even imagine the deficit I created when I was around 200 pounds, just unreal. It's a wonder no one was physically attacked in my fits of rage.

Just saying, it's worth a good try to attempt higher calories. A person shouldn't have to choose losing weight OR feeling good.

02-06-2013, 02:07 PM
Yeah, OP sounds like it's hunger. Try 1400 or even 1600 but watch your macros and eat things like steaks and gigantic piles of vegetables.

It's different for everyone but diet-binge is a veeeeeeeeery common occurrence. A while back I tried eating < 1400 to lose with low protein/low fat and I developed a binge eating problem that took months to go away. Like I'd get a little hungrier every day and by Thursday night it was a miracle if I didn't snap and eat a whole jar of peanut butter.