Weight Loss Support - how much is too much?

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03-01-2006, 12:59 AM
anyone have an idea how many calories burned in one day is too many? I eat roughly 700 calories/day, and today I burned about 1100 at the gym (based on an estimate for a bodysculpting class and two sessions on the elliptical trainer---170 calories the first session and 700 the second session).

I'm not all that hungry, but I do feel pretty weak, honestly. I was trying to talk to my friends in the car on the way back and I felt like I was so pooped I couldn't even bear to make conversation...

Anyone have any pointers? or any little legal foods to serve as pick-me-ups after crazy work-out sessions at the gym?

03-01-2006, 01:09 AM
just doing normal functions such as breathing, cell growth etc your body burns around 2000 cals a day- depending on your size and metabolism.

so you are really burning over 3000 cals a day and only taking in 500.

thats dangerous! i cant believe you can get the nutrition you need at that cal level.

most weighloss professionals do not suggest limiting your cals below 1200 on a reg basis (and that is at moderate exertion, you would probably need more with all that excercize)

as far as good pick me ups,

peanut butter on celery
luna bar (or whatever you like)

lately i am liking a glass of nf milk and a few peanuts as a good power snack.

i hope you do a bit of reading- i think you are putting your body at risk for health problems!

good luck!

03-01-2006, 01:12 AM
When you are feeling too weak, then you are running low on calories and the feeling is not good. I lost 20 pounds in one month but I felt like crap because I was subsisting on 1000 calories and burning at least 700. The important thing is to eat 1200 or more to keep up the metabolism. I know that one wants to loose the weight as fast as one gained it, but it takes time. Don't risk your health and enjoy dieting because it is stressful as it is.

03-01-2006, 01:14 AM
I should clarify---this diet has been prescribed by a doctor. It's supplemented with an entire artillery of vitamins and my intake (how much protein, how much fruit and veg, etc) is all monitored. As I lose weight, I will increase the number of calories I eat per day, as well. It's just that I've started out pretty low. I go back to the doctor tomorrow for a weigh in, so I'll be sure to ask him then.

I should probably also mention that I don't normally burn 1100 calories per day. Today was an exception, because, just like one day last week, today was a "fat day." I know that I'm getting results from my diet and exercise, but some days it's just hard to FEEL the results, you know? So, i thought if i went to the gym and tried to kill myself, maybe i'd FEEL the results a little more... so, the 1100 calorie thing is a first for me.

03-01-2006, 01:21 AM
Well, I would tell the doctor how your feeling. Having such weakness probably isn't healthy, and the doctor needs to know.

Do you know why the doctor chose this plan for you?

03-01-2006, 01:32 AM
okay phew. i feel better about it now! but if your doc isnt expecting you to do all that excercize then the cals were prob too low for that day.

i agree - if you every feel lethargic try a little snack....

new little snack suggestions
apple (70 ish cals for a med one)
luna bar (180 cals they lowered their sugar and fat too... im a fan)

good luck!
also make sure you mention to your doc that you had a lethargy episode...
he may recommend eating a bit more on days when you do that much excercize

03-01-2006, 07:29 AM
In my opinion you should seek out a new doctor! 700 calories is way too low for someone in a coma - much less for an active person! I hope you seriously consider consulting with other health care professionals on this. It couldn't hurt, and you may find that increasing your calories even helps you lose weight in addition to giving you more energy. You should never feel too tired to talk! :(

03-01-2006, 07:24 PM
aw, thanks! I've never heard TINY (or any derivative thereof) used to describe any picture of me! That picture was taken over the Christmas holidays, and it's probably the most flattering picture of myself that I have. I WISH I were tiny. :)

I talked to the doctor today, and he said that I had over-exercised yesterday. (Not altogether suprising, I suppose, given my emotional state yesterday.) Anyway, he said eat more protein. so I will give that a shot and see how it makes me feel. Hopefully much better! :) Thanks for your help and ideas, everyone!

03-01-2006, 07:38 PM
Whether 700 is too low is arguable...there's a thread on the Maintainer's Forum about starvation diet and MrsJim has maintained a significant amount of weight for ten years, the majority of which she lost on 800 calories a day.

However, I'll bet the reason you didn't feel hungry or deprived is that like many others, cardio suppresses your appetite. If it is just a one time thing that you're burning that many calories I wouldn't worry about it, you'll have up and down days. If you plan to burn more than 600 or 700 calories directly through exercise a day than you may want to consider boosting your calories to 800 or 1000 a day (slowly though, not all at once). If you're normally doing 200-300 calories a day and you're getting enough protein (I think nutritional guidelines are too low on that, at first I aimed for 50g a day but I know a lot of people who aim for 100g a day) than you should be okay. Weakness isn't a good sign, but overdoing it one day out of 365 isn't going to kill you. I'd say if this is a doctor you trust (i.e., not promoting a particular plan but specifically YOUR physician) and you are monitoring your energy, hunger, vitamins, and nutrients you'll be fine.

03-02-2006, 12:37 AM
i dont' feel like there's that much difference, really, between 700 calories and 1000 calories, honestly... i mean, it's one 6 oz piece of chicken. i'm honestly not hungry. so far this is working for me. :(

03-02-2006, 01:26 AM
I agree with the posters, aerotigergirl. Your intake is far too low to be healthy, and you may end up slowing your metabolism to boot. A female should never eat less than 1200 calories a day on a diet.

Good luck!


03-02-2006, 02:02 AM
Sometimes doctors aren't actually the best people to see about recommending diets. They often have outmoded ideas, and lets face it, they have to be a master of all trades, so to speak.

I'm sorry if you feel that we're getting at you, but it's the fact that you reported feeling weak, and not able to hear conversations that worries me. I am not a doctor, or medically trained at all, but that does not seem right to me, and I'm worried about you :)

It's the long term consequences of what you are doing that concern me. In conventional diet plans you start on a higher calorie count, then decrease it as you lose weight. That's what all the major plans do, and what I have done.

That piece of chicken that boosts you to 1 000 calories provides protein and essential minerals that you could be missing out on.

Calories from the food we eat to give us energy is only one side of the story. Food provides our body with nutrients. I understand your on a vitamin regime so possibly not missing out on that score, but it still worries me.

I think we all need to be asking for the credentials of anyone, medical or otherwise, who recommends a dietary regime. I'm the world's most difficult patient, as I won't let my primary care doctor do anything other than prescribe my regular meds without referring me to a specialist, for whatever it is that ails me.

03-02-2006, 12:07 PM
If you restrict your calories too much, you're on your way to developing an eating disorder like I almost did. I, too, heavily restricted my calories for awhile. Not only did I hardly lose any weight, but after awhile I'd binge because I couldn't take it. I had such an obsession with food then and I was recommended to a doctor because my friends were worried about me developing anorexia/bulimia.

Just be careful, we don't want to see you hurt, that's all :)

03-02-2006, 01:28 PM
See, I've been afraid that this was going to happen. I want to come to this forum and be able to share my successes and failures, just like everyone else, but when I talk about the plan I'm on, people think it is dangerous....

I've done a bit of research on my diet, too, and it's not altogether uncommon for people who are moderately to severely obese (BMI>30) to be put on very low calorie diets. It's a short-term thing that has no better or worse results (in maintenance) than any other diet on the market, and it has been shown to reduce cholesterol, risk of diabetes and high blood pressure (which it has already done in my case).

I realize that weight loss is a long term commitment, and that in order to keep the weight that I've lost from creeping back on I have to change my eating and exercising habits. I am aware of this and I am doing it.

I am working very hard at this. I'm eating exactly the amounts of proteins and vegetables and fruits and dairy (down to the calorie) that is reccommended for me, and I exercise at least 6 days a week. I am a very health conscious person and would not stick to a diet that made me feel weird or weak or anything like that on a regular basis. This entire thing has made me really second guess my success so far, and made me feel like it isn't worth anything because I'm not doing it the same way everyone else is.

03-02-2006, 01:34 PM
Wow. I scaled back calories this week to about 1000 a day and burning (through exercise) about 300, and I am already having issues with sleep, concentration and just being cranky. thankfully i have only 2 more days of it.

if i could only eat 700 calories a day i would, well, i dont know what i would do. i hope your doctor is one smart cookie. ooh..a cookie, that sounds good :)

03-02-2006, 02:03 PM
I am sure you are tired of people posting how shocked they are but I have to join the bandwagon. I feel week if I workout too hard on 1200 calories but 700!! Supplements and vitamins are in addition to solid foods not a replacement. Maybe you should talk to a nutritionist who is specifically trained in this type of thing. My doctor did not try to put me on a weight loss plan, he suggested a few things which included seeing a nutritionist.

I am sure this is working for you know but 700 calories/day is killing your metabolism which will eventually kill your weight loss.

I would suggest more protein before you workout. I eat peanuts or a tablespoon of peanut butter before I workout if I cannot eat a full meal.

Good luck!

03-02-2006, 02:07 PM
ok. let's just forget i said anything at all.

i have seen two different nutritionists.

as for losing metabolism, i weight train 3 days a week to promote muscle development, which is related to metabolism. anyone who is dieting at all is slowing down their metabolism, not just me.

03-02-2006, 06:25 PM
This has happened before here. If you ask a question like "how much is too much" and post your feeling weak, what sort of response where you wanting??? For us to say "fine, ignore your body keep going???"

You're preaching to the choir about obesity. My bmi was 45. That's not obese. It's morbidly obese. I have lost weight on 1800 calories, reducing to 1400 now.

I weight train, I do cardio, I swim. I'm not on a diet. This is me, for life, with the odd relaxed day where I don't give a flying houdini about my calories, but keeping a strong watch on my weight forever.

I wasn't crticising your plan, I was just saying that in response to your question and symptoms that I had concerns.

And I'm sorry if you think I'm being inflammatory, but you must have had concerns to post in the first place. If you were so confident in it, you wouldnt need random opinions of people on the internet to validate or otherwise your concerns.

03-02-2006, 07:29 PM
Concerns are normal. In my opinion, the "1200 calorie rule" is not a rule. Yes, you want to eat in a way you can stick with and yes you don't want to develop an easting disorder. It sounds to me aerotigergirl that you are keeping a very close watch on your nutrition. I also suggest everyone who's posted here to read this thread:
That might help answer some of your questions aerotigergirl. I might be the only voice that suggests what you're doing isn't bad, but it sounds like you've thought about it a lot and coming her for support is a good thing. People will always have different opinions about what you are doing right and wrong. I have been criticized in the past for offering advice when a poster saw I had just logged In'n'Out on my Fitday the day before, so everyone is going to have their opinions and depending on TOM might not think your plan is valid. I think for now it sounds like a good plan for you. I wouldn't stick with it for life, but it might be a good way to jump start your loss and get your hunger trained to a lower level, than you can increase as needed later on (unless you seriously plan to eat at 700 calories a day for the rest of your life, in which case you'd eventually have to stop working out in order not to waste away to nothing). Anyways, don't sweat people's opinions on here too much. Your concerns are valid and people are concerned. If you and your doctor are confident in your plan than I think it is a good one.

03-02-2006, 08:02 PM
This entire thing has made me really second guess my success so far, and made me feel like it isn't worth anything because I'm not doing it the same way everyone else is.

aerotigergirl :hug:

There's no right way and wrong way. Well ok, there is LOL But in your case, I think you're being smart about it. It's not like you pulled the diet out of your...well ya know LOL :D A lot of people go on very restricted diets for some immediate damage control (as you said, blood pressure etc). If it wasn't a supervised diet, I'd be pulling out my rolling pin right about now but you're being followed by your doctor so I don't really see a problem.

As for feeling weak after a mega workout session, it has happened to me in the past too. For a while, I though I was training for the Iron Man competition or something. lol But I was sooo tired, Iron Man I wasn't :D I've scaled down to more reasonable workouts and haven't been tired since. I find I also feel weak if I don't drink enough before/during/after my workout or if I work out and haven't eaten in a while.

People will surely be concerned if someone says they are not feeling well on a diet. You talked to your doctor, he offered some advice. So hopefully you will be back to your normal self.

There are a billion ways to lose weight. Low fat, no fat, no carbs, just carbs, surgery, barks and twigs, sauna belts...(rofl! I'm soooo gonna tell people I lost all my weight using one of those when I get to goal. :) :) ) The important thing is that you are comfortable with what you are following and that of course, it's not affecting your health negatively.

03-02-2006, 08:28 PM
kykaree--The concerns I had were clearly posted in my initial message. Weakness after a huge workout session, advice for healthy snacks, etc. I was not seeking validation from "random people on the internet", as I know already how and why my diet (current life choices/relationship with food/new way of living/whatever is the most appropriate way of conveying that I am not doing this as a crash diet for a short-term result) is working. I appreciate everyone's concerns, however, including yours.

Not unlike most people who come to this forum, I was looking for people to relate to (as the people in my life probably don't want to hear about it all the time because they're not going through it with me). Sometimes you find that here, and other times you don't. This time i didn't (at least not in the majority).

03-04-2006, 12:11 PM
aerotigergirl - i've been in the same situation as you...trying to come here for advice and all i got was really no support and a lot of people telling me what i was doing was wrong. it was very discouraging to me...and it hurt because a lot of these people on here seem to support their friends, or long-time posters on this site, but then when it comes to me, i don't get as much support. just telling you what i noticed, and you're not the only one.

i guess i would suggest listening to your doctor, because HE is the one with the degree, and he knows what he's doing. if you've gone to nutritionists and they seem okay with it too, then your plan obviously isn't that bad. obviously lowering your calorie intake will help you lose weight, and then slowly increasing it will help your metabolism and help you maintain. it's good that you're working out, because that ultimately will help your metabolism too.

do what works for you, not what works for other people ;) just because people on here say it's unsafe doesn't mean you have to follow their advice, they're just making suggestions. they haven't done this type of diet before, so they're no experts, as i'm not either. but as long as you're doing it under your doctor's supervision, you should be safe.

03-06-2006, 11:43 AM
ok simply put without *** kissing or being rude-just my opinion

you will loose weight on your diet-for now

you will not be able to keep it up forever, you will get sick and will stop exercising and probably gain most of it back

the only way you will be ok on this diet is maybe a cycle of eating more (but clean) for a few weeks, and then for a week or so do your low calorie diet. That is the only way you might be allright and keep loosing/maintaining the weight.

like i said this is my opinion, but not only-bodybuilders, wrestlers, professional fighters -athletes in general and even those who just want to live a healthy life have the same opinion - eating less and exercising more is not the way to go - it is eating better and exercising that will give you good results

good luck

Misti in Seattle
03-06-2006, 11:28 PM
athletes in general and even those who just want to live a healthy life have the same opinion - eating less and exercising more is not the way to go - it is eating better and exercising that will give you good results

Yes! You would not believe the number of times I get criticized for saying this!! Eating less may make you lose weight... but eating RIGHT makes you healthy!!! :flow2:

03-07-2006, 01:56 AM
I'm no doctor/nutritionist. I'm just a 36 year old woman who restricted/binged for 20 years. I started my first "diet" at 15 years old when I weighed a HUGE 133 lbs. I ended up 35 years old and weighing close to 200 lbs.

What finally worked was giving up my unhealthy eating habits forever and embracing (I mean, completely embracing) the idea of eating for health.

I'm no doctor/nutritionist, I'm just a 36 year old woman who lost 65+ lbs and have kept it off for a year - no restriction, no binging. I ate a ton of healthy food every day, felt wonderful and haven't been sick ONE day since I started in July 2004.

Just based on my own personal experiences, extremely low cal diets are doomed to failure (and I know there are wonderful exceptions). One day, you stop the low cal diet and then what? If you are me, you gain back all the weight and more. If you are me, you gain it back so quickly you get permanent stretch marks on your belly. Low cal/low fat diets also made my hair fall out by the handful.

After nearly 20 years of failure and wondering why I had no will power, thinking I was just genetically destined to be fat, that I was "big boned" and had a slow metabolism and all the other lies I told myself, it still seems like a miracle how easy it was to lose weight when I finally figured out the secret. I quit "dieting" and just started eating as many healthy foods as possible while avoiding foods that were not healthy as much as possible.

I have so much energy. My skin is fabulous. My hair is shiny. Shopping is such a joy, almost everything looks so pretty on. I don't need as much sleep, I quit drowsing off to sleep every afternoon in my office. The transformation is completely amazing - "dieting" never made me feel this way.

03-07-2006, 04:40 AM
here we go again, this is the thread that just refuses to die...

I appreciate everyone's helpful advice. I realize that everyone thinks that their way is best, etc., and I appreciate people worrying about my well-being. However, I've actually thought about all the issues that you're all bringing up, too, and I'm not stupid (i'm a graduate student in Aerospace Engineering, in fact). If I believed that I was doing my body harm or anything of that sort, I would definitely seek out a new plan. I'm in this thing to be healthy, just like you are. I'm looking for weight loss results, just like you are. I am trying really hard, just like you are.

Like I said, I appreciate everyone's concern. But, quite honestly, being told that I'm "doomed to failure" and that I'll "gain it all back" etc. makes me not want to come to 3fc anymore. The whole point here is to support one another, no?

03-07-2006, 05:07 AM
:hug: I've not posted here again, because I think it's all been said. You've thought it all out, you've considered all the issues, and I wish you nothing but good karma and I'll support you 100% and say no more about it. :hug:

And I'll be the first to congratulate you when you get to goal :carrot:

03-07-2006, 01:44 PM
WHOA, WHOA, WHOA THERE!!!!!! :lol:

Everyone take a step back, collect their thoughts, and calm down. Deep cleansing breaths...now doesn't everyone feel better???

Clearly this thread is in need of intervention at this point, and I am glad that it was brought to my attention. I spent the last 20 minutes or so reading through this whole thing...and I do have some opinions. Before I go any further-as the official mediator here, I would first like to say that I think that BOTH sides of this issue have valid points-but I also think both sides are beginning to get a little defensive, and I don't want that here in the Support Forum. If things don't calm down a bit-I will have to go through and clean things up a bit.

I would like everyone to read my opinions on the following, because I am going to be addressing both sides of this issue.

I am sorry that you feel that you have been attacked here at 3FC. I want you to realize that these ladies DO indeed have good intentions, but they have been a bit agressive with them. ;)
When I read your first post-here is what caught my eye-you are feeling very tired and weak on your 700 calorie diet. You also had a very extreme workout that day.
I understand that there are very low calorie diets sometimes done under the supervision of a physician. BUT-this is where the "but" part comes in-they are not usually accompanied by the kind of exercise that you did the day you mentioned. Extremely low calorie diets of 700 calories, while under the supervision of a doctor, usually have mild exercise-20 minutes of walking, or something like that. 700 calories a day, no matter how healthy those 700 calories are-are not enough to sustain you on really heavy exercise. The weakness you experienced afterwards was your body telling you this. While you continue on the 700 calorie level of your doctor's diet-please exercise caution, and do not exercise that extremely on such little calories.

Secondly-I would suggest that you take this diet plan and get a second opinion from a different physician other than the one who prescribed it for you. This is very important. The reason I am saying this is because there is a very good analogy here. Think about your high school graduating class. There was the valedictorian of the class with the highest grade point average, and then there was the handful of students who scraped by, barely passing. This is true with any form of education. Not all doctors are equal. The same goes with hair stylists, mechanics, engineers, and everything else.

Also, my mother is a nurse-and I have been around all of the doctors/nurses/aids at her workplace for years. The same nurse that treats and cares for someone with terminal lung cancer may be lighting up a cigarette on her lunch break. Just because someone has a degree, it doesn't mean we should just assume that what they are saying is okay.

I suggest that you discuss your bouts of tiredness and weakness with your doctor-and suggest maybe upping your calorie intake slightly. Your doctor may feel okay with 700 calories, but your body has been telling you that it is not. :)

What I want you to try and understand, is that the main reason I think that you have been under attack in this thread is not so much because of the calories alone...but because of your reaction to those calories. You have stated that you have felt weak, and then defended your position after there were comments of concern.

I personally don't understand the plan that you are on-starting out at 700 and going up over time. Usually it works the opposite way-because the more you weigh, the more calories your body uses per day. So, a 200 pound woman could start at 1800 and lose, and drop slowly down, 100 calories at a time, every 10 pounds or so, to around 1200 as her weight dropped to continue losing...then once goal is achieved, the calories are slowly added back in the same exact way, until the calorie level is found where you can eat the most without gaining.

To the responders-

The first thing I would like to address is the comments about her photo. It is only a face shot, and it is very difficult with any accuracy to say she is already thin without seeing any of her body.
Body type is a huge key here. Apple shapes carry their weight in their faces and upper bodies, but usually have slim bottoms and legs, hourglasses carry their weight pretty evenly all over, and pear shapes tend to have thinner faces and upper bodies, but carry weight in their hips, buns, and legs.
If you are looking at a face only of a stranger in a photo-you may see someone who you would deem to be on the heavy side. In fact, this woman may be an apple shape, and in reality only be a mere 10 pounds overweight-she just carries those 10 pounds in her face and upper body.
On the contrary-I have a friend who is a pear shape-and she is about 250 pounds. She has a THIN face. No chubby cheeks, no heavy neck. She is tall, and carries all her weight from her waist down. In a shoulders and above photo-she wouldn't look overweight to you at all.
Please do not try to pass judgement by a mere face photo alone. :)

Also-I really do understand all of your concerns. But, with that being said-I think that they can be said without such an attacking manner. I am genuinely suggesting that this beautiful young lady go and get a second opinion on this diet from another physician, and I am also suggesting less exercise on this calorie level, and confronting her current physician about her symptoms of weakness.
What I am not doing-is telling her she is going to gain her weight all back, or that she is going to turn anorexic, or other things. These comments can make a person instantly defensive.

Please take care in any further discussion of this topic. Any more heated comments and I will close the thread.

Thank you,