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The Biggest Loser - Winning by Losing For discussion of the NBC tv show The Biggest Loser and the book Winning by Losing, by Jillian Michaels

Plan followed by families on 'Losing It'

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:44 AM   #1
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I just read an interview on-line that was done with Jillian Michaels and one of the questions was what specific plan she used with the families on "Losing It". She said that for the women, she restricted their caloric intake to 1200 calories a day and required a 3,500 calorie burn each day. With the men, it was a 1600 calorie limit and a 4,500 calorie burn each day. No wonder these individuals are losing so much weight so quickly! That can't be good, right? 1,200 calories is SO low, especially for a woman over 175 lbs. I believe my BMR is 1,900, which is the basic calorie burn if I laid in bed all day. I've read that you're not supposed to go below that. What are your thoughts?

I just read an interview on-line that was done with Jillian Michaels and one of the questions was what specific plan she used with the families on "Losing It". She said that for the women, she restricted their caloric intake to 1200 calories a day and required a 3,500 calorie burn each day. With the men, it was a 1600 calorie limit and a 4,500 calorie burn each day. No wonder these individuals are losing so much weight so quickly! That can't be good, right? 1,200 calories is SO low, especially for a woman over 175 lbs. I believe my BMR is 1,900, which is the basic calorie burn if I laid in bed all day. I've read that you're not supposed to go below that. What are your thoughts?

Last edited by nelie : 06-24-2010 at 11:57 AM. Reason: duplicates
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:12 AM   #2
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Default Plan followed by families on "Losing It with Jillian Michaels">>>

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Old 06-24-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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a 3500 calorie burn?! Does that sound crazy to anyone else?
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:51 AM   #4
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I recently lost 120 lbs in a year, and I did that by lowering my calorie intake to 1200. These days, I only consume about 1,500 per day. I've managed to maintain my weight for 6 months now, so I think it just depends on your body. The calorie advice was given to me by my personal trainer. My goal was to burn twice as many calories as I ate on a daily basis. It was hard, but even now I get full a lot faster, and I'm 100% healthy. I'm even 3.5 months pregnant with a healthy weight gain of 2 lbs for our first trimester!

But in my opinion, Jillian is NUTS!
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:54 AM   #5
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I have never seen the show before, but I do have some thoughts regarding the 1,200 calorie intake.

Everyone is a bit different when it comes to their calorie intake.

Personally for myself at 240 pounds I'm having around 1229 calories per day and it has been working out wonderfully for me. In the past I have tried to start out higher then that (I have tried 2,000, 1,800, 1,600 and 1,500 calories per day in the past. ) but the weight just wont come off if I deviate from the 1,200 mark too much.

My mother is the same way when it comes to calorie intakes, and is the reason that certain plans like weight watchers, jenny Craig, etc. just wont work for us even after a month of staying 100% on track.

I think that one of the biggest concerns about dropping your calories that low is that you may not be getting the proper nutrients and vitamins and may be heading down a path to malnutrition. I found that if I'm smart about what I eat, I'm still getting a lot more vitamins/nutrients then I was before.

On another note, Loosing weight too quickly can be dangerous for your body. This is another aspect that has been debated. You can find evidence to support that it is bad for you and that its not. I believe it is dangerous to your body, and I have always believed the faster you loose the weight, the faster you can gain it back

So in all, I believe if you make those 1200 calories count and get enough vitamins/minerals, without feeling starved, and without losing it too quickly and its working for you, it is okay. But I would say that is the lowest I would ever suggest a person go for calories.

Everyone is different when it comes to calorie intake, when I was eating 1,800 calories per day for 3 full weeks (making smart choices, and not going over that amount) I actually gained 6 pounds by the end of the 3 weeks
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:06 AM   #6
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When I first started this time my doctor (a weight loss specialist) wanted me on a 1200 calorie/day diet and I was bumping up against 300 pounds, so I think that it is probably a safe calorie level.

I just wonder if they could go from 3000 (or more) calories a day down to 1200 and stick with it. It certainly can be done because I know there are some people here who have done it. Lori Bell comes to mind. But I did not take my doctor's original 1200 calories a day recommendation because I knew myself. I had started 1200 calorie/day diet many times and quit after a week or two, so I started at 1800 calories and then gradually lowered my calories. I am at 1200 now and think that I can stay here forever, if need be. I had to learn how to like the types of foods that make 1200 calories/day sustainable. But that is for me, we all have to find what works for us.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:09 AM   #7
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3500 calorie burn? I'm assuming basal is included in that? So how many hours of cardio does that represent? That is usually the problem. Most of us don't have hours and hours to work out.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
That can't be good, right? 1,200 calories is SO low, especially for a woman over 175 lbs. I believe my BMR is 1,900, which is the basic calorie burn if I laid in bed all day. I've read that you're not supposed to go below that. What are your thoughts?
We talk about this a lot around here.

As far as your BMR being 1900 - is that what you've read you're not supposed to go under? Because if it is, I believe you've read incorrect information.

And 1200 calories, provided they are NUTRIENT rich, no junk, no empty calories - is PLENTY, it's not so low at all. Many folks do well on it, others not so much.

BUT most people CAN lose weight consuming more calories. A good place to start is 1400 - 1600 calories, and you can decrease them as you get lighter. You have to do what you think would set yourself up the most for success. And luckily if you find that it's NOT working for you, or you're not willing to make it work, you can switch it up. Trial and error. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:25 AM   #9
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I'm ok with the number of calories for the eating, but the burn numbers seem excessive to me.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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I've even read recent research that says we could safely consume as little as 1050 calories a day....provided they are nutrient rich calories.

Before I went on-plan, I ate tons of processed foods, tons of sugar, almost zero vegetables....an occasional can of diced tomatoes in something....and tons of unhealthy saturated fats. In my opinion, I was malnourished. Today, I eat anywhere between 1200-1500 calories a day. I'm never hungry and I feel better than I have in years.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:39 AM   #11
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I would fall over and die on 1200 calories a day, seriously. At that level, I become unable to exercise or even to really function well at all for the activities of daily life. My sleep goes to ****, I barely move, and I'm cranky all the time. It is Not Good for me.

I'm at 1800 calories average per day right now (with a range of 1650 to 2400 over the week) and even that is very difficult for me. I lose weight like a champ at this level; 5.5 pounds so far this month. But it's not fun. Tons of hunger. TONS of hunger. And weakness in my workouts, and increased difficulty sleeping.

I simply hate blanket recommendations. And I don't think Jillian's approach is sustainable for most people--not just due to the calorie level, but because no one can "bootcamp" for the rest of their life.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddc View Post
I'm ok with the number of calories for the eating, but the burn numbers seem excessive to me.
I'm ok with the burn, but the intake seems excessively low to me!

The burn includes basic metabolic, not on top of it. It's a lot of exercise, but I quite regularly get my total burn in the 3000 calorie range and I am a lot smaller. But I couldnt eat that little while doing it.

I'm bored with the show already, very formulaic. Oh and what a surprise, Jillian gave them $50K
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:17 PM   #13
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I agree with some of the posters. The 1,200 is way too low for me. I suppose I'm fortunate that I can lose weight on 1900-2100 calories. I've been wearing my BodyMedia Fit (like the BodyBugg) and even on the days I don't exercise, I burn about 3,000 calories. On my workout days, I'm between 3,500-3,800 calories. The burn doesn't seem too much, especially for those ladies, as I believe most/all were well over 200 lbs to start off. If this was the burn requirement for a woman closer to her goal weight, that would be way too much.

I suppose our bodies are all different, in terms of what works. Though I have always struggled with my weight, I have always worked out, so I must have a good amount of muscle mass, which helps with the calorie burn.

I don't think I could function on 1,200 calories, even nutrient-rich calories. I know I also will have to decrease my overall calories as I lose weight, so I don't want to start off too low and have no where to go.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts!
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:27 PM   #14
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How.... do you burn 3500 calories a day through exercise alone?? Especially without hurting yourself?
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:29 PM   #15
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I am at a 1300-1400 calorie intake, but don't know my burn at the moment. IT's working for me with a healthy 1-2lb loss.

However, if I were to do 1200 w/ a burn of 3500...i can tell you this...

I would be a complete Bi#*@CH!! LOL!
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