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Another dumb question about calories

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Old 03-14-2007, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Another dumb question about calories

How many calories does our body need? I'm not talking about something stupid like 6-900/day. The only time I've done that is when prepping for some medical exams and it can't be avoided for that 1 day.

I'm talking about 1200/day and exercising 4 - 600 away. Is that putting undue stress on things like my heart, kidneys, liver, etc? I've noticed that weight loss has slowed down but I'm losing inches. I'm assuming the slowness in weight loss is due to the fact that my muscles are beating my fat into submission and muscle weighs more than fat.

I haven't made a big effort to increase my calories because I'm not hungry. If I eat 1400+ one day, I'm not worried because it is something I'd planned and/or wanted to eat. Most days I'm around 1200.
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:57 PM   #2
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It sounds like you are paying attention to your body's demands, and it (your body) is perfectly OK with 1200. I know all the charts I've ever seen tell you not to go below 1200. As far as stress to your body goes, I don't know. Do you feel stressed? HTH. Maybe some Really Smart Person will come along and answer you re: stress to your body.
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by booskibabe View Post
It sounds like you are paying attention to your body's demands, and it (your body) is perfectly OK with 1200. I know all the charts I've ever seen tell you not to go below 1200. As far as stress to your body goes, I don't know. Do you feel stressed? HTH. Maybe some Really Smart Person will come along and answer you re: stress to your body.
Thanks. You made me laugh with the "Really Smart Person" comment.

I'm not concerned about going below 1200 I'm wondering if working off 500+ calories is the right thing to do.
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cbmare View Post
I've noticed that weight loss has slowed down but I'm losing inches. I'm assuming the slowness in weight loss is due to the fact that my muscles are beating my fat into submission and muscle weighs more than fat.
If your weight loss has slowed down you might consider raising your calories or zigzagging them. 1200 is pretty low. I don't know how much you weigh, though, and that's a big factor. If you're burning 500 calories a day, your body probably needs more fuel and it might be rebelling in a sense. We often think we're gaining muscle from exercise and that's why the scale won't move, but I've heard several times that your body can't possibly physically add more than one or two pounds of muscle a month, so that might not be it in the long term. If you track your trends and you don't see the scale moving downward overall, consider upping your calories.

I eat between 1500 and 1800 most days, and I started out higher than that. I burn quite a few calories through exercise, but I didn't always work out this hard. I've lost 79 pounds and it's been pretty consistent weight loss on the scale and changes in measurements as well (1-2 pound losses most weeks since July, with a few zero weeks and a few where I lost more than 2, and only one week when I had a gain of 2). If I dropped to 1200, I might lose more weight for a week or two and then my body would probably freak out and beg for more, especially with the calories I burn.

If you zigzag, you could still do 1200 days and then mix in some 1500 days or maybe even higher to keep your body guessing. Our bodies are so weird when it comes to this stuff -- they get used to one thing and you stop seeing the scale move. But definitely....definitely, definitely, definitely, make sure you're getting enough fuel for your workouts.
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:21 PM   #5
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Thanks. I've been wondering about zigzagging them. I've only been truly serious about this for a little over a month. I'm going to give it some time. Last week I lost 1/2 lb. However, the week before I lost 2. I know I can't see a consistant loss every week. That said, last week I lost several overall inches so that tells me something is working.

I'm really just concerned about not doing any more damage to my organs than just plain ole aging does to them.
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