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Calorie Intake Question

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Old 09-05-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
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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?
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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Thank you for the help SC Vitamin C! =)
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:51 AM   #7
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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.

Last edited by Aishah : 09-07-2011 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:04 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:15 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianwoman View Post
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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aishah View Post
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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:52 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:58 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:38 PM   #14
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I am curious about this diet, does it have a name? is there a book descrbing it ? Where did you find it ?
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:44 PM   #15
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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.
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