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Undereating... anyone else have this problem?

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Old 06-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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Question Undereating... anyone else have this problem?

I've been calorie counting for 6 weeks now, have lost 17lbs so far, but I'm finding it hard to eat "up to" my 1200-1300 calories most days. I'm walking daily and doing a 2 mile express Leslie Sansone DVD which I put my all into and work up a sweat. I'm eating healthy food, lots of fruits/vegies, etc.. I'm at 793cals for today and I've already had my dinner.

I just don't seem to have much of an appetite since I've been cal counting.. And all my cravings for junk are long gone..

Think this is ok? Or should I be trying to find a way to get in more calories?

Thanks for any help...

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Old 06-25-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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I'll be interested in what others have to say.
I'm having the same problem - eating healthy - but not quite enough.
I'm supposed to be eating 1200 -1600 cals. per day and some days I don't make 1200.
Today I only made 1140 and I'm done with the day.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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it is my understanding that you should. I know it seems odd to eat when you don't feel hungry, after all, it was uncontrolled eating that got us (me) here in the first place; but if you don't eat enough, your body gets anxious and thinks starvation's coming, and you find weight loss stalls. I lose at 1500, I stall at 1200, and I don't take the exercise you do.

I've read advice here suggesting adding nuts and dried fruit, for example, into meals, which will boost calories without adding bulk.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:50 PM   #4
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If you are worried about it, have small, calorie-dense additions to get those cals up by a couple hundred. EVOO, raisins, nuts, nut butters, etc.. Only takes a small amount of those to bring your calories up to target.

I don't like to eat when I'm not hungry, but using those products with my regular meals is easy.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:10 PM   #5
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A good way to work around this is to plan your eating each day--so that you can divide up your calories ahead of time and know what you'll be getting at each meal and snack. That way you won't end up with a big deficit at the end of the day.

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Old 06-25-2009, 07:31 PM   #6
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I have this problem too. I found that most of my calories were junk. Without it, I don't eat many calories. I think it is important to up your calories. That way when you stall later on in your weight loss, you can cut calories if you need too-- at least you have that option. As others have said, ad a little more olive oil when you cook, more nut butter, more dried fruit. Guacamole is a great snack too.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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I have this exact same problem. It's never stalled my weight loss, but I've fallen off the wagon EVERY time. Some days I would only get 500 calories, some days I might get 700, some days 1000, then on a binge day I would eat 3000 or more. Then I'd have a week full of binge days. That's why I'm still up here, hovering around 200lbs, looking down at my goal from a looooong way off.
Now I don't know if this is directly linked to my shortage of calories. I know that the common advice around here is to try to stay around 1200 calories, but everyone's body is different. This time around, I'm getting up around 1000 every day, sometimes going over, sometimes I get all 1700, but it varies from day to day and I'm losing at a nice rate. Not the 3 lbs a day I would lose when only eating 600 calories, but I'm glad for that, because I really really want to stick to it this time. But I totally understand how calorie counting can make you eat way under. When I start watching what I'm eating, I watch it very closely. It's as if, once I'm made aware of how many calories I'm actually consuming, I become hyperaware, and restrict more than I should without making any effort to do so.
It's mostly still a mystery to me
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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I can relate to this also.

I have crash dieted many a time (Bad I know, and absolutely not advertising it) and lost a lot of weight (Eating mostly around 700-800cal) However whenever I did this I kept up high intensity exercise, which maybe kept my weight loss steady. I've just never seen my body hold onto weight because I've been undereating. Any reason for this?

Back to the original post though, adding some higher cal foods into your meals would benefit in the long run, you may find after a while only eating this amount leads you to feel very hungry and eat the wrong foods, or you just lack energy or even develop a complex to eating more calories, since you've lost weight in this way.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:01 PM   #9
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I don't have that problem LOL. I try to keep it between 1200 to 1300 but I always end up eating about 1400~ish. It's always hard to eat healthy foods and still take up all of your calorie count. The best way is to make a list of healthy foods that has a good dose of calores. Try adding these foods into your diet:

Avocado - about 320 calories
Almonds - about 105 calories for 15
Olive Oil - 120 calories for 1 tbsp
Protein shake - 120 calories for whey protein and 90 for a cup of fat-free milk
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serendipity907 View Post
I've just never seen my body hold onto weight because I've been undereating. Any reason for this?
This is the same with me... i've lost steadily since the day I started really... 6 weeks and the only time I stall is when it's my TOM and then I drop 2-3lbs right after... I went back over the last 6 weeks to see how many days I have actually hit the 1200 mark, and honestly, its been few & far between.

Thanks for the suggestions ladies.. I can't have nuts at all, but the dried fruit I could try..
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:14 PM   #11
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I think you should try adding in a few more servings of fruit/veggies (1 cup butternut squash = 80 calories!) or almonds, peanut butter, etc. Even if you're not necessarily stalling now, you're getting your body used to an unsustainable level of calories. Can you see yourself eating 800 calories/day for the rest of your life? A lot of maintainers on this board say that the way they eat now is almost exactly how they ate when they were losing, maybe an extra 100-200 cals/day or a treat meal once in a while, so it seems like the best way to lose weight is in a manner that you can sustain for the rest of your life. You also don't want to risk depriving your body of enough nutrients or making yourself susceptible to binging eventually, after your body realizes its not getting enough food.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serendipity907
I've just never seen my body hold onto weight because I've been undereating. Any reason for this?
Well, if you eat really low, and exercise really a lot, then sure, you'll override any ability your body has to hold on to reserves. That's called starving. Never mind "starvation mode"--this is literally starving.

Here's the catch: You're not just losing fat, which is what you set out to do. The reason is that the brain can only use glucose as fuel, and it has number one priority. So--you haven't eaten and you're doing intense exercise. Your body is trying as hard as it can to hold on, but must feed the brain, and the only way to do that is to convert everything else, mostly protein, into glucose. So your muscles start to break down--also your organs--your bones--your hair may begin to fall out. Your period stops.

Please note that you can do permanent damage to your body this way.

Those folks who have fallen into this behavioral trap--you may want to seek counseling with a therapist who's trained in food issues. This is not a case where eating less and exercising more is a good thing--it's a path to disaster.

Jay
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:44 PM   #13
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Thank-you for your help ladies... I'm not eating that low on purpose, it just ends up that way kwim? Then at night I'm not hungry.. But I'm going to try really hard to up my cals... I really don't want to damage my body in any way, shape, or form.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
and exercise really a lot, then sure, you'll override any ability your body has to hold on to reserves.
Jay hit the nail on the head. For "starvation mode" there literally has to be zero exercise involved. An extremely sedentary lifestyle coupled with lower cal. Even though I was known to eat a candy bar and lots of other bad foods from time to time, most of the time the only thing I put into my body before 2 PM was 2 cups of coffee. Sometimes I would have a sandwich or something for lunch, usually peanut butter and jelly. Maybe 350 calories there? And A LOT of times after that coffee I wouldn't even eat until 4PM. If I did happen to wait that long, that 4PM meal would be like lunch and dinner all in one and I wouldn't eat anything else for the night and do it all over again the next day. And those meals are still the same meals I am cooking now, but miraculously losing weight with. Chicken, 2 veggies and bread. Or spaghetti, usually turkey for the meat. Sometimes rice with chicken. I figure with one of those meals, I was probably getting anywhere between 500-1000 calories. If you add in the sometimes PBJ, I didn't even hit 1400 some days. But this is how I was eating. With no exercise. Just laying around the house doing nothing. The weight just stalled.

I have noticed there has been a lot of confusion lately with the term starvation mode as opposed to actually starving. I don't really know who coined the term, I am supposing some fitness guru or possibly a scientist, who knows. But I think "reserve mode" would have been more befitting and would better explain it.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:19 PM   #15
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I want to go to there...
I exercise and am RAVENOUS ALL. THE. TIME. It is super-hard.
I have read that with alot of exercise, appetite naturally decreases. This is what Bikram Yoga Teachers go through during training. If you read their blogs, they completely lose their appetites about 1/3 of the way through their course. And they are doing alot of exercise.
The Instructors there are really really forceful with the students in training to make sure that they EAT so they can replenish their energy and nutrient levels. This is the most important thing for them.

So, you need to get enough food in to replenish your glycogen stores (for energy) and your nutrients. I'm not a calorie counter, so I don't know what you should do or if you should tweak your program. I'd watch the scales to see what happens.

ALSO, from my personal experience, you CAN go into starvation mode even IF you are exercising. I was on a doctor-supervised very low calorie diet. I was down to 452 calories a day. LITERALLY. 452 calories. I was also power-walking 7 miles a day (3.5 miles each way to the clinic and back), 5 days a week. And my weight loss STOPPED for a period of 6 weeks. 6 WEEKS!!! I stopped the program and upped my calories (and regained all the weight back ) So it CAN happen.

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