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Old 06-30-2009, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default Are you eating enough?

For the past few weeks (maybe even a month) I had been struggling through a nasty plateau. My weight would not go down anymore despite the fact that I was eating REALLY well (and definitely eating LESS too) and I was doing lots of exercise. However, now that I look back I realize that my calories were pretty low. I probably wasn't getting more than 1,100 a day, and less on some days. During this time I noticed that I was feeling less hungry and that made NO sense to me at all. I was like, I'm eating so much less and yet I don't feel hungry? What's going on?

Fast forward to 2 days ago, I calculated my BMR online and apparently my body needs at least 1550 calories just to keep my organs alive! I upped my calories to reflect my BMR and finally..... I am breaking through this plateau and my natural hunger signals have returned. I understand now that by eating so little I had slowed my metabolism and my body simply wouldn't drop any weight. SO... If you are currently fighting a plateau and if you are consuming less calories than your BMR, you may want to try increasing the number to reflect what your BMR is. This very well could give your metabolism a much needed boost. Since your BMR is the amount of calories that your body needs just to survive and be healthy, if you consume only that amount each day you will automatically have a calorie deficit (even if you are totally sedentary)!

Now that I know all of this I find it alarming that so many women adopt the 1200 calorie rule.... How can one calorie amount work for every woman (or man)? We have to know how many calories each of us needs in a day and rely on THAT to achieve real, lasting results. In order to keep my own results coming I plan to reduce my calories by 30 each week, in addition to my daily exercise.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:47 PM   #2
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Yay!
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
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so i just read your thread. i then googled my bmr for a more up-to-date number and am starting the same thing tomorrow! i always have to remind myself every few months or so when i hit a plateau to EAT MORE!! haha, wish me luck
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:51 AM   #4
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Very good advice, I had the same thing happen to me.

Remember, 1200 is the LEAST women should consume without doctor supervision, with men it is 1800 so remember that, for the men out there!
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:23 AM   #5
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The same thing just happened to me. I had been eating about 1300 calories and then burning an additional 1000 calories in exercise. I wasn't hungry, but my weight refused to budge (I'm talking 4 months). When I realized I was starving myself I bumped my calories back up to 1500, and dialed back my exercise to 400-500 calories burned per day. I dropped about 3 pounds in two weeks!
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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I'm glad eating more has helped you to end your "plateau". Just a reminder though that throughout the weight loss process your body will have periods of readjustment. It doesn't necessarily mean you are on a "plateau", but that your body is working on another "project" (Like PMS, TOM, cold, Flu etc.). The starvation mode thing is basically a dieters myth especially if you have an abundance of excess body fat. Your body stores fat to be used in time of famine...that is why it is there, to use when you are starving.... If the "starvation mode" myth were 100% true, there would be no starving people...no anorexics, no super models. There would be no skinny people. We would all be fat and eating nothing.

Oh and I feel I must defend my 1200 day 16 month diet plan. 1200 calories a day is a lot of food and MORE than enough vitamins and minerals if you are eating lean meats, veggies, fruit, lowfat milk products and whole grains. If you are eating 12, 100 calorie packs of crap, cartons of "diet" ice cream and sugar free pudding...then no...it sucks.

Last edited by Lori Bell : 07-01-2009 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Bell View Post

Oh and I feel I must defend my 1200 day 16 month diet plan. 1200 calories a day is a lot of food and MORE than enough vitamins and minerals if you are eating lean meats, veggies, fruit, lowfat milk products and whole grains. If you are eating 12, 100 calorie packs of crap, cartons of "diet" ice cream and sugar free pudding...then no...it sucks.
I agree!

I would have never thought 1200 calories a day would be enough for me, but when I started focusing on whole foods I found that you can eat a ton and never feel hungry on about 1200 calories a day. It's totally possible. I still don't think everyone has to eat 1200 calories a day and nothing but whole foods to lose weight. I don't and I am losing fine so far. However if I fall off track for whatever reason, eating nothing but whole foods and 1200 calories a day for a few days is what helps me get BACK on track.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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I just go on personal experience for this one. Someone can tell me over and over that if I up my exercise to X calories and down my calories to Y calories, I'll lose Z amount of weight. And every time, I stop losing weight. Every. Time.

So I think this is a personal journey. I think that there are people who, lucky for them, are fairly linear with respect to weight loss and that the more they exercise, the faster they lose. And my PERSONAL experience shows that the more I exercise, the SLOWER I lose the weight if I keep my calories the same. Now, of course, over time I'll lose weight, for sure. I won't stay at 175lbs indefinitely, for sure.
Let me put it this way:
My last bout with WW was in 1998. I started at 212 lbs. I stuck religiously to my points. I ate some of my Flex points. My exercise schedule was minimal to start with, and I lost quickly -- 2 - 2.5 lbs per week was pretty normal at that time and 3 lb weeks weren't unusual, either. At 180 lbs, I started to run. My weight loss SLOWED. At the end of this particular period in my life (I moved), I was eating:
24 WW points a day plus some Flex points.
My exercise:
I walked 5km to work (or biked in the summer) EVERY work day (I didn't have a car).
I RAN between 5 and 8 km EVERY DAY (5km slow, 5 km fartlek, 8 km, 5 km fast, 5 km slow)
I walked 5km home (or biked in the summer).
I then did a 1 hour aquafit class in the evening at the local Y (walked there, 2km, and back 2km as well).
On Saturdays, I did a LONG run (12-15 km).

On ALL of that exercise, I averaged 1.5 lb loss per week. A HECK of alot of work for this kind of loss. The maths indicate I should have lost 2-3 lbs per week, but I didn't. I actually STOPPED my plan because I was so. DARN. tired. of doing ALL that work for what I saw as little return.

This time around:
30 days, 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga, which apparently burns around 1100 calories a session.
http://www.my-calorie-counter.com/Calories_Burned.asp
I'm eating 24 WW points per day (22 points plus a banana) for a total of around 1300 calories a day.
My BMR is approximately 1500 calories, assuming that I do NOTHING else that day.
http://www.internetfitness.com/calculators/bmr.htm
I should be burning 1300 calories every day (BMR - WW points calories = 200 calories + 1100 Bikram calories = 1300)
1300 calories BURNED over and above BMR and intake x 7 days a week = 9100 calories.
9100 calories / 3500 calories per pound = 2.6 pounds.
With the math, I SHOULD BE LOSING 2.6 LBS PER WEEK.
Total weight loss in June?
1 lb.
Yup, one FREAKING POUND in the past 30 days.


That's a HECK of a lot of activity on not so many calories. I should have dropped 2-3 lbs per week routinely, given the math. So why didn't I???

Just for me, I think there has to be a balance, and to say that bodies don't conserve energy in off hours as a response to high body demands in the day isn't accurate for everyone. And if it WAS linear, there wouldn't BE anyone who could survive for years on 2 apples a day -- they'd have passed away in a linear, predictable way. But they don't...


I'm glad you haven't had any slow-downs, Ms Lori Bell, and that your path works for you. I don't think you need to defend ANY eating plan if it works for you. And your stats are amazing.
But PLEASE don't discount or invalidate my personal experience. You don't know the frustration of busting your A$$ and seeing nothing happen on the scales, and to have this experience trivialized is, well, disheartening...

And NO, I don't eat diet ANYTHING -- I cook every single meal and avoid processed foods.

JMHO

Kira

Last edited by kiramira : 07-01-2009 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Bell View Post
I'm glad eating more has helped you to end your "plateau". Just a reminder though that throughout the weight loss process your body will have periods of readjustment. It doesn't necessarily mean you are on a "plateau", but that your body is working on another "project" (Like PMS, TOM, cold, Flu etc.). The starvation mode thing is basically a dieters myth especially if you have an abundance of excess body fat. Your body stores fat to be used in time of famine...that is why it is there, to use when you are starving.... If the "starvation mode" myth were 100% true, there would be no starving people...no anorexics, no super models. There would be no skinny people. We would all be fat and eating nothing.

Oh and I feel I must defend my 1200 day 16 month diet plan. 1200 calories a day is a lot of food and MORE than enough vitamins and minerals if you are eating lean meats, veggies, fruit, lowfat milk products and whole grains. If you are eating 12, 100 calorie packs of crap, cartons of "diet" ice cream and sugar free pudding...then no...it sucks.
Well I have to disagree with you about there not being any starvation mode. You don't have to call it that necessarily, but many people get to the point where they don't lose weight for weeks or even months even though they are eating fewer calories than they need.... and many have come on here after upping their calories to tell everyone that they FINALLY lost weight.

Anorexia is a different story all together so you can't compare the two. A person who consumes 1200 calories may go into starvation mode (not necessarily you).... The diet of many anorexics will include something like cold green tea, 2 crackers and water for the entire day (and sometimes they fast for days or even weeks). There comes a point when the body loses its ability to compensate, hence they get super skinny eventually.

Anyway, everyone is different.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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this is one reason why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE....alternate day fasting. I lost from 160-130. in about 4 months. Your body does readjust your metabolism...that's what I believe in switching it up. calorie shifting. I have logs of food and calories with exercise expenditure that totals my total deficit for the day...and the way I lost weight the most...was by extreme shifts. I would eat 1500, then 2200, 1200, then 2000, 1000, then 1800. I do believe your body will use your fat stores as long as your insulin is working correctly. Do you know heavy people who hardly eat at all? Do they lose weight? no? There bodies can't use their fat stores.

so I think both sides are correct.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:29 PM   #11
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I always having issues with my caloric intake. Even now, after almost a year of doing this and losing 130 pounds so far, I still find it so hard to get into eating more means weighing less(sometimes anyway). My BMR, according to this - http://health.drgily.com/basal-metab...calculator.php - is 1576. I have, for the past few weeks, been trying to calorie cycle. The last I weighed, I was still at stupid 200. My cycle has been in the range of 1200-1600. Even though I have made a pact with myself to toss out the scale, I still want to continue to be healthier and get smaller so do I up each days intake to reflect my BMR or what?
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:00 PM   #12
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Sometimes it's hard to eat more.. because you feel like all you want to do is lose weight.. so this helps alot! thanks!
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