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Old 12-22-2010, 03:31 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Default Hi I eat around 1400 calories a day.

Ok so here is the thing. I don't eat a lot (Though I am capable of eating a lot if I so desire), I really don't, but I do eat foods that fill me and keep me satisfied for 2 hours or more. I recognize whenever I am hungry, and when I am, I eat to satisfy the problem. In other words, I am consistently eating when I am feeling the effects of hunger.

The problem? Those calories add up to around 1400 calories, sometimes less sometimes more a day.

I have also taken to working out on a fairly regular basis, and if we are going by the machines I am probably burning 700 calories or more on my work outs.

Additional problems, I have a massive and profound level of energy, example, I can stay awake and not feel tired for upwards of 18 hours and feel rested the next day.

I am also noticing recent increased, visible muscle mass.

Yet I am told I eat to little, and that it is bad for me. That I should eat more.

As I said while I am capable of this, I could after all choose less filling foods to myself, and eat more calories that way, or I could simply force myself to eat until I am full or beyond. I stand at roughly 6'1-6'2 and weigh 225 pounds.

How is it possible, to be doing my body wrong, if I eat whenever I am hungry, while the heavy exercise is new, I ate very few calories the last time I lost a large amount of weight going from nearly 300 to my current weight today, and when I went to a normal eating routine, eating what I wanted whenever I felt hungry, I gained no weight back.

Is it unhealthy to eat only when you are hungry and to stop eating when you no longer feel that hunger, if it is an "Unnecessary amount of calories"? Because according to a lot of what I read, I should be suffering from a great deal of things involving hunger, starvation and the likes, and yet I am seeing benefits of healthy eating.

Am I simply someone who falls off the norm?

Please note that I eat upwards of four eggs a day, a great deal of fruits, and vegetables (Roughly a pound worth of various veges and fruits) I now drink a few glasses of milk a day, I consume regular meat irregularly, I also have 3 to four slices of a high fiber bread that I have found myself liking the taste of that I add peanut butter to and top with some hard boiled eggs. Not counting the fruits and vegetables that adds up to about 1000 calories give or take. I eat when I am hungry so I eat more if I feel hungry.

I guess what I am trying to figure out, is what I am doing healthy so long as I eat when I know I am hungry. Bare in mind when I stopped doing my nutrition plan earlier I ate upwards of 2200 calories a day being relatively inactive, and didn't put on a pound. So I am pretty sure I am not at yo yo-ing risk. I guess I am more trying to figure out is what I am doing possible of being healthy or am I fooling myself so much that I am fooling myself even when I stop doing this particular eating habit and not putting it back on as I have read SHOULD happen.

Sorry it's so long, but this has been driving me up a wall. People tell me I am wrong, but my results suggest to me something else.
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:26 AM   #2
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There's nothing wrong with eating when and only when you feel hungry; the fancy name for this in fitness circles is "intuitive eating."

There's also nothing wrong with eating a diet based on eggs, meat, and veggies. Fears about saturated fats are overblown, although fears about trans fats are. Ditto for cholesterol. And, veggies are part of virtually every remotely reasonable diet plan. (BTW, you might read Mark's Daily Apple in addition to this board; he espouses a diet very much like what you're already doing, minus the grains, and it works for a lot of people.)

If you like how you eat, your blood profiles are good, and it's working for you, don't fix what isn't broken.

b. strong,
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:31 AM   #3
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It sounds like you're doing OK to me. I'd want to eat more than 1400 calories, even though I am smaller than you are, but to each his/her own. As long as you are getting good nutrition, as the PP said, and your blood tests are fine, and your hair isn't falling out, then don't worry about what "people" say. If your doctor or dietitian suggests an increase, that's another matter.

"My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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Old 12-22-2010, 07:38 AM   #4
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No matter how you do it, a balance between calories in and calories expended equals the status quo. Just do what you do until it doesn't work anymore...then re-evaluate. Sounds like you hit the right balance and will be very healthy and happy indefinately.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:53 AM   #5
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Are you a guy or girl?

I lost 193 pounds eating an average of around 1300 calories a day. I am healthy and fit now. Usually the people who are telling you that you are doing it wrong are the people who can't/won't do it at all. Hang in there and don't listen to "people". Most Americans are "overweight" so apparently we (as an average) don't know how to eat properly.
Highest weight - 333 pounds. Lost 193 pounds by calorie counting in 2008/09. Regained 73 pounds in the last 7 years and am working on getting back to a normal BMI.

Last edited by Lori Bell; 12-22-2010 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:50 AM   #6
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Machines do not do accurate calorie counts. If you Google it, you will find hundreds of articles supporting this.

If you are burning that many calories a day, you won't be getting adequate nutrition by eating around 1400. It is possible to eat too little. You don't give a sample day's menu so it's hard to tell.

HW 356 pounds - CW 135 - GW 137

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:18 AM   #7
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Age and height make a huge difference in how much you can eat. A six foot 300 pound teenage boy who plays a sport will lose weight on 3500 calories a day. A bed-ridden post menopausal 5' woman woman might maintain on 1000. There's no point in comparing yourself to the average, because the average includes both those extremes.

That said, for me, higher calorie dieting was a huge breakthrough. I am a tough, macho chick. I always ate 900-1200 calories a day because the tougher it was, the more effective it has to be, right? And I lost tons of weight tons of times. But while I didn't think I was hungry, I was--it wasn't hunger pangs or stomach cramps, but it was being irritable, tired, light headed, impatient, absent minded, and endlessly daydreaming about junk food. Eventually I'd snap and go back to eating "normally" and it would all come back on. But I never understood that it was the hunger. I always thought it was the lifestyle I couldn't handle.

This time, out of sheer desperation, I tried a higher calorie diet, and I found I lost weight as quickly as before. I was shocked. With decent exercise, I lose as well at 1800 as I did at 1200, and it's easy. For me, at least, I think my body just refuses to burn more than a certain amount of fat in a week--the magic number seems to be 1% of my weight--and any additional calorie deficit it deals with by cooling my core temp, slowing down my intestines, keeping me asleep, and otherwise disrupting my body--leading to the lightheadedness and absentmindedness.

Now, I've adjusted my calories up and down as I've lost weight and upped my exercise, but I've really found that the higher calorie plans work really well, and give me room for some pleasure in my life. Right now I am dieting "moderately" because we are undergoing infertility treatments, so I've gone up to 2000 calories a day (with an hour of moderate cardio/mild weights). And I've been shocked all over again to discover I lose ok at 2000 calories a day--half a pound to a pound a week. I never would have thought that possible.

Now, one caveat: I don't cheat. I've noticed (in real life, not talking about people here) that some people who are only successful on "low calorie" diets have days where they fall off the wagon, so they aren't as low calorie as they think they are (I've had people tell me "I eat 1200 a day. Except for yesterday, I had a piece of birthday cake. And Monday we went out to dinner. But still, I could never eat like you and lose weight. You are so lucky" Grrr.). In the last 18 months, I've only had one day when I ate more than I planned, and I've always, always recorded it.

So I'd like to encourage you to experiment. If this doesn't work--if you start slipping in a couple months--don't throw in the towel. At that point, try 1800 or 2000 calories. You've nothing to lose, and for me, at least, it was transformative.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:47 AM   #8
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Those "sometimes more" days- are they much higher? You might just be naturally calorie cycling, like one day eating 2000, another 1200, another 1400, another 1800, etc?

I do think at 225 lbs WITH heavy exercise 1400 is a bit low- aim for 1650-1700 and see what happens- I think you can still maintain and even lose at that weight if you are exercising a lot.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:53 AM   #9
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My age is 27, I weigh 225 pounds, a sample I guess would be a little hard to give since I eat regularly whenever I feel any hint of hunger, which is roughly every two hours but here goes something.

If the below is too much to read, here is a shorthand version.

1 whole green apple
2 servings of skim milk
1-2 eggs depending on how I feel.

1 slice of fiber bread topped with a serving of peanut butter
1 Banana
1 serving of skinless chicken

1 Celery stick covered with peanut butter.

1 slice of high fiber bread, topped with peanut butter and slices of a whole egg.

Vegetable beef stew, home made, containing mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, celery, potato, beef. Has pepper and salt for some seasoning. Full bowl, two if I am hungry enough.
1-2 servings of skim milk.
1 egg

Right now I am eating a whole green apple. Probably about two servings of skim milk (I don't measure it, but I have gotten to know what I drink from my containers) Probably 1 or two eggs.

In about 2 hours or so when I am hungry again, I will probably be eating a slice of bread with enough peanut butter on it to slightly cover the entire slice with a full serving of it, a banana, and meat of some kind, not sure yet what kind, I shop for myself by the day, but probably skinless chicken.

When I next get hungry I will probably consume a somewhat higher calorie thing, I have a strong like of peanut butter, so I take a celery stick and dip it into some peanut butter and enjoy. While I do not measure I know what a full serving looks like, so sometimes I have two servings of peanut butter with my celery. Heh.

When I next get hungry another slice of that bread with peanut butter, only this time I'll probably slice an egg up and load the slices on the bread and eat them all together.

Finally, When I get hungry next, since I usually get hungry like clockwork, I will be having a stew that contains several types of vegetables, potatoes, carrots, celery, bell peppers, portbella mushrooms, and stewing beef, which is actually what fred meyers calls it so I have no idea how lean or not it is, and a serving or two of skim milk, probably will eat my last egg of the four I cooked, and probably have another banana.

I also drink upwards of a gallon, or more of water a day.

Maybe I am adding wrong, or maybe I am getting more calories out of that stew (I have taken to stew making to get more veges in my diet) then I realize or maybe I have the wrong idea of how much calories are in the fruits I eat, or something, but that's the info I can provide to give a better idea of what I eat in a day.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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Those sometimes more days are not much higher, sometimes it's another serving of a protein based food, or a fruit, but usually another serving of something. Like I said I might be wrong which is why I posted pretty much what I am going to eat today.


The longer I am awake the more I eat. I don't simply stop eating after that point if I am up for another 6 hours or so burning energy.

Last edited by Ultreos; 12-22-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:08 PM   #11
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I am strict with my calories and I don't like when people tell me I am not eating enough. It has to be this way for me to lose weight. Anything more I feel like I don't lose.

My suggestion for you would be think about your exercise. When I went through a phase that I felt I was exercising good and eating well I talked with my trainer and we decided I wasn't doing cardio HARD enough. I was doing it but not getting my heart rate up enough. Now I PUSH as hard as I possibly can. It has made all the difference in the world.

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Old 12-22-2010, 10:49 PM   #12
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I hear the not eating enough thing alot too..but in the end it's all experimenting to find how much works for you. If you can lose while eating more it is wise to eat more then so if you plateau you have some room to lower again.

I would think at your height and weight you could eat more, but if not and if 1400 cals is working for you then stick with it. when and if you plateau worry about trying different things and raising your calories.

looking at your diet I think maybe the peanut butter could be adding up, definitely measure it or better yet weigh it if you can. also measure out the milk!
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:21 AM   #13
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In my opinion, you are eating enough. I've been calorie counting for a while and am known as weighing EVERYthing on my digital scale. It is SO much more accurate than guessing.

Here is my guess on your calorie intake:
(70) 1 whole green apple
(180) 2 servings of skim milk
(140) 1-2 eggs depending on how I feel.

(50) (100) 1 slice of fiber bread topped with a serving of peanut butter
(100) 1 Banana
(100) 1 serving of skinless chicken

(100) 1 Celery stick covered with peanut butter.

(40) (100) (70) 1 slice of high fiber bread, topped with peanut butter and slices of a whole egg.

(200) Vegetable beef stew, home made, containing mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, celery, potato, beef. Has pepper and salt for some seasoning. Full bowl, two if I am hungry enough.
(180) 1-2 servings of skim milk.
(70) 1 egg
(100) Banana

So, I get 1600 and I even incorporated the peanut butter sparingly and took all of the lowest calorie count suggestions (for your bread and such) - you said you even often eat more peanut butter. Peanut butter is SO healthy but even only 32grams has 190 calories. You cannot 'eyeball' peanut butter, it is one of those foods that you simply have to weight. So, if I count the 'extra peanut butter' and the second bowl of soup - you are easily around 18 - 1900.

But, this is in no way a critique - I think your diet looks healthy and filling and if it is working, then you should stick with it, as it seems like something you could easily do the rest of your life!
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

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Old 01-05-2011, 06:01 AM   #14
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Been a while since I lost this site for a bit. Just wanted to say thanks for the advice. Apparently it's a good thing if I have been eating more then 1400 since my BMR is apparently above 2100. Not sure how I would be able to eat that much and still lose weight, but I guess time will tell.
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