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Old 08-13-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default Not eating enough and gaining.....

How many times have you not lost weight or you stall and you've been told you're not getting enough calories? I never quite understood that due to the fact that plenty of people lose weight by starving themselves.....

I'd love an explanation on how this works. At what point do I know I'm not eating enough?

I have a goal of eating 1000 calories a day, which gives me a calorie deficit that could potentially give me a 2#/week loss. Of course, this is based on a sedentary lifestyle, and 2050 calorie need. I'm learning that on the days that I work, I exceed this, and also on days that i exercise. My output might be closer to 3000 calories a day, and maybe I do need to eat more. I don't want to put my body in to starvation mode, where it hangs on to calories for dear life, but I want to lose, and the faster the better.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:53 PM   #2
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I've read from various sources that women should not go below 1200 a day. Not regarding weight loss, just general health. I think you would struggle to give your body adequate vitamins and nourishment at 1000 calories. Plus, I imagine it would be difficult to keep up in the long run.

Now I am not medically trained or anything, so only take my opinion for what it is. Unless you have a very active job I am skeptical that you would be burning 3000 cals/day. Feel free to correct me (the OP or anyone else) but I think we are often overestimating how many calories we burn.

Try not to rush the weight loss - you will be glad in the end. If it comes off gradually and safely, it will be a million times easier to maintain.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:20 AM   #3
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You're right, I'd be looking at 3K for a whole 24 hour period, probably. I'm basing my numbers on what my Body Bugg is telling me. By bed time yesterday, i had burned around 2700 calories with exercise, but was out and about running errands, grocery shopping, laundry and such. Right now, I've burned 2800 without exercise but I worked today. For my job, I'm on my feet a lot, upstairs, down stairs, here, there..... I parked in the furthest parking spot too....

Anyways, 12K for women.... OK. I hadn't seen that before. I just got started, so I can't say for sure how difficult (or not) sticking to 1K cal/day would be. I know I'm going to have to adjust my goals, as my life is not quite sedentary, though.

I know slow and go is the best, but I can't help but wonder if I stick with what I have now, if it would go faster... or if my body would hold on to calories for dear life.

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Old 08-14-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
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I have read as a general guideline to lose weight, set your daily calories to 10 x's your goal weight.

So, your goal is 135 x 10 = 1350 calories/day.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:29 AM   #5
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Honestly the math just isn't that simple when it comes to losing weight, if it were we'd all know exactly what to eat and never plateau. Additionally, for as many articles that you find me that say you have to eat more to avoid starvation mode I can find you just as many claiming it's just a myth. Just start somewhere comfortable to you and you can always adjust up or down and you need to.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:05 AM   #6
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1200 gets debated a lot around here. The general consensus is that it's like the global recommendation that women should have 2000 calories a day for maintenance: it's an average, it's not going to work well for the short and sedentary, nor for the tall and/or very active.

1000 is going to be too low for the majority of women. I'm on about 1050, but that is because I am 4'11, 121lb, and more horizontal than sedentary due to disability. I'm also very very careful to eat as nutritiously as possible, and while I do get the RDA or more of micronutrients from my diet, I also take a multivitamin to be on the safe side. I wouldn't recommend 1000 calories to you, it does sound too low.

You're best off starting with a 500 calorie deficit, giving it a few weeks to settle, and adjusting from there. It's better to start with the calorie level too high (although 1lb/week is an excellent rate of weight loss) than it is to underestimate it and start having problems with weakness, fatigue, excessive hunger or feelings of deprivation which may lead to bingeing, and so forth.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esofia View Post

You're best off starting with a 500 calorie deficit, giving it a few weeks to settle, and adjusting from there. It's better to start with the calorie level too high (although 1lb/week is an excellent rate of weight loss) than it is to underestimate it and start having problems with weakness, fatigue, excessive hunger or feelings of deprivation which may lead to bingeing, and so forth.
I really agree with this.

I also wanted to ask. I'm a bit confused why you said you have a sedentary lifestyle if you also are burning roughly 2800 calories/day with your body bug? Maybe try eating something like 1800 (at the very least then) and go from there. If that's too many cut back but I really would suggest going higher than lower. Then as you decrease your weight you have room to cut back further. However, if you start low right off the bat you might find that more difficult.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:12 AM   #8
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What great responses! Thanks!

To answer runningfromfat, I selected "sedentary" as the lifestyle when I set up my Body Bugg because I have done nothing consistently to date where exercise is concerned. I didn't know what my work activity was going to look like, either. It was just easier to do it that way until I figured out where I'd be. I plan on being more consistent with exercise now, too. I am surprised at what it ended up looking like yesterday, my first work day with BB. So yes, "sedentary" is not accurate!

I really wanted to lose about 15 pounds by October, so that's why I'm so low. In theory, it will give me 2 pounds per week.... after that, I'll slow it down for the sake of my own sanity. I'm amazingly easy on myself, so I won't stick with anything impossible or even too difficult for too long.

Last edited by twinieten : 08-14-2011 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinieten View Post
How many times have you not lost weight or you stall and you've been told you're not getting enough calories? I never quite understood that due to the fact that plenty of people lose weight by starving themselves.....

I'd love an explanation on how this works. At what point do I know I'm not eating enough?

I have a goal of eating 1000 calories a day, which gives me a calorie deficit that could potentially give me a 2#/week loss. Of course, this is based on a sedentary lifestyle, and 2050 calorie need. I'm learning that on the days that I work, I exceed this, and also on days that i exercise. My output might be closer to 3000 calories a day, and maybe I do need to eat more. I don't want to put my body in to starvation mode, where it hangs on to calories for dear life, but I want to lose, and the faster the better.

Thoughts?
You sound so much like me! Ha, I started perusing the forums in the beginning and freaked out when I read that eating too few calories would cause a person to stall out and their body would start holding onto everything.

Like another poster said, there are conflicting articles out there about this topic, so it's hard to know what to believe.

I used this idea as an excuse to avoid exercise in the beginning - I didn't want my body to go into such a calorie deficit that it would start holding on to everything I ate. But then I realized I was preparing for a stall out that hadn't happened yet.

I picked 1,200 calories as my minimum in the beginning, and it was hard to keep to that level because I was used to eating so much more than that. But as I started exercising and incorporating more veggies and less processed foods, I've managed to keep my level in the 1,000 - 1,300 range. Some might say 1,000 a day is too low, but I feel satisfied at the end of the day. I'm not going to force myself to eat if my body says it's okay. (And 1,200 is the global standard, it's not going to work for every woman with every body type out there.)

So now? I just do what I've been doing. It's been working for me, and until it stops working, why should I question it? Since incorporating exercise (30 min. cardio and ~45 min. weight training) 6 days a week, I've lost 2.6, 2, and 2.2 pounds a week. Prior to adding exercise, I rarely hit the 2 pound mark, though I did GAIN 2.2 one week. So maybe try incorporating regular exercise into your schedule without changing your calories and see what happens.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:59 AM   #10
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katiec87 I eat the same amount if calories as well! I sometimes worry I'm not getting enough, but I'm not hungry so why keep eating? I keep losing weight at this level and if I find I hit a wall I'll just reexamine what I'm doing
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:06 PM   #11
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Sometimes I feel quite well, and I'm not sure how to increase my calories. I think that maybe I should have something high in fat or sugar to get the calories up easily without having to eat much more.

Today I'm at risk for over eating dinner. I'm really hungry! There are other days when I feel much less hungry and 1K is plenty, or there are days when more than that would be better. Too bad i never know what kind of day it's going to be in advance!

Hmmm... preparing for a stall that hadn't happened yet... smart thinking! Maybe I'm stinkin' thinkin' a little bit too much!
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddc View Post
I have read as a general guideline to lose weight, set your daily calories to 10 x's your goal weight.

So, your goal is 135 x 10 = 1350 calories/day.

i agree with this, it works as your weight decreases so does your calories using this formula. 1000 cal a day is way to low
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:50 PM   #13
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Twinieten Maybe you should base your days on a RANGE of calories instead of sticking to one number. That's what I do now. In the beginning, I had to stick to a specific number because I had no clue how to eat healthy portions. Now, I allow myself some leeway, especially because I'm exercising so much. Back in July, someone commented on a thread I started that upping my calories would be simple - add more deli meat to a sandwich, make a bigger salad, etc.

So, in the beginning, my number was 1,200. A calorie calculator I was using said with my increase in exercise I could eat 1,600 a day and reach my goal weight by my goal date.

Now I eat between 1,000 and 1,300. If you're feeling that hungry on certain days, it may be your body's way of saying Hey, remember me! It's time to give me fuel! Because I allow myself to eat a range of calories, on days that I'm hungry, I simply eat more than I do on days when 1,000 calories fills me up. One thing I'm not going to do through this lifestyle change is go to bed feeling famished because I can't have 1,400 calories in one day. It just ain't gonna happen!
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:06 PM   #14
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1000 cals is alittle low, for your active lifestyle... IMHO, it is setting you up for a binge/starve cycle. Many of us here never had any problem with "binging" untill we bagan "dieting.
Also, you are going to adapt metabolically very very quickly to 1000 a day, not to mention whatever weight l loss you do have will come at least partly from muscle mass....... if you are eating so low, you NEED to so maintenance lifting (NOThardcore suppersetting or circuits) and eating a high protein meal plan to preserve mucle mass

i am of the camp, that since you JUST started, now is the time to up them, to 1300 or 1400 ...... because you can always drop them from there, when you stall out. You JUST started, so this shouldnt be an issue ata all
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:40 PM   #15
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Before I studied abroad in the Caribbean, I was desperate to lose weight. I put myself on a 1,000 calorie diet and actually got my butt out of bed at 6 AM before classes and work to do 45 minutes of tough cardio, 4-5 times per week. Could. not. lose. a. pound. I finally broke down and went to a nutritionist. He put me on a well-balanced diet between 1200-1500 calories, and BAM! - I lost 15 pounds before I went to Dominica. I alwasy try to stay above 1100 at a minimum now.
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