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Old 06-16-2010, 10:26 PM   #1  
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Question 1200 calories?? For How LONG??

First off, I feel like I have to admit I have been bad. And now I feel worse, sure most of you know how I feel.

But, I have a serious question about calories. I read a post from a woman who had reached her goal. She lost 180 lbs. The entire time she had only 1200 cals a day, and only went up here and there for special occasions. (this was per doctors advice) Here is the deal, as I understand it, one needs to continually reduce calorie intake and increase calories burned. How does this work. My scale reads my weight, bmi, hydration level and muscle mass then tells me how many calories I need. Which is about 1700 calories. The thing is smart. lol But, can I do 1200 calories and do that till I reach my goal? Will I not plateau?

A few notes about my lifestyle, I work a mildly physical job sorting and pricing for goodwill, and have some long days, that start at 5 am and last till 10:30 pm. (work, then school, using the city bus) Thus... I'm one broke chicka

Last edited by SarahD140; 06-16-2010 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:47 PM   #2  
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Actually, you can theoretically eat less the more you weigh. Fat = stored energy so the heavier you are the more stored energy you have and the more fuel you technically have. In obesity clinics/hospitals doctors tend to put the patients on quite a low number of calories and then gradually increase them again. For super morbidly obese patients it might even be as low as 600 calories of liquid.

That being said, a lot of people find it too drastic to reduce their calories significantly in the beginning. Your body will feel hungry if you go from eating 2500 calories a day to 1200, so they often decrease gradually so their body can adapt.

Personally, I found I could eat more the lower my weight went. If I don't eat enough I'm hungry and too tired to workout. When I plateau I tend to up my calories a little (by about 10 or 15%) and change up my workouts. You could also look into calorie cycling (eating high some days and low on others throughout the week) and see how that works for you.

Honestly, don't worry about plateauing at this point. Eat the amount of calories you feel you can live on and still lose weight. It's a very personalized thing. 1700 seems like a good starting point, but I don't think there'd be any harm in dropping it to 1500 or even 1200 if you felt satisfied at that.

Hope that helps!

Last edited by rockstar87; 06-16-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:53 PM   #3  
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Thank you. Sounds like you really know what you are talking about! I like that you track your bmi!
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:54 AM   #4  
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Sarah-I've lost a lot of weight... I can say that now which makes me happy and I have only maybe been stuck for a very short period of time once (and I wasnt completely on plan either) my calories are typically low... I eat about 1300 calories but I have 1200 calorie days sometimes and do increase it occasionally for a special occassion.

I have never felt deprived and I'm typically not "hungry" I'm satisfied daily with what I eat more than likely because my calories come from good, filling, healthy foods.

I also workout a lot and have increased the intensity as I've gone through my journey... an hour on the elliptical will not give you the same results if you do the same exact thing for a year...your body will get use to it... when I started my fitness level was weak...I now can do a lot more so I push myself a lot more and am always really gross (sweaty)

If my plan seems to stall... I change up my eating a little bit and my workout.

People around here do things differently...some women say that someone who eats 1200 calories is ridiculous and starving themselves...others live by it... I personally found if I ate more I gained weight even though my body technically should lose weight on 1600 calories it didnt... its a game and you really just have to play around with the numbers and plans... calorie counting is perfect for that
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:21 AM   #5  
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It just depends. 1200-1400 seems to work for a lot of people but I do believe calorie counting should be a useful tool, not a lifelong obsession. It's a thing to do when you're trying to establish new habits, but shouldn't consume your life

I average probably 1700 calories a day. Why? Because I have things to train for. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to run long distances if I was eating 1200 or less a day. But like I said, it depends on what you're doing. If you're going to be training for a marathon, triathlon, century ride, you just have to fuel your body. This doesn't mean go out there and eat twice your weight. It just means be smart about it.

Losing weight isn't a race. Do it at your own pace, on your own time. "Plateaus" make occur on the scale, but that's because you might actually be losing inches. Focus on something more than just the scale to work towards and you'll find that your weight will naturally come off.

Keep at it and don't be discouraged. It's not about how fast you finish, but that you finish at all. Slow and steady
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:11 AM   #6  
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I just want to add don't trust the scale on how many calories, BMR, and muscle mass. They are highly unreliable on derterming numbers because the scale really is only "guessing" at the numbers.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:25 AM   #7  
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I would say its really hard to say ok, everyone eat 1200 cals, you're gonna be sweet. If you are starting from the very begining what I would do is track what you were eating pre diet/life style change and reduce that by around 500ish and see how that goes. If it feels like you're absolutely starving, since you seem pretty active, increase it a little bit until you're still losing but feel ok. Just an idea
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:00 AM   #8  
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I'm with Icon and Haley. I try to keep around 1200-1400 per day, and that works for me, but according to FitDay I should be eating 1600. If I eat 1600, I (like Haley) gain weight. You really just have to play around with it and see what works for you.

If I eat 1200, most days I'm not hungry, but I try and eat healthy, filling foods to get to that 1200 - and on days when I work out super hard, I bump it up to 1400 just to give myself fuel. I trained for a 100K hike eating 1200-1400 calories a day, and I was fine. But everyone is different
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:22 PM   #9  
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At the start of my weight loss journey I stuck straight to 1200 calories and 20 grams of fat a day. Now that I have lost more and I exercise for longer periods of time with more intensity I have had to increase my calorie intake to about 1500 a day on days that I go to the gym. I found that I was not eating enough when I lost a good chunk of weight. I also have to eat more fat now, closer to 30 grams a day. Everyone is different, but 1200 should be the least you eat.
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