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Old 06-06-2007, 02:15 PM   #1  
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Default Can you really lose on a low cal diet?

Hi all. I've been trying to lose weight for 2 years now. (edit...i'm talking about serious attempts and not just a casual try here and there) I've lost a good portion on Weight Watchers but after awhile, developed poor eating habits and used up all of my points on junk food...then wondered why the weight wasnt coming off.

I have been on Medifast for 5 weeks and have lost 11 pounds...but i'm constantly exhausted, am constantly constipated and my hair is falling out at an alarming rate. My calorie intake is between 800-900 calories a day, Carbs 75-90 a day, fat is 15-20 grams a day and protein is around 100 grams a day. I'm pretty sure all of my unpleasant symptoms are due to the program but Nutrition Support assures me that the plan is very healthy and gives you all that you need, nutrition-wise. I love Medifast because it takes away the counting of calories, fat and carbs and it is bringing my weight down (a lot slower than the promised 3-5 pounds a week though!) But i'm so discouraged at the way i'm feeling, I think i'd be better off trying something else (Medifast also costs $275 a month...I know I can lose on another program thats free)

What i'm scared of is all of the counting....I used the formula of daily caloric needs to see how many calories i'd need to lose a half pound or pound a week. (2227-500 or 1000= 1727 or 1227). That would be a big step up from 800 calories and would probably give me some of my energy back. But I have no idea how to get in all of the nutrition I need...how many veggies a day can I have? How many fruits? How many grains? How much protein...etc..and is it possible to get it all in and stay at 1227 calories? I like eating every 3 hours and will try to stick with that schedule...i'm just a little nervous about switching over.

Can you really lose weight this way? Is it a lot of work to count everything AND get all of your nutrition in or would a multivitamin take away that worry? If so, which one?

Lastly...i'm terribly nervous about stopping Medifast. Everyone says that if you dont take the 8 weeks to transition off...you will gain your weight back. But thats another $300+ for the food to do the transition. If I switch and suddenly go back up 11 pounds, i'll get so discouraged and worry that I will have a good binge out of self-pity! I am so determined to lose the last of this weight and to get healthy again, though.

Any thoughts of advice would be appreciated.

Last edited by valley; 06-06-2007 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:32 PM   #2  
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I find it a little alarming that any medical professional would put someone like you who is not grossly overweight (I hate that term ) on a program like Medifast! If you feel as miserable as you do, it must not be the right plan for you!

I think that if you look around here and visit the calorie counters, Whole Foods and vegan areas, you will find a lot of good advice on living well on 1,200-1,700 calories a day.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:35 PM   #3  
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I have been counting calories since January and have lost 54 pounds to date. At first I would still eat a few "bad" things as long as I didn't go over my calorie intake for the day. The further along I have gotten that has changed a lot. I eat mostly lean meats, veggies,fruit and grains and I have cut out a lot of the diet foods{low fat cookies, chips,etc}. I keep track of everything I eat in a journal which I started keeping from day one. A lot of people hear use the Fit Day website to track their calories for the day etc. I do keep on eye on my fat and so forth for the day but don't really calculate the amount. The only thing I count is the calories. If I tried to keep track of everything else I think I would go crazy. There are people on here that do that though so maybe someone else will chime in on thta aspect. I do take a multivitamin everyday just to be sure. I just take the Wal-Mart brand women's one a day. I do try to make sure I get enough fiber, I usually eat cream of wheat or shredded wheat for breakfast{which I've come to crave!!} I think the 800-900 calories that your plan has to consuming is low and does explain why you feel drained. I keep my calories at 1250 a day and sometimes 1300. Some wouls say that is still kinda low but it works for me and I feel great. I exercise{cardio} everyday for 30 min. and usually follow up with crunches and some weights. This is just my plan, everyone is different and you need to find what works best for you. Good luck and give calorie counting a try.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:43 PM   #4  
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I count calories and find it to be very effective and it is free. I eat healthy foods and have a well balanced diet.It is not complicated if you don't make it complicated.









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Old 06-06-2007, 02:47 PM   #5  
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First off.
welcome to the calorie counters.
This is a very diversified group here. Some eat 1200 day. some eat 1800 or more.

It depends on your plan.
I do want to say that most women here will tell you that the range of 800-900, seems like its pretty low.
In fact to most, it sounds unhealthy.

I also think one should listen to there body.

If you are tired,your hair is falling out, etc.
It sounds very unhealthy.

Personally I think that the support people are going to tell you its ok.


My question is.
Do you? think its healthy?

Is it healthy to loose your hair, feel constipated, feel tired?


I eat much more than that. I have been slowly loosing weight. and I feel GOOD.

I have more energy, etc.

I do eat often as you. With lots of natural fiber, Fruits, veggies, etc. and healthy protein.
And I drink tons of water.

My calories falls at an average of 14-1500 a day.

Most of us eat good healthy foods. Yes, it cost money.
But… I know I am not eating $300 worth of food.


If you are eating healthy when you quit your plan, ( in a healthy amount) and moving your butt. I don’t see how you could gain weight.

just want to wish you good luck in your decision. You should do more research with reputable websites. Get facts.

Any way I am new here too. just 3 months.
counting calories for this time has helped me to loose 20 pounds.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:21 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by SoulBliss View Post
I find it a little alarming that any medical professional would put someone like you who is not grossly overweight (I hate that term ) on a program like Medifast!
Hi SoulBliss. Just to clarify...my Doctor didnt put me on Medifast. It is now available to the public. Its a 5&1 plan where you use 5 of their meal replacement packets and eat one regular meal of meat/fish/poultry and veggies. The Dr's program is under 800 calories a day and you use 6 of their packets with none of your own food.

I fell for the advertising...wanted to just get rid of this weight once and for all and then switch to something more normal. A person shouldnt have to live on a diet program's food to stay slim! But I feel like i'm giving up once again....quitting yet another weight loss plan with just 20 pounds to go.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:25 PM   #7  
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To everyone else who has commented and offered advice....thanks so much for the encouragement. I think I can commit to making the switch. And you are sooo right. I dont feel healthy....I feel terrible.

Its great to see other members who weigh around the same as me (before and during) and who have similar goals...and seeing how much you have lost. It gives me a lot of hope. Maybe I am making it too hard when all I need to do is just count calories.

I will check out the fitday program and see what it can do.

Thanks again, ladies.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:26 PM   #8  
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Calorie counting is great! Yes, it is a bit of trouble to weigh and measure and count and whatnot, but once you get into an eating routine, it's pretty straightforward. It's also VERY effective. All diets, in the end, are about restricting calories, it's just a question of how you approach the restriction. It sounds like Medifast (whatever that is) is NOT working for you. Time to try something new! You shouldn't be feeling tired and lethargic and constipated. You only weight 151lb!! It's unnecessary!

The nice thing about being on a low-cal diet (and this can be 1500, 1200 or 1800, depending on your body) is that you are pretty much forced to eat tons of veggies and lean proteins to stay full and happy, and because you need to eat nutritionally dense foods to stay full, you feel healthy and strong and energetic.

My basic eating plan, during my low-cal phase, and now that I'm maintaining too, is to eat a bowl of Kashi Go-Lean with skim milk for breakfast (lots of fiber and protein) and a big salad with chicken or fish for lunch. Or I'll make an egg white frittata/omelet for lunch, with lots of veggies. I eat a couple of snacks throughout the day also. That usually puts me at about 600-800 cals before dinner, and I'll have had several servings of veggies, protein and fiber. Add more veggies and protein for dinner and there is no way that you WOULDN'T be eating a balanced and healthy diet. You have to be a bit more careful with fruit, because it can be quite calorific, but it's really hard to blow your calorie budget with veggies (unless you are dousing them with fat during cooking and dressing).

So, in short, read around this forum, spend some time entering foods and meals into an online program like Fitday, the Daily Plate or Nutridiary (my personal recommendation) and give it a go. I don't know what this Medifast thing is all about, but if you are still restricting your calories below what is needed to maintain your weight, you WILL NOT gain weight by switching to calorie counting. That sounds like something they have cooked up to keep the dollars rolling in.

Good luck!
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:34 PM   #9  
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Calorie counting is great! Yes, it is a bit of trouble to weigh and measure and count and whatnot, but once you get into an eating routine, it's pretty straightforward. It's also VERY effective. All diets, in the end, are about restricting calories, it's just a question of how you approach the restriction. It sounds like Medifast (whatever that is) is NOT working for you. Time to try something new! You shouldn't be feeling tired and lethargic and constipated. You only weight 151lb!! It's unnecessary!

The nice thing about being on a low-cal diet (and this can be 1500, 1200 or 1800, depending on your body) is that you are pretty much forced to eat tons of veggies and lean proteins to stay full and happy, and because you need to eat nutritionally dense foods to stay full, you feel healthy and strong and energetic.

My basic eating plan, during my low-cal phase, and now that I'm maintaining too, is to eat a bowl of Kashi Go-Lean with skim milk for breakfast (lots of fiber and protein) and a big salad with chicken or fish for lunch. Or I'll make an egg white frittata/omelet for lunch, with lots of veggies. I eat a couple of snacks throughout the day also. That usually puts me at about 600-800 cals before dinner, and I'll have had several servings of veggies, protein and fiber. Add more veggies and protein for dinner and there is no way that you WOULDN'T be eating a balanced and healthy diet. You have to be a bit more careful with fruit, because it can be quite calorific, but it's really hard to blow your calorie budget with veggies (unless you are dousing them with fat during cooking and dressing).

So, in short, read around this forum, spend some time entering foods and meals into an online program like Fitday, the Daily Plate or Nutridiary (my personal recommendation) and give it a go. I don't know what this Medifast thing is all about, but if you are still restricting your calories below what is needed to maintain your weight, you WILL NOT gain weight by switching to calorie counting. That sounds like something they have cooked up to keep the dollars rolling in.

Good luck!
Thank you baffled. Your menu sounds like something I could easily do. And i'm very used to weighing my foods (my one meal a day on medifast has to be portioned out) and I never have been one to use butter or sauces for my veggies so I can definitely do lots of veggies. My downfall was always junkfood but i've been free of that stuff for 5 weeks and think I can continue to go without it without a problem!

Gonna check out the Nutridiary too. Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:12 PM   #10  
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hi Valley!
I believe that anyone can be successful on a reduced cal diet (just for some they don't want to count calories)
PLEASE don't weigh yourself the first week, your body will be in shock initially and transitioning from a starvation diet (imo) to a healthy, sustainable eating plan. GIve yourself at least 14 days, leave your scale at a friends if you need to, but please don't weigh yourself. It will probably go up for a few days and then come down again..
YOu can eat WELL on 1300 cals a day!! You will start enjoying your meals and snacks..I would eat 5x a day, 3 meals and 2 snacks..it has helped me a lot with cravings ..theyre nonexistent now except for stress eating ...
AND once you get into the routine of it it won't be a hassle bc you'll probably have a couple different "fave" breakie's, lunches and suppers so you'll know the calorie count of each..
YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:34 PM   #11  
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hi Valley!
I believe that anyone can be successful on a reduced cal diet (just for some they don't want to count calories)
PLEASE don't weigh yourself the first week, your body will be in shock initially and transitioning from a starvation diet (imo) to a healthy, sustainable eating plan. GIve yourself at least 14 days, leave your scale at a friends if you need to, but please don't weigh yourself. It will probably go up for a few days and then come down again..
YOu can eat WELL on 1300 cals a day!! You will start enjoying your meals and snacks..I would eat 5x a day, 3 meals and 2 snacks..it has helped me a lot with cravings ..theyre nonexistent now except for stress eating ...
AND once you get into the routine of it it won't be a hassle bc you'll probably have a couple different "fave" breakie's, lunches and suppers so you'll know the calorie count of each..
YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
Thanks Natalia! Man....getting rid of the scales is a great idea...but very daunting. I've been a scale hugger for years and weigh myself daily. But you're probably right...if I see my weight creeping up, I would probably freak!

I still have lots of medifast foods left...another 3 weeks supply actually. I think I will do the old transition phase, that only takes 2 weeks and then switch over. Medifast just switched from the old transition phase of 2 weeks to the new phase, which lasts 8 weeks! I suspected that it was only so people would continue to buy the product. But most people at their forums had no issues with the old transition phase and were maintaining fine after they were at goal and pretty much off of Medifast. The old plan basically brings you back up slowly over the course of 2 wks to eating 1500 calories a day.

Their packets of shakes are 90 calories...and very tasty so I will use the remaining product as a "quickie" snack for on-the-go once I start the calorie counting. Tomorrow is my actual weigh-in day and start of my new week on their program. I'm going to immediately start the transition then, adding another cup of veggies for the first 4 days, then on day 5, add a piece of fruit (plus the extra cup of veggies), then on day 9, add in the dairy (plus the earlier additions) and then when I hit day 14, add in my whole grains and discontinue their program. 2 weeks...I feel better doing it this way rather than stop all at once. I just dont want to shock my body by adding grains, dairy and fruit all at once (their program is an all soy program, with one meal of protein and veggie). I dont want to feel worse if I suddenly have a sandwich, an apple and a bowl of cereal with real milk all in one day...as nice as it sounds!
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:56 PM   #12  
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I am so glad you are going to switch to a healthier way of eating. Not only will "real" food undoubtedly be better for you, but won't it be much healthier (physically and mentally) for your kids, particularly your 12 year old daughter, to see you eating healthy foods rather than diet shakes? Best of luck to you, congratulations on making the move to healthier eating!
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:54 PM   #13  
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Hey there Valley,
You asked the question "can people really lose weight on a low calorie diet" I would like to point out that on nearly every single diet programme, no matter how much they sugar it... counting points... drinking milkshakes... eating certain foods is all about low calories and exercise. I hate to say it but I know it's true. Losing weight is all about "calories in Vs. Calories out" if you're doing lets say "slim fast" they're calorie controlled milkshakes, meals, chocolate bars. You're only allowed to have one snack one meal and one milkshake... all because they add up to 1200 (for example). If you're doing something like Weight Watchers although they use points... its all about calorie counting - they even have booster points where you do exercise and then a few of your points are taken away (if you get what I mean) whats that about? Exercising for 2 points worth (1 point = approx 50 calories) then you have burnt 100 calories which means you can eat them if you want. I'm not sure if I've made myself clear enough... my point is, that nearly every single diet plan or diet you will go on is all about calories because that is what sustains our bodies and what causes us to put on weight if we don't burn them/use them. It's all the same thing regardless of what plan you go on.

The only difference is of course is how "easy" you want it. With things like replacement meals (milkshakes) you know exactly how many calories you're getting... no addition needed - you drink 5 milkshakes and you're done. With WW you add together your points by looking at a book that lists it all and there you go. If you're calorie counting, I find it to be... well... you need patience and perseverence BUT BUT BUT it's for me - the most fulfilling and I feel in absolute CONTROL and that is exactly what I needed. I do WW... but I'm drifting and more loyal to calorie counting. I eat approx 1200 calories a day but can eat up to 1600 to still lose weight weekly.... I just play it by ear.

Good luck in your weight loss journey and I hope that everything goes WELL... choose what is right for you and your body!!! I hope everything everybody has told you has been educational and like I just said you do what is right for you!!! to you... and good luck again!!!
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:11 PM   #14  
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Not only will "real" food undoubtedly be better for you, but won't it be much healthier (physically and mentally) for your kids, particularly your 12 year old daughter, to see you eating healthy foods rather than diet shakes?
Absolutely! This has been going through my mind too over the last couple of weeks. I sat my kids down just a few days ago and explained to them both why we all needed to eat healthier. We talked a bit about how you need a certain amount of calories a day and how your body burned them for energy and how regular exercise helped and how the metabolism works. Hopefully, now that we can all eat together again and I dont have to fix a different meal for me than for them, I can start cooking healthier for all of us! Its not too late to teach my kids good eating habits. I dont want them going through what i've been through with an up and down weight for years and years!


Quote:
Best of luck to you, congratulations on making the move to healthier eating!
Thanks for your concern for me and my family, Jordan. I appreciate it.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:19 PM   #15  
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You asked the question "can people really lose weight on a low calorie diet" I would like to point out that on nearly every single diet programme, no matter how much they sugar it... counting points... drinking milkshakes... eating certain foods is all about low calories and exercise. I hate to say it but I know it's true. Losing weight is all about "calories in Vs. Calories out" if you're doing lets say "slim fast" they're calorie controlled milkshakes, meals, chocolate bars. You're only allowed to have one snack one meal and one milkshake... all because they add up to 1200 (for example). If you're doing something like Weight Watchers although they use points... its all about calorie counting - they even have booster points where you do exercise and then a few of your points are taken away (if you get what I mean) whats that about? Exercising for 2 points worth (1 point = approx 50 calories) then you have burnt 100 calories which means you can eat them if you want. I'm not sure if I've made myself clear enough... my point is, that nearly every single diet plan or diet you will go on is all about calories because that is what sustains our bodies and what causes us to put on weight if we don't burn them/use them. It's all the same thing regardless of what plan you go on.
Hi Seranab! Great information there, thanks!

Quote:
The only difference is of course is how "easy" you want it. With things like replacement meals (milkshakes) you know exactly how many calories you're getting... no addition needed - you drink 5 milkshakes and you're done. With WW you add together your points by looking at a book that lists it all and there you go. If you're calorie counting, I find it to be... well... you need patience and perseverence BUT BUT BUT it's for me - the most fulfilling and I feel in absolute CONTROL and that is exactly what I needed. I do WW... but I'm drifting and more loyal to calorie counting. I eat approx 1200 calories a day but can eat up to 1600 to still lose weight weekly.... I just play it by ear.

Good luck in your weight loss journey and I hope that everything goes WELL... choose what is right for you and your body!!! I hope everything everybody has told you has been educational and like I just said you do what is right for you!!! to you... and good luck again!!!
I think I can keep up with all of the counting. I've dieted on and off for years and am used to keeping track of things. This is the first time researching low calorie diets and so far, it really does make more sense than anything else i've ever tried...its a more natural way to lose weight rather than relying on a program that costs money. Your body was designed to thrive on normal food...so if you eat right, you shouldnt have to worry about being overweight. its a matter of educating yourself and avoiding all of those temptations to eat the overly indulgent food that you see everywhere around you! I just never made a real commitment and always got caught up in emotional eating. I'm older now...hopefully a little wiser and I really need to change my habits for life if i ever hope to enjoy my children while they are still young! Its not just the weight I want to lose...I want more than anything to have energy and feel healthy.
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