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Old 11-11-2010, 11:18 PM   #1  
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Default A friend is doing very low cal diet

One of my best friends is doing a very low calorie diet that is being monitored by a physician. I think it's about 800 calories? In the last 2.5 months, she has lost a whopping 40 lbs. and probably has another 30-40 to go, but she said she'd be happy if she just lost 10 more even....I don't know if she'll stop.

Her mom, brother and sister all did it and kept the weight off for a few years already. In fact, her brother lost even more weight on his own once he transitioned into regular foods (although I have no idea how he did that part).

My question (and this is not for myself, but just to understand better): will she maintain her weight loss if she goes to eating 1200 calories once she's done with this diet? Will she lose more weight? Gain weight? What will happen? She is weighing in at 190 lbs. right now. So, let's say she stops at 170 lbs. and she starts eating 1200 calories or so. What can she expect to happen to her?

She doesn't exercise a whole lot, but is very active and has to walk a lot in a big city. Thank you!
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:39 PM   #2  
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Research I have read suggests weight is more likely to stay off for people who lose 1-2 lbs a week rather than more dramatic numbers. Probably because they get used to eating habits they can do in the long term rather than "crash" dieting then yo-yo-ing back up. I doubt she'll gain at 190 lbs and 1200 calories a day, but she might be discouraged when the weight loss slows way down to a healthier and slower rate of progress.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:04 AM   #3  
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There are many different studies which suggest different things, metabolism and calories are still something that in my opinion doctors don't completely understand (example. take the guy who did the junk food diet). Which is why person x could lose 2 lbs a week on 1500 while person y needs to eat 1200.

I get your concern for your friend, but, as long as when she is "finished" dieting she leaves with a healthy mindset and her doctor assists her in a proper eating plan she should be fine.

From a mathematical perspective she's lost about 4lbs a week, or a deficit of 14000 calories a week. Or. 2000 calories a day. Which would suggest she could MAINTAIN at 2800. Obviously this math isn't completely sound because as one gets smaller their BMR drops ect. But, I wouldn't worry about her gaining on 1200. Sure, she might initially put on a few pounds if she starts eating stuff higher in sodium again, but those are cosmetic pounds and won't really add anything to her pant size.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:10 AM   #4  
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Thank you so much! I was just worried that she's going to be in for a major disappointment (thinking of Oprah after she did that liquid diet way back when). I do know that the weight was really taking a toll on her and she's already feeling so much better, which is great. This diet includes a gradual introduction of regular foods and lots of counseling (it's a hospital program, I believe). I thank you so much for your response!
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:31 AM   #5  
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I think the issue is that losing weight needs to be a process, where you really learn your flaws and how to correct them. If one does not have the time to learn - then it will be very difficult to develop healthy habits.

Regardless, your friend doesn't want to hear any critique from you, she also probably doesn't want any 'hints' from you on the correct way to lose and maintain weight loss. Remember to only comment on her weight loss and diet if she asks. Most women are SO sensitive when you talk about their diet.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:17 AM   #6  
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I did <800 calories for 1.5 month and lost around 20lbs. It took a lot of effort - planning meals, checking labels, cooking, not eating out... I also exercised every night (walking/jogging for at least an hour).

I slowly went back to 1200-1500 cals/day and thankfully, did not gain any of the weight. But now I'm stuck in my weight and have been stuck for 4 months now ='(
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:19 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totesmcgotes View Post
Research I have read suggests weight is more likely to stay off for people who lose 1-2 lbs a week rather than more dramatic numbers. .
I would be curious to see this research and if it involves people who were significantly overweight or just slightly.

Regardless, research and statistics are not all that telling when it comes to weight loss/maintenance, given that this is not left up to chance or medicine or even a higher power. It's left up to us as individuals.

If you were looking at research here at 3FC, you'd get a completely different view.

When you are super morbidly obese or morbidly obese - that 1 -2 lbs per week weight loss is NOT the case.

What *they* say is a healthy rate per week is 1 - 2 percent of a persons weight, and if you are significantly overweight, then that number is higher than 1 - 2 lbs per week.

I lost more than that per week, as did many of the bigger losers here at 3FC.
When adhering to a healthy diet, and you're just that overweight, the weight DOES come off quicker, and provided your calories are healthy ones, then it's perfectly healthy.

Taking in a healthy amount of calories, yet losing more than 1 -2 lbs per week is no crash diet. None whatsoever.

The speed at which you lose the weight is not a telling factor in whether or not you keep the weight off. It's a choice. You chose to continue to eat healthy and count calories - you'll keep the weight off; whether you lost your weight in 6 months, a year or two years. It's all about the willingness to continue to adhere to a healthy calorie budget.

Quote:
So, let's say she stops at 170 lbs. and she starts eating 1200 calories or so. What can she expect to happen to her?
I would think she would continue to lose at 1200 calories as she's still most like creating a calorie deficit. She'll be making a smaller calorie deficit, but a deficit none the less.

Quote:
I did <800 calories for 1.5 month and lost around 20lbs. It took a lot of effort - planning meals, checking labels, cooking, not eating out... I also exercised every night (walking/jogging for at least an hour).
If you ask me the calorie count is inconsequential. You could be adhering to a 1200 calorie diet or a 1500 calorie diet, but planning, checking labels and all those other things are what's needed to lose weight and keep it off. Losing weight and keeping it off won't happen on it's own. It NEEDS to be thought out and prepped for in advance. It's something that matters and with all things that matter, advance planning and dedication are needed; if that efforts not put forth, than the results will be greatly altered.
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