Need advice, not judgement please :/

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  • Hey everyone! I feel like I've overposted today, but I have a pretty serious question I'd like to get everyone's take on.

    My doc prescribed phentermine (Shhh, I know the negative side effects, shh :P) and today was my second day taking it, I've gotten no negative side effects today at all. Yesterday I was jittery and had dry mouth but today I had literally nothing, other than some added pep in my step. BUT that's not what I'm asking about...

    Obviously it's an appetite suppressor so it's supposed to make me not crave food. So I just eat when my body tells me I should- when I feel legitimately hungry.
    I'm counting calories, buuut I'm having a hard time getting above 900. Yesterday I had 893 and today I had 760. I don't feel lethargic or dizzy or anything that one would associate with hunger.

    1. Am I going to die? I'm actively trying to eat more but I just haven't been snacking/grazing which usually makes up a huge chunk of my daily calories. Is eating this way seriously going to damage my health? And is 'starvation mode' a real thing?
    2. If this is okay, eating this much, should I chill out on my work outs? I don't do a lot, 30 min Jillian Michael's DVD.
    3. If eating this much IS okay, when I get off phentermine will eating at maintenance level be sufficient to stay at a healthy weight or when I start eating at maintenance level will I gain everything back?

    (tl;dr I'm having a hard time eating more than 900 calories/day, how bad is this?)

    (And I PROMISE- I'm not starving myself or doing this intentionally. I love food. I want to be healthy, not frail, etc.)
  • I found this btw, thoughts?
  • Sounds like some questions for your doctor but it seems like the drug is doing what it was intended to do. It's only been two days and your appetite might change over the next few days.

    I don't think it's possible to gain a bunch of weight back eating maintenance calories, the problem would be if you go back to eating like you used to.
  • That's what I'm hoping! Even yesterday compared to today I felt like I could eat more today. So maybe that will fade as my body gets used to it. Who knows. I love my doctor to death but she seemed a bit clueless about nutrition. It's worth asking though, thanks!
  • She should refer you to a nutritionist.
  • Oooh, good point :]
  • Quote: Is eating this way seriously going to damage my health? And is 'starvation mode' a real thing?
    You'll have to talk to your doctor to get an answer to the first question, but my guess would be no. Just make sure you're getting your nutrients in, using supplementation if necessary.

    As for starvation mode, it's a bit of misnomer. On the one hand, your metabolism does slow down when you're eating at a deficit. The greater the deficit, the greater the metabolic slowdown (to a point). Although you'll still lose weight, it may not happen quite as fast as the 3,500 cals/pound figure would predict. On the other hand, there's no threshold beyond which your body just "hangs onto" fat.

    P.S. The above information comes from interviews with several obesity experts. (I'm a freelance writer currently working an article about weight loss.)
  • Thank you so much :3
    That's what I was thinking, about the starvation mode thing. I assumed that your body wouldn't start hanging onto everything until your body fat % gets pretty low.

    That's really reassuring, thank you!
  • Even eating on a controlled diet plan and not on prescriptions, I found myself having a very hard time making my calories, esp when I used "good" calories to fill my diet. I would think that you should still eat at the 1200 calorie intake.

    Definitely get with your doctor.
  • Well I just went on a medically supervised very low calorie diet 600 -800 per day. I did take a multi and a potassium supplement and guess what. All of that was pretty unnecessary. My labs came back every time hardly moving at all. Except seeing improvement in almost everything that was bad before.

    Oh and um... did I hit starvation mode.. um.. nope... lost at least a lb per week every week until I lost it all. Oh and um, did I destroy my metabolism making me gain weight on maintenance? Um... nope... I started maintenance in August and doubled my calories.. I gained some.. but not more than 5 lbs.. in two months. And frankly it was all water / glycogen. If I cut back for 2 days out of 7.. it would fall off and right now, I am exactly at my low weight.

    For most of the diet I did no exercise at all. But in June a joined a gym. Was I out of shape. You betcha. Am I in shape now.. you betcha. If I lost any muscle during the diet, I was easily able to build it back.

    The plan I did has been around for 30+ years and is well known in the medical community (in fact they are invited in to medical programs to run their plan). However, I will admit you do eat their food so you do get a lot of nutrients. But someone did tell me once that the number one thing you need nutrients for is digestion so if you aren't eating a lot of calories, you don't need as many nutrients.

    That said, I did take phentermine a few years back and it didn't work. Mostly because I could never stay on it long enough to lose the weight. Once I got off it I would be exhausted and hungry!
  • I would definitely talk to your doc and probably consult a nutritionist. Not everyone's experience is going to be the same. The problem is that you could very well be losing muscle as well as fat. And thinking you can worry about building muscle AFTER you reach goal isn't the most ideal plan because when you lose muscle you don't get to choose which muscle. You could be losing heart muscle. Most people need over 1200 calories on a rest day for their BMR, that supports healthy organ function. For something as serious as this I would ask your dr about YOU, not what worked for anyone else. Good luck to you!
  • Definitely talk over your concerns with your doctor. But please also consider taking some supplements just to make sure your nutritional bases are covered -- a multi-vitamin and some fish oil (to make sure you're getting adequate essential fatty acids) would be good. Also, try to keep your protein intake up to reduce the amount of muscle lost. That's pretty sound advice regardless of calorie level, but it takes on renewed importance when you're eating fewer calories.
  • Thank you! I'm on the hunt for a supplement, I just don't know where to start D: I'll ask my doctor, too.
  • Wow...
    it does sound a bit dangerously low to continue for any length of time.
    I personally won't try that just because I think a person might get too weak.
    in stead, how about pack a little more calorie dense meal each time and workout? build muscle (or at least keep the muscle you have) and keep the body strong while losing weight?
  • Hi.

    I was taking Adipex as a doctor had prescribed to me as well. I lost 20 pounds while taking it, but I made healthy choices and ate only at meal times with fruit as snacks even if I was not hungry. The doctor I saw told me that if I did not eat "normally" or eat each meal and snacks (healthy)that it would likely be gained back because if you do not eat enough calories your body will think you are starving and use the fat that is stored therefore when you get off adipex you will gain the weight back because you are no longer "starving". I hope that I have made some sense lol. If I can help anymore let me know.