General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

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Old 09-18-2011, 08:17 PM   #1  
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Default Am i eating the right amount of calories?

I have been eating 1300 calories (no i do NOT underestimate) for about 6 months now and have lost about 25 or so pounds. I have eating dissorder history which plays a role in my diet however, i am trying very hard to eat for my health. I eat organically and i eat to fuel my body. But it is hard when I feel like eating 1300 is where i am stuck and plateauing. I am 18 years old and about 5'8". Nutrition calculators tell me to eat about 2,000 but that is obviously not realistic because everyone's body is different. I guess my question is, should i be platueaing at 1300cals/day? I am average size and i just feel like if i increase it at all i will only gain. Also, i only do weight trainging 3x week.. i dont have very much energy..
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:02 PM   #2  
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You may need to eat more for sure. Your body may be going into starvation mode and you won't lose then. Try upping your calories just for a week or two and see what happens.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:40 PM   #3  
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Well, in normal circumstances, I would suggest slowly increasing your calories (e.g., add 100 calories every 3-4 days). I would also normally suggest that one not worry so much about an initial increase in weight since eating more calories means that the body physically has more food in it and that water is being retained.

However, the fact that you had an ED and are only eating 1300 raises a red flag for me. That calorie count seems far too low for your age, height and activity level. I strongly encourage you to seek the help of a nutritionist or other expert. I know that may not be what you want to hear, but you also don't want to go down the road of screwing up your metabolism so that your body gets used to a low number of calories. I'm not saying such a circumstance is irreversible, but why put yourself through that?
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:47 PM   #4  
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You write that you are 5 ft. 8 inches. That you are 18. That you lost 25 lbs over 6 months at 1300 daily. You don't write your current weight or what your gender is. That information does play into the calories needed equation, as does exercise, along with your age. Youths require more fuel than old farts like me.

You write that you weight train 3 times a week...and that you're tired. Your body is trying to tell you something, as is the calories calculation site (or sites) that you visited. I think you are underfed, but that is only my opinion.

You write that you are at a plateau, so no longer losing....maybe your body is hanging onto each and every calorie for dear life because it simply requires MORE to function.

So here is some interesting reading for you - quote:

"At rest (for example, while sitting and watching television), the human body burns only about 12 calories per pound of body weight per day (26 calories per kilogram). That means that if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), your body uses only about:

150 X 12 = 1,800 calories per day

Twelve calories per pound per day is a rough estimate -- see How Calories Work for details.

Those 1,800 calories are used to do everything you need to stay alive:

They keep your heart beating and lungs breathing.
They keep your internal organs operating properly.
They keep your brain running.
They keep your body warm.


"The Idea Behind Dieting

Let's imagine that you are overweight and you would like to lose several excess pounds. To lose 1 pound of fat, what you have to do is burn off 3,500 calories. That is, over a period of time, you have to consume 3,500 calories less than your body needs. There are several ways you can create that deficit. If you assume that you weigh 150 pounds and that your body at rest needs 1,800 calories per day (150 * 12 = 1,800) to live, here are several examples (some realistic, some not):

You could lie in bed and starve yourself. Since you are lying in bed, you are consuming 1,800 calories per day. Since you are starving yourself, you are taking in no calories. That means that, every day, you create a deficit of 1,800 calories and, approximately every two days, you will lose 1 pound of body weight.

You could consume fewer calories than your body needs. For example, you might choose to consume 1,500 calories per day rather than the required 1,800 by controlling what you eat. That creates a 300-calorie deficit every day. That means that approximately every 12 days, you will lose 1 pound of weight (12 days x 300 calories = 3,600 calories).

You could consume 1,800 calories per day and then choose to jog 2 miles (3.2 km) every day. The jogging would burn about 200 calories per day, and over the course of 18 days you would burn about 1 pound of body weight (18 days x 200 calories = 3,600 calories).

You could consume 2,500 calories per day and run 10 miles per day. You will burn 1,800 calories per day at rest and then 1,000 calories per day running, for a total of 2,800 calories. You are consuming 300 calories fewer than you need, so you would lose a pound every 12 days or so (300 calories x 12 days = 3,600 calories).

As you can see from these examples, the only way to lose fat is to consume fewer calories per day than your body needs. For every 3,500 calories that your body takes from its fat reserves, you lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body fat. You can create the deficit either by monitoring and restricting your intake of calories, or by exercising, or both.

The idea behind most diets -- everything from Weight Watchers to the grapefruit diet -- is simply to help you somehow lower the number of calories that you consume each day. That's all they do."

OKAY - so you're surviving and losing weight on 1300 daily over 6 months and you're tired and advice on websites is that you need more fuel for your body. You probably do.

For the entire article, visit here:

Please diet, and exercise, safely. I am already a little worried for you. It isn't just the quality of the foods you eat (you wrote organic) it is also the quantity necessary for your body to function and to have the energy it requires not only to exercise, but to merely exist.

Maybe the eating disorder history is coming into play here too. Please reach out to someone in real life as well if you need help with that aspect.

Hugs, Donna
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:54 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by Toni48 View Post
You may need to eat more for sure. Your body may be going into starvation mode and you won't lose then. Try upping your calories just for a week or two and see what happens.
Add 100 calories daily for a week and see what happens. You might start losing again.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:09 PM   #6  
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You might try calorie cycling. You eat 1300 on day one, then do maybe 1800 on day two and then back to 1300 and so on.....or you could do more of a variety....I think your body needs some changes. It's all hard to tell based on the limited information your provided. I"m really glad you're eating healthy foods that nourish your body but you probably need to have more calories of those healthy foods. Are you getting enough healthy fats? Try to add raw almonds, avocado and raw olive oil into your diet. Your brain needs fat to function optimally.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:26 PM   #7  
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I REALLY appreciate all the responses guys, thanks!

This was my first post so i apologize if i wasn't very clear. I have trouble explaining my exact situation through text anyhow. But to answer some questions; i am a female and i do not know my current weight. I do not weigh myself. I do not wish too, either. I have enough obsessions, lol. I track my calories through a food scale that tells me the calories ( and fortunately it has helped physically, but not mentally). I just know i am not losing by how my clothes fit. Yes, my eating disorder has a strong grip on me, especially with the calories. I dont think i could take a leap like 1800 calories right now, no, i know i couldn't. I appreciate the opinions, i guess i really was just looking for evaluations of my situation. I am willing to make changes i just want some certainty in those desicions. That may not be realistic though, maybe just experiementing with leaps of faith!Appreciate the scientific info as well. Thanks again everyone
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:57 AM   #8  
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I'd really encourage you to get a doctor and dietitian involved.

It's possible you would gain on 1800, and it's also very possible that you will not. It's possible that you would gain temporarily, and then would begin losing again.

When you short-change your body of calories, your body starts using calories differently. It's like a business in danger of going bankrupt, energy is diverted away from less essential systems. In a factory, they might close down portions of the factory, lay employees off or cut their pay.

Unfortunatly in the human body there aren't really any nonessential systems, and you can't control where the "budget cuts" are going to be made. In your sleep regulation? In your body temperature? Your immune system?

If your protein and calorie intake isn't adequate, your body will begin breaking down muscle - and you don't get to pick which muscle. If the muscle loss is in your calves, no big deal - you can build more in the future with an improved diet - but if the muscle loss is in your heart, the damage can be irreperable and even fatal.

It's extremely unlikely that 1300 calories is a healthful calorie level for an 18 year old who is 5'8" and is exercising regularly. Your judgement is going to be impaired because of the eating disorder history, which is why you need the input of professionals.

You're not going to like what the doctor and dietitian will have to say - because they may tell you that your health needs to take priority over weight loss. Or that they want you to eat more calories than you're going to want to eat.

Your ED history means you can't afford to go by your judgement alone. You need to get professionals involved, because your instincts aren't going to be reliable.
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