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1200 Calories written in STONE , What's with that?
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Joined: Feb 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 12:20
congrats so far! and I agree. Im a shorter person also and I find I need way less to satiate my appetite. My RDI is 1500 but on days when I eat around 1000cals Im no hungrier, and of course eating less will speed up weight loss. But at 5'3ish 900-1000 cals is not going to damage my metabolism.
The Difference between WANT and NEED is self control.
Its not about the food I cannot have, Its about the body I will not have if I eat that food.
SUGAR IS THE DEVIL xD
Joined: Dec 10
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 12:24
There isn't anything in fact magical about the 1200 calorie threshold, and "starvation mode" is
for the most part
a myth. Having said that, the lower you restrict your calories, the more you increase the
* macronutrient deficiencies (insufficient protein or fats)
* micronutrient deficiencies
* excessive lean mass loss
* long-term changes to your basal metabolic rate
* long-term weight regain/dietary adherence problems
For most people, a 1200 calorie diet is unnecessary, and the drawbacks outweigh the benefit of faster weight loss. And typically, if you're truly unable to lose weight above 1200 calories, that suggests a metabolic disorder and it's worth having a talk with your doctor.
But you're correct in that there isn't anything universally unique about 1200 calories per day. Very low calorie diets can be done safely - they're just not usually a good idea, and rarely necessary.
Joined: Dec 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 12:32
I'm not quite sure, to be honest with you. I know your body needs the calories to function. Your heart uses a certain percentage, brain, etc. Sometimes just trusting that you need the calories is better than facing trouble down the line. Have you spoken with your doctor about it?
I know that I, personally, played the same game. Now, keeping in mind that everyone is different, I starter at 179 and began walking for 2 hours on the treadmill every day. Just walking, no strenuous exercise whatsoever. My calorie intake almost never exceeded 1200, usually it was in the 800-1100 range. I did fantastic with weight loss and it didn't come off EXTREMELY fast so I figured what I was doing must be safe. Once I hit the 40/50 lb mark, I began to have dizzy spells that sometimes even resulted in fainting. I was completely fine til then, and that was just in a healthy weight range for me (my BMI in the higher "healthy" end). I would lie to loved ones and say "I don't know what it could be, I've eaten plenty". Sure, I looked fantastic, but I was lying to myself and everyone else. It didn't stop me, I continued to lose another 10/20 lbs. Literally as soon as I started to eat more food, the weight came back so easily. Eventually, I was over-exceding my RDI, so obviously that contributed - but I honestly don't think it would have been possible to eat that amount of calories for the rest of my life.
If you've talked to your doctor or a nutritionist and they agree that it could work for you, that's definitely one thing. But having been there, the dizzy spells I began to get when I had almost reached my healthy goal weight were overwhelming... I personally couldn't do that again.
Joined: Jul 10
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 13:01
What Katie says is key for me- my goal is to get to a healthy weight that I can maintain through a reasonable combination of diet and exercise. If I can only get to a low weight my cutting my calories extremely low, I don't believe I'll ever be able to sustain it without constantly stressing over calories and I'm just not willing to do that. My definition of a full and active life means getting in good workouts 4-5 days a week but not spending more than an hour a day in the gym or stressing when I miss one. It means enjoying a glass of wine with dinner and an occasional pastry without worrying about what it will do to my weight. It means eating healthy food and watching my portions but not being afraid to have an extra snack on a day when I feel hungrier than usual. For me, I see maximizing my metabolism as being a critical part of the weight loss process so I'm just unwilling to go too low on calories- the point is to teach my body to use more in the long-term, not make do with less!
Joined: Jun 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 13:17
You might want to read this...
From my math, you are avering about 2.4 lbs per week, which is right in the recommended zone. So what you're doing seems to be working well.
I disagree with the 'starvation mode myth', that you won't lose weight (check out the results at
), but your metabolism does slow down...ALOT. That is the key, because when you hit your target weight, start eating a bit more to just maintain, you will need to be careful because weight gain is very possible.
My research shows that 1200 is a minimum MOST should keep too, mainly to make sure you get the RDA and don't suffer nutrient deficiency problems. However, each person is different, and size/age does make a difference, as well as if you are supplementing with a high quality vitamin that is fully digested.
Joined: Jan 12
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 13:20
Iam eating every 3 hours, only small amounts, but my body seems to like it, ive lost 7 lbs in 2 weeks
Joined: Feb 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 13:32
That's just the standard recommendation in order to get the nutrients you need (balance of protein, fat, carbs, vitamins/minerals). If you are eating less than 1200 calories then it is doubtful that you are consuming enough protein, fat, carbs, vitamins/minerals.
Aside from that, you could risk slowing down your metabolism. Beyond that, you risk electrolyte imbalances and fatigue and weakness along with muscle loss d/t inadequate intake. But to each their own, if you were successful... The other thing to consider is if it is sustainable - are you going to be able to eat less than 1200 for the rest of your life. Can you graudally increase your caloric intake and still maintain your weight? Only time will tell that. As you age, your muscle mass declines and as a result you burn fewer calories and need fewer calories. This is why many people gain as they age - that paired w/ decreased activity.
Joined: Sep 07
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 14:04
Everyone is different. I'm a 5'6" 48 year-old female [not small boned either] and I feel weak, tired, and lightheaded if I eat under 1,500 calories a day. If I work out daily, I'm closer to 2,000 per day.
Joined: Mar 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 16:04
For me, I've had days where I don't quite reach the 1200 calorie mark because I was really busy and didn't eat much or other factors, but mostly I stay between 1200-1500. That range is what works for me. I think if I consistently went under 1200 I'd have problems long term. I know there would come a time when I'd gain all my weight back because I went over my calories. I like being slow and steady. Making changes that I can stick with for the long haul, even if it takes me some extra time to lose the weight.
Goal 3: 125 whenever I get there
Goal 2(restart): 130 by May 25th (2013 vacation)
Goal 1: 135 by May 24th (2012)~~~~Accomplished!
Joined: Aug 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 16:24
how do you have enough energy to work out staying under 1200 calories?
Joined: May 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 16:29
I was eating 1000 calories a day and running frequently. I was losing quickly. But the downside was that I was really low energy the rest of the day and feeling light headed. I am much taller than you....5ft 9in...and I think that makes a difference. You have to judge it by how you feel. Be honest. If you feel great and not hungry or deprived..then it works for you.
Joined: Jan 12
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 16:55
When I first started my diet I talked to the Dr. and she said to keep it between 1200 and 1400 calories. There were quite a few days that I was between 900 and 1000 calories and when she looked at my log she said I needed to eat more. If you eat to few calories for your body although you might loose weight she said it can mess with your body and you can start loosing muscle mass and that overly fatigued feeling is your body's way of saying it needs more fuel to keep going.
I am now around 1300 calories per day and I am actually loosing more weight doing the same amount of exercise than I was when I was eating fewer calories.
Joined: Jan 12
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 17:04
I'm finding it hard to get to 1200Kcal and still eat well (trying to cut the carbs because of the bulging belly
). I really struggle to reach 1000Kcal and the evening meal takes a lot of planning. I'm worried about my metabolism slowing though, but that means topping up with unhealthy snacks which kind of defeats the purpose! So what's better: accept the lower calories and eat healthy, or keep to the 1200 and use the carbs (even if that is chocolate!)?
Joined: Oct 11
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 18:02
I've lost 28lbs since October, and I stay in the 880-1200 range. If I go over that I just don't lose weight. I am trying to cut out as many processed foods as possible and just eat clean. So far, I am feeling great and looking forward to summer so that I can do long ocean swims as my exercise. Right now I am walking, and targeting 7,500 steps during the week, and 10,000 on the weekends. Once I get back to swimming, I expect to increase my daily to 1200 - 1500Kcal.
Losing it for Life!
Joined: Jul 10
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 18:54
Pumpkinbelly, eat more healthy fat! You'll get there in no time. Grab an avocado or a couple tablespoons of peanut butter
I think wichtaks makes a very good point- your body probably wants more calories.
Lisalisa, with 39 pounds still to lose, you're probably going to stall at some point and have to lower your calories, only you have nowhere to go! When you say you go over that and don't lose weight, what I read into it is that when you eat more calories, your body keeps them because its not getting enough. I'd bet if you ate more for a while, you might gain a little bit of weight back but you'd be able to lose a lot easier. I honestly can't see any way that you're not starving yourself at your weight and activity level. Your BMR has to be twice what you eat some days! Eating too low can mean that you're sacrificing your muscle, which will make you skinny fat and it will be almost impossible to keep the weight off. It can also mean your body isn't getting appropriate nutrition in ways that may not show up immediately.
I thought this was an interesting article on a slow metabolism and how to fix it:
It may be an unpopular viewpoint in this thread but I'm convinced that most people who think they need to eat under 1200 calories a day are really looking at a broken metabolism- unless you like 100 lbs or something. The 1200 number may not be hard and fast for everyone but honestly, I haven't seen much in the medical community to refute it- if you're eating that few calories, I really hope you're working with a doctor.
Joined: Jan 12
Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 23:40
Thanks gnat824: will try that. I don't eat enough protein anyway, so salmon and avocado going on the meal planner now!
Joined: Dec 11
Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 06:11
Marlene, what i've seen in your food diary is, that you eat / drink very much the same. and it isn't that much balanced...i don't see a lot of vitamins, i see a lot of shakes and cottage chees and apple juice. maybe you should try to rething you eating habits...and try a balances meal - every day. with proteins, vitamins, fat....and some little carbs....
i know it by myself, that it can be tough to get over 1200 per day, but only when i'm busy or when i'm stressed (as i was on monday because of something happened...) but usually i try to have a balanced meal....
Joined: Oct 11
Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 11:04
Marlene, I had same attitude before. I used to eat very little, naturally, not because I was dieting, good food too. When I first started counting calories, I was surprised that I was under 1200 on regular days, I was only losing weight when I was at 800 or under. And I am 5'6" with large frame, and I also was power walking for an hour and a half each day, plus going to gym daily. Your body adapts and if you eat healthy diet, you probably get enough nutrition. The problem is that I was still gaining 2-3 pounds each year. Every extra calorie eaten at a party, or while i was sick and could not work out would be stored as fat. Also as you age, you have to start decreasing you calories, and with 1200 you don't have much to cut. Now I am trying to learn to eat more. So far at 1500 calculated for me by FS, though I don' always hit that high, mixed results, but I am not gaining either. I feel very tempted to go under 1200 again to speed up the process, but resist so far, as my goal this time is to balance my hormone levels. So I would say, it is not a rule for everybody, but an average number that is true and sustainable for most of us.
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
Joined: Jan 12
Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 11:22
I did a month averaging 1500 and didn't lose ANYTHING, in fact I gained a few (probably water). I am also 5'3 and im 43 years old. Hight makes a lot of difference on how much you can eat a day. Us shorties are unfortunately restricted by just a few hundred calories to do well. Anyone short able to lose at 1500?? without killing themselves in the gym?? This month I am doing 900-1200 and I vary it every few days by how I feel. I know that if I go too many days under 1000 it makes me dizzy and hungry,then i bindge the next day. I didn't figure this out till I used this website/app. I also have low blood pressure which adds to it. I just get up more slowly. I am finally losing weight and I set my fatsecret goal to 1100 a day which helps with my daily targets. I am so excited. This is the first time I have lost weight and am actually eating 3 fairly square meals (when I don't buy wine!)and know exactly what I am eating! Including weighing my wine (SHOCKER) Thank you smart phone! Thank you smart phone thank you santa clause!
Joined: Aug 10
Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 12:43
Lizzy, I am 5' 3", 28 years old and average 1500 - 1600 calories a day. I usually go higher on the weekends (often with a "cheat" or "spike" day) and then lower during the week. I have lost 25 pounds since June. I seem to be able to lose consistently eating anywhere from 1200 - 1700 calories a day. I maintain well at 1800 - 2000 a day. I've only been working out 2 days a week but I do walk a fair amount (20 - 40 minutes a day). Most of my weight loss has been from restricting calories, though I was losing more in the summer when I was running 3 days a week.
My weight loss has slowed as I'm approaching my goal weight so I either have to further restrict calories or workout more. Right now I'm fine with a slower weight loss and the 1500 calorie average but at least I have somewhere to go if I want to cut calories to accelerate things. Trying to get more workouts in during the week, but for me it's hard with it being dark before I leave work and so cold out. Spring is coming though!
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