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1200 Calories a day, is it enough?


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First let me say I love this site.  

I am on day 10 of my "diet" and doing great.  I think I have lost about 6 pounds but I didn't weigh myself until day 5 or 6 so I am not sure. 

Anyway I am eating approximately 1200 calories a day in 5-6 meals and I am satisfied.  Is that ok?  I don't understand the whole starvation thing.  Does that mean my body goes into starvation so I will not loose?  I don't understand.  I eat mostly low fat protiens like chicken, turkey and egg whites and tons of veggies 5 times a day.  1 carb serving at lunch and dinner.  And 2 fruit servings daily. 

 Am I eating enough, will I loose this way.  As of right now, day 10, I feel like I could do this for awhile.  I haven't strayed yet.   I have a long way to go.  My goal is about 60-70 pounds.

Please advise.......

16 Replies (last)

ann_c:  did you use the bmi tool?  It is great, it will help you know for sure how many calories you should be eating for your age, height and weight right now.  I know for sure that 1200 calories is enough for me that is the only way I lose weight.  But for you, you will need to check the bmi checker. 

I read your personal page and I too lost both of my parents recently and it was so hard for me too, I totally can relate.  I have three kids too and they keep me busy also.  I know what you mean time for yourself.  Good luck and keep reading the forums, they are helpful and motivating. 

Ann, assuming you are an adult female ... there are two numbers you should watch. First, 1200 calories ... the minimum number an adult female should be eating. Second, 1000 calories ... the maximum daily calorie DEFICIT you should have unless you are being frequently monitored by a doctor.

Is your calorie deficit 1000 per day or less? Smile

=^..^= MOLLY

Your body can go into starvation mode if you eat under 1200 calories because that is the recommened number for a woman's organs to function.

You can ALSO go into starvation mode if you exercise and only eat 1200 calories a day.  This is because the extra calories you burn with exercise subtract from your total calories eaten.

Meaning to experience safe weight loss, make sure you eat 1200 + exercise calories.

Hi Ann!

 I'm NOT a doctor or a dietician, but as long as you are getting enough protein and carbs for your activity level, 1200 should be okay. You want to make sure you are getting all the nutrients/vitamins you need (Calcium, Folic Acid, etc.) as well as enough fiber (25-30 grams). It sounds like you are feeling feel due to all the veggies (fiber) and protein! Don't overlook good carbs, though, but it really sounds like you are doing a lot right! And, if you are truly hungry, eat a smart snack! ;-) Again, I'm not an expert, so I concede to future posts from those more knowledgeable!

Congratulations on the weight loss. I hope the recent weigh-in means you invested in a scale so you can see the pounds melt off!!!

 Good luck!

Alicia

Thank you so much.  Everything everyone is writing is great!!!  I haven't started exercising, so when I do, which will hopefully be soon, I will calculate the calories I burn and add that to my daily intake to make sure I am getting enough!!!

Again Thank you everyone!

#6  
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You have to eat at least 1200 calories a day to maintain your body functions.  So if your at all active, as in don't have a desk job,  or if you work out, you will defiantly need more in-order to avoid losing muscle.  If you don't eat enough your body will slow down your metabolism because it thinks you are starving, not very good for losing weight.  I lost 30 pounds last year by eating 1200-1600 calories a day, depending on how active I was.  I've kept it off by staying active and eating around 1700 calories a day.  I still have a ways to go, 60 pounds or so, and I've just gone back to the 1200-1600 range.  I think as long as you can stick to it you should be fine. I Make sure to eat lost of veggies, they don't have a lot a calories so you can eat more of them and feel full longer, and of course lean proteins.   I also eat a small meal every hour or two and try not to go much longer that that between meals, since eating gives your metabolism a boost.   Hope that helps,  Good luck with everything :)
I know I can go about two weeks with cutting out carbs but then it starts to effect my body. You need carbs, they are really important. Add in two or three servings of whole wheat and whole grain. It'll keep you going in the long run. 
I don't know much about this whole calorie thing so I was wondering if it's ok that I'm eating between 800 to 1000 calories a day. Can I lose weight that way? I don't really do any exercising. I just started walking about a mile every other day.  I know that doesn't burn very many calories so I figure the only way to lose weight is eat less calories than I'm burning and the tool on here I used says I burn 1700 calories a day but I think it could be wrong and I probably burn less than that.
Original Post by xreadytolosex:

I don't know much about this whole calorie thing so I was wondering if it's ok that I'm eating between 800 to 1000 calories a day. Can I lose weight that way? I don't really do any exercising. I just started walking about a mile every other day. I know that doesn't burn very many calories so I figure the only way to lose weight is eat less calories than I'm burning and the tool on here I used says I burn 1700 calories a day but I think it could be wrong and I probably burn less than that.

I'm assuming you're female, but if you're not, replace "1200" with "1500".

You won't lose any weight like that, because you're body doesn't understand. It thinks you're starving, so it's not only telling you that's all you need, but it's storing most of what you eat, making is so you'll probably gain instead. As has been said, you need at least 1,200 calories per day to avoid this, plus whatever you exercise away.

If you're walking that mile in about 20 minutes, you're burning approximately 100 calories each time. That means on days where you do walk, you need at LEAST 1300 calories.

#10  
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Original Post by amydoll221:

I know I can go about two weeks with cutting out carbs but then it starts to effect my body. You need carbs, they are really important. Add in two or three servings of whole wheat and whole grain. It'll keep you going in the long run.

Um vegetables ARE carbs. They sure aren't protein. If, as she says, she's eating "tons of vegetables", then she's getting her carbs. I don't eat any grains at all - haven't since mid-2006, in fact - and CC reports that almost 50% of my daily calories come from carbs.

We don't *need* grains. Think about this from an evolutionary viewpoint - our cavemen ancestors wouldn't have had any grains, because they are too hard to prepare in a neolithic hunter-gatherer society. Our bodies evolved to eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables, together with whatever protein we could scrounge. It's only when we added grains into the mix (lots of energy, but little actual nutritional value in terms of vitamins and minerals) that we started to have problems with obesity.

First of all, I don't believe in evolution. Second, watch your tone. You are coming off as rude.

I know what I'm talking about. I get sick if I try to get all my carbs from vegetables.  Without whole grains I start getting nausea. Thats just how my body is. If you can go without them, good for you. I wouldn't want to do that. I like my bread and oatmeal and pasta.

Very interesting thread here!...I'd like to get in on the discussion, for me my "max" in caloric intake per day is 1200...I like to eat around the 950 realm and keep to that for the most part.  I've started doing this for the last two weeks...feel great!...have more energy and insight into what I'm putting into my body than ever.  I'm only 5'1" and small stature...also 50 ish....so for me it's a nice balance.  I bike  25 minutes everyday and do outdoor gardening whenever possible....I'm headed toward my goal (looking to slim down by about 5 lbs)...eating lots of fruits and veggies...although not a vegan I've always leaned in that direction. I've never been much for the grains or pastas either. I don't think my body "thinks" it's starving .  I"ve done all the math to get to the figures that I need to be at....anyhow...I feel great! My two cents worth!
#13  
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Original Post by amydoll221:

First of all, I don't believe in evolution. Second, watch your tone. You are coming off as rude.

I know what I'm talking about. I get sick if I try to get all my carbs from vegetables. Without whole grains I start getting nausea. Thats just how my body is. If you can go without them, good for you. I wouldn't want to do that. I like my bread and oatmeal and pasta.

My apologies, I didn't mean to come off as rude.  I get a lot of people telling me that the way I eat isn't "natural", so I tend to get a bit defensive and pre-emptive.  But I did want to point out that vegetables are indeed carbs - people tend to forget that fact.

It's interesting that you get nausea without grains - after a couple of weeks without them, I get the same way if I *do* eat grains intentionally or by accident.   (Every so often, for one reason or another, I find I have to eat grains for a while, usually with bad results for me.)

I won't get into the evolution debate with you, here or anywhere else.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

Jaylynn, I would guess you're one of the exceptions to the 1200 rule. Being older and so petite it doesn't surprise me that that works for you. But if you're only looking to loose 5 pounds I think its weird you are cutting down calories so much. Is it really that much? I can't tell. You could take a few months to loose those 5 pounds and you'll keep it off longer than quickly loosing it.

 

gcbragg, I don't understand how you can get enough carbs from just veggies. But it just shows how different different bodies types are. I can't eat more than a few ounces of meat daily. It makes me sick. And I can't live off veggies. But obviously you can and you seem to like that. I'm personally glad I'm not like that.

 

i never said i "only" ate veggies...i said my diet was largely veggie.  i consume yogurt on a daily basis...(calcium rich) and believe it or not eat a pretty balanced diet.  i've never consumed a large amount of carbs most likely out of the preferences to foods...i'm healthy...not overweight by any means...just want to "lean up" a little.  i seem to personally feel at my best then...and i'm glad i'm like that!
#16  
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Original Post by amydoll221:

 

gcbragg, I don't understand how you can get enough carbs from just veggies. But it just shows how different different bodies types are. I can't eat more than a few ounces of meat daily. It makes me sick. And I can't live off veggies. But obviously you can and you seem to like that. I'm personally glad I'm not like that.

 

I eat a LOT of fruits and veggies - 15 to 20 "servings" a day.  That's how :-) 

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