Weight Loss
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Eating 1200 calories a day


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I'm 19 years old, 5ft5.5 and I currently weigh 136lbs. I understand that my BMI is average but I want to lose about 8lbs and get a little healthier as I'm working away this summer in a holiday camp in America and its going to be a pretty active job!

So yeah, I've started exercising more and eating alot healthier. I go swimming once/twice a week, burn 100 calories on my exercise bike a day and do weights every other day.

My average calorie intake before was around 1700 calories. I have now lowered this to 1200 but i've read mixed reviews on eating this amount of calories per day.

What would you say is a healthy amount to eat a day? I don't want to lose weight quickly and then pile it all back on but I don't really know much about dieting!

Any advice would be appreciated :)

Edited Apr 10 2012 23:37 by coach_k
Reason: Topic being missed -- OP is a teen and taller -- 1200 is NOT appropriate for her
22 Replies (last)

1200 is definitely too low.  An under-21 sedentary female at 5 foot tall should eat 1500 MINIMUM.

Your original 1700 was probably closer to a healthy amount given your height and age.

Go back to eating 1700 . You are working out more you need to eat and are close to your goal weight a 500 caloire eficit is not good when close to gioal weight. Eat more. Keep teh exercise up and I bet by end of summer you will lose those 8 lbs

 

#3  
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Hmmm, personally, I have found better success when you are just looking to lose a few pounds (less than 20), to focus more on increasing exercise & weight-training to get your desired "look," especially when you are within a normal range for your BMI. There is a danger with too much of a restricted diet that you will lose muscle mass, which leads to a decreased metabolism, and quick regain of the weight once you stop restricting your calories so much, you are right to be concerned.

However, 1200 calories is within the range that people use to shed the pounds. So you might have to experiment. As well, being that you are in the "tweaking" phase, you might have to be more patient. Lasting results will take awhile to accomplish. I think perhaps you might need to take a look at your carb levels. On a lower carb diet you can still keep your calories higher, but lose the inches, without depriving your body of fats and proteins which are needed for muscle building. I don't know if you really care about the world of Hollywood, ha, ha... but it would be similar to what Jennifer Anniston did many years ago when she lost the baby weight she had on the beginning seasons of Friends. I think she has maintained a lower carb diet all these years and focuses on weight training to get that lean toned look. Just to clarify, you might not even have to go that low. Even if you start at less then 100 carbs, with keeping your calories in the moderate range 1700-2000, I am sure that you will get your desired results.

All the best :)

L.

1200 calories a day is great for losing weight:). However, it will come off slowly like this. That's good though, because you won't gain it back (yay). I was 136 pounds last March and this March I am 123 pounds. It look me about 8 months to lose 13 pounds at 1200 cals a day (give or take). It takes awhile. The reason why it takes awhile is because 136 is actually an extremely healthy weight for your age and height. I am 22 and 5'6. The doc told me that 135-150 was perfectly healthy. I just didn't feel comfortable, therefore I lost some weight. BUT it will take awhile. But 1200 a day is GOOD (don't listen to anyone else). If you exercise then eat around 1300 a day. You'll be fine:))

Just get the right foods in your 1200 cals a day.

My day generally looks like this:

Coffee with milk, Oatmeal or cream of wheat. Some kind of salad  or soup for lunch. A snack around 3. Then a well rounded dinner (chicken, salad, potato), then a lil snack for after dinner. 

It'll be easy for you:) 

She won't lose weight at 1700 a day unless she burns 500 cals a day. 

A man should not reply to this post, because you are not in the female body. 

Original Post by brenicole:

She won't lose weight at 1700 a day unless she burns 500 cals a day. 

A man should not reply to this post, because you are not in the female body. 

I don't have to be in a female body to know the logistics of weight loss for a female.  Your post is quite rude and I can reply to any post I want.  1200 is very damaging and you are not doing her any favors by telling her it is ok.  1200 is the bare minimum for an adult.  At 19 years old, she is still growing and her organs are still developing.  an additional 300 calories should be added to anyone under 21.  This bring her minimum up to 1500 IF she was 5 foot nothing. 

That 5 extra inches means more lean muscle, which means the body needs more calories to maintain itself.  This is where the 1700 comes from.  I suggest in the future you do your own research before blindly offering poor advice and telling others they have no business posting.

Original Post by brenicole:

She won't lose weight at 1700 a day unless she burns 500 cals a day. 

A man should not reply to this post, because you are not in the female body. 

The OP burns 1700 by being sedentary. She is not sedentary. Therefore, she will lose weight by eating 1700. Given that she is at a healthy weight for her height, a deficit of 500 calories is not necessarily the best idea.

Men can understand calories just as well as women can. The man (karney) who replied was not basing his advice off of what he personally eats, but what he knows about calories in general. The women who replied (baltimore, kelran) gave the same advice as karney. Are you suggesting that they are not "in the female body" (and yes, I'm resisting the urge to make a joke about that)?

1200 is not appropriate for an active young woman under 21. Oh, and your suggestion to not listen to anyone else (because clearly, you are the only one who knows anything) is pretty damn ridiculous.

Original Post by karneykode:

1200 is definitely too low.  An under-21 sedentary female at 5 foot tall should eat 1500 MINIMUM.

Your original 1700 was probably closer to a healthy amount given your height and age.


Just quoting what this man posted...because it's true.

Original Post by brenicole:

She won't lose weight at 1700 a day unless she burns 500 cals a day. 

A man should not reply to this post, because you are not in the female body. 

Eating only 1700 calories, she probably is already looking at a deficit for the day - even without the exercise she is doing.  Try looking into the tools here on CC to help you better understand how the math works - it is not as simple as you're making it out to be.

I'm a small boned female 5ft.3".  When I signed up with calorie count last week, 1200 calories a day is what was programmed for me.  When you sign up and put in your measurements, a number should come up for you based, on your personal numbers.  

1200 calories a day, is not unusual for a small female.  I've gone on other programs, and that's what my calorie range was. 

Didn't you find it odd that it took you so long to lose weight eating so little. Maybe you should have eaten more food.
Original Post by weescotties:

I'm a small boned female 5ft.3".  When I signed up with calorie count last week, 1200 calories a day is what was programmed for me.  When you sign up and put in your measurements, a number should come up for you based, on your personal numbers.  

1200 calories a day, is not unusual for a small female.  I've gone on other programs, and that's what my calorie range was. 

CC's tool are NOT appropriate for people under 21 and 1200 is too low for most people anyway, especially if they are active at all. That is the number CC spits out when you set a goal date or put yourself as sedentary.  I really wish it would set the bottom at 1400-1500 instead so we didn't have so many people under eating :(  In the long run it is hard to sustain and makes maintenance more difficult.

It didn't take me long at all.  My problem is sticking with it, and I like to eat.  

#14  
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Thanks for the replies guys :) the reason I was going off 1200 calories is mainly to do with my results on the CC tool. Now I understand that this is not suitable for people under 21. I will up my calorie intake to 1500 and see how I do. I've been doing the 1200 calorie diet for 1 week today and I have lost 1 lb but I also had a few bad effects... Randomly having no energy e.g.

Thanks for your help!

Appreciate it.

I'm actually the exact same height and age as you, and 135-140 is my goal weight! I'm 147.7 at the mo.

I think instead of focusing on losing weight, you should just focus on body composition... If you actually lost 8 pounds and got down to 128, I would not be surprised if you would end up looking sick and frail. I know for sure that I would look scary at that point. D: The fact that you have no energy also means you should eat more for sure (but everyone's already established this).

I bet you look perfect and are in perfect health, with your exercise regimen. You have no weight to lose, but health to gain, and maybe some body composition numbers to change. I would say eat at least the 1500 you are switching to, or even more (like 1800+, or even eat maintenance!), so that you can focus on building muscle mass, which will in turn help you burn fat, without actually lowering the numbers on the scale. Maybe the idea of muscles sounds gross to you, but you'd look better and feel better at 136 with muscles than a skinny-fat 128 (my boyfriend can't wait to see me fit, not skinny). If you are at a perfect weight and aren't happy with yourself, focus on changing body composition and strength instead of the numbers on the scale.

I know this is pretty much the end of the thread but I just had to comment since you're exactly what I hope to end up as :'D

#16  
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Original Post by sammarou:

I'm actually the exact same height and age as you, and 135-140 is my goal weight! I'm 147.7 at the mo.

I think instead of focusing on losing weight, you should just focus on body composition... If you actually lost 8 pounds and got down to 128, I would not be surprised if you would end up looking sick and frail. I know for sure that I would look scary at that point. D: The fact that you have no energy also means you should eat more for sure (but everyone's already established this).

I bet you look perfect and are in perfect health, with your exercise regimen. You have no weight to lose, but health to gain, and maybe some body composition numbers to change. I would say eat at least the 1500 you are switching to, or even more (like 1800+, or even eat maintenance!), so that you can focus on building muscle mass, which will in turn help you burn fat, without actually lowering the numbers on the scale. Maybe the idea of muscles sounds gross to you, but you'd look better and feel better at 136 with muscles than a skinny-fat 128 (my boyfriend can't wait to see me fit, not skinny). If you are at a perfect weight and aren't happy with yourself, focus on changing body composition and strength instead of the numbers on the scale.

I know this is pretty much the end of the thread but I just had to comment since you're exactly what I hope to end up as :'D

Not too far to go then! Good luck :D

I completely understand. Just from exercising/doing weights for a short while I think i've noticed a difference. My arms are a little less squidgy! I think the main area I want to work on is my stomach. If I put on weight, it all goes there which is pretty frustrating.

Thanks for the advice! :)

 

 She does not feel comfortable in her skin, therefore she should either EAT LESS or BURN MORE or TONE! It is only for a temporary period in her life.  She asked for advice, clearly. I was giving her advice.  I eat 1200-1400 a day and burn 300-500 four days a week. I am maintaining and perfectly healthy. My diet consists of veggies, proteins, healthy fats, some treats of course;), and grains. I would guarantee her eating 1200 calories a day in healthy well rounded foods is better than 80% of the country eating crap in  "recommended" caloric intake.

The calorie standards in America are BEYOND ridiculous. People eat way beyond what they should, because it is the "recommended" caloric intake. Which is people are on caloriecount.com, I would presume. Honestly, it varies person to person. If she can't lose weight at 1700 then she needs to lower it for a period of time to lose the weight and then crank the calories BACK up after she's lost her desired amount.  Nobody should eat below 1200 for very long, but diets will recommend this for her. Trust me. 

 

Please, understand I am a senior in Health Promotion Science at a University. I study this stuff.  Best of luck in your calorie counting. Everyone deserves to be healthy. 

 

Original Post by brenicole:
 Trust me. 

Trust a person who bumps a month-old post to tell a 19-year-old that they should eat less than 1200 calories?

It's very sad that you have to eat a weight loss level of calories to maintain your weight, brenicole, and I sincerely hope that some day you realize that if you hadn't overly restricted your calories to lose weight, you could have been maintaining on a lot more.

ETA: It's not too late for you, by the way - you can still fix your damaged metabolism and eat more.

 Performance in fitness generally and any given sport specifically will be horrible if you don't consume enough calories and nutrients to support the level of effort required to do more than roll out of bed and faint on the floor.

 Listen to A-girl, she know what she's talking about.

1200 a day works for me, I'm a 5'3" female. Doctors have recommended that for weight loss. Do what you want and what works for you. It's very offensive when people constantly harass others on here for eating 1200 calories when we're all here for a common goal. I try to remain positive and supportive on CC no matter what my opinion is. It's your body and your weight to manage, and you are perfectly capable of knowing your own limits and maintaining a healthy balance. Experiment with calorie budgeting, find out what works for you and go for your goal.
22 Replies (last)
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