Weight Loss
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Is my rate of weight loss healthy? 3-4 lbs per week


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Hi everyone!

This is my first post to the forums and I've just joined today. I have a question and I was hoping someone could shed some light on if this is okay to continue or not. My calorie maintenance level is 2200 per day (with no exercise), so I've cut 1000 and have been eating 1200 per day. Also, I've been running on the treadmill every single day for 30 mins at 6.0 km/hr. I started on October 1st, 2011 and I was 224 lbs. As of today (Jan. 11, 2012), I'm 155 lbs. After losing a fair amount of weight the first couple of weeks (due to water weight, etc) I've been losing between 3-4 lbs. per week, every week. I feel great, have lots of energy, have been slowly increasing the intensity of my cardio, and make sure I eat 1200 calories every day, no more, no less. 

 

Now here's where I am not sure what's going on. I know it's dangerous for me to cut more than 1000 calories per day from my calorie maintenance level, and will cause my body to stop burning fat, and go into starvation mode to conserve fat and consume muscle. But, by going on the treadmill and burning extra calories, is this pushing my body into starvation mode? Or are calories burned from my running just burning extra fat? I know the general wisdom is to not lose more than 1-2 lbs. per week, but I feel great, have been looking good, have more energy than I ever have, and I don't seem to be losing muscle. Looking forward to hearing anyone's feedback on this!

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Well I don't have an answer for you but I wanted to congratulate you on your progress so far. What motivated you to make such a drastic change in your lifestyle? I have about 50 lbs to lose and can't seem to motivate myself to stick to anything.

Thank you! I've been trying for years to stick to a diet and exercise plan, but I have never had much willpower. Basically, I'm not sure why I was able to stick to it this time, but a big motivator for me was how long I have gone without cheating. Once I finished my first month, it was much simpler. Knowing how long I had gone, how many days, weeks, months has been a big motivator for me. The problem for me was always that I could not cheat at all, because If I decided to have fast food once, then I would tell myself "just one more time won't hurt" but it would keep happening until I lost all motivation. 

If your maintenance level is 2,200 without exercise, why are you creating a deficit based on that number instead of what you're actually burning with exercise? You should be creating a deficit based off of your TOTAL daily burn.

A 1,000 calorie deficit resulting in a loss of 3-4 pounds a week means you're deficit is much higher than 1,000 calories a day. That would mean your deficit is more like 1,500-2,000 calories per day. And yes, that is too fast for your current weight. At most, you should be losing 1.5 pounds per week.

Are you doing any strength training? If not, you're probably also losing a significant amount of muscle along with the fat, especially with such a huge deficit.

Every second day, I do a series of pushups. 4 sets of close grip until failure, 4 sets of medium grip until failure, and 4 sets of wide grip until failure. I have also been noticing my chest has been growing, not much, but it is definitely increasing in size a small bit, even though I'm losing the amount of weight I previously mentioned.

Hi,

There are a lot of people on here giving advice, including me. The best thing to do is listen to your body. If you feel great and aren't hungry, then you are probably doing ok, better than ok. Most of the time if you are doing something wrong your body will let you know. If you aren't eating enough calories, your body will let you know. If you are doing something dangerous for your body it will also let you know. A lot of stuff that is "General wisdom" is just that general. It is not the same for every individual. Congratulations on the weight loss and enjoy it. You have showed amazing discipline and your body is rewarding you for it.

Congratulations! thats a wicked effort. I say keep it up, your body will stop losing weight and it will slow up big time, that means your body is trying to tell you it needs more fuel.

AS the above post said, listen to your body. Find out what you healthy BMI is and weight should be, go for that, but not less, and then put yourself on maintence calories. which would be more than 1200

any way good luck!

Original Post by bierorama:

If your maintenance level is 2,200 without exercise, why are you creating a deficit based on that number instead of what you're actually burning with exercise? You should be creating a deficit based off of your TOTAL daily burn.

A 1,000 calorie deficit resulting in a loss of 3-4 pounds a week means you're deficit is much higher than 1,000 calories a day. That would mean your deficit is more like 1,500-2,000 calories per day. And yes, that is too fast for your current weight. At most, you should be losing 1.5 pounds per week.

I couldn't agree more. You need to add in how many calories you do every day with exercise and other daily activities, then calculate your calorie target using that number. Losing 3-4 lbs a week for that long isn't healthy (though a big congrats on the weight loss). The common views on how much weight you should lose per week is 1% of your body weight, which would be 1.5 lbs per week since you weigh 155. I lose an average of 1.8 lbs per week, and I'm 185 lbs. Try to eat more calories daily and decrease your weight loss to about 1.5 lbs a week, and add in some weight lifting/reps to help build the muscle back that you most likely lost while losing weight that quickly.

Original Post by becky90772:

Original Post by bierorama:

If your maintenance level is 2,200 without exercise, why are you creating a deficit based on that number instead of what you're actually burning with exercise? You should be creating a deficit based off of your TOTAL daily burn.

A 1,000 calorie deficit resulting in a loss of 3-4 pounds a week means you're deficit is much higher than 1,000 calories a day. That would mean your deficit is more like 1,500-2,000 calories per day. And yes, that is too fast for your current weight. At most, you should be losing 1.5 pounds per week.

I couldn't agree more. You need to add in how many calories you do every day with exercise and other daily activities, then calculate your calorie target using that number. Losing 3-4 lbs a week for that long isn't healthy (though a big congrats on the weight loss). The common views on how much weight you should lose per week is 1% of your body weight, which would be 1.5 lbs per week since you weigh 155. I lose an average of 1.8 lbs per week, and I'm 185 lbs. Try to eat more calories daily and decrease your weight loss to about 1.5 lbs a week, and add in some weight lifting/reps to help build the muscle back that you most likely lost while losing weight that quickly.

You should not eat if you are not hungry. This is a bad habit that

causes obesity.

Original Post by rbbeachchick:
  You should not eat if you are not hungry. This is a bad habit that

causes obesity.

So the other day when I was full after only 750 calories, I should have just sat there and not eaten anything else? I'm not saying for anyone to force themselves to eat a ridiculous amount of food. I'm just suggesting to eat higher calorie foods and/or eat more often. Eating too few calories is just as dangerous (if not more dangerous) than eating way too many calories. Either one will damage your body in one way or another (too few = lack of nutrients, starvation, unhealthy eating habits possibly leading to an ED... too many = too many of some nutrients that should be eaten below a certain level, obesity, and unhealthy eating habits possibly leading to an ED [I do view overeating as a form of an ED, since you become obsessed with eating/food]).

I'm not trying to tell anyone to pick up unhealthy eating habits. I'm actually saying quite the opposite. I'm trying to help people understand that eating too little is unhealthy, just like eating too much is. If it's just for a day here and there, it's not going to lead to bad habits. If it's constantly, then it isn't a good idea.

The very spirit of this forum rotates around healthy and sustainable weight loss - 3/4 pounds every week is not a healthy rate at your current stats. Chronic under eating can be just as bad, or worse for your body than over eating.

Also have you thought about the future at all? What happens if you stall out at your current calories? Are you going to keep reducing? Are you going to be able to switch to maintenance? Are you planning on going back to your old habits when you hit your goal?Are you planning on existing on 1200 calories per day for the rest of your life?

Adding calories to give you an appropriate level does not mean shoveling down more food, it just means making smarter choices so your body gets what it needs to function adequately while losing weight in a healthy way.

Posting Guidelines

Calorie Count's mission is to promote healthy and sustainable weight management. Please help our moderators follow this vision and respect the following guidelines.

  • Promotion of starvation diets or habits that exhibit signs of an eating disorder ("pro-ana", "pro-mia", etc.) is prohibited.

 

Two years ago, I was on a Dr. Supervised very low calorie diet. I lost a lot of weight quickly in just 2 months. 

I would admit that prior to that I believed that you had to have so many calories or you would be starving yourself .blah, blah, blah Even when my Dr put me on a 800 calorie diet, Yes 800 for the first few weeks then to 1000. After the first two weeks I was also exercising at least 3 days a week.  I was a little skeptical because of everything I had previously heard and read.  I listened to her because she was my Dr. and had been my Dr. for 10 years and I trusted that she knew what she was doing. I had to see her every week for 8 weeks for weigh-ins  and one on one consultations/classes on maintaining healthy weight once I loose it.  I was weighed by a special scale that gave very detailed information about my body composition. I only lost 1% muscle and went from 46% body fat to 39%. My Dr. said that was excellent with the amount of weight I lost.

I have kept almost all of it off and maintained it until about 6 month ago and being almost bi coastal dealing with a sick parent 2000 miles away.  1200 calories is fine. My average intake for the day for a year and a half was 1200 calories. I am healthy and happy with a decent metabolism. 1200 calories a day is a very maintainable daily caloric intake.  If you are concerned talk to your  Dr. before you start eating when you are not hungry.

 

1200 calories a day is not chronic under eating. To you question about the 750 calories  you had the other day. If you went more than one day at that many calories, being a healthy person with no physical or psychological issues your body would have let you know.

Look at the biggest looser episodes. There results are a typical and they have Dr.'s on set, but many of the biggest looser after 3 months on loosing a lot of weight every week for months. Below is a link from WebMD a trusted medical website on a review on low calorie diet such at the one used on the biggest loser.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/biggest-lo ser-diet

If you are truely concerned talk to your  Dr. before you start eating when you are not hungry.

 

Your math does not add up, that weight loss is at least a 2000 calorie deficit.  You are either burning more, eating less, or exercising more than what you said. 

Original Post by rbbeachchick:

Two years ago, I was on a Dr. Supervised very low calorie diet. I lost a lot of weight quickly in just 2 months. 

I would admit that prior to that I believed that you had to have so many calories or you would be starving yourself .blah, blah, blah Even when my Dr put me on a 800 calorie diet, Yes 800 for the first few weeks then to 1000. After the first two weeks I was also exercising at least 3 days a week.  I was a little skeptical because of everything I had previously heard and read.  I listened to her because she was my Dr. and had been my Dr. for 10 years and I trusted that she knew what she was doing. I had to see her every week for 8 weeks for weigh-ins  and one on one consultations/classes on maintaining healthy weight once I loose it.  I was weighed by a special scale that gave very detailed information about my body composition. I only lost 1% muscle and went from 46% body fat to 39%. My Dr. said that was excellent with the amount of weight I lost.

I have kept almost all of it off and maintained it until about 6 month ago and being almost bi coastal dealing with a sick parent 2000 miles away.  1200 calories is fine. My average intake for the day for a year and a half was 1200 calories. I am healthy and happy with a decent metabolism. 1200 calories a day is a very maintainable daily caloric intake.  If you are concerned talk to your  Dr. before you start eating when you are not hungry.

 

1200 calories a day is not chronic under eating. To you question about the 750 calories  you had the other day. If you went more than one day at that many calories, being a healthy person with no physical or psychological issues your body would have let you know.

Look at the biggest looser episodes. There results are a typical and they have Dr.'s on set, but many of the biggest looser after 3 months on loosing a lot of weight every week for months. Below is a link from WebMD a trusted medical website on a review on low calorie diet such at the one used on the biggest loser.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/biggest-lo ser-diet

If you are truely concerned talk to your  Dr. before you start eating when you are not hungry.

 

Take a look at how many 'Biggest Loser' contestants have actually kept the weight off. It is depressing. 

I'm losing at about the same rate only somehow this past week I managed to lose 4.9lbs so I'm a little concerned. Maybe some of it is still water.
Original Post by rbbeachchick:

Two years ago, I was on a Dr. Supervised very low calorie diet. I lost a lot of weight quickly in just 2 months. 

I would admit that prior to that I believed that you had to have so many calories or you would be starving yourself .blah, blah, blah Even when my Dr put me on a 800 calorie diet, Yes 800 for the first few weeks then to 1000. After the first two weeks I was also exercising at least 3 days a week.  I was a little skeptical because of everything I had previously heard and read.  I listened to her because she was my Dr. and had been my Dr. for 10 years and I trusted that she knew what she was doing. I had to see her every week for 8 weeks for weigh-ins  and one on one consultations/classes on maintaining healthy weight once I loose it.  I was weighed by a special scale that gave very detailed information about my body composition. I only lost 1% muscle and went from 46% body fat to 39%. My Dr. said that was excellent with the amount of weight I lost.

I have kept almost all of it off and maintained it until about 6 month ago and being almost bi coastal dealing with a sick parent 2000 miles away.  1200 calories is fine. My average intake for the day for a year and a half was 1200 calories. I am healthy and happy with a decent metabolism. 1200 calories a day is a very maintainable daily caloric intake.  If you are concerned talk to your  Dr. before you start eating when you are not hungry.

 

1200 calories a day is not chronic under eating. To you question about the 750 calories  you had the other day. If you went more than one day at that many calories, being a healthy person with no physical or psychological issues your body would have let you know.

Look at the biggest looser episodes. There results are a typical and they have Dr.'s on set, but many of the biggest looser after 3 months on loosing a lot of weight every week for months. Below is a link from WebMD a trusted medical website on a review on low calorie diet such at the one used on the biggest loser.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/biggest-lo ser-diet

If you are truely concerned talk to your  Dr. before you start eating when you are not hungry.

 

1. This is a forum, not a doctor supervised program - this is for healthy, sustainable weight loss not promotion of crash diets.

2. Most people that have a large amount of weight to lose need to keep trying for more than 2 months.

3. While you had medical supervision, others without it may cause themselves problems. Take for example a person that is being medicated for high blood pressure or diabetes, stop to think for a moment that the advice you're giving isn't always going to relatively healthy people.

4. 1200 is below many peoples BMR, its quite evidently below the OP's BMR based on the amount of weight they are losing.

5. Biggest loser contestants are monitored continually (think of the collapses and hospital visits - people don't have this help at home usually) & often put the weight straight back on after the shows end.

Obviously this isn't my plan. I plan on doing this until I reach my goal of 130 lbs, then eating to match my maintenance, which would be rougly 2500 per day. Your condescending tone is not constructive. My question was that I know the general widsom is that more than 1% of your weight per week is considered not healthy, but why am I losing it faster and still gaining muscle in my shoulders, chest, and legs? If I am able to show this kind of amazing dedication, why would I have trouble switching to maintenance? If you are going to comment, be constructive, because all you are doing is trying to belittle my efforts.

From everything I've ever read, when you elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes straight, your metabolism is increased for roughly eight hours after finishing, meaning you would be burning more calories at rest for eight full hours. I'm eating 1200 calories exactly a day, and running for 30 minutes precisely, every single day. I run on a treadmill on a timer, so I'm quite sure, and I calculate my calories mathematically, not just roughly. Constructive criticism people! These comments add no value or insight.

This article outlines some of the pitfalls of losing weight on a very low cal diet.  Not saying this will happen to you but it happens to a lot of people.

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36716808/ns/healt h-diet_and_nutrition/t/when-you-lose-weight-g ain-it-all-back/#.TwdyYUp4XdV

Original Post by justinleblanc:

From everything I've ever read, when you elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes straight, your metabolism is increased for roughly eight hours after finishing, meaning you would be burning more calories at rest for eight full hours. I'm eating 1200 calories exactly a day, and running for 30 minutes precisely, every single day. I run on a treadmill on a timer, so I'm quite sure, and I calculate my calories mathematically, not just roughly. Constructive criticism people! These comments add no value or insight.

I don't know, I was making an observation that your math does not add up.  I can't answer the question as to why, only you can.

As far as why you'd have trouble switching to maintenance, that's because resolve tends to peter out over time.  When I was close 300, I lost 50 lbs in 3 months then another 40 lbs over the next 7.  And then, I lost all resolve.  Over the next several years, I gained back most of it.  I clearly showed major effort and resolve, worked out, watched calories, etc.  And then one day it was gone and I could not get it back.  I've lost most of it again now and am very concerned about having a plan for maintenance.  It's not easy at all.  I'm older than you, so I'm sure it's harder for me, but it's a major pitfall.  And the more you starve your body, the more it wants to put weight back on, that is the theory anyway.  My plan is to ease into maintenance as I lost the last 10 lbs or so, drop my deficit to something close to maintenance and get there gradually.

I'm not a weight loss expert by any means, but if you are feeling great AND losing 3-4 lbs. a week, just keep on doing what you're doing. Like some other posters said, your body will tell you if you are doing something wrong. So just make sure to listen to your body and stay conscious of it. Keep track of your losses and when it starts to slow up, then you should increase your calories. It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on your eating and exercise. Congrats on your loss so far! It is very motivating!

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