Weight Loss
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1,000 calorie a day diet

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I've recently been put on a 1,000 calorie diet by my endocrinologist.  Does anyone have any ideas of foods low in calories that I can use to make up a daily diet?  I've lost 60lbs so far and have another 30 to go.  Or 20 according to my Dr. :) I'm not familar with the calorie counts in food so any advice would be helpful.  I've hit a stand still and I'm not losing any weight at the moment.

Edited Oct 15 2009 23:01 by coach_k
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I am not understanding why a medical professional would put you on such a low cal diet. Women need a minimum of 1200 prevent your metabolism from slowing drastically and to meet all nutritional requirements. Perhaps a little more background would be helpful.
As far as low cal foods, the odvious are fruits and even better....green veggies. Avoid processed foods. Stick to VERY lean meats...Chicken, extra lean beef etc....
veggies, fruits (tropical fruits are typically higher in calories so I would limit them) low fat dairy, lean protein, avoid processed foods.

I agree that 1000 sounds very little indeed. I feel faint if i don't eat at least 1200.  However, here are some of my favourites for keeping calorie count down: 


sugar free jelly is great, feels like you're eating lots but only having a few callories! 

Serve meals on a huge bed of bean sprouts - that's low in callories too!

drink lots of flavoured green tea (sweeteners not sugar)

 Every time you get hungry, drink a glass of water before eating anything, just in case you are thirsty and don't really need to eat that much.  Plus it fills you up a bit.

Turkey is a very low cal meat

Sainsburys be good to yourself fresh tomato and basil soup is soooo nice and quite filling too.  Low cal. 

Only use skimmed milk

if you need snacks in the evening, buy nice bubble bath and have a bath instead of an evening snack treat

That's my best advice!  Good luck, remember that staying at the same weight and losing weight are both steps in the right direction, because when you hit goal weight, you are going to want to maintain that anyway!



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I know I was prepared to go in with my food diary and say "SEE I'm hardly eating anything WHY am I not losing weight!"  I've also gone the other route and eaten 5 small meals a day.  Nothing seemed to work.  So I ate very little and started losing weight.  Well duh right?  ;)  Everyone around me started thinking I wasn't eating enough etc etc.  Long story short the reason I have an endocrinlogist is to figure out why I can't lose weight.  I have a metoblic disorder and I'm insulin resistant.  Those two combined make my body take what I eat and store it and keep it and turn it into fat.  I am on metformin which is a pre-diabetic drug which has helped tremendously by telling my body to let go of the sugar and use it, burn it up and get it out of my body.  My Dr. has said that some people (myself included) have such low metabolisms that they don't require as much food as others.  And really it's only 200 less calories then the average diet.  And all blood work has come back amazingly healthy.  I'm the healthiest and skinniest I've ever been.  And I use the term skinniest losely.  I'm 180.  But I started at 240.  But I can't budge from 180 it's been a few months now.  I was losing 5lbs a month so now it's frustrating.

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Thank you so much!  I love that!  Both the bubble bath idea and that staying the same weight and losing are both very good.  I hadn't thought of it that way.  I was just frustrated the scale wasn't going down.  You are absolutely right.  Not gaining is still better then gaining!  Gotta think positive! 

 Thank You!


My endocrinologist told me never to eat less than 1200 calories.... and it must be challenging to eat a balanced diet on anything less.

Could you eat more if you exercised more (to get your metabolism up?)

Anyway .... some foods to consider:


Green Beans





Light Yogurt

Lean meats (turkey, ham, tuna)

Egg whites

light bread


=^..^=  MOLLY
I have a friend who was gaining weight.  She tried everything,  weight watchers, exercise.....Finally went to specialists at Vanderbilt University. After many, many tests they discovered She has a slow metabobism.  She does pilates  and walks religiously and to NOT gain weight eat 800 calories a day. 
O and the 800 a day is what her Doctors told her she would have to eat.
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I know a woman with PCOS, whose endocrinologist told her to eat 1000 per day and walk for exercise.  Apparently there were studies done that showed women with PCOS lost best on about 800 calories a day.
I would love to see your doctor live on 800 or 1000 calories a day!
size7soon ~ have you seen a nutruitionist?  I am sure that you endocrinoloist is very good. but he should have given you a list of foods that you can eat.  A doctor can not just tell you to eat a certain amount of calories and nothing else.
I am not sure where you are from, but in Ontario, if you are insulin resistant, your first stop is to a nutritionist.
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I'm in San Diego Ca.  I did see a nutritionist when I had gestational diabetes and had to give myself insulin.  But now that I'm insulin resistant without being pregnant I'm assuming they think I remember what they told me while pregnant.  Although it's different now since I don't have to be on a diabetic diet.  But yes I would like to go to a nutritionist and get a sample daily diet so that I can follow it and know that I am eating exactly 1,000 calories.  Although I think in order to lose now I need to eat less.  I should eat between 800-1,000 a day. 

 My doctor also told me that it was all about calories and not exercise. He said that for me it will be restricting calories and little exercise.  Like walking only.  We decided that when I reach my goal weight I will probably not be able to eat over 1200 calories a day at the most if I want to maintain it.  Normally I would think he was nuts but for the first time in my life I have lost and kept off 60lbs.  So I think he might be on to something.  It sucks to have this metabolism, but  at least I found a way to work with it.   

I think I understand what your doctor is saying. However, if you exercise, you can eat more because you're burning more. And who doesn't want to eat more ... you know? Also, if you workout to build muscle, that too will cause you to burn more calories at rest, thus revving up your metabolism. Again, allowing you to eat more. It's just kind of nice being able to eat more and not having to stress out over it.

Also, you NEED exercise, regardless of needing/wanting to lose weight. It's good for your heart, your lungs, your bones, etc. If you expect to have a healthy, mobile old age, I HIGHLY recommend exercise.

P.S. Just because a person has a slow metabolism, DOESN'T mean they can't rev it up! That person only eating 800 calories per day is ALLOWING her metabolism to be slow.
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Oh believe me I understand how metabolism works.  And that muscle burns more calories and exercising allows you to eat more.  However that seems to not work for me.  When I had a gym membership I didn't lose any weight.  When I stopped going to the gym and restricted my calories I started losing weight.  And I'm not exactly leading a sedentary lifestyle.  I have a 1 1/2 year old son.  I am very active.  Just not in the traditional exercise sense.  The more I work out, the higher my metabolism gets, the more I eat the more weight I gain.  It seems to work backward for me.  So while it may seem crazy to most people it works for me.  I just want a detailed diet to follow so I know exactly how many calories I'm eating a day.  It's hard to me to know how many calories are in everything I'm eating. 
Thank you so much for your post. I just came across it and it is very helpful to me! I have had problems with not being able to lose weight. And I get sick if I exercise for more than 20 minutes. It takes me 3 days or more to recover from it. It is really weird because I used to be very active with exercising. It is helpful to know I am not alone. And someone has had results with less than 1200 Calories!

It's not easy but it's doable. I'm eating 850-1000 calories a day which has been cleared by my nutritionist. You've just got to make every calorie count and keep empty calories to a minimum.

I eat very little bread/rice/potatoes/pasta. I eat lots of chicken breast, tuna, baked fish, shrimp, tofu and other soy foods, beans, lentils, light yogurts. As long as I make sure to get enough protein I don't feel hungry. I'm not a huge veggie eater but I do eat green salad with low calorie dressing sometimes, and I like broccoli and brussels sprouts. Kiwi, tangerines, apples, mangoes, strawberries, are all fairly low in calories and very good for you. I drink one glass a day of Soy Slender soymilk. It tastes really good, has good protein and fiber and is only 70 calories for 8 oz. They have chocolate, vanilla and cappuccino. Luna bars are good for breakfasts. They mostly have 10 grams of protein each and are fortified with many other vitamins including calcium. Scrambled egg beaters with some low fat cheese melted on top are good. I have a mug of Swiss Miss diet cocoa every night. 25 calories and it has 30% of your daily calcium. Sometimes I will have sugar free pudding cups at 60 cals each if I feel like I need a dessert. I have found several meals I can eat at the fast food places near where I work so that I can buy lunch sometimes without messing it all up. String cheeses are good snacks with calcium and protein. In general I try to keep my meals to 250 cals each and snacks at 100-250 cals for the day. It sounds hard but if you're careful about what you choose you can get everything you need into that amount.

My nutritionist also said to make sure you get all your calcium, and to take a daily multivitamin. Just from my food I am getting 45-60 grams of protein a day, 100% or more of my calcium, 4-5 servings of fruit/vegetables, plenty of fiber... It's not always easy but it's the only thing that works for me. My nutritionist said I just have a very low metabolism and some people do.

Original Post by size7soon:

I've recently been put on a 1,000 calorie diet by my endocrinologist.  Does anyone have any ideas of foods low in calories that I can use to make up a daily diet?  I've lost 60lbs so far and have another 30 to go.  Or 20 according to my Dr. :) I'm not familar with the calorie counts in food so any advice would be helpful.  I've hit a stand still and I'm not losing any weight at the moment.

You may want to consider a second opinion, 1000 calories seems far too low.  Has your doctor encouraged exercise on top of this?  1000 calories consumed is too low to begin with, couple that with exercise and in my opinion you are setting yourself up to become ill at some point.

Are you taking a multivitamin? It's hard to get proper nutrition on so few calories.

Liquid egg whites (sold in cartons) are great for lean protein. I like to mix in salsa and broccoli and sometimes low-fat cheddar cheese:

1/2 cup liquid egg whites = 60 calories

1 cup frozen broccoli = 30 calories

1 slice fat free cheddar = 30 calories

1/3 cup salsa = 20 calories

TOTAL = 140 calories

Snacks: raw veggies, fruit, low fat yogurt (40), baked apple slices with cinnamon (~90), diet Jello (lemon has half the calories of other flavours, I've been known to eat an entire package at once - 20 cal!), puffed grain cereal with almond breeze (1 cup +125 mL = 70 calories total), square of dark chocolate (55), low fat cottage cheese (1/2 cup, 100 calories), hard-boiled egg (78), oatmeal (~140), and fruit teas (no milk or sugar).

200 calorie meal: One can of tuna (120 calories); heaps of baby greens (10 calories); light italian salad dressing (25 calories); slices of tomato, green pepper, cucumber, whatever (40 calories, tops); 15g sliced olives (good fats, 15 calories). Total is ~ 215 calories, and it's a huge plate of food.

There's no way to get around looking up calorie values for the foods you eat. It seems like a huge task at first, but you'll quickly get used to it and become good at estimating.

Congrats on the 60 and good luck with the 30 lbs.

Here are some 250 calorie meals I eat on a regular basis that have lots of protein and other nutrients. Most of the fruits are 50 calories so they are interchangeable:

1 Luna Bar = 180 cal , 1 cup Soy Slender Soymilk = 70 cals

Fried Egg Sandwich: 2 slices of Orowheat Light or Sara Lee Light whole wheat bread = 80 cals, medium egg fried in non-stick cooking spray = 70, Slice of Fat Free American cheese = 25 cal, spray of I Can't Believe it's Not Butter spray = 0, 10 apple slices or half an apple = about 50 cals, Swiss Miss Diet Hot Cocoa = 25 cals

Scrambled Eggs: 3/4 cup of Reddi-egg (I use reddi-egg but I assume eggbeaters is similar in values) = 90 cals, black pepper = 0 cals, 1/8 cup shredded lowfat cheese = 40 cals, 1 tangerine = about 50 cals, 1 cup soy slender soymilk = 70 cals

Hot Dog: 1 Morningstar Farms soy hot dog (freezer case) = 80 cals, 1 white hotdog bun = 110 cals, mustard = 0 cals, sliced kiwi = 50 cals, diet soda or tea = 0 cals

Shrimp Stir Fry: 3 oz medium shrimp (about 12 shrimp) = 80 cals, 1/2 can water chesnuts = 50 cals, 1 cup broccoli = 25 cals, 1 T rice wine vinegar = 0 cals, 1 T oyster sauce = 5 cals, 1 tsp minced garlic = 5 cals, 1/2 peeled mango = 65 cals

Chicken Ceasar Salad: 3 oz cooked chicken breast in chunks = 100 cals, 3 cups salad greens = 10 cals, 2 T Fat Free ceasar dressing = 40 cals, 1/2 cup applesauce = 50 cals, 2/3 cup frozen strawberries blended with 8 oz diet lemonade = 50-60 cals


Original Post by size7soon:

 It's hard to me to know how many calories are in everything I'm eating. 

 I'm not sure if anyone's answered this rather obvious point - are you logging your food here on calorie-count? That's how you find out how many calories are in everything you're eating!

Sparkpeople.com has the best food log, this is a great resource too, though. Also, weigh all of your food, don't rely on measuring cups. 1/2 cup of cereal in volume is rarely the weight of the serving. You could be eating a serving and a half and not know it, but your body will!

Also, I feel the pain about low calories. I think there are people that are fuel efficient. their body temperature might run lower, and use energy efficiently overall. This might be good if we were in a Nomadic tribe, but we aren't...so unfortunately we have to make the adjustments. I was moved to 1000-1200 cal by my nutritionist, who is also a doctor because 1400calories didn't allow me to lose anything!  I am the most active person I know. I run, cycle, swim and run distance races regularly. I even have a lot of muscle. It's not easy to follow the diet, especially on weekends. Plus I'm only allowed one serving of carbohydrate food per day.

some things I like to eat

egg whites and salsa, the liquid boxed is easy, nonfat kraft mozzerella, fat free feta, protein powder blended with water and 3 frozen strawberries and a couple ice cubes, stir fry with chili garlic sauce, fiber one, salad and chicken with ken's accents balsamic, extra lean ground turkey, shirataki noodles http://www.shiratakinoodles.net/ (they have only 6gm carbs and 40 cals in the whole bag!)

tea when I'm feeling hungry and can't eat more cals, 0% greek yogurt (120 cal lots of protein per cup), cabot nonfat cottage cheese (75 cal per serving) sugar free jello, veggies!! Ever make the Weight watchers veggie soup recipe? http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/20/Weig ht_Watchers_Garden_Vegetable_Soup44712.shtml

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