Weight Loss
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I can eat 500-600 calories a day..and be full, am i doing it wrong?

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So, i'm 5'4, 166..ive just started this, lost 4 pounds my first week, decided to follow calorie counter with 1-2 pounds a week.  I eat 3 meals a day with some snacks occasionally, and it usually rounds up to be around 600 cals for the day.

morning: special k or corn flakes..(i actually enjoy special k)  -120 cal

lunch:  salmon with like 3 spoons of brown rice  - around 300 cals

dinner: light chicken noodle progresso soup - 140 cal for the can

then i try and stay away from snacks, i go rollerblading for like an hour(check the website, burns more than running and its fun)

if i do take a snack, its a chewy bar for 100 cal. or like tea or soup all under 120 cal...so highest i go up is usually 700 with snacks.  but then i go on here and people are like under 1200 is wrong, but i feel like im already eating enough, im perfectly satisfied most days, but there are those craving days...soo is it wrong..am i depriving myself without knowing.  if i suddenly move my diet up 600 cal, wont i GAIN weight?

Edited Mar 22 2010 00:21 by nycgirl
Reason: Locked against posting guidelines. Promotion of starvation diets or habits that exhibit signs of an eating disorder ("pro-ana", "pro-mia", etc.) is prohibited.
5 Replies (last)

Eating is about more than just calories.  With what you're eating you are not getting all the necessary nutrients.  You are also causing your metabolism to slow down so it will become very difficult to continue losing weight. Also when your deficit is so big you will lose more muscle than fat which is an extremely bad thing.

Use the tools to find out how much you really should be eating.  You'll be happier, continue to lose fat at a slow but sustainable pace, and will no longer have those cravings.  And most importantly you have have good health.

Short answer: Yes.  You're doing it wrong. 

Longer answer: You need at least 1200 calories a day as you've read in other places on CC.  To lose weight, you need to eat less calories than you are burning, but not THAT many less.  What you're doing right now is not a healthy diet.  It's a starvation diet.  Up your calorie intake to minimum 1200.  If you gain for a few days, it's because your poor body is in starvation mode and feels like it needs to hang on to anything it can get.  But if you stick with it, you should start losing just fine at 1200.  Don't go lower.  It's better to lose slowly and reach your goal and be able to maintain a healthy weight than to try to rush it and end up hurting yourself in the long run.

Besides agreeing with the other posters, I'm going to share my personal experience with this.

I stayed with my dad for a bit last year, and he's gone from 9-6 each day. He would eat lunch at work, and give me 10 bucks a day for my lunch. He had little to no food in the house, only had what would be prepared for dinner, which was always salad and/or soup, rarely fish or chicken too. I would use my 10 bucks to buy cigarettes (I lived in NYC, they're 9 to 10 bucks a pack there). So my daily intake would consist of morning coffee and two eggs, and salad and/or soup for dinner. The soup was almost always gross so I'd rarely eat it lol.

That put my calorie intake at way too little. I went from 164 to 154 lbs in a month. I was happy, but it didn't last long. As soon as I started eating normally again, i gained the weight i lost, plus an additional 3 lbs.

it's not worth it, and very unhealthy. anytime you go on a 'diet' that puts your body in starvation mode, you'll not only gain the weight back, you'll likely gain more, and you'll be very weak on top of it. i was clinically depressed at the time, and when i started treating my body better i noticed a great improvement in my mood.

I started my official weight loss journey a week ago, and I've already lost an inch in my thighs (I haven't checked the scale yet). I consume roughly 1400 cals a day. I force myself to go above 1000 (which is what ill eat 'naturally') and it seems to be working :)


Ah, don't be too scared, if you haven't been on this diet for long, there hasn't been any permanent damage yet.

Remember to go back to the healthy eating slowly. Add 100-200 per day for a week then 100-200 per day more for the next week and so on to get to 1200+. If you suddenly start eating 1200, you'll definitely gain weight, since your body is still functioning at 600 calories and will store the sudden 600 more as fat, which is why crash diets don't work.

Very bad advice honeymustarr (not to mention against posting guidelines). You would only do this if you had undereaten for a long time and were extremely undernourished and underweight to avoid a dangerous refeeding scenario.

The OP needs to up her calories TODAY.

Yellowapple, How old are you? If you are an adult the minimum cals you should eat is 1200. If you are a teen the very bare bones minimum is 1500.

Please know that Calorie Count cannot and will not support you eating less than 1200 calories a day (1500 for teens). We consider this unhealthy and CC is all about HEALTHY weight loss or weight maintenance.

From Mary Hartley, Calorie Count's Director of Nutrition: "By eating only 800 calories, you will not get enough energy, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other components of food. In time, you could become malnourished, which can cause severe health risks such as respiratory infections, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack and even death."

Here is a brief reason why never less than 1200 from the Advice section of Calorie Count Plus, under the Q&A tab:

Why must I eat at least 1,200 calories a day when I want to eat less?

In order to get the daily food servings you need for a balanced diet, it takes about 1200 calories a day. With careful planning, you could have a balanced diet on 1000 calories, but the restrictiveness of a very low calorie level can lead to binging and weight cycling, which will take you further from your weight loss goal. What's more, very low calorie diets can cause excessive muscle breakdown and metabolic adaptations, which can drive down your calorie requirements. In the end, you'll need fewer calories to maintain a higher weight

Your body needs at least 1200 calories per day to survive.

Edited Mar 22 2010 00:23 by nycgirl
5 Replies
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