Weight Loss
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Can not eating enough really make you gain weight?

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I'm stuck on this huge plateau with my weight. I'm 5'8 1/2", and currently weigh 166. Around July 4, I was 164, and so far that is the lowest I've seen. I've been losing weight since Christmas, when I peaked at 198.

I do exercises every day, high intensity DDR as well as strength training and yoga stretches. I drink a lot of water, especially when exercising.

Anyway, through winter and spring I've been losing pretty quickly, about 3-4 lbs per week. That gradually slowed down, and now its stuck. Its been this way since early June, and it's really annoying. The weight always ranges from 164-167, and its been like this for weeks.

I'm starting to think it's because I don't eat enough calories. Yesterday and today I recorded everything I ate. Yesterday I consumed a total of 1,246. Today so far is 767, and it's 6:45 PM. I haven't eaten since Lunch, and haven't the slightest appetite for dinner.

Am I not eating enough? I'm fourteen.

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Teenagers need more calories than adults since they are still growing, so I'm guessing you are eating too few calories. In the young calorie counters section I believe someone posted a link to calculators that will tell you your daily calories burned that takes that into account.

You're tall. I think you need to eat more per day--just make sure it's packed with nutrients. Your body needs sustenance. I'm 5'7", 58 years old. When I eat 1400 calories per day of nutritious food, I lose weight. You sound much more active than me. Developing good habits is the key not yo-yo-ing.


I have also heard that not eating can out on weight in many circumstances.  When your body does not receive the amount of calories it expects, your body will produce them for you.  If you were starving and did not have food, your body would supply what it could for you.  I am only 5'2".  When I was over 160's, I ate 1800 calories a day and lost weight with exercise.  If you are working with this program you should know what your calorie intake should be.

Here are some helpers

-allow your self to have treats in moderation.  If you cut them out you will want them more.

-Drink lots of water, crystal light packets are great

-Exercise doesn't have to kill you.  Take long walks and buy an exercise ball!

You are a young girl.  Play sports and be active with your friends.  I have always been weight concious, especially as a teen.  I am 33 now and nothing has changed.  Still concerned with the way I look, especially after children!

Write me anytime


Thank you, that's really helpful. Smile

You're my height.  You should be eating at least 1600 cal per day.  I'm 40 and that's my BMR, so at your age, your BMR is higher than mine which means you should eat more. If you've been active, you should be eating even more than that.  You're much too young to jack up your metabolism by not eating enough.

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Hi. I am 16 years old and I have struggled with an eating disorder for the past four years of my life. It is a very tough thing. I have been in may treatment centers and have learned a lot about the human body, food, and caloric content. I know that your body does stop loosing weight after a certain point of starving yourself so much and resticting your food intake. It begins to make fat out of water or whatever you are eating or drinmking. It is such a hard thing to be struggling with. I understand, I was eating the same amount of calories as you before I got help. I alos know what you mean by not being hungry. I used to be a compulsive over exerciser. It was all I could ever think about, or do. And if I didn't get to do my exercise, I was so angry and would hardly let myself eat. I could not engage with people and lost an interest in life. Everything that used to be fun wasn't anymore. I was so lonely and I was trying to cover up all my feelings and problems by taking it out on food and not allowing myself to eat. I was trying to achieve this perfect ideal that was so unattainable and unrealistic and unreasonable. I drove myself insane. I worked myself so hard and didn't give my body the fuel and energy it needed that I was really weak. And my body was eating away at itself. AT the time it was hard for me to admit it. I am currently taking medication-which has really helped-but mainly I have surrendered and claimed the victory in Christ Jesus my Savior. I have given God control of my life. Eatimng disorders are all about control. I am a control freak. But I wouldn't be in this state of recovery- where I am today- still living -if I didn't have God in my life. I was on the verge of death, I nearly died because I wasn't eating enough and was exercising too much. But God saved me from death and I was sent by ambulance to a hospital-where I was nourished and fed. God gave and gives me hope each and every day. Eating disorders kill. They have a toll on your body. They affect your heart, metabolism, digestive system, and much more. I would be so willing to help you in any way possible.  mabey we can chat- anytime-I'm always there for you. Don't hesitate to call. It is always nice to have someone to relate to.

Jul 18 2008 19:27
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You can google this, scientific research abounds.  But in a nutshell: our bodies developed from millions of years of evolution.  Our ancestors didn't have fridges or McDonald's and sometimes had to go without.  The ones who lost weight quickly died.  The ones who had bodies which held onto fat, while eating lean mass, survived.  Guess which ones reproduced?

When you eat too little, your body eats muscle and internal organs to get what it needs. This lowers your metabolism, of course, because muscle is an active organ.  Your body wants to keep the fat since it was made to survive famine and not to look good in a dress or on the beach.  When you finally eat again, it quickly converts that into excess bodyfat.  After all our bodies still think fat is good for survival.

There.  Eat too little, your body eats itself, burning fat becomes even harder, getting fatter becomes almost mandatory.

Sabrina, sweetie....you are lovely.  So nice of you to offer an ear to the original poster....BUT.


PLEASE remove your email and phone number from your post.  The world we live in is not a safe one, and identifying information like that should never EVER be posted for all to see.  Anyone from your average spammer to a true sicko can do a whole lot of not nice things with that information.


Send her a message privately.  But for your own safety, please please delete that info.

It doesn't sound like loveshine has an eating disorder, not even close... its just about making sure that the right nutrients are hitting her body and she will start losing weight again.  Not everybody who is trying to lose weight by restricting their diet has an eating disorder.

I am 26, and the same height.  Currently weighing 185 lbs and aiming for the 140-145 lb range as a final goal.  I am finding that I have to eat between 1400-1600 calories a day, and the weight is coming off at about 1-2 lbs per week.  Try eating every three hours and aim for 300 calories each time.  I exercise first thing in the morning so I eat at 5AM, 8AM, 11AM, 2PM, and 5PM.  I also drink between 3-4 litres of water a day to clean out toxins.

The important thing is to look at food as fuel, not whether you are hungry or not.  Its like any machine, if you are consistently provding some sort of fuel or energy, it will run smoothly and more efficiently in the long run. 

One other thing, you need to consider what youre body will think of as premium fuel, and what will make it act up... try to stay away from making up your calories by eating anything like a candy bar, chips, juice or anything with refined sugar.  If you aim more for things like raw fruits/vegetables or a little container of sliced chicken breast, your body will respond better.

Try varying your calorie intake with in your range. You can figure out what you need to eat on the calculator on this website, then set a range of about 50-100 up and down.  That way, your body won't get used to a certian amount of calories.

Also, being 14, your  hormones are going to effect your weight loss. You know all about the bloating and water retention, so that will also effect how your body processes calories and water.

Thanks everyone. I'm trying to eat a little more now, and not feeling guilty when I eat a snack or something. My neighborhood friends and I played outside yesterday, so I inadvertantly burned more calories then I meant to that day. But I ate sherbet later so I think it all went well.

Sabrinab, I added you to my friends list. What you said was really inspiring. Really, though, you should remove your phone number. I'm not a psycho stalkerhead, but some people are.


  The fact is that by not eating enough, your metabolism slows down thinking that it will not get enough calories to survive, so you might gain weight as you are burning less calories.  Try changing your workout pattern, or changing the times you eat so you can possibly recharge your metabolism.  Not an expert, but have read some.

It sounds like you're not varying your calories or your exercise routine enough. You need to really start mixing things up and fooling your body or it tries to get smart on you!

Definitely not eating enough.  There's a sweet spot between too much and not enough.  A minimum amount to eat is 1200F/1500M +300teens +%exercise.  Aim for a deficit of 500-1000 calories for ~1-2 lb per week weight loss.  If your deficit is more than 1000 calories, then weight loss does slow down and sometimes you end up gaining weight.

1500 calories would be the minimum for any 14 year old to eat, even if they're 5' nothing.  Since you're taller than average adding a few hundred more calories will probably be perfect and then on days when you do exercise eat a bit more to give yourself energy to keep doing those workouts.

Food, preferrably lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.  Exercise, strength training to build a few muscles and just enough cardio to keep yourself in shape.

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I'm 19, 6'3 and about 5 months ago I weighed 179 and I just stopped eating normally. Now I go 3-5 days without eating every week but there are weeks when ill eat something every day. My weight dropped to 143 in 2 1/2 weeks but goes up a little when I eat. I don't exercise at all either. Now I can purposely drop 15-20 pounds within about 8 days. Now I way 150 and I don't have hardly any fat on me.

That's really not healthy. You may have an eating disorder. You may have lost weight but if you do it that way it will be easy to gain it back. Easy come, easy go. Don't lose weight if it makes you feel sick, that sick feeling is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong.

Original Post by branded11:

I'm 19, 6'3 and about 5 months ago I weighed 179 and I just stopped eating normally. Now I go 3-5 days without eating every week but there are weeks when ill eat something every day. My weight dropped to 143 in 2 1/2 weeks but goes up a little when I eat. I don't exercise at all either. Now I can purposely drop 15-20 pounds within about 8 days. Now I way 150 and I don't have hardly any fat on me.

3-5 days without eating is a nicer way of saying your starving yourself. I suggest you seek professional help IMMEDIATELY. The damage you are doing to your body could be irreversible, and you're only 19 years old.

Also, please don't encourage dangerous habits.

Original Post by branded11:

I'm 19, 6'3 and about 5 months ago I weighed 179 and I just stopped eating normally. Now I go 3-5 days without eating every week but there are weeks when ill eat something every day. My weight dropped to 143 in 2 1/2 weeks but goes up a little when I eat. I don't exercise at all either. Now I can purposely drop 15-20 pounds within about 8 days. Now I way 150 and I don't have hardly any fat on me.

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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.

You are violating Calorie Count's posting guidelines. More importantly, you are starving yourself. As a teen who could still has a lot of growing to do (not height-wise but brain-wise, etc.) you're doing yourself major harm by not eating.

You are on the cusp of being underweight. Your body burns 2,400 calories even when you're not physically active. Do you realize what you're doing to yourself?

Hi all I am 38 5'11 mom of one 10th old I gained my weight with her over 50lbs over the last 5 hrs I have tried many programs all of which I lost the weight but gained it back. I am a full time hair stylist I am on my feet at least 4-6 hours with no break then I have a hour break and can work 2-3 more. I have calculated I need 1800 cal a day to lose weight. My problem like posted above is I don't feel I eat enough today I am short 250cal. I know my body uses over 2000 cal a day just to stay the way it is. So my question is if not eating 1800cal a day makes me gain weight then why when I did dr b diet at 800 cal a day I lost 7lbs a week? I lost 30lbs in 2 months I kept it off for a year then fell back into just not eating mostly because I am so busy I dont have time to stop every 2.5 hours to eat but I am working on changing that I'm just confused as I work hard and an always moving with doing hair as I work alone so I have all the work I know I am burning it up as I can feel when I am low blood sugar as I feel faint so if working this hard 6 days a week and the speed walking 3xs a week how is it I have gained. Any advice would be great as I am quite sad over this and don't want to go back to dr b as it is just too costly and maybe not the best for long term I don't really know anymore.

Not eating will make you lose weight, and FAST. However, you have a risk of binge eating and gaining back more than when you started. This is why starving yourself is said to cause weight gain- they mean in the long term. You never see an overweight anorexic. However, you do hear of anorexics that switched to binge eating during recovery and ended up at a higher weight than before they developed an eating disorder in the first place. Not all, but a lot. Also the weight you lose through starving yourself is often muscle.

Now that that's out of the way. Starving your body is terrible for you and a horrible idea. You need food to survive. Quick weight loss is not worth risking your health and moreso your life. 

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