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Weight Loss
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how do I increase my calorie intake

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I'm new to CC and have a question. My goal is around 1600 calories a day to lose weight. I have a low activity level, exercise a couple days a week, weigh 225 lbs, 5' 6". I've been doing a food diary for a few weeks and I generally eat between 1000 and 1300 calories a day. I've ate like this since I was fairly young, I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I have pretty severe acid reflux and IBS as well as an under active thyroid which I'm on meds for and insulin resistance. I know I need to increase my calorie intake as my body is in starvation mode but how do I do it? If I try and eat even if I'm not hungry I feel sick/nausous.

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Don;t force yourself to eat if you're full or your body's telling you no - I have hypothyroidism as well and it can be dangerous because your metabolism is so much lower. The thyroid condition is helped a lot in my experience from healthy whole foods - no gluten, refined carbs, additives, packaged foods. Gets everything moving and gives you much needed energy.

I would focus on exercise and whole foods to get yourself on better track and then your appetite should increase naturally.

By the way, starvation mode is a kind of gimmicky term that refers to a drop in metabolism and energy, combined with craving for high calorie food. It's definitely not as concrete or apocalyptic as a lot of people think, but it is a physically and psychological reaction to *intentionally* restricting one's food intake.


Not meaning to be rude, but if you have eaten 1,000-1,300 calories a day since you were a youngster, how do you find yourself at 225lbs? - Are there any other underlying health problems, perhaps?

try making up some fruit smoothies to drink to add some healthy non-fat calories into your diet. or just drink fruit juice instead of water/diet drinks. 1 liter bottle of 100% apple juice is 470 calories. so if you dont feel hungry, juice is a grate way of getting more healthy calories.


I've always been heavy and had a hard time staying at a healthy weight. When I was at my smallest was a size 13 and 160 lbs when I was in high school. Funny enough though people who have sen pics of me from then and only know me at 200 lbs and bigger all say I was too thin and looked sick! At a size 13! I have wide shoulders and hips so even thinner i look large/wide. I ate about 1000 calories a day and worked 30hrs a week on my feet at a busy restaurant. When I was in my early 20's I quit waiting tables and once my activiy level dropped from 40 hrs a week on my feet running around and carrying stuff I started gaining weight. At that time I was also on steroids for about a year almost continuously and gained about 50 lbs in a year still eating the same 1000 to 1200 calories. I've never been able to drop back down to under 200 lbs even with 2hrs exercise 5 days a week. Now I have more medical issues that make it harder to lose weight and exercise with arthritis in my knees, too lose ligiments in my ankle from rolling it repeatedly and back/neck problems. Ive been trying to eat healthier and for the first time in a long time ive lost some weight, but its hard working 3rd shift to have set meal times and to eat well. 

You need to make sure that you are logging everything precisely. Measure everything, and even if it is only a handful of M&M's or the oil you are cooking with, make sure you write it down. The reason I say this is because the way that weight fluctuations work is if calories in> calories burned you will gain, if calories in=calories burned you will maintain, if calories in < calories burned you will lose. If you are eating 1000-1200 calories a day it is physically impossible for you to be over 200 pounds even if you are completely sedentary (much less exercising 10 hours a week), unless you have a major metabolic disorder. You are burning at least 1800 cals a day (that isn't figuring in exercise), so going long periods of time eating less than 1800 cals a day should result in weight loss. If you were consistently eating 1300 cals a day, you would be losing a pound a week.

If you are calculating your calories precisely and truly are eating this little, you need to see a doctor ASAP. You also need to make it a priority to eat a bare minimum of 1200 calories a day. Eat more nutrient dense foods, such as nuts, peanut butter, or drizzling olive oil on your salads and veggies.


Last thing, I would really recommend yoga and daily stretching. That could help loosen up your back and neck. I have tight hip ligaments and if I'm not doing yoga on a regular basis, it makes it hard to stick to the rest of my exercise routine because my core and lower body becomes so tense and uncomfortable.

I too have insulin resistance and can lose on between 1650-1700 cals. with an hour and a half of cardio 4x a week. Because of the insulin resistance, I do try to limit my carbohydrate intake, but do eat increased amounts of lean protein and healthy fats. turkey burgers with avocado, olive oil, peanut butter, greek yogurt etc. are great and great for you. Have you tried a south beach style plan? I wouldn't recommend drinking apple juice as another poster suggested... not a great idea for someone with insulin resistance. Fruit itself is great and so is juice, just not a whole bottle.

6 Replies