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TOPIC: 1200 calorie diet vs 1500 calorie diet

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October 24, 2011 9:56 AM
The recommended amount of calories, given my weight and height, is 1500. I'm considering a 1200 calorie diet (during the holiday season, no less), but I'm wondering how difficult it is to sacrifice those extra 300 calories. Anybody doing a 1200 calorie diet, or have any general wisdom about it? Researching it myself right now, but I'm looking for personal stories.
October 24, 2011 10:00 AM
My recommended amount is 1200 calories and I have to be honest, I am finding it hard going.

I guess it just depends on you and what you are used to eating etc.
October 24, 2011 10:02 AM
Very, very hard for me, but i have a lot of MFP pals that do it and have nice filling diaries! Maybe try some days at 1200, but not all? Sacrafice is needed. My wine and sweets make up my 300 calories.
October 24, 2011 10:03 AM
My daily calorie intake is 1270. I thought it was going to be hard, but I've found ways to eat the same amount of meals and the same number of times a day. But, I try and eat healthier, low calorie foods. Sometimes, I even eat more than I normally would because what I choose to eat is so much better for me.
Edited by MrsLaurenAsh On October 24, 2011 10:04 AM
October 24, 2011 10:03 AM
I am finding it a bit difficult. I do go over on occasion as my choices are not always the best and I have injuries which make excecising a difficult at present.

My diary is open of you want a look.
Edited by manderson27 On October 24, 2011 10:04 AM
October 24, 2011 10:03 AM
I'm still trying to eat a 1200 calorie diet. It's a little hard for me to do since I normally eat 1500 calorie/day. I used to feel hungry all the time so I upped it back to 1500 calorie and just upped my workout calories burned.
October 24, 2011 10:04 AM
what's your current ht/wt?
October 24, 2011 10:04 AM
October 24, 2011 10:04 AM
I am currently set for 1200 calories and my issue the majority of the time is that I don't eat enough. My calorie intake per day is usually between 900-1150. Sometimes I am hungry, but other times I am not. I will open up my food diary for you to see what I eat. Yesterday I did not eat lunch because I had a late breakfast. Any questions, please ask.
October 24, 2011 10:04 AM
if you take on to much to fast you have less of a chance of success. Start at 1500 and get use to counting and limiting yourself, then in a few weeks look at your diary and see what you can cut out.
October 24, 2011 10:05 AM
It totally depends on how you normally eat. I'm a snacker and like my sweets and since my recommended amount is the 1200 calories its hard for me because there is not a lot of extral calores to use on the extras. The 1200 calories does take a little planning in order to stay within your goals.
October 24, 2011 10:05 AM
I am allocated 1200 calories daily...not having a problem with it long as you get in your daily cardio should be okay....
October 24, 2011 10:06 AM
My recommendation is 1200, but I'm not very strict about sticking to it and usually end up around 1500. If I could just avoid sweets, alcohol, and cheese entirely I would have no problem staying at 1200; even in moderation those things make my caloric intake shoot up.
October 24, 2011 10:06 AM
Work in a range rather than a specific number. Eat good protein filled meals and keep up with the exercise daily. I set a range between 1200-1500 with my working out and it has worked great! A range allows you to have more flexibility in the options without "missing the mark". The more you work out the closer to 1500 you should be and the days you don't work out you should be closer to 1200.
October 24, 2011 10:07 AM
I did 1200... tough during the first weeks, then you get used. try to reach 1400 and then 1300 first... it will be easier if made progresisve
October 24, 2011 10:09 AM
I'm technically at 1300, but that's just above 1200 so I'll weigh in with my two cents.

It's doable, if you can find foods that are filling with minimal calories. For instance, I've been having spinach salads for lunch, with some apples, carrots, and a handmade vinaigrette. Spinach is super low in calories, which means I can have a nice hefty and filling serving without sacrificing too much in terms of my other meals.

What really makes it easier, though, is making sure you're getting in some exercise. I don't find I get any hungrier depending on whether or not I work out, but burning 200 and some calories on the elliptical means that I get to eat that extra 200 calories during the day. If you find it hard to stick to your calorie count, try setting aside a little extra time to get in some exercise and earn enough calories back to fill you up.

Other than that, my only tip is to drink LOTS of water or tea. Water by itself can help satisfy sudden cravings, and often what we perceive as "hunger pangs" is actually thirst--we just don't recognize the signals anymore! If you've eaten not too long ago and you feel a craving, go for the water before you go for a snack. Tea works similarly, but has the added benefit of flavour, so not only are you quenching thirst, but it's much easier to fool your stomach--or your taste buds, depending on who is to blame--into thinking you've just had sometehing delicious and tasty.
October 24, 2011 10:10 AM
Either way it didn't seem like nearly enough food for me when I first started this journey! I now have learned to drink plenty of water... cut out processed foods... and use volumetrics!

Water: Helps you feel fuller longer... when you are well hydrated it helps you make clearer choices.

Processed foods: Are just calorie pits! There is not enough nutrition for your calorie bang... I'd rather have an apple and a banana over a fiber one bar any day! Not to mention all the garbage that is in processed foods that actually causes you to be hungrier.

Volumetrics: Eat more of less calorie foods to feel fuller! Veggies and fruits are my main staples... then I go to grains nuts protiens and dairy....

Right now I'm at about 1500 and there are days that is a struggle I've been down to 1200, but I actually lose more weight at a slightly higher calorie!
October 24, 2011 10:10 AM
Staggering your calories may be a good thing to try, oscillating between 1200 and 1500 every three or four days. It keeps your metabolism moving along steadily (plateaus are a common annoyance around here and a common recommendation is to eat slightly more then fewer calories at intervals). Working in this way, you'll begin to get a sense of your particular body's rhythms and cycles- sometimes your body will really need or want those extra 300 calories and getting a sense of when or why that is will empower you to make good choices around those times and know when it's ok to let yourself have it. In any event, both of these calorie totals are likely below your maintenance calories number (for most people it takes around 1900-2000 calories just to power their bodies in a resting or lightly active state), so you will see some weight loss with either total. Fitness is really a lifelong process that we're all learning as we go, so don't beat yourself up if you find that 1500 is more comfortable for you- in the end, you'll still see weight loss, just at a rate of around 1- 1/12 pounds per week, which is nothing to sneeze at!
October 24, 2011 10:10 AM
first off, if MFP set 1,500 as a net calorie goal for you, why are you considering changing it?

second, I am 5'7", male, with a larger bone structure. Most days, I don't have an issue staying under 1,300 net calories. I try to focus on eating foods that will keep me satiated....lean proteins, healthy fats and carbs with a lower glycemic index value. should you choose to check out my food diary, please ignore yesterday...there was a party and I simply made it a "feed day".
October 24, 2011 10:11 AM
Well I'm doing 1250 and am having no trouble staying on it.. occasionally I may go over by 100 or so accidently or being up too long hours ...
I incorporate things like baked potato and guacamole, peanut butter and lots of fruit and veg..Had to add whey protien shake for more protien... Just get used to it slowly.. Get rid of almost all junk food cept for rare treat.. Just adjust yourself to snacking mostly all day.. Lots of little meals and only one of two "full meals"
Feel free to friend me :)
October 24, 2011 10:13 AM
I do 1200 without a problem on days I don't work out, but when I do workout I eat more like 1500.
October 24, 2011 11:10 AM
I haven't been able to stay on the 1220 MFP wanted me to eat for a 1.5 # weight loss for more than a few weeks at a time. This time around I'm trying 1500 - it will be slower, but I think it will be easier for me to actually stick with. 1200 was just too low for me right now, too much of a shock after eating way more. I am hoping that once 1500 feels "normal" I can knock it back to 1400, etc.


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