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TOPIC: What happens if you don't eat enough calories?

 
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December 6, 2011 10:01 PM
I find myself falling constantly 300 - 500 below my allotted calories. Most times I'm just NOT hungry. Is this bad for me? I've heard my body can go into starvation mode if i don;t give it enough calories and this might cause me to retain weight but I also try to work out doing cardio or circuit training 6 days a week,

I almost always skip breakfast because my morning coffee fills me up and gives me some calories because i am usually so far behind in daily calories and all food totals that i have switched back to half & half and sugar in it.

Lunch, when i eat it is chobani or cottage cheese with fruit and dinner is 1/2 veggies with equal quarters of protein and carbs.
  12810348
December 6, 2011 10:02 PM
You run out of gas...
December 6, 2011 10:06 PM
Do you exercise?

Also, what about including some more calorie-dense foods, like peanut butter? Stir two tablespoons into your afternoon yogurt, bam, that's another almost 200 calories right there for very little tummy-room :)
December 6, 2011 10:07 PM
I don't have the answer to the question because I know little about diet & exercise.
However, eat your breakfast! I never use to eat my breakfast until my nutritionist told that it is really important. For me it is for different reasons I am not trying to lose weight... however, breakfast kick starts your metabolism so it is linked to weight-loss! (then there are the other reasons: energy, meeting your nutritional needs, etc)
December 6, 2011 10:09 PM
My personal opinion... is that it is going to be different for everyone.

It seems that people who have more weight to lose can cope with a bigger calorie deficit, so it might just mean that you lose more weight and faster, which would be great.

If you don't have much to lose - ie, not many reserves, and you are dropping to calories that are way too low for your body, then I think you can well "run out of gas" just as the previous poster says. You might not be feeding your body enough calories and nutrition to keep you healthy and full of energy. Clearly you don't want to end up in this position.

I'm not a fan of "deprivation dieting" - I don't think that dropping to unrealistically low calorie levels is sustainable or healthy.
If your goal is purely to drop a few pounds, you will probably do this (though many people report weight loss stalling when they aren't eating enough).
But, if your aim is to get healthier and to set up good eating habits for the long term, then it seems much smarter to concetnrate on learning just how much nutrition your body needs, rahter than trying to push it to extremes with something that you can't sustain.

Edited to add: I just had a quick look at your diary and 7-800 cals a day is pretty minimal, I'm not convinced that you will be getting enough nutrition to stay healthy. You don't have to stuff yourself to get in more quality nutrition - nuts, cheese, fruit, avocado, olive oil dressing are a few ideas that won't fill you up too much but will get a few more healthy calories into your body.
Edited by Rubybelle On December 6, 2011 10:32 PM
  4147547
December 6, 2011 10:10 PM
QUOTE:

I don't have the answer to the question because I know little about diet & exercise.
However, eat your breakfast! I never use to eat my breakfast until my nutritionist told that it is really important. For me it is for different reasons I am not trying to lose weight... however, breakfast kick starts your metabolism so it is linked to weight-loss! (then there are the other reasons: energy, meeting your nutritional needs, etc)


Actually, this is a nutrition myth - timing of meals doesn't affect metabolism/weight loss. Most people are encouraged to eat breakfast so that they don't overeat/make poor food choices later in the day, but if you're not hungry, no need to eat in the morning.
December 6, 2011 10:18 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I don't have the answer to the question because I know little about diet & exercise.
However, eat your breakfast! I never use to eat my breakfast until my nutritionist told that it is really important. For me it is for different reasons I am not trying to lose weight... however, breakfast kick starts your metabolism so it is linked to weight-loss! (then there are the other reasons: energy, meeting your nutritional needs, etc)


Actually, this is a nutrition myth - timing of meals doesn't affect metabolism/weight loss. Most people are encouraged to eat breakfast so that they don't overeat/make poor food choices later in the day, but if you're not hungry, no need to eat in the morning.


I don't know about that, I just did a google search & apparently there are studies supporting it...

Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight - and keep it off.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-eat-breakfast

"There's well-documented evidence showing that eating breakfast correlates with long-term weight loss and weight maintenance," says Charlene Chen, a clinical dietitian with the Vancouver General Hospital. Eating regular meals, says Chen, "stimulates metabolism and signals the body to start using fuel, instead of hoarding fuel." When you skip meals, however, the body goes into lockdown mode, burning far fewer calories.
http://www.canadianliving.com/health/health_and_wellness_club/8_reasons_to_eat_breakfast_everyday.php
December 6, 2011 10:25 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I don't have the answer to the question because I know little about diet & exercise.
However, eat your breakfast! I never use to eat my breakfast until my nutritionist told that it is really important. For me it is for different reasons I am not trying to lose weight... however, breakfast kick starts your metabolism so it is linked to weight-loss! (then there are the other reasons: energy, meeting your nutritional needs, etc)


Actually, this is a nutrition myth - timing of meals doesn't affect metabolism/weight loss. Most people are encouraged to eat breakfast so that they don't overeat/make poor food choices later in the day, but if you're not hungry, no need to eat in the morning.


I don't know about that, I just did a google search & apparently there are studies supporting it...

Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight - and keep it off.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-eat-breakfast

"There's well-documented evidence showing that eating breakfast correlates with long-term weight loss and weight maintenance," says Charlene Chen, a clinical dietitian with the Vancouver General Hospital. Eating regular meals, says Chen, "stimulates metabolism and signals the body to start using fuel, instead of hoarding fuel." When you skip meals, however, the body goes into lockdown mode, burning far fewer calories.
http://www.canadianliving.com/health/health_and_wellness_club/8_reasons_to_eat_breakfast_everyday.php


correlation =/= causation.

complete myth. breakfast does not boost your metabolism.

7. Myth: Skipping breakfast is bad and will make you fat.


Truth

Breakfast skipping is associated with higher body weights in the population. The explanation is similar to that of lower meal frequencies and higher body weights. Breakfast skippers have dysregulated eating habits and show a higher disregard for health. People who skip breakfast are also more likely to be dieting, thus by default they are also likely to be heavier than non-dieters. Keep in mind that most people who resort to breakfast skipping are not the type that sit around and read about nutrition. They are like most people dieting in a haphazard manner. The type to go on a 800 calorie-crash diet and then rebound, gaining all the weight (and then some) back.

Sometimes, an argument is made for eating breakfast as we are more insulin sensitive in the morning. This is true; you are always more insulin sensitive after an overnight fast. Or rather, you are always the most insulin sensitive during the first meal of the day. Insulin sensitivity is increased after glycogen depletion. If you haven't eaten in 8-10 hours, liver glycogen is modestly depleted. This is what increases insulin sensitivity - not some magical time period during the morning hours. Same thing with weight training. Insulin sensitivity is increased as long as muscle glycogen stores aren't full. It doesn't disappear if you omit carbs after your workout.

From: http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html
December 6, 2011 10:30 PM
Instead of using google I would suggest research from reputable sources that look at the science behind it, not just correlation.

Such as:
Lean Gains – Martin Berkhan
Eat Stop Eat – Brad Pilon
Body Recomposition – Lyle Mc Donnald
Alan Aragon
December 6, 2011 10:36 PM
QUOTE:


"There's well-documented evidence showing that eating breakfast correlates with long-term weight loss and weight maintenance,"


In other news, there's an inverse correlation between Global Warming and the number of pirates on the high seas:

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December 6, 2011 11:16 PM
Thanks for the knowledge Sunshine!! I found your posts to be very insightful :) nutrition is so much more than "eat your veggies and don't skip breakfast." learning something new every day...
December 6, 2011 11:23 PM
i think reputable sources should be real medical or health journals. That's all.

One thing for sure I can tell what happen when you eat more than enough calories. bigsmile
  11879329
December 7, 2011 5:44 AM
QUOTE:

i think reputable sources should be real medical or health journals. That's all.

One thing for sure I can tell what happen when you eat more than enough calories. bigsmile


How about you take a look at some of those sources.
More reputable then clueless RDs talking about correlation.

@luhluh thanks! I would recommend especially those last 2 for anyone wanting to learn :]
December 7, 2011 6:14 AM
QUOTE:

i think reputable sources should be real medical or health journals. That's all.



Most people have neither the time nor the expertise to properly evaluate primary sources. The secondary sources that Sunshine has listed have demonstrated both expertise with clients and the ability to interpret primary research. They tend to be well referenced and transparent about where they've received their information (as well as the limitations of the research their citing).
December 7, 2011 9:58 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

i think reputable sources should be real medical or health journals. That's all.

One thing for sure I can tell what happen when you eat more than enough calories. bigsmile


How about you take a look at some of those sources.
More reputable then clueless RDs talking about correlation.

@luhluh thanks! I would recommend especially those last 2 for anyone wanting to learn :]


1. I said linked to weight-loss, not caused.

2. you're correct i did a quick search... i'm not highly invested in this topic however from my 30 second search:
From those 2 articles:
Two studies in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association
Study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology
In addiction:
Study from Harvard Medical School - http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/weight_loss_healthy_breakfast

Those seem like reputable sources to me (real medical journals & the one of the leading medical schools)

3. maybe it is a myth & they are mistaken & I am passing on false information, if this is the case I apologize

Good luck with your goals everyone!
Edited by RaeLB On December 7, 2011 9:59 AM
December 7, 2011 10:05 AM
P.S. the sources I've looked at separate the correlation between skipping breakfast & being overweight and eating breakfast helping with weight-loss - the article you posted was referring to the former, I was referring to the latter.
Edited by RaeLB On December 7, 2011 10:18 AM
December 7, 2011 4:38 PM
I hate peanut butter and yes, I exercise - 6 days a week 4 days circuit training (30 mins), 2 days cardio class (1 hr)
  12810348
December 7, 2011 4:44 PM
I'm surprised nobody has asked how many calories are you allowing yourself each day ?
December 7, 2011 5:02 PM
There are times that I don't feel the need to eat in the morning.. So far I have lost a pretty good amount of weight just listening to my body... I weighed 230Ibs and lost 22 pounds so far- I am now 208Ibs ( my joining weight for the site- glad I found it- like it better than the others so far) I sort of use my not feeling up for breakfast times as a fast with meditation ( I enjoy it ) I do try to make sure I eat though if it becomes repetition. ( like 2 days in a row- third day I eat something small like hard boiled eggs)

I went to this class on nutrition/ weight-loss that the military offers and our nutritionist highly recommended eating a good solid breakfast so we were not tempted to eat later at night ( which was one of the most brought up issues we the participants had- I definitely notice a difference in trying to keep my meals earlier- I used to eat pretty late- no exercise afterward- not good!!)

I say if you are concerned- schedule an appointment with a nutritionist- they give great insight-

Also I just listen to my body.. has helped me so far with success so I will definitely continue
  13360566
December 7, 2011 5:02 PM
QUOTE:

I'm surprised nobody has asked how many calories are you allowing yourself each day ?


Very good question
  13360566

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