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TOPIC: Please read if you eat under 500 calories some days

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February 8, 2012 1:02 PM
Hi,

I am not going to yell at you about not eating enough. I am just going to tell you something interesting I learned today.

In class we did a calculation of how many calories the brain burns per day. Using ATP used per synapse, average number of synapses in a human brain per day, ATP produced from one glucose, glucose per Kcal. I just mention this to show that these numbers are coming out of thin air, the numbers were all taken from published scientific articles.

Anyway, the point is your brain requires 445 calories per day to function normally. This means that if you don't want your brain to stop functioning please eat at least 500 calories a day. I know that 1200 is a minimum to stay healthy, but your brain will deteriorate if you don't supply it with the required 445 calories per day.

For all the people who have trouble eating their calories. Your brain will consume at least 441 calories per day, I promise none of these calories will go towards making you fat. Please, I beg of you, support your brain.

<3 A biomedical engineer in training who cares about your brain
  1904214
February 9, 2012 7:05 PM
I think you just explained in a flash why so many people on crash diets seem so daft.

WELL SAID!
February 9, 2012 7:07 PM
So Since I ate 500 cals for lunch, and pretty much every meal - does that make me smarter? LOL I don't think I could just eat 500 cals or less. Unless i have a stomach virus. But other than that - looks like I will always have enough to fuel my brain!
February 9, 2012 7:08 PM
You ROCK!
  4087835
February 9, 2012 7:11 PM
well I wear my BodyBugg to bed and I have burned almost 900 cals just sleeping... so yea.. this makes sense.
  11770942
February 10, 2012 6:26 AM
QUOTE:

So Since I ate 500 cals for lunch, and pretty much every meal - does that make me smarter? LOL I don't think I could just eat 500 cals or less. Unless i have a stomach virus. But other than that - looks like I will always have enough to fuel my brain!


Haha this doesn't make you smarter. BUT if I can find an article that talks about synapse firing rate increasing during more vigorous thinking (studying) then it would justify my snack cravings when I spend a lot of time studying, which would be awesome

Alecta337 burned 1050 calories doing 120 minutes of "Studying, hard"

Lol, I wish =]

But the problem is that any kind of hr monitor or those sorts of things wouldn't be able to measure the increase in caloric burn from your brain because HR isn't increased or anything... well it may be slightly to increase metabolite flow to the brain because they are using more ATP... hmmm. More research for another day. Right now I need to focus on my 3 huge exams next week
  1904214
February 10, 2012 6:32 AM
Thanks for sharing. Here is my question. If I eat my alotted 1200, but then burn about 1100 with an intense workout late in the day, does my brain take what it needs first? Is it based on calories consumed or net calories?
Edited by rides4sanity On February 10, 2012 6:37 AM
  16418409
February 10, 2012 6:44 AM
So what would you say if I told you I know several people that eat around 4500 calories in one day, then NOTHING, zero calories the next day.. then repeated that for months?
February 10, 2012 6:47 AM
flowerforyou
QUOTE:

Hi,

I am not going to yell at you about not eating enough. I am just going to tell you something interesting I learned today.

In class we did a calculation of how many calories the brain burns per day. Using ATP used per synapse, average number of synapses in a human brain per day, ATP produced from one glucose, glucose per Kcal. I just mention this to show that these numbers are coming out of thin air, the numbers were all taken from published scientific articles.

Anyway, the point is your brain requires 445 calories per day to function normally. This means that if you don't want your brain to stop functioning please eat at least 500 calories a day. I know that 1200 is a minimum to stay healthy, but your brain will deteriorate if you don't supply it with the required 445 calories per day.

For all the people who have trouble eating their calories. Your brain will consume at least 441 calories per day, I promise none of these calories will go towards making you fat. Please, I beg of you, support your brain.

<3 A biomedical engineer in training who cares about your brain


flowerforyou drinker flowerforyou
February 10, 2012 6:50 AM
Apologies if this a really stupid question (perhaps lack of calories has damaged my brain!)

Does what i've done the last couple of days fall into this danger zone?:

On wednesday I ate too much over by about 1000calories! So yesterday I spent ages in the gym and burnt 1000 in excersize. Because I ate normally though on the excersize day my net calories for the day was only like 300! Since I over ate the date before surely the calories are still there? But if i did suchk exersize without eating up the calories regularly then it would be dangerous, is that right??
  15671688
February 10, 2012 6:50 AM
what is a bodybugg??
February 10, 2012 6:52 AM
Another tool in my pocket to not go back to yo yo dieting, I spend a lot of days on 300 - 400 calories before. And off course gained all the weight back again and again.

Thanks for the info, it makes me more determined to do this the healthy and correct way!
February 10, 2012 6:53 AM
i usually eat about 1200 but thanks for this information, its really nice to know
February 10, 2012 6:54 AM
@notfortyyet your brain pulls nutrients out of the blood throughout the day, synapses happen constantly so if there is glucose in the blood, the brain will use it when it needs it. I would think that during the day up to the point of the workout that the brain would have access to the full nutrition that it needs, but after your workout there may be decreased glucose in the blood due to your muscles using it during the workout and if you don't eat something then your brain may not have the nutrition needed.

@MrDude I would say that this isn't very good for the brain. I know that our bodies are pretty good are storing glucose into glycogen and then we are able to access those stores, but the brain does something funky with glucose consumption.


I would have to do some more research to fully answer both of your questions because I am not sure. These are my answers based on my current knowledge, but they MAY be wrong.

www.scholar.google.com Many published articles are free to read. You may need a separate tab open in wikipedia to look up vocabulary words from time to time (I know I do!)
  1904214
February 10, 2012 6:55 AM
I don't see how you can live on 500-600 calories a day.
I admit I'll have low day of 1000 sometimes, but never less than 1000 calories a day goes into my body. And i always try to hit 1200-1400.

But thanks for that awesome factoid.
February 10, 2012 6:55 AM
THIS! I was eating under 400 calories a day several months back. Getting the motivation to recover has been difficult, and I've fallen back into old habits over and over again. The moment that truly convinced me was when my nutritionist showed me the numbers different parts of our bodies need to function, one of them being the brain.

Never mind what I was doing to my other bodily systems (haha...) I immediately thought "MY POOR BRAIN," stopped restricting, and haven't looked back yet!
February 10, 2012 6:56 AM
AWESOME POST THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION!!!!!bigsmile
  14842386
February 10, 2012 6:58 AM
i would be so hungry i need to eat
  13952312
February 10, 2012 7:01 AM
Pretty cool girlie! I love the scientific angle (in case you couldn't tell)!

Now add in the energy needed to keep breathing and your heart pumping. This is why that 1200 calories a day is so critical! Your body can just plain shut down if you do not give it enough fuel! Your internal organs fail, and then everything shuts down. Not good!
  1710900
February 10, 2012 7:02 AM
WOW! That's so cool!

Talk about "food for thought." happy

HAHA!! (I'm sorry, too corny??)
  10304320
February 10, 2012 7:11 AM
Good luck with the exams and thank you so much for sharing this flowerforyou
  16438469
February 10, 2012 7:12 AM
QUOTE:

@MrDude I would say that this isn't very good for the brain. I know that our bodies are pretty good are storing glucose into glycogen and then we are able to access those stores, but the brain does something funky with glucose consumption.


I would have to do some more research to fully answer both of your questions because I am not sure. These are my answers based on my current knowledge, but they MAY be wrong.

www.scholar.google.com Many published articles are free to read. You may need a separate tab open in wikipedia to look up vocabulary words from time to time (I know I do!)


you're close. What if I were to tell you it didnt effect the brain at all?
The liver stores enough for roughly 36 hours of fasting. beyond that your body begins to break down muscle to refuel its glycogen stores, and your metabolism begins to have the first signs of changing. In otherwords you would have to do it until the livers glycogen stores are reduced to the point where there wasn't enough to support the brain, and have a physiology that didnt support catabolism fast enough to maintain brain function.
Now catabolism is a BAD thing to me, and this isnt a support of it.. but I find it interesting how hard our body works to support and protect the brain.

If you're really interested in the subject, a good intro book is here: http://uranus.ckt.net/~gochiefs/Eat%20Stop%20Eat.pdf
Its a fairly broad look at the subject of intermittent fasting, but if you want to read into it further, theres sources and links in there.. plus you can google any specific topic mentioned in there.
February 10, 2012 7:17 AM
Your brain can convert protein into glucose to feed your brain. Or if you are eating a ketogenic diet, your brain can be fueled 75% by ketones coming from fat storage, and 25% coming from protein. Don't worry, your brain won't stop functioning.

Is 500 calories a good diet? NO, but it won't kill you if you have an abundance of fat.
February 10, 2012 7:17 AM
by the way, I do want to re-iterate that sustained 500 calorie days is NOT good for you at all, and will lead to several medical issues... just in case anyone thinks im arguing that point. lol.
notice in my example, the guys are averaging 2250 calories a day.. a perfectly normal amount.
February 10, 2012 7:26 AM
Great post!

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