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March 10, 2012 6:59 PM
I want to tell you about my experience on eating less than 1000 calories a day. It is *my* experience and I am not the expert and I don't know about *your* body and what you can do with it, but I thought some people might be interested or find some use from my story.

I started out dieting on less than 1000 calories a day and I maintained it for quite a long time, a year or so, maybe slightly less. As time went on, it became harder, and some days I would slip up, but on the whole, for about a year or so I did this. And of course, the scales went down. A lot.

But it's hard. You see, the thing is, I can't see what is going on inside me, and there comes a point where you accept how you feel as your normal state of being. I'm quite tired a lot, and my fingers go purple at the mere hint of cold, and if I stand up too quickly I go very dizzy. But I'm used to this, so I say honestly "I feel fine". I'm so used to feeling run down I barely recognise it.

I haven't died, though, and I can go about my daily business, so I think, "Yes, I can do this". And because it feels like it *is* possible, it becomes an obligation. No longer is it "I CAN eat under 1000 calories", it is a "I *SHOULD* eat under 1000 calories".

And yes, the scales went down. My worst story is my heart went a little funny, but I thought, "Well, nothing to write home about" and I kept going until I couldn't fight it any more. It wasn't that I felt ill, it was, frankly, I was hungry. Really really hungry. So one day, I ate. A lot. An awful lot. And it felt so good, but an hour later I felt ill. Indigestion, severe indigestion. But I was more concerned about the scales: my body wasn't used to such large quantities, and the weight shot up (6lbs, if I remember correctly). And I thought, what is the point? So I kept going, kept binging and up and up they went. So I stopped. Didn't eat for 5 days straight, and back down they went. And oddly, I didn't feel hungry. I sometimes wonder if I recognise what hunger is. But something broke again and I binged more than ever. I was in bed for 3 days. Indigestion again. Bad. My back was cramped, my ribs were agony, and I felt so dizzy. And that went on for months.

Because I felt physically capable of being under 1000 calories, I felt I OUGHT to be under 1000 calories. Going over wasn't an option, then I'd break and binge. On and on.

Then I decided I had to stop starving myself. So, without educating myself, I launched straight into trying to eat normally. Didn't work. I was on binge mode. I either ate to maintain or I binged.

I gained 30lbs. Because I measured success by the scale, I was a failure. All that hard work and I was ruining it.

Then, this year, late January, I decided I needed to get myself sorted. I want to lose my binge weight and get to my goal weight. But so very quickly, I was on the "under 1000 calories" rule. And it's so ingrained in me now - this is how *I* ought to do it. I ought to be under 1000 calories because that shows a person who is dedicated to weight loss.

I can't say exactly what changed, but after a few weeks, I thought of the outcome. I should have thought of my cold hands, heart, and the dizziness, but actually, I was thinking more about stopping binging. For me, binging starts when I eat too little. So that was my first concern. And since then, for the past two weeks, I've been trying to raise my calories. I think for the past week or so, maybe not so long, I've been over 1000, often nearer to 1100. I want to get to 1200, but you know what? That is hard. I came close a few days ago, planned it out, but just couldn't go through with it. But I'm closer. A lot closer. And I want it.

I've got some really supportive friends on here and I'm so grateful to them. And what I've learned from this nasty experience, which has gone on for over two years now is this:

1) The only person who is telling me I OUGHT to be under 1000 calories is me. Everyone else is telling me the opposite. I don't have to do anything I don't want to do, and if I want to be hitting 1200 calories then I can if I want it. And I'm closer.

2) Extreme dieting for me leads to binging. I cannot function, something kicks in. I've called it "the binge monster", but I think a lot of times, it was good old fashioned survival instinct.

3) If I'm worried about binging I remember it's up to me what i eat. Some of you will think this is insane, but it was a revelation to me one day when i wanted pizza and i thought, "Hey, I can just have a slice!" I don't have to eat the whole pizza.

So that's my experience. And you might think it was pointless sharing if I don't end it with a "So don't go under 1000 calories, kids!" but if someone had have told me this a year ago I wouldn't have paid any attention. I would have said, "My body, my choice". And so I won't judge anyone or condemn them. But it saddens me when I see people starting out, when they aim for less than 1000 calories and their doctor didn't tell them to do that. Because that's how I started. And it's horrible, feeling so bad now about going over 1000 calories. I hope no one ever feels bad about doing that, but I know they do.

And to conclude - I am ok. I'm not ill or in hospital. But I'm sat here in front of a heater, freezing cold with purple fingers. If I stand up too quick I will go a little dizzy. And I'm going to bed so conflicted about my day, another day of feeling I should congratulate myself for my 1000+ cals, feeling at the same time I oughtn't have done it. I didn't eat enough today, and I know it, but a part of me feels I ate too much.

Oh, and my muscle tone is utterly dreadful, but that's a given!

So there's my story.
March 10, 2012 7:10 PM
I can't tell you how much I love this post. Thank you for sharing your story.
You've probably just inspired quite a few people to rethink their diets and lives.

I'm really, really glad that you're making progress and getting better. It may be an uphill battle, but in the end, it is worth it. Congratulate yourself for getting over 1000 calories; you've done really well, and you deserve the praise!
March 10, 2012 7:14 PM
That is a pretty amazing story! I've never stopped to think about this "all or nothing" approach to dieting (I consider "under 1000 calories" nothing), and how consuming it might be. I'm glad you recognize the need to increase your calories. In my not-so-humble opinion: 1200 calories still seems to low. But I also know nothing about you.

Keep up the good work! Lean on your support group. Maybe book mark some stores and articles that talk about the negative affects of extremely low calorie diets. It sounds like you have the correct knowledge, but your emotions get in the way of reasoning (something I can totally understand).
  14542065
March 10, 2012 7:19 PM
You are awesome!!
March 10, 2012 7:21 PM
Thank you for your story! This is day 4 of me upping my calories. I was lucky if i hit 900 net calories before. I have been sitting here feel so "guilty" and that i need to go jump on the elliptical and burn all the calories i have eaten the past few days...I just feel so "big" and my clothes are feeling tight. I am going to stick with it, and i might go grab another snack bc i am only at 1350 net and my BMR is 1517. Again thank you :)
March 10, 2012 8:12 PM
I commend you for writing your post and telling your story.

However, (and not to disagree with you) to tell my story, I also used to eat less than 1000 calories a day. This was the only time I was even close to a normal weight. I'm currently attempting to keep my net calories at 900.

I have never felt better. I'm beginning to feel like I did when I was closer to a normal weight. I'm 5'7" approx and currently weigh 218.4.

When I was in high school I weighed around 172 at my lowest. I've been on MANY many diets. 1500 cal. cheat to lose, 1200 cal. low carb, vegetarian, jenny craig, weight watchers.

A few weeks ago I bought yet another book based on body type and began to follow it with my own modifications. I add in calories when I need to for exercise, etc. But I just don't buy into this DONT GO BELOW 1200! freak outs. It has never and will never work for me.

I always, always gain weight on higher calorie diets. I believe everyone has a different metabolism and different weight set points. Before I started this diet a few weeks ago, I did not have the energy to force myself to the gym or get my homework done.

Now, I've begun working out, I need less sleep, and accomplish more at school and at work than I ever have before, I'm not taking any supplements. I do drink caffeine occasionally and sometimes drink neurotrim because it tastes goodl

I'm glad that you are taking steps to be healthy.
Edited by hararayne On March 10, 2012 8:17 PM
  4760158
March 10, 2012 8:16 PM
QUOTE:

I commend you for writing your post and telling your story.

However, (and not to disagree with you) to tell my story, I also used to eat less than 1000 calories a day. This was the only time I was even close to a normal weight. I'm currently attempting to keep my net calories at 900.

I have never felt better. I'm beginning to feel like I did when I was closer to a normal weight. I'm 5'7" approx and currently weigh 218.4.

When I in high school I weighted around 172 at my lowest. I've been on MANY many diets. 1500 cal. cheat to lose, 1200 cal. low carb, vegetarian, jenny craig, weight watchers.

A few weeks ago I bought yet another book based on body type and began to follow it with my own modifications. I add in calories when I need to for exercise, etc. But I just don't buy into this DONT GO BELOW 1200! freak outs. It has never and will never work for me.

I always, always gain weight on higher calorie diets. I believe everyone has a different metabolism and different weight set points. Before I started this diet a few weeks ago, I did not have the energy to force myself to the gym or get my homework done.

Now, I've begun working out, I need less sleep, and accomplish more at school and at work than I ever have before, I'm not taking any supplements. I do drink caffeine occasionally and sometimes drink neurotrim because it tastes goodl

I'm glad that you are taking steps to be healthy.

You gained weight, cause you went over your maintenance. That is the cold hard fact.
March 10, 2012 8:18 PM
QUOTE:

I commend you for writing your post and telling your story.

However, (and not to disagree with you) to tell my story, I also used to eat less than 1000 calories a day. This was the only time I was even close to a normal weight. I'm currently attempting to keep my net calories at 900.




The OP is talking about eating under ~1000 calories for two years . So, you might not feel bad now, but over the long run it definitely catches up with you.

OP- thank you for sharing your story. I had a very similar experience to yours.
Edited by HotBodUnderConstruction On March 10, 2012 8:19 PM
March 10, 2012 8:21 PM
Perhaps. It's also a cold hard fact that the majority of people, even with measuring underestimate their calories by approximately 20%. Look it up. I'm sure you'll find it somewhere.

I ate junk in highschool, but I kept my calorie count low....800 calories approximately, per day. I was also on Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and followed their diets for several months to a "t' and gained. So who's right?
  4760158
March 10, 2012 8:21 PM
OP: Thank you for sharing your story. I can't imagine how tough of a road it's been. Sharing your story may really help someone. Kudos to you for your hard work at eating right (and more). You'll get your health back, I have no doubt.
  8059280
March 10, 2012 8:24 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I recently switched (2 weeks ago) to the Primal lifestyle and although my calorie goal on here is 1200 without trying, just by sticking to Primal I find I am around 900 calories almost every day and I feel fantastic - Primal doesn't focus on calories but I track them on here because I like to stay accountable as to what I am eating and have a general clue as to my nutrient breakdown. I think it all depends on your body and lifestyle and what works for you - if I felt deprived or like I was starving myself I would NEVER be able to stick to it. I know that from years and years of experience. it's not about calories it's about overall balance. I'm a nurse practitioner so believe me if I felt like my body wasn't right I'd abort mission on Primal - but so far I never felt better and never fell into an easier lifestyle change for ME.

How you feel doesn't change the laws of science. People in comas are fed more calories than 900. You better start eating now. Oh and it's all about calories. That's like saying, a car is not about gasoline.

read about Primal before you comment - I feel no different at those calories and I am getting plenty of nutrients and no processed crap! you don't need half the calories you think you do - and I work in critical care - people incomes get more calories because they are sick and their bodies are fighting to survive which requires more calories - I have no weakness, dizziness, tiredness, in fact I have never had more energy so thanks but no thanks to more calories! and correct if I'm wrong but these forums are about support and communicating what works for each of us because we're all different - don't preach to me, just communicating what has worked for me - maybe it will make someone interested in Primal who has never heard about it - just happy I finally found something that works for my body and lifestyle hope you have too!


You are full because you're eating nutrient dense foods. That still doesn't mean you can survive on 900 calories a day. The sad thing is you work in the medical field. Ask one of your doctors. They will tell the same. Eat food.


Exactly.

Just because you feel full and such doesn't mean that calories don't matter. The whole "you don't need half the calories you think you do" is crazy. There is no reason to eat that low. I am a nutrition major working on my degree, and that is one of the first things they teach you. Calories matter.
March 10, 2012 8:26 PM
Wow, glad you are increaing your cals. I am a low cal convert and started losing wgt finally the right way...by eating and lifting heavy. Take a look at our group Eat More to Weigh Less. It just isn't healthy to eat below BMR.
  973811
March 10, 2012 8:26 PM
QUOTE:

OP: Thank you for sharing your story. I can't imagine how tough of a road it's been. Sharing your story may really help someone. Kudos to you for your hard work at eating right (and more). You'll get your health back, I have no doubt.

Agreed! I'm truly amazed at the amount of personal analysis you have done on yourself. And the bravery to post your story so others can read and benefit from it.
  14542065
March 10, 2012 8:26 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I recently switched (2 weeks ago) to the Primal lifestyle and although my calorie goal on here is 1200 without trying, just by sticking to Primal I find I am around 900 calories almost every day and I feel fantastic - Primal doesn't focus on calories but I track them on here because I like to stay accountable as to what I am eating and have a general clue as to my nutrient breakdown. I think it all depends on your body and lifestyle and what works for you - if I felt deprived or like I was starving myself I would NEVER be able to stick to it. I know that from years and years of experience. it's not about calories it's about overall balance. I'm a nurse practitioner so believe me if I felt like my body wasn't right I'd abort mission on Primal - but so far I never felt better and never fell into an easier lifestyle change for ME.

How you feel doesn't change the laws of science. People in comas are fed more calories than 900. You better start eating now. Oh and it's all about calories. That's like saying, a car is not about gasoline.

read about Primal before you comment - I feel no different at those calories and I am getting plenty of nutrients and no processed crap! you don't need half the calories you think you do - and I work in critical care - people incomes get more calories because they are sick and their bodies are fighting to survive which requires more calories - I have no weakness, dizziness, tiredness, in fact I have never had more energy so thanks but no thanks to more calories! and correct if I'm wrong but these forums are about support and communicating what works for each of us because we're all different - don't preach to me, just communicating what has worked for me - maybe it will make someone interested in Primal who has never heard about it - just happy I finally found something that works for my body and lifestyle hope you have too!


You are full because you're eating nutrient dense foods. That still doesn't mean you can survive on 900 calories a day. The sad thing is you work in the medical field. Ask one of your doctors. They will tell the same. Eat food.


I feel fantastic - and since I'm not dead or feeling ANY ill effects, including hunger, I would say I can survive on exactly what I am consuming - maybe you or anyone else could not but that's the beauty of us all - we're all different and finding what works for you is the key - how about a little support instead of telling me to eat more! It never ceases to surprise me how snarky people can be when they have anonymity and the safety of sitting at home behind a computer screen! And I have quite a few doc friends who live the same lifestyle as I do and don't get crazy about the 1200 calories minimum a day - why do you even care what someone else does? I am not hurting anyone just a little plug for Primal since its pretty munched changed my life!
Edited by jessiepilot On March 10, 2012 8:30 PM
March 10, 2012 8:26 PM
Which is exactly why I said that I simply do not agree that all people must stay above 1200 calories. I have eaten like that for several years...in high school. Then I got a boyfriend and we ate out a lot and went to college together. I got up to 234 at my heaviest. Then we broke up and I lost weight.

My point is, that back in high school, I wasn't actively trying to keep my calories under 900. It just happened. I ate the same thing everyday because it was what I liked, what I could afford, and I didn't feel bad back then. Not physically. But it wasn't very healthy food. It was pre-packaged, over salted and high in fat, if not calories.

I was very self concious though. at the beginning of highshcool at at about 5'4" I weighed 214 and never was able to shake the idea of myself as being "heavy".
  4760158
March 10, 2012 8:28 PM
QUOTE:

Perhaps. It's also a cold hard fact that the majority of people, even with measuring underestimate their calories by approximately 20%. Look it up. I'm sure you'll find it somewhere.

I ate junk in highschool, but I kept my calorie count low....800 calories approximately, per day. I was also on Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and followed their diets for several months to a "t' and gained. So who's right?


Hey there.

Wanna know why you gained on 800 calories a day? Why you gain every time you eat a normal diet of 1500 calories?

Read this:
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/3047-700-calories-a-day-and-not-losing
  10004182
March 10, 2012 8:29 PM
Look into CRON...

It's not about the calories but the nutrition!

Calories is the energy used in the food, but what about nutrient dense food? I tell you what, most of these veggies bought in packs, most of these meats you buy aren't even close to how much nutrients they had in them 10 or 15yrs ago, let alone 100!

It's quite easy to maintain under 1000 if you try CRON...

And you won't ever feel hungry, and you will be perfectly fine.

On other hand, sure, what your describing is what happens in malnutrition. That happens when you don't eat a lot AND don't get the nutrients you need. Calories is NOT a nutrient, it's what we measure the energy in food by. People live on fruitarian diets and are fine! And that is going to be a lot less calories than what normally should be having, but it works!

And as an EDIT: Look how much nutrition courses have actually changed since like 20/30yrs ago... Not much at all... Our food has become worst, we are gaining weight more and more because of the bad quality of food we now get, but still use outdated nutrition training courses. Before anyone complains, I got a team of personal trainers who help me for my races, doctors and medical and they all say what I'm doing is fine as it is working and my blood work/VO2 max etc are improving and/or maintaining within healthy parameters.

So no, I won't buy into this calories matter bull. A team of medical specialists, sports nutritionalists and trainers can't be wrong compared to someone who is just studying the field only now.
Edited by Zangpakto On March 10, 2012 8:34 PM
  12390670
March 10, 2012 8:32 PM
Thank you for sharing. All of this (including the honest in sharing) must not be easy. You are actually an inspiration, I am sure of it.smile
March 10, 2012 8:34 PM
You're story is most definitely an eye opener! Thanks for sharing.
  11212166
March 10, 2012 8:39 PM
thank you
March 10, 2012 8:41 PM
QUOTE:

Look into CRON...

It's not about the calories but the nutrition!

Calories is the energy used in the food, but what about nutrient dense food? I tell you what, most of these veggies bought in packs, most of these meats you buy aren't even close to how much nutrients they had in them 10 or 15yrs ago, let alone 100!

It's quite easy to maintain under 1000 if you try CRON...

And you won't ever feel hungry, and you will be perfectly fine.

On other hand, sure, what your describing is what happens in malnutrition. That happens when you don't eat a lot AND don't get the nutrients you need. Calories is NOT a nutrient, it's what we measure the energy in food by. People live on fruitarian diets and are fine! And that is going to be a lot less calories than what normally should be having, but it works!

And as an EDIT: Look how much nutrition courses have actually changed since like 20/30yrs ago... Not much at all... Our food has become worst, we are gaining weight more and more because of the bad quality of food we now get, but still use outdated nutrition training courses. Before anyone complains, I got a team of personal trainers who help me for my races, doctors and medical and they all say what I'm doing is fine as it is working and my blood work/VO2 max etc are improving and/or maintaining within healthy parameters.

So no, I won't buy into this calories matter bull. A team of medical specialists, sports nutritionalists and trainers can't be wrong compared to someone who is just studying the field only now.


No where in my nutrition books do they promote how we are eating today. The processed food and garbage that people are eating. So I am not quite sure where that even is relevant? People making terrible food choices doesn't have anything to do what I am learning in my nutrition courses about the body.

Eating 1,000 calories a day is not necessary. You can eat more nutrient dense foods and bump that up.
March 10, 2012 8:43 PM
QUOTE:


... I feel fantastic - and since I'm not dead or feeling ANY ill effects, including hunger...


You're kidding, right? First of all, if you were dead, you wouldn't be able to write on this board. Talk about the obvious *sigh*.
And you're a nurse but don't know that you can have cancer for months before feeling any symptoms? And by the time you do feel the symptoms, it's usually too late.
March 10, 2012 8:46 PM
QUOTE:


And as an EDIT: Look how much nutrition courses have actually changed since like 20/30yrs ago... Not much at all... Our food has become worst, we are gaining weight more and more because of the bad quality of food we now get, but still use outdated nutrition training courses.


You gain weight from the overconsumption of calories and macros with no activity to balance it out (AKA creating a calorie surplus.)
  9905396
March 10, 2012 8:48 PM
OP I'm so glad you started upping your calorie intake and started to try to find something sustainable for yourself. To the people defending less than 1kcal diets, I give you this...

Image not displayed
Edited by EbbySoo On March 10, 2012 8:48 PM
March 10, 2012 8:48 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


... I feel fantastic - and since I'm not dead or feeling ANY ill effects, including hunger...


You're kidding, right? First of all, if you were dead, you wouldn't be able to write on this board. Talk about the obvious *sigh*.
And you're a nurse but don't know that you can have cancer for months before feeling any symptoms? And by the time you do feel the symptoms, it's usually too late.


OK then. I'm out - back to the primal/Paleo boards where those no competition or anger because someone doesn't agree with you! it works for me, end of story - I didnt ask anyone else to do it just passing on something that works for me. And the dead comment was me being facetious - duh!

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