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TOPIC: 600 Calories per day!!!

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April 30, 2012 3:29 AM
Hi Everyone,

600 Calories per day is what somebody I know is eating!

I know, I have tried to explain what he is doing is wrong and that eating such a low amount is not only going to make his body go in to starvation mode but can also cause great complications. He suffers with a condition called Narcolepsy which basically if your unaware is a sleeping disorder which he takes medication for. I am worried that he is making a bad decision but unfortunately isn't listening to me!
I have told him about MFP, but refuses to give it a go.
Please could anyone comment so I can show him the negetives of only eating this amount.

He has lost 2 stone (28Ibs) in 6 weeks, which he thinks is good. He is a large man.

Please help, I have treid to explain but nothing is working.

Your help is really appreciated.
  8116549
April 30, 2012 3:37 AM
Amy, his body is going to shut down on him and he may not be able to reverse the damage he is doing.

It will depend on his current state of health and how overweight he is but, 600 calories a day is bordering on having an eating disorder like Anorexia.

My advice to him is to work out what his TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure is, which is based on his BRM, activity level and exercise burn, and to then eat 20% less!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/221524-effects-that-very-low-calorie-diets-have-on-the-metabolism/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/247609-the-effects-of-a-500-calorie-per-day-diet/
April 30, 2012 3:45 AM
That's around 4.6 pounds a week. Depending on how large he is, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. With very obese people, it's not bad to lose weight so fast. Well I should say the risks of having that much extra weight on them outweigh the risks of losing weight too fast. But you didn't state how large he actually is.

With the undereating. I wish I could help, but I too struggle with under eating. Though I am eating more than 600. And I at least am aware of what I am doing, and trying to fix it. Good luck I really hope your friend doesn't get sick.
  15271863
April 30, 2012 3:50 AM
Thanks Sarah,

I told him this, but won't listen, I explained how you had worked out what I should be eating and excercising but thinks because he has lost 2 stone already what he is doing is totally fine.

I'm not sure how much he weighs but he is a large man. He looks ill at the moment and I'm really worried for him. I just wish he would listen.
I have tried talking him into seeing a dietition but like I said he thinks losing the weight this way is the way forward!! I will pass on your commentas and just hope he listens.

He doesn't excercise either and only eats salad and drinks water everyday. Nothing else!!!.

Thanks for replying =)

xx
  8116549
April 30, 2012 3:53 AM
It really depends on how he has recduced his calorie intake to that level, and whether he took the correct medical advice before he began his journey. The "commercially available" plans are very clear about existing medical conditions, and how long an individual should adhere to this type of Plan. If he is on a meal replacement programme, all nutrients will be provided from the meal replacements, and Very Low Calorie Diets are not universally seen to be a bad thing, as long as they are used properly.flowerforyou
April 30, 2012 3:54 AM
QUOTE:

That's around 4.6 pounds a week. Depending on how large he is, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. With very obese people, it's not bad to lose weight so fast. Well I should say the risks of having that much extra weight on them outweigh the risks of losing weight too fast. But you didn't state how large he actually is.

With the undereating. I wish I could help, but I too struggle with under eating. Though I am eating more than 600. And I at least am aware of what I am doing, and trying to fix it. Good luck I really hope your friend doesn't get sick.


Thank you =)
I'm really not sure how much he weighs, if I had to guess I would probably say about 300Ibs.

Thanks for your comments Hun.

xx
  8116549
April 30, 2012 3:56 AM
Roughly how much does this guy weigh, and how much does he have to lose?

I know 600 calories is way too little, but since he's a large (apparently overweight?) man, it doesn't sound like he's got an eating disorder. I don't imagine he's doing any permanent damage with this diet, either.

I bet this will resolve itself pretty soon. I don't think anyone without a serious eating disorder can stay on that sort of diet for long. When he stops losing weight and all those repressed desires for food catch up with him, you can give him a humble I-told-you-so. That will be your opportunity to convince him of a sensible diet plan.
  5997576
April 30, 2012 4:07 AM
I was given such a diet once and i could follow it for a week (while being hungry), then another week and i felt like fainting several times and the following week my family told me to switch to snother doctor because they couldn't stand my anger fists anymore. It looks like my body had turned my mind to a constant aggresive mode because of the starvation. My family noticed my severe mood swings way eariler than i did
  19069102
April 30, 2012 4:13 AM
Some bodybuilders do this as a quick way to shed fat before a competition. It's called PSMF but they eat all protein and it's normally around 800 calories. They only do it for 2 to 3 weeks max though.
April 30, 2012 4:15 AM
Unfortunately you arent going to convince him differently. In fact, you have made it clear that you do have a genuine concern, but at this point - its up to him to learn on his own when he starts getting lethargic, passes out, or whatever his body does when it will react differently for him to realize "oh hell I dont like the way I feel"...

Its the same thing when people want to tell their best friend or family member who happens to be overweight, how much you want them to go on a diet... You ***cant*** do that.... they have to come to the realization on their own.

Its so important to keep our healthcare providers up to date....sometimes what seems like a 'miracle' ends up being a serious detriment to our health. Personally speaking, I wont do anything unless I have consulted the doctors who oversee my care.... I have too much of a medical history documented.... and, where I work in healthcare, I know how important it is to keep the line of communication happening...

When your friend starts disclosing to you changes (the type that will eventually happen), re-iterate the fact he needs to consider seeking medical care and make sure nothing has worsened. If he declines, then remind him " until you face the facts that you are causing more health problems for yourself, I dont want to hear any more of it" - do not enable him, support him, etc.... it might take him passing out/blacking out to realize the errors of his ways. I know thats cruel, but... he isnt going to listen to you now, if you know what I mean?
  11372560
April 30, 2012 4:19 AM
A guy friend of mine lost 100 pounds eating 600 calories a day. He ended up in the hospital for nearly a month due to complications from doing that.
  2826428
April 30, 2012 4:23 AM
VLCD for the obese link below. He should be taking some supplements to ensure a proper heart circulation.
http://rfoweightloss.med.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=32
April 30, 2012 4:24 AM
Hi,

I'm no weight loss expert or anything but you're right this is not healthy for your friend. He needs to up his intake even if it is by a few hundred calories. Try to explain to him that if he gives himself a goal of 1000 - 1200 calories this is realistic, as once he loses the weight with the 600 calorie intake, then ups his intake to a normal amount he will pile it back on. However, if he does the realistic amount he will not risk his health or the chance of putting the weight back on as much. He also needs to make sure he is taking some sort of multi vitamin as he will be depriving his body of the right nutriens. Also please make sure he is drinking pleanty of fluids as not only will his body go into starvation it will also become dehydrated which is very dangerous.

Hope it works itself out for you and your friend.
April 30, 2012 4:26 AM
Thanks for all your comments.

He has'nt seen any professional he just basically decided this on his own!!!

x
  8116549
April 30, 2012 4:27 AM
you can drag a horse to the water but you can't make it drink it, seems to me he has made his mind up even ignoring your suggestions and in his mind he is having success, I doubt he will listen to anyone here, I would suggest just leaving it but leave the door open because sooner or later he will realise himsel the damage he could be doing to his body and his body will tell him 600 cals a day is not sustainable
  19229683
April 30, 2012 4:28 AM
You can't make someone do something that they don't want to do. He's seeing results so he's going to stick with it no matter what you say. What you could do to help him is give him a list of supplements to ensure that he gets the proper nutrition that the body needs.

Give him a mens multivitamin from your grocery store and not a specialized store like GNC. GNC will give you crazy doses that are over 1000% of the daily requirement making him feel sick. He'll also need potassium and omega 3 fish oil to ensure proper heart circulation.
April 30, 2012 4:29 AM
I know of a person who was staying well under 1000 calories a day. He did lose like crazy. After only a month it was hard to recognize him. Well, that was last year. Today he has gained back the weight plus some extra. This just doesn't work for the long-haul.
  82619
April 30, 2012 4:30 AM
600 calorie diets for obese people are common and medically prescribed eg to lose weight before operations.

He should eat at least 50g of protein up to 100g to maintain lean muscle (including the heart !) and the rest of his intake should be giving him the balance of minerals and vitamins he needs.

Ignore the nonsense spouted on here about his "body shutting down" and other such twaddle, "speaking as a mother". His body will do just fine burning the 10s of 1000s of calories of fat he's carrying.

He will need some kind of re-adapting plan as he gets within 20 lbs of target weight, and 6 weeks might be a sensible limit on this sort of approach, but he is far from unique.
  18022302
April 30, 2012 4:31 AM
Some people can eat that amount with little or no adverse side effects. I'd tell him to go see a doctor, but honestly I ate around that amount for a long time and lost a fair bit of weight and have kept it off even after I upped my calories. I never felt weak, tired, etc. Basically, I was the same person as I was on 1200-1300 calories a day but I was losing more weight.

Obviously I don't endorse that anybody start eating that amount, but I wouldn't force him to do anything he doesn't want to do. That can be even worse for him than the 600 calories a day.
  20746775
April 30, 2012 4:31 AM
Tell him thats kooky talk.
  21858914
April 30, 2012 4:41 AM
He also needs to be aware of symptoms from ketosis. It means that your body is burning fat 24/7. You'll know your body is doing this when your urine turns a very dark color and has an extremely horrible smell to it. Being in ketosis for a long time can damage your kidneys because your kidneys are being overworked. This should be obvious from the color of your urine. How long is long? I have no idea but maybe if you google to read up on it, you can find out. Body builders generally will only do this for 3 weeks max.
April 30, 2012 4:44 AM
QUOTE:
Being in ketosis for a long time can damage your kidneys because your kidneys are being overworked.


This is a myth. I have been in nutritional ketosis for perhaps 2 years. My urine is pale yellow to clear depending on hydration etc.
  18022302
April 30, 2012 4:48 AM
I rarely comment on these threads because I suffered with anorexia for a number of years in my late teens and I have no great love for re-living those years that wreaked my mind and my body. It took me 15 years to get over the damage I did to myself after eating tiny portions of foods for years.

Here is my experience of reducing my calories to below 1000 a day.

At the time I aimed for less than 900 cals per day as someone told me I would lose loads of weight if I kept my cals under this number. However, it escalated into me getting more paranoid and controlling about my eating and some days I ate an orange and a piece of toast and thought I was wonderful for it (more fool me) As well as eating half a cup of dry cornflakes and calling it a meal, I also exercised 3 or 4 times a day.

In the short term (1-6) months eating under 800 or 900 cals a day:
Makes you irritable, grumpy and a pain to live with
Your breath will smell
Your face skin will dry out and/or you'll get spots
You will feel nauseous with hunger
You stomach will make noise all the time
You will lose hell of a lot of weight (up to 7lbs a week)

6 -12 months
Your period will stop
Your appetite will be gone.
You will have trained yourself to go without food.
Your energy will be non-existant
Your circle of friends will have whittered away as you fall out or cut out all of them in turn because of your eating
Your family will be in a panic about your appearance
Your weight loss will slow down to about 1lb a week (or less)
Your hair will thin

12-18 months
You are really ill now
You panic about your weight loss and drop down to 300-500 cals because some other anorexic on an internet forum said this worked for her
The other Anas on the forums are your only "friends" now
All your muscle has gone
The skin all over your body and your face will be in a shocking condition
You are cold all the time, a horrible soul sucking coldness that seems to come from within
Organ damage has started
Your hair will stop growing and may start to fall out

18 months +
As well as everything else above
The symptoms of mental illness appear (paranoia being the most common)
Irreversible organ damage may have started
Lumps of your hair will fall out leaving you with bald patches

After recovery:
Your body clings on to every calories like a dying man to a shipwreak and you put on weight. You think dropping back to your previous habits will lose it - it doesn't. What do you do then?

Those are the consequences of surviving on anorexic/tiny portions of food. Those are the ones I saw myself and others in real-life support groups go through.

I am not saying your friend is anorexic (nothing like it) but what will he do when 600 cals per day no longer loses him the weight he he was used to losing from day to day? Will he cut his calories further? Is this really the path he wants to go down? If it were my friend, I would beg them now to stop before it is too late and he embarks on a lifestyle that negatively shapes the rest of his life.

You already say that he has trouble sleeping and looks ill. This sounds to me like his mind and body are not happy are being given this meager volume of food. Get off the internet, people here cannot see you or your friend. Get your friend to a medical professional. If he will not listen to you, he may listen to them.

Right now, I am now losing 2lbs a week eating around about 2000 cals a day. I am happy, healthy and energetic.

Encourage your friend to get smart before it is too late for him.
Edited by LondonEliza On April 30, 2012 4:56 AM
April 30, 2012 4:51 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:
Being in ketosis for a long time can damage your kidneys because your kidneys are being overworked.


This is a myth. I have been in nutritional ketosis for perhaps 2 years. My urine is pale yellow to clear depending on hydration etc.


Interesting. Do you have any medical literature that I can read up on?
April 30, 2012 4:53 AM
QUOTE:

Roughly how much does this guy weigh, and how much does he have to lose?

I know 600 calories is way too little, but since he's a large (apparently overweight?) man, it doesn't sound like he's got an eating disorder. I don't imagine he's doing any permanent damage with this diet, either.

I bet this will resolve itself pretty soon. I don't think anyone without a serious eating disorder can stay on that sort of diet for long. When he stops losing weight and all those repressed desires for food catch up with him, you can give him a humble I-told-you-so. That will be your opportunity to convince him of a sensible diet plan.



^^^ this.
All you can do is try to help your friend out, if he isn't ready to listen then soon enough he will find out the hard way why you were trying to help.
He will lose weight initially, but will also lose muscle which means the body burns less calories, and eventually his loss will stop even when eatig the same amount and he won't know why, he might be more interested in healthier ways to lose then.

As Sarah said, calculating a deficit from tdee while staying above bmr is a safe and healthy way to lose that is sustainable long term.
Exercise is also important, it has so many benefits other than weight loss, and the right kind of exercise can build muscle, therefore increasing calorie burn and making weight loss easier.
  6110710

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