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TOPIC: I can't live on only 1200 calories

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May 14, 2012 8:36 PM

I was given a 1200 calorie plan and I am starving. Can I eat even raw veggies to take the edge off? I am eating good food but it all adds up quickly. Please help!

NO ONE is asking You to eat only 1200 calories per day! You people need to STOP, just STOP and THINK!!! You want to go to work, do an exercise routine, be active and energetic in your life, take care of home and family...and live a full LIFE, AND you expect to DO this on 1200 calories per day! NO this is not the Agrigrian or Industurial Age where you need 4000 -6000 calories per day to keep you going but I have learned that MOST adults need more than 1200 calories per day to be REALLY productive! AND YES, you can eat and lose weight!

I learned this the HARD WAY, doing 1000-1200 calories per day' getting hungry, then overeating on the wrong stuff...yo-yoing back and forth, then one day I said, "I'm NOT on a diet, this IS MY LIFESTYLE. So I planted Myself at 1500 calories per day avg (because we will eat less some days and some days more), made Healthy Choices 80% of the time, 10% Good Choices and 10% Not so good choices (but in Moderation > Treats, ecause I knew if I did not give Myself a piece of cake or some cookies or a candy bar or a few french fries or nachos or sugar in My coffee I would not stay on board.)

So I Live a Healthy Lifestyle, do moderate exercise, have enough energy to power my day, don' t beat Myself upwhen I eat some chips or cookies because I LOG it in! I feel good about Myself and the way I Live and I ENJOY LIFE!

OH, by the way, I have LOST 120 Lbs in 2 years, basically just by EATING RIGHT and being able to STICK TO A PLAN! If you can not Stick to a Plan, you won't get healthy or lose weight NOR Maintain it!
May 14, 2012 8:37 PM
And I couldn't either ... when I first signed into mfp it recommended 1260 cals for me but calculated my bmr at 1400. I set my weight loss at 1 lb per week. So adding exercise would be seem to be the way to go to make the math work.

I've seen recommendations to eat 200-300 calories above bmr and see if you lose weight after a couple of weeks. If you are losing weight at the rate you would like then great!

If gaining weight or not losing at the rate you want, cut back 100 calories and/or increase exercise. I've also attended a weight loss management class where it was recommended splitting the difference between a cut in calories and an increase in exercise. So that would mean a 50 cal cut from food and a 50 cal increase in exercise.

Repeat the process until you find the right balance of calorie cutting and activity that works for you. You'll have to do these adjustments as you lose weight also because it takes less calories to run your body as you lose (I think mfp recalculates at 10 lbs of weight loss).

Whatever you do I would suggest that as my friend PU_239 says ignore the scale (well at least as much as you can) because it is how you look and how you feel that is important.

Hope this helps!

BTW, any mistakes here are my own and I am sure if I have made one .... someone will correct me. I am certainly not an expert just relating what I have garnered here and there.
May 14, 2012 8:41 PM
So don't. That is too low and certainly below your BMR. I did eat 1200 for longer than I should have but as I worked my way up I was still losing @ 1600 a day. I am trying to get my metabolism going again so I can lose the last 14 pounds without starving!!
May 14, 2012 8:53 PM
It really is sad that for so long we've all been told that to lose weight we've got to exercise more and eat less. Makes no sense - start working your body harder and give it less fuel to do so! noway

A better way to look at it would be to say exercise more and eat WELL to fuel your body and allow it to function properly. Eating the bare minimum while pushing yourself through exercise every day will burn you out in a short amount of time, even with healthy food choices. Your body is getting mixed signals as you push it to work hard but then don't give it enough fuel to function, so it begins to try to hang on to what little fuel you do give it rather than burning it efficiently, eventually jacking with your metabolism, slowing it down.

it is a process, and I've learned a lot by reading the info here and on the group page I linked in my last post. It takes some time to figure out what works best for you as far as diet, how many calories you need to meet your goal, etc, etc, but you can adjust as you go along! And when you feel great and you look great as the fat begins to burn off and your body gets stronger and leaner with all the good food an exercise, it's all totally worth it!
May 14, 2012 8:53 PM
here is some other good information for you that I just happened across
May 14, 2012 8:56 PM
1,200 calories a day is wrong 95% of the time. Up your calories, no need to do crazy stuff. It will turn around and nip you in the butt eventually.
May 14, 2012 8:59 PM
TOPIC: I can't live on only 1200 calories

So eat more.
May 14, 2012 9:03 PM
I am on 1200 - net. Which means the more I exercise the more I can consume. On days I hardly move, I eat 1200. I am 5'3" though, so that's not totally off the chart. Also, I am not too worried about being at 1300 cal a day or what not. If I am starving, then I am not doing it right. I don't let myself into the starvation mode.

I have a HUGE appetite so this is a way for me to learn that I have been over eating. It is easy if you eat at home, but for anything yummier (eating out), it is not as easy. I am not married to it, as long as I know I am changing my lifestyle

Oh, I am 125 with 10 pounds/less to lose.
May 14, 2012 9:06 PM

Who gave you that number - is that what came up when you filled out your info n MFP, or is it from elsewhere? I can't live on 1200 either - I'd be so hungry! I am set at 1700 calories per day, I'm 5'8", 139lbs, 44 years old, set to lose 1/2 lb a week. And I am losing, even with going over my calories several times a week. I track everything, but if I'm hungry, I eat (healthy foods).

Check out the info in this group, Eat More To Weigh Less:

Plenty of people there eating more healthy calories, exercising, and losing the fat without being hungry. Gotta fuel that body to make it function efficiently! smile

^ This. Eat more. Listen to your body and make solid healthy choices. I exercise to eat more.
May 14, 2012 9:07 PM
When I get the hungries I just drink a lot of crystal light. Takes away my hunger.
May 14, 2012 9:08 PM
WORK OUT. You can eat back whatever you burn off. But you need to make sure you know exactly how much you're burning. Invest in a HRM, and also a food scale. Definitely eat a fruit & veggie at each meal, this will help keep you full, and your protein levels are probably too low if you're going off what MFP sets you for. Try 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat. Or work toward 1g of protein per every LEAN lb of mass on your body ... so if you have a rough estimate of your body fat %, you should be able to figure out how much of your weight is lean. Lots of water, try green tea.
May 14, 2012 9:10 PM
You can eat as much spinach as you want. And egg whites. And watermelon. Really, as much as you want. Enjoy!
May 14, 2012 9:21 PM
eat more! just eat more of the good stuff! happy Bigger food intake equals a faster metabolism, I don't care what the anorexics say. I had one guy tell me that eating about 500 cals a day was just fine..( I'm fairly athletic now) delete from friends list was my response...

Now I'm not saying eat potato chips and twinkies,laugh but eat!!! I recently am attempting a vegan lifestyle ( I say attempting because some days are great, others not so much).. when I mess up and eat cheese I'm not gonna cry about it in the least!! smile What I've found in my attempts to go vegan, is that I'm having difficulties eating enough food to meet my caloric goal. Raw veggies, hummus dip ( esp ones without canola oil) roasted red pepper spreads, garlic spreads, salad, they don't carry a huge amount of cals. Once a week I chop all kinds of great veggies and make salads, and carrot sticks, and radishes that I can grab n go. It makes it really easy to grab a handful of raw carrots and some hummus and makes a really low cal filling snack.
p.s when I don't meet my cal goal, I've noticed a big decrease in my athletic ability, coupled with occasionally feeling like crap... don't starve yourself! happy

You hang in there and don't worry so much about the cal intake :) if you go way over, you can always work out :)
Edited by Laurej On May 14, 2012 9:27 PM
May 14, 2012 9:27 PM

You can eat as much spinach as you want. And egg whites. And watermelon. Really, as much as you want. Enjoy!

Can I eat 10 pounds of it?
May 14, 2012 9:30 PM
I got the same 1200 calories a day baseline plan myself. I had added breakfast and my lunch sans a drink and I was already at 1400 calories. Maybe we need to try smoothies or something.
May 14, 2012 9:33 PM
If you want help like this, open your diary.

Don't eat crap, and 1200 calories can be a lot. That is around 3 pounds of turkey, quinoa, and/or brown rice, which is pretty filling. If you mix fruits and veggies in, you can probably make that 4-5 lbs. of food, which is a heck of a lot for one day!
May 14, 2012 9:34 PM
I think you're accidentally starving yourself.

I'm assuming what happened is you're already a very small person and you entered into MFP that you would like to lose 1 pound a week, which is equal to 3500 calories or 500 calories a day. If you're already very small then maybe your maintenance calories are around 1700 (really?) so trying to lose a pound a week puts you down to 1200 or lower.

Your total body fat is way lower than larger people who have a similar body fat percentage. I'm 180lbs, if I want to lose a pound a week that's about 0.5% total body mass per week and I can still eat over 2000 calories a day. If someone who is 110 lbs wants to lose 1 pound per week, that's almost 1% body mass, double what I would be losing. So I'm saying that you should decrease the total amount of weight you want to lose per week so that it's more in line with the % of body mass that larger people are losing per week. So drop it from 1 lb per week to 0.5 lbs per week.

I'm not a nutritionist but 1200 calories seems really low. Other than what I already suggested, maybe try exercising more so that you can eat more and still be at a calorie deficit. If you go running for like 35 minutes a day that's probably around 400-500 more calories that you can eat that day.

I should also note that I don't see why anyone would eat 1200 calories per day. If you're very small with a high body fat % then you should be working on exercising, with a balanced diet. If you're not very small, there's no reason you should have to eat 1200 calories per day to lose weight.
Edited by kylTKe On May 14, 2012 9:36 PM
May 14, 2012 9:37 PM
I set my calorie intake at 1400 but i work hard to eat 1200 i could do it at 1100 easy, try oatmeal, egg white omlettes, black beans, turkey and chicken, stay away from empty calories like junk food and sodas, they make you hungry, and eat nuts, they fill you up fast, im losing about 4 pounds a week, with exercise 3 days a week, my calorie defict is usually 2000 aday
Edited by LasVegasTaxiDriver On May 14, 2012 9:39 PM
May 14, 2012 9:39 PM

If you want help like this, open your diary.

Don't eat crap, and 1200 calories can be a lot. That is around 3 pounds of turkey, quinoa, and/or brown rice, which is pretty filling. If you mix fruits and veggies in, you can probably make that 4-5 lbs. of food, which is a heck of a lot for one day!

^^ and this! If you open your diary, people can see what your eating and maybe help pinpoint areas you can save cals and substitute it for more food
May 14, 2012 9:45 PM
Edited by sdtrex On May 14, 2012 9:46 PM
May 14, 2012 9:47 PM


You can eat as much spinach as you want. And egg whites. And watermelon. Really, as much as you want. Enjoy!

Can I eat 10 pounds of it?

Yes you can! 10 pounds of raw spinach is less than 1,000 calories; 10 pounds steamed is probably close to 1200. As a side benefit, you may turn green and mutate into a cross between popeye and the incredible hulk.
May 14, 2012 9:49 PM
I am on 1,200 calories but I never have really ate that much. I have trouble eating all the calories most days. I am usually over on my protien though. I also don't eat any starch or if I do I eat very little. Brown rice or a sweet potato here and there. Over all I eat alot of plant food and good fats olive oil, avacado, fatty fish. I feel good . I think it is to each their own. Everyone is so unique. I think I am pear shaped personally because I don't eat enough. I snack all day though?
May 14, 2012 10:02 PM


You can eat as much spinach as you want. And egg whites. And watermelon. Really, as much as you want. Enjoy!

Can I eat 10 pounds of it?

I'd like to see someone TRY and eat 10 pounds of any of these lol. You can't!

I know where this person is coming from :) all of these foods are very low in calories, yet nutrient dense. You will feel satisfied on smaller amounts of them. Even eating large amounts of them won't derail you. In my lifetime, the lowest I've ever weighed was at a time when I was eating boiled egg whites all day long in addition to my meals. Kept me satisfied and I never counted calories. It did get old after awhile though and I wasn't making many friends at work haha. But I would eat at least a full dozen boiled egg whites a day for a snack.
May 14, 2012 10:17 PM
well in my opinion..its not that hard... u just have to cut off the eating little by little but not to the point that u starve...and if not u just bike ride to burn off the extra calories you weren't suppose to eat for example..i do 40 miles a week and eat whatever i want but no fast foods only sundays and homemade food the rest of the i make sure that i bike ride more than what i eat so i can loose weight or maintain it after im satisfy with my weight... ;-)wink
May 14, 2012 10:51 PM
No one should live on only 1200 calories!


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