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TOPIC: Anyone on 1200kcals a day?

 
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May 25, 2012 5:57 AM
If you go into the setup, you can have your daily tracker show the sodium levels in food. I am very affected by the sodium and try to stay under 500grams per day. The program allows 2200g and I never loose if I have that much.
  21099188
May 25, 2012 6:04 AM
You know I was on 1000 a day and the first few months I know I lost, but then I stalled (I don't believe Starvation Mode exists, from everything I've read it's a made up term for stalling so it sounds worse than it really is) so I cut those calories in half. And I lose about 15lbs a month....again. Now I go a little higher in calories because I'm walking and Zumba'ing but still within my cal intake. You have to go with what you feel good with. I feel good with my calorie intake although others are having issues with it, but I pretty much ignore them. So far this week I have lost 4lbs (With Monday being my main weigh in day) 2 of those lbs were one's gained by mother natures visit and had to lose them again :(. Read up on Starvation Mode and understand what it really is, then when you stall you can take action right away by changing things up so your body get's back to doing what you want it to do.
  20634412
May 25, 2012 6:18 AM
I'm on a less than 1,000 diet but have to take vitamins since not getting enough in my diet. Upping your protein definitely helps make you feel satisfied and not like you are starving. However, if you heavily exercise with this calorie intake you will lose muscle. Just do light exercise like yoga or walking.

The main thing for this diet to work is:
- make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals through supplements,
- eat healthy protein to fill satisfied and add a protein shake to your daily routine (also to help maintain muscle)
- reduce sugar (your body burns sugar first before any other source of energy)
- reduce carbs
- drink lots and lot of water

You will feel tired for first couple of days but then it passes once your body switches to using fat for energy.
Edited by onikonor On May 25, 2012 6:20 AM
  22767990
May 25, 2012 6:19 AM
I started doing 1200 calories almost 3 months ago. Now I'm eating 1250-1450 calories per day but doing a combination of walking and elliptical for as much as 100 minutes a day. I use a FitBit and strive for 15,000 steps a day...I don't go to bed until that thing reads 15,000. If I burn 500-800 calories, I certainly don't eat back those calories.... so my "net calories" are easily under 1,000 every day.

I watch my protein intake carefully and strive for 90 or more grams per day. My protein sources are typically from Zone Bars, EAS Advant Edge Shakes (very low calories/ high protein) and beef jerky (watch out for sodium). I graze throughout the day rather than sitting down to a meal. I eat one meal replacement (Lean Cuisine) mid-day.

I'm conscious of carbs, but not strict in limiting them. I still eat goldfish crackers, triscuits, toast, a sandwich from time to time. Really, there's nothing that I completely avoid. If I'm going to "cheat," it's mid-day and I adjust my calorie intake for the remainder of the day accordingly. I don't drink any sugar drinks or juice and no caffeine, only Vitamin Water Zero, Propel Zero, Crystal Light, etc.

I'm down 22+ lbs in less than 3 months. I'm planning to lose 40 more and feel like a million bucks. My point would be, I've been doing this low calorie diet for awhile now and I'm satisfied... no starving. Yes, I still daydream about a big meal at my favorite Mexican restaurant, but there are plenty of food choices in my grocer's freezer to give me a portion controlled taste of what I like.

These things are working for me. I can't say it's right for you or anyone else.
  18958155
May 25, 2012 6:21 AM
QUOTE:

You know I was on 1000 a day and the first few months I know I lost, but then I stalled (I don't believe Starvation Mode exists, from everything I've read it's a made up term for stalling so it sounds worse than it really is) so I cut those calories in half. And I lose about 15lbs a month....again. Now I go a little higher in calories because I'm walking and Zumba'ing but still within my cal intake. You have to go with what you feel good with. I feel good with my calorie intake although others are having issues with it, but I pretty much ignore them. So far this week I have lost 4lbs (With Monday being my main weigh in day) 2 of those lbs were one's gained by mother natures visit and had to lose them again :(. Read up on Starvation Mode and understand what it really is, then when you stall you can take action right away by changing things up so your body get's back to doing what you want it to do.


Wait--You're eating 500 calories/day?

I advise the OP to NOT take this advice. The only weight you would lose with kind of massive calorie restriction is muscle and water. I have a pretty extensive history with eating disorders, and I ate between 600-800 calories/day for 5 years. I maintained, then BAM gained 10 lbs and it wont come off. No matter what. You will destroy your metabolism eating this little. I don't know much about starvation mode, but I do know from personal experience that it's fine for awhile, until you've ruined your body...
May 25, 2012 6:22 AM
QUOTE:

Hi Everyone! I am 5'4 and currently weight 137lbs, looking to get to 126lbs for my holiday in July (profile pic is my inspiration).

My question is, how many of you out there are on 1200kcals a day and how are you finding it? Many people on here say it's unhealthy and your body is in "starvation mode" etc but I feel fine and often go under my goal for the day.

I currently don't do any exercise (other than walking, cleaning etc) and when I do start to exercise I plan to increase my kcals just like everyone says to do on here. The one day I worked out and ate my 1200kcals plus a bit more for the exercise I put on 2lbs so I dont understand how it works!? All I know is it obviously doesnt work for me eating slightly more and exercising. Am I alone here?!

Confused smile x


You're not likely to reach the goal you've set--losing 11 pounds by July--without exercise. There's just not enough time and you can't create a big enough deficit. And even if you could, it wouldn't be a good idea to lose at that rate. And without exercise you absolutely won't look like your profile pic. That girl works out--a lot.

You'd be better served, since you're not overweight now, to do some strength training and build some muscle while eating near maintenance or at a ~250 calorie net deficit, which is likely to make you look more like what you want than the weight loss you're aiming for, is more sustainable, and healthier.
May 25, 2012 6:24 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

You know I was on 1000 a day and the first few months I know I lost, but then I stalled (I don't believe Starvation Mode exists, from everything I've read it's a made up term for stalling so it sounds worse than it really is) so I cut those calories in half. And I lose about 15lbs a month....again. Now I go a little higher in calories because I'm walking and Zumba'ing but still within my cal intake. You have to go with what you feel good with. I feel good with my calorie intake although others are having issues with it, but I pretty much ignore them. So far this week I have lost 4lbs (With Monday being my main weigh in day) 2 of those lbs were one's gained by mother natures visit and had to lose them again :(. Read up on Starvation Mode and understand what it really is, then when you stall you can take action right away by changing things up so your body get's back to doing what you want it to do.


Wait--You're eating 500 calories/day?

I advise the OP to NOT take this advice. The only weight you would lose with kind of massive calorie restriction is muscle and water. I have a pretty extensive history with eating disorders, and I ate between 600-800 calories/day for 5 years. I maintained, then BAM gained 10 lbs and it wont come off. No matter what. You will destroy your metabolism eating this little. I don't know much about starvation mode, but I do know from personal experience that it's fine for awhile, until you've ruined your body...


I agree. Don't take this advice! i have an ED and i eat less than 500cal a day but i certainly would never advise ANYONE to do this - it's not healthy and it can set you on the path for an eating disorder, which can be hell to overcome.
May 25, 2012 6:25 AM
Im at 1250 a day. Its not hard to maintain, some weeks I go over 1200 a day some weeks I go less, but no big deal I DONT STRESS about it!

I eat the same things I did before MFP, the only thing I changed was I cut out the Fast Food and Sodas! That made a world of difference for me. Another thing that has worked for me, on Saturdays and Sundays I try to just drink juice until lunch or dinner time, and cut the calories out at breakfast that seems to make me feel "lighter" and drop a couple of lbs on the weekends. And Yes Yes Yes I know how important Breakfast is....
May 25, 2012 6:28 AM
QUOTE:

You know I was on 1000 a day and the first few months I know I lost, but then I stalled (I don't believe Starvation Mode exists, from everything I've read it's a made up term for stalling so it sounds worse than it really is) so I cut those calories in half. And I lose about 15lbs a month....again. Now I go a little higher in calories because I'm walking and Zumba'ing but still within my cal intake. You have to go with what you feel good with. I feel good with my calorie intake although others are having issues with it, but I pretty much ignore them. So far this week I have lost 4lbs (With Monday being my main weigh in day) 2 of those lbs were one's gained by mother natures visit and had to lose them again :(. Read up on Starvation Mode and understand what it really is, then when you stall you can take action right away by changing things up so your body get's back to doing what you want it to do.


It doesn't matter if "starvation mode" exists or not. Eating 500 cal/day is a bad idea, as is losing 3-4 pounds/week.

And BTW, any water you retain during menstruation isn't weight you have "to lose again." It's not fat, it's water, and you'll pee it out without effort or cutting calories as soon as your period ends.
May 25, 2012 6:29 AM
Bump.
  11620933
May 25, 2012 6:29 AM
QUOTE:

Im at 1250 a day. Its not hard to maintain, some weeks I go over 1200 a day some weeks I go less, but no big deal I DONT STRESS about it!

I eat the same things I did before MFP, the only thing I changed was I cut out the Fast Food and Sodas! That made a world of difference for me. Another thing that has worked for me, on Saturdays and Sundays I try to just drink juice until lunch or dinner time, and cut the calories out at breakfast that seems to make me feel "lighter" and drop a couple of lbs on the weekends. And Yes Yes Yes I know how important Breakfast is....


There is nothing "important" about breakfast. If you don't want to eat it--don't. There is nothing magical about what time of day you eat.
May 25, 2012 6:33 AM
For God's sake, people, eat and exercise.

I have no idea how I ever got by on 1200. Like, really. I can't even wrap my head around it. I know there was a lot of stress and sadness involved, though.

I'm on 1700 now. Haven't gained a pound back. Will start losing again as soon as life calms down and I'm able to exercise regularly again.

I want to be strong, not skinny. I want to be lean and sexy, not a stick, always concerned about what I eat because my body is so ill-prepared and lacking muscle.
May 25, 2012 6:38 AM
MFP set my goal at 1250 a day and honestly in 2 months I have eaten more than just a couple of times. I've lost 9 pounds. We will see what the coming months bring though!!
  20696578
May 25, 2012 6:39 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

You know I was on 1000 a day and the first few months I know I lost, but then I stalled (I don't believe Starvation Mode exists, from everything I've read it's a made up term for stalling so it sounds worse than it really is) so I cut those calories in half. And I lose about 15lbs a month....again. Now I go a little higher in calories because I'm walking and Zumba'ing but still within my cal intake. You have to go with what you feel good with. I feel good with my calorie intake although others are having issues with it, but I pretty much ignore them. So far this week I have lost 4lbs (With Monday being my main weigh in day) 2 of those lbs were one's gained by mother natures visit and had to lose them again :(. Read up on Starvation Mode and understand what it really is, then when you stall you can take action right away by changing things up so your body get's back to doing what you want it to do.


Wait--You're eating 500 calories/day?

I advise the OP to NOT take this advice. The only weight you would lose with kind of massive calorie restriction is muscle and water. I have a pretty extensive history with eating disorders, and I ate between 600-800 calories/day for 5 years. I maintained, then BAM gained 10 lbs and it wont come off. No matter what. You will destroy your metabolism eating this little. I don't know much about starvation mode, but I do know from personal experience that it's fine for awhile, until you've ruined your body...


I agree. Don't take this advice! i have an ED and i eat less than 500cal a day but i certainly would never advise ANYONE to do this - it's not healthy and it can set you on the path for an eating disorder, which can be hell to overcome.


^^^^ this, 100%
  7462478
May 25, 2012 6:44 AM
I'm on 1200 a day. I'm also 5'2" and very sedentary.
I think 1200 is a bit low for taller and more active people.
On 1200 it's also very important to eat your exercise calories.
  139239
May 25, 2012 6:44 AM
I am =] or there abouts I'll add you!
May 25, 2012 6:45 AM
bump
  3440307
May 25, 2012 6:46 AM
hey i am 5'1 i was using the 1200 a day and loved it but i also work out. Your goal is to lose one to two pounds a week. also weigh yourself the same time once a week. for me it is Monday morning....remember water weight can add or subtract 2lbs or more. i truly do not even eat 1200 calories a day and i eat all day. in the past year i have lost over 50lbs and still going. right now i zig zag calories becuz before i would stop losing weight but the majority of the time is 1200. I work daily though i just started with a walk around the block or the treadmill and worked up. if you need help please ask i would love to help u.
May 25, 2012 6:50 AM
Awesom post really great information!!!!!!
  23302419
May 25, 2012 6:52 AM
To temp666777 awesome information thanks....:)
  23302419
May 25, 2012 6:55 AM
Oh wow, why would you NOT exercise. I know it makes me a lot hungrier, but I've gotten strong from exercise! I love the feeling when I dance for hours or run for miles.

And more than that, it makes me feel better psychologically. I NEED to exercise or I feel mopey and sad.

My social life is also built around exercise, as most of my friends are either in my Zumba class or are runners like me. It's a great way to connect with other people.
May 25, 2012 7:13 AM
Thank you for this, at least I know there are doctors out there that don't consider it unhealthy. Well done for your loss, hopefully i'll hit my goal as well!

QUOTE:

I have been on a 1200 calorie/day diet that was recommended by my doctor. I started mid March and have lost 14 lbs so far. I don't work out that much. If a doctor recommends it, it can't be bad. To maintain your weight he recommends 1400-1600. Sometimes I have to force myself to eat to get in 1200 calories.
May 25, 2012 7:15 AM
Just started a couple of weeks ago and am on 1200 cals. Had a hard time staying at/under at first, but have done better in this past week. I get pretty hungry before meal times and have to put a lot of thought into what I am going to eat. I eat the exercise calories - don't think it's healthy to net less than 1200 per day on a regular basis. Am working out 3-4 times per week (cardio) for 45 - 60 minutes. I plan to add in more strength training, right now I am doing "the line" at the gym twice per week.

Honestly, I don't get dieting without exercise - not only do I think it won't maintain in the long run, but also you are completely missing out on the myriad of health benefits associated with regular exercise. Yes, I want to get from 138 to 126 pounds - but I also have numerous risk factors for heart disease so decreasing that as much as possible is just as important.

So far, I have actually gained two pounds - started at 136 - pretty sure that's not muscle weight in this short period of time -but I'm giving myself a bit of a break while I get a handle on how I eat and make the exercise a regular part of my life.

Back in 2007 I lost 20 pounds doing cardio 3-4 times per week 45 min, the line twice per week. For diet, I cut out almost all meat and desserts. At that time I did not count calories at all. It probably took 5-6 months to lose the weight. Gained it all back in a matter of a few years when I stopped doing the above.
May 25, 2012 7:18 AM
I am a fairly fit 5'9" 180 pound man on 1400 - I don't think that is terribly different from a smaller woman trying to eat 1200. I work out 4-5 times a week for about an hour, but don't "eat back" the calories burned in exercise. My job is relatively sedentary but I do walk about 30 minutes at work every day (going to and from another building five blocks away)

People who talk about starving, or their metabolism shutting down, or the infamous "starvation mode" are probably not eating the right stuff, or are VERY active. On 1400 calories I'm stuffed most of the day, and some days I struggle to get enough food in my mouth. My diary is open if you want to look at what I am eating. Take note that some of it looks odd because I switched my profile to record five meals, so last week's dinners now look like lunches, etc.

So my point is that a 1200 calorie diet for someone of your size is completely do-able, and can be very healthy, but you must eat the right stuff. If you are eating whole (not quick) oatmeal, lots of veggies, lean protein like tuna and chicken, things like that, 1200 calories is a ton of food. If you are eating processed carbohydrates, fatty meat, too much cheese, etc. then 1200 calories is like a starvation ration.
May 25, 2012 7:21 AM
QUOTE:


So far, I have actually gained two pounds - started at 136 - pretty sure that's not muscle weight in this short period of time -but I'm giving myself a bit of a break while I get a handle on how I eat and make the exercise a regular part of my life.



It probably isn't muscle fiber, but is probably a result of a good workout. Your muscles will hold onto water if they are under stress (like being sore from a workout). Keep going and I bet that two pounds melts off.

I see similar cycles if I have a crazy workout day- like last saturday, I jog/ran/walked 3 miles then later in the day we hiked for like 4 hours. I gained two pounds, but three days later I lost those two plus one more - Almost all water weight from being properly hydrated during exercise.

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