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TOPIC: 1200 calorie diet question?

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September 2, 2012 4:26 PM
So, I have been eating 1200 calories daily, give or take a few. On days that I go to the gym I usually end up burning about 300, giving me an extra 300 calories to eat that day. Am I doing this correctly?
For instance, if I had eaten 900 calories and then went to the gym and burned 300, should I eat that extra 300 worth of calories? Weight loss is so insanely confusing to me. I feel like if I eat the calories I burned, I'm not going to lose any weight at all. Should I aim to eat 1500 calories on the days where I burn 300, so I don't feel like I'm eating what I burned? Please help me, I have no idea what I'm doing and want to lose 30 pounds by December :(
September 2, 2012 4:29 PM
Yes, the way MFP is set up is to give you a deficit of 500 calories a day. To maintain weight based on your info you would eat 1700 a day. 1200 a day = 500 deficit. work out 300 cals worth you would have an 800 cal deficit. eat 1500 cals that day to maintain a deficit of 500 calories.
  28864611
September 2, 2012 4:29 PM
QUOTE:

So, I have been eating 1200 calories daily, give or take a few. On days that I go to the gym I usually end up burning about 300, giving me an extra 300 calories to eat that day. Am I doing this correctly?
For instance, if I had eaten 900 calories and then went to the gym and burned 300, should I eat that extra 300 worth of calories? Weight loss is so insanely confusing to me. I feel like if I eat the calories I burned, I'm not going to lose any weight at all. Should I aim to eat 1500 calories on the days where I burn 300, so I don't feel like I'm eating what I burned? Please help me, I have no idea what I'm doing and want to lose 30 pounds by December :(

Your deficit is included before exercise. Thats why you're credited for exercise - it keeps the deficit the same as if you didn't exercise if you eat those calories back.

And 30lbs by December probably isn't realistic unless you are morbidly obese. Chill, take your time, do your research and make it stick so you're not back here losing weight again in a year.
September 2, 2012 4:40 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

So, I have been eating 1200 calories daily, give or take a few. On days that I go to the gym I usually end up burning about 300, giving me an extra 300 calories to eat that day. Am I doing this correctly?
For instance, if I had eaten 900 calories and then went to the gym and burned 300, should I eat that extra 300 worth of calories? Weight loss is so insanely confusing to me. I feel like if I eat the calories I burned, I'm not going to lose any weight at all. Should I aim to eat 1500 calories on the days where I burn 300, so I don't feel like I'm eating what I burned? Please help me, I have no idea what I'm doing and want to lose 30 pounds by December :(

Your deficit is included before exercise. Thats why you're credited for exercise - it keeps the deficit the same as if you didn't exercise if you eat those calories back.

And 30lbs by December probably isn't realistic unless you are morbidly obese. Chill, take your time, do your research and make it stick so you're not back here losing weight again in a year.


I'm pretty big.... 5'2 and 190 pounds. :/
September 2, 2012 4:41 PM
I understand your confusion and frustrations! I faced them when I began as well, but through a lot of research I have learned! (: And succeeded. Just based on my body weight and my weight loss goals I was also doing 1200 calories a day to get to my goal weight and now that i've reached it i'm maintaining my weight at about 1700 calories a day.

Depending on your current body weight and height your calories for maintaining your weight will vary. My fitnespal takes your information (Height, weight, etc) and calculates you personal calorie needs for you. When you input your weight loss goals (ex. lose 2 lbs a week) on my fitness pal it automatically takes those calories out of your daily goal, giving you a deficient that will get your to your goal. Whatever calories you exercise off you get back.

Honestly, exercise helps and is crucial to continuing weight loss and building and maintaining your metabolism but you will lose weight consuming 1200 calories a day regardless of how much you exercise.

Example day.
Calorie goal: 1200
Food consumption: 1412
Exercise: 200
Over all you would only be over on your calorie goal by 12 calories.
What ever calories you exercise off cancel out those that you consume.

I hope that helps! (: Good luck!
September 2, 2012 4:45 PM
OK here it goes. Imagine your calories as if they are savings in a bank. Your goal is to always keep it at, for instance, 1400 calories a day. So if you exercise you burn a certain amount of calories, lets say 300. So if you start with 1400, eat breakfast = -400 you are left with 1000. You eat lunch = -500 then you are left with 500 calories left. Now here is the really cool bit. 500 doesn't sound like alot for your evening meal but if you throw in a work out = +300, you have 800 to consume.

1400 start
Breakfast (consume) -400 = 1000
Lunch (consume) -500 = 500
Exercise (burn) +300 = 800
Dinner (consume) = Eat what you want so long as it is within 800 calories

This programme encourages you to exercise so you can earn those extra calories, which means you can eat more. what you want to try to do is keep that savings account topped up to 1400. If you don't eat back your calories your body can go into starvation mode and produce more fat than you want. The penny only dropped for me yesterday so I am now able to adjust how I eat and earn my calories because I love eating.

I hope this provides some clarity for you and feel free to add me a friend if you want that extra bit of encouragement or motivation.

All the best.smile
  28076886
September 2, 2012 4:51 PM
I'M SO CONFUSED!!!!! sad
lol
September 2, 2012 4:55 PM
QUOTE:

I'M SO CONFUSED!!!!! sad
lol


You asked the correct thing in your original post.

"Should I aim to eat 1500 calories on the days where I burn 300, so I don't feel like I'm eating what I burned?"

Yes.
  2467460
September 2, 2012 4:55 PM
This is how I do it. I eat as close to 1200 calorie as possible and leave the calories that I earn when I exercise alone. There are days however that I do go over 1200 because I want a day that I eat what I want, but I still stay within my calorie alotment.
September 2, 2012 4:56 PM
So basically - if my limit is 1200 - let's say I go over to 1500. I just make sure that I burn 300, right?
I'm sorry you guys. I'm figuring this all out and don't know who to ask, I just want to make sure I'm losing at least 1 pound a week. frown
September 2, 2012 4:57 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I'M SO CONFUSED!!!!! sad
lol


You asked the correct thing in your original post.

"Should I aim to eat 1500 calories on the days where I burn 300, so I don't feel like I'm eating what I burned?"

Yes.

THANK YOU :)
September 2, 2012 4:58 PM
ya.. u can eat em back.. cuz your "NET" calories are at 1200 so that means no exercise at all days u eat just the 1200 (to stay on target) if you go to the gym and burn 300 cals then you can eat those "back".. because you burned em! so you 'earned' em.. comes in handy on nights you know your going out to diner or a bday party or something...
30#'s in 3 mo is do-able but will be challenging... cutting way back on carbs /sugars will help! and cutting out diet drinks too
welcome to mfp!
  26100008
September 2, 2012 5:00 PM
Ok...keep it simple: Don't go below 1200. If you stick between 1200-1500 cal a day, make sure you balance them well, so you get all your nutrients. Eat fruit, veggies, lean protein. Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite. Stop when you start to feel full. Listen to what your body tells you. It won't lead you astray. Good luck!!!
  14798436
September 2, 2012 5:02 PM
I do not agree with MFP's goals at all. Based on your age/height/weight (18/62"/190lb) If you are exercising 2-3x/week at your current weight your body is burning 2321 cal/day. If you were in a coma you would burn 1688 calories/day. A 500 cal defecit from 2321 would be 1821. If you eat that many calories you will lose approximately 1lb of fat per week (500 calorie defecit/day x 7days).

By eating only 1200 calories your body thinks it is starving therefore is killing off muscle and storing fat. Now you need to convince your body that you are not in a famine. You WILL lose weight at 1200 calories BUT it will be hard and you will damage your metabolism in the process. I'm not sure why MFP always calculates BMRs to be so low.

So in summary you should NEVER EVER EVER eat below your BMR (1688) and you should aim for 1800 cal/day. If you eat that many calories per day for the rest of your life you will slowly get to your goal weight and stay there and no more yo yo dieting. Your benefit is that you are young! I am 5'2", but I am 27 years old. I started my weight loss journey at 209lb. In 8 months I have lost 25 lb and have about 36 lb to go until my goal weight. I don't want to be dieting the rest of my life so I picked how many calories I would need to eat to maintain my goal weight and am eating that now. That when when it comes to maintanence I don't have to change a thing. Good luck girl, you can do it!
  17326221
September 2, 2012 5:06 PM
Hi,

Try working your numbers out through this link - you will find that you should be eating a lot more than just 1200.

I used your profile stats and you BMR is 1330 - this is the number you do not want to net below. To loose weight you need to eat less then your TDEE. Your TDEE will vary depending on how active you are and how much you exercise. You take a 20% cut from your TDEE

Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job) 2036 -20% = 1628
Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk) 2333 - 20% = 1866
Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk) 2630 - 20% = 2104

If you spend time in the gym then you are not sedentary - so you are either light to moderate

Eat more than 1330 and somewhere near 1800 you will loose safely. This method includes you deficit as well as your exercise calories so you don't need to eat them back. You just plan your daily meals for around 1800. Your deficit will be higher on gym days but a bit lower on your recovery days.


http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/654536-in-place-of-a-road-map-2-0-revised-7-2-12

The BMR is calculated using your body fat % which is why it is lower that the above posters calculations. Since your BMI is so high you can safley do a 30% cut for now if you are moderately active the 1800 target would still be safe for you.

Also you should set your macros to 45% protein, 30% carbs, 25% fats
Edited by 2hobbit1 On September 2, 2012 5:19 PM
  17737772
September 2, 2012 5:13 PM
*Cheering, applauding, and pointing to audmom1218!

What she said. All of it!

If you try to lose your weight fast, it will come right back with a vengeance.

Set your MFP goal to 1800, and then log all of your food and exercise, and end each day as close to "0 calories remaining" as you can, and you'll lose the weight, get more fit, and become a healthy, fit person for the rest of your life!

Best wishes to you -- you can (and WILL) do this!
  4903263
September 2, 2012 7:16 PM
its simple jest eat healthly foods like fruit and veg. those foods are low in calories and when you burn the calories don't eat what you lost. its good to gain your calories back from doing work outs.
  28888047
September 2, 2012 7:22 PM
I never eat them back
  24206892
September 3, 2012 10:18 AM
QUOTE:

So basically - if my limit is 1200 - let's say I go over to 1500. I just make sure that I burn 300, right?
I'm sorry you guys. I'm figuring this all out and don't know who to ask, I just want to make sure I'm losing at least 1 pound a week. frown


Don't worry so much it will come as time goes on. Just make sure you watch your calorie intake and try to stay at your 1200 calorie limit. If you go over once in a while it's ok. Just relax and you WILL get the hang of it. That is why we are all here; to help those who need it. Sometime those of us who have been on here for a while still need help from each other.
Don't sweat it.......well maybe you do need to sweat. hehe. Good luck and keep asking questions they will be answered. flowerforyou
September 3, 2012 10:26 AM
I think you can do it. I weighed in at 216 pounds in February 2012 and by May 11, 2012 I lost 40lb. You need to stay true, honest, and dedicated to what you are eating. Make sure you have cardio and strength training in your workout. Try to eat 5-6 times a day
that will increase you metabolism..My third suggestion is to eat quality calories. What you eat is just as important as how many
calories you are eating. I am certainly not a clean eater, but try to make some good food choices. I keep my diary open to the public, so if you want to look at what I ate in the beginning of my journey, I suggest looking from March on. I started at 1200 calories a day but I was hungry. My husband went into the hospital February 19 and I was not eating as much as I should of. One of my instructors at the gym got me to up my base calories. My diary may give you some food options. Good luck on your journey.
Edited by reneecgc On September 3, 2012 10:28 AM
  17076853
September 3, 2012 10:29 AM
QUOTE:

I never eat them back


Why? Your deficit is already there.
  11570105
September 3, 2012 10:31 AM
Yes, eat those calories! The 1200 calorie goal INCLUDES a deficit to reach your goal (how many pounds per week) before exercise. If you don't eat back those calories, you're at an even bigger deficit. While this may not be bad in some cases, if you're already at 1200 limit, you really do want to eat those calories. Just make sure that you're getting lots of nutrition with them. On this restricted of a calorie diet, it's a lot harder to get all the vitamins, minerals, etc that your body needs to function. Exercise increases those needs, so don't short-change yourself.
September 3, 2012 10:33 AM
Many people have to work out what is best for them--for example, I have to eat my exercise cals back, or I get low blood sugar and just feel crappy for the rest of the day. others find they don't need to, and just make sure they eat at least 1200 a day.

to add my 2 cents: 30 lbs by december is a crazy goal!! try setting an exercise goal instead: run for 10 minutes straight without slowing down, do 100 push ups without stopping, etc.
  10126815
September 3, 2012 10:35 AM
to put it simply how ever many calories u burn when exercising add it on 2 ur 1200 calories u are allowed a day so back 2 the original question if u burn 300 cals then yes u wud eat 1500 cals and it works by ur body staying out of starvation mode and in turn storing the fat that u eat so eat as close 2 ur goal as possible and trust me this does work i joined 2 weeks ago and have lost 6lbs so far... good luck xx
September 3, 2012 11:04 AM
Ok let me try to help some I just recently got a body media armband. I didn't realize how many calories I burnt when sleeping or while I was at work. But I knew how many calories I burned when I went to gym. So when I plugged in my device to computer and opened up the activity manager and realised that in a 24 hour period I typically burn 2400-2800 and thats what I notice the last few days since I got it which includes sleeping,sitting,walking around the house whether doing house chores or getting ready to go to work then going to work. Then going to gym.

Now when that said, In order to loose weight you have to take the calories burned a day - calories eaten a day= ??????? deficit.
in order too loose 1 lb per week you deficit needs to be 500 calories in day. In order to loose 2 lbs per week you need to have 1000 calorie deficit.

I am eating 1200-1500 calories a day since about July 22 but since I now really know how many calories I burn I could actually increase some if I wanted. Some days is going to be more temping or more hard depending on whats going on etc.

I try to plan ahead if I am working because I know how many calories I am going to be eating prior to work.


But unlike the eat back calories thing. I work 2p-10pm then go to gym after I get off work. Thats really the only time I can commit to exercise. That means I don't eat anything afterwards. Unless I feel hungry.

So for me I have to eat as much as I can prior to getting off work then I know I will work that off.

Lately with the body media I have been burning about 1000-1100 cals at work for 8 hrs.
Exercsing about 45-60 mins /6 nights a week burning 300-400 most time.

As previous poster put think about it as bank account. If you generally keep $1200 in savings account and haven't touched it in months and you don't add to it or take out if it , you will maintain that balance. Just like if you don't exercise or eat less or more you will maintain your weight. But take that same $1200 in savings and add $500 too it =$1700. Well you can look it 2 ways either you know that $500 is like a safey net. If you eat 1700 calories compared to 1200 then thats an additonal amount of cals your body is not use to so you will gain weight which so how happens to be 1 lb a week. But if you continue to eat 1200 cals a week and add 500 cals of exercise a day then you will loose 1 pound.

just make sure you are trying to stay above that 1200. Fat people in general can for a while loose few more pounds a week or be on lower cal for a while but eventually that will plateau.

Try to aim if you can to keep cals 1200-1500 so if you do feel hungry you still have a safety net.

Most people without exercise is going to burn more then they realize. But the added bonus is the exercise for weight loss.


I struggle more with making sure to get enough cals in trying to stay above 1200 but now going over that but I still have not had a significant weightloss since I started. 44 days in and Ive lost about 10 pounds. But I have lost inches.

Just exercise. more eat less and unless your really doing lots of weight training -just mainly cardio I wouldn't worry to much about the specific numbers just try to stay about 1200.

U might have to play around with the numbers for a while. If your use to eating 1200 and not having any success then try increasing too 1300-1700cals.
  5822866

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