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TOPIC: Eating 1200 calories/ day...

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January 23, 2013 9:57 PM
Alright, so I haven't eaten more than 1200 calories per day in the past two weeks. In the beginning, I ate a big breakfast everyday and felt full around 900 calories while working out and it was awesome. I've actually lost 7 pounds since I started this.
(5'6'', starting 160, now 153)
I've always had problems with my weight. In the past I would crash diet/ starve myself for a week to lose up to 10 pounds but then gain it all back later.
This year, I wanted to be healthier so I started eating breakfast and eating more than usual, but still less than 1200. I have a piece of dark chocolate every night but that's my only dessert (sometimes two). I don't eat meat and cut most processed foods out of my diet... But I chew a lot of gum. I eat fruit for breakfast, sometimes with protein/ egg/ yogurt/ string cheese. Sometimes 1200 seems like a TON but do you think I'm in starvation mode?!
I workout at least once a day, twice a day about twice a week. I've been trying to add variety and quality workouts (Jillian Michaels, treadmill intervals, dumb bell exercises, Tough Mudder program, etc.)
Does anyone have some advice? If I eat more than 1200 will I gain weight?! Isn't 1200 kind of a lot?
January 23, 2013 9:59 PM
Could you make your diary accessible? It would make it easier to help you pinpoint what may be causing the plateau
January 23, 2013 10:00 PM
I would raise my caloric intake if I were you and see what happens. However, you could be gaining muscle which might be why you're not seeing weightloss per say. I'd go by how your clothes fit and body looks. Personally I feel like crap when I eat 1200 calories a day and work out. I eat 1400-1600
January 23, 2013 10:03 PM
1200 is nothing if you are working out like that. You should be eating the exercise calories back or at least most of them as well as the 1200.
January 23, 2013 10:04 PM
1200 is NOT a lot..1200 is the recomended MINIMUM in calories to eat a day!.. and espeically if your burning a lot of cals.. like 400 in exercise.. so if your only eating 900 a day in food.. and burning 400 then your 'net' is 500 that is so so so low...
might hurt your overall wt loss goals .. aka starvation mode.. i would at LEAST hit the 1200 calories.. eat more and chew less gum
January 23, 2013 10:05 PM
^ agree, eat more!
January 23, 2013 10:06 PM
I'm about 5'8 and when i'm 'cutting' i generally eat between 1500-1800 calories/day, and do not eat back exercise calories. Oddly enough, I was my 'leanest' and had amazing muscles when i was eating 3000 calories a day, but doing 1 hour of cardio /1 hour of weights per day. I don't think i would recommend that extreme route.
What i'm trying to say is that for your height and weight, 1200 should make you lose, and if you are doing a lot of exercise, if you eat more (veggies, whole foods, etc) you will lose more, for realz. :)
January 23, 2013 10:06 PM
I used to be like you, eating super low. And I understand what you mean about 1200 seeming almost IMPOSSIBLE. I thought I could go forever on 700-1000 calories a day, but suddenly came across "In place of a roadmap" and was convinced to try a higher calorie diet.

You're already at a deficit by eating so little, and then you burn calories from your exercise. This puts you in a very low low place. I doubt you're in "starvation mode" as of now, because it takes quite a while for that to happen. The body cannot go into "starvation mode" THAT quickly.

I currently eat around 1400-1500 calories a day, and still lose weight. I'm pretty short, too. So no, you will not gain weight. (this is speaking in assumption that you have no illnesses/diseases that would cause you to)

Are you familiar with your BMR and TDEE? If not, that's your first step.

And, by the way, I felt EXTREMELY stuffed during my upping of calories, but it goes away. Just remember : You gained that weight by eating at a caloric surplus, and you certainly can eat more.

Edit: Also, why are you working out twice a day? This is fine if you're eating back your calories, but since you're not you're putting yourself at a really dangerous deficit. Once a day is plenty, in my opinion. You might want to give yourself a self-assessment because eating this low and exercising excessively are obvious signs of a developing eating disorder. (NOT saying you have one, just from my own experience at nearly falling into that trap, and from basic common sense)

I would recommend you join Eat More to Weigh Less on here. It's very informative and helps you with fear of gaining weight and eating more.
Edited by Jen800 On January 23, 2013 10:10 PM
January 23, 2013 10:07 PM

Isn't 1200 kind of a lot?

No, that is actually very little. I net 1500ish (sometimes more, sometimes less) calories a day and I am only 4'9.5" tall so I would say eat more, you may gain weight in the beginning but you are doing yourself no favors by eating 900 calories a day and working out.
January 23, 2013 10:07 PM
Start here
January 23, 2013 10:08 PM
Well I'm no expert but eating only 900 calories a day plus at least one workout means you're probably netting around 600 calories maximum each day. It doesn't sound sustainable at all, or healthy long-term.
Personally I think you do need to eat more to stay healthy and for your body to function well. I would quit the gum and see where that leaves your appetite, perhaps all that chewing is fooling your body a bit?
January 23, 2013 10:08 PM
Please eat more. While you may lose for a while on 1200 calories (or less - yikes!), it is not a sustainable diet. It is definitely another crash diet. There are a ton of groups out there to help you figure out how many calories to eat and still lose weight (specifically look at the Eat More to Lose group). There are TONS of people on this site who lose enormous amounts of weight by eating way more than 1200 calories. Weight loss doesn't have to be as difficult as 1200cals.

Also look at this amazing post to help you calculate how many calories to eat/day:

I just started the technique myself (I did it for a while last year and lost bf% while I was lifting heavy weights and gaining muscle) and it's working for me.
January 23, 2013 10:09 PM
My advice would be to increase your calories. Seriously!
January 23, 2013 10:12 PM

Best. Suggestion. EVER. Please read these.
January 23, 2013 10:13 PM

1200 is NOT a lot..1200 is the recomended MINIMUM in calories to eat a day!.. and espeically if your burning a lot of cals.. like 400 in exercise.. so if your only eating 900 a day in food.. and burning 400 then your 'net' is 500 that is so so so low...
might hurt your overall wt loss goals .. aka starvation mode.. i would at LEAST hit the 1200 calories.. eat more and chew less gum

what she said
January 23, 2013 11:14 PM
1200 definitely isn't too much and many people would argue is kinda necessary for you to power through your workouts properly and gain muscle/lose fat :) As long as you're active and work out it's absolutely fine. Maybe try and change up your calories though for example eat 1200 the first few then like 800 then 1300 then back to 1200. That really helps for me, and limited unnatural sugar!
January 23, 2013 11:19 PM

If I eat more than 1200 will I gain weight?! Isn't 1200 kind of a lot?

No, until your metabolism is screwed up by eating so little, then yes.

How much were you eating and not exercising that got you to the point of needing to lose these pounds?
How many calories was that?

Do you actually have any concept of what would really be high or low calorie amounts at all?

Why didn't you see the 1200 originally and say "wow that looks low"?
January 23, 2013 11:23 PM
i dont understand, you dont state how long its been since being able to lose any weight... not everyone loses constant numbers on the scale evry single week...
January 23, 2013 11:28 PM
January 23, 2013 11:49 PM
You would crash diet? Ur still doing it. 900 cals is not enough. Being healthier requires u eat more than 1200 cals, especially at ur weight.
If you dont eat meat, how are u getting ur protein? Well, ur probably not getting it in with under 1200 cals.
I am 120.4lbs 5'4 3/4. I eat 1600-1700 cals. And I dont gain fat. You weight more & are taller, therefore you burn more than me.
And honestly, the weight ur losing is likely to be some fat with muscle, not all fat. You dont want to lose weight, u want to lose quality weight (aka fat) Eating like u are will not allow that.
You might gain a little weight when you start eating more but it won't b fat, it will extra food in your stomach. It will level off when ur body gets used to you actually feeding it again.


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