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Old 06-12-2013, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fewer calories, poorer results

Hi,

I have been following a new plan where I have cut my calorie intake to about 600-800 a day. I now seem to be losing less weight than when I was eating more. Apologies if this is a newbie error, but can consuming fewer calories actually slow down weight loss?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes consuming fewer calories can actually slow down weight loss. 600-800 cal. can send your body into starvation mode. I like to stay around 1400 cal. but some go as low as 1200 and do well. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think the term "Starvation" gets thrown around a lot when it comes to rapid weight loss.

I started on April 1, 2013 with a weight of 343 lbs. I've been on a 650-900 calories a day since, and as of this morning I weighed 282.3 lbs.

That's 60.7 lbs. in 73 days and counting.

If you restrict your calorie consumptions you must get your vitamins from elsewhere, or you will end up drained of energy and quitting the diet.

It's not just about the low calories, it's also about what type of food you eat. Not all vegetables are good for you during weight loss, such as carrots, corn, eggplant, okra...and list goes on. None of these items will allow you to lose weight when you are on a consecutive low-calories diet.

Also weight loss plateau happens and "zigzag calories" and "diet cheat days" will help boost your metabolism, and allow you to break through. Since I started I've done only 2 diet cheat days.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't believe in the 'starvation mode' stuff...

Instead, there is average weight loss, not linear weight loss. Over x number of days, you lose y number of pounds. With ups and downs, it's just an average. The 'ups and downs' don't always look the same on a chart and if you are strictly measuring food and limiting calories, the end result is that you lose a certain number of pounds over a certain period of time.

You pick the time period. If you use 'two weeks,' you're going to be disappointed because the first two weeks of weight loss tend to reflect water weight loss along with everything else. It's not going to be sustainable. But, over the longer run, it definitely contributes to keeping your average weight loss looking good. If you look at the last two weeks of a diet, it would discourage you - but those last two weeks aren't the whole diet's success story, either. They contribute to the average but they don't stand alone.


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Old 07-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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DO NOT reduce daily calorie intake below 1200!
Your body panics as though you were starving and automatically cuts down your metabolism.
Keep average daily calories above 1200 and exercise.
Here's a tip: There is a metabolism bonus to 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise. After an aerobic performance, your body metabolism is increased for up to six hours. So as you're getting more fit, try getting an aerobic hit twice a day . . . once in the morning and again in the afternoon.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipatwater View Post
DO NOT reduce daily calorie intake below 1200!
Your body panics as though you were starving and automatically cuts down your metabolism.
Keep average daily calories above 1200 and exercise.
Here's a tip: There is a metabolism bonus to 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise. After an aerobic performance, your body metabolism is increased for up to six hours. So as you're getting more fit, try getting an aerobic hit twice a day . . . once in the morning and again in the afternoon.
I wish there was a like button for your post. This is lectured not only at health classes that I've attended, but also buy my doctor and dietitian. Also paying attention to how many total fat grams one takes in is a good gage on how well your eating. I think the lowest is 33g and the highest is 55g.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Supernu, could you please explain about how those veggies (and others?) are "bad" to eat while trying to lose weight? I've never heard this before and I'm curious. Thank you.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Really, it depends on how much you weigh right now and how close you are to your ideal weight. I'll take supernu as an example since he's posted his weight here.

If supernu is, for ease of calculation, 300 lbs, and his ideal weight is 150 lbs, then there is 150 lbs of excess fat on his body. If he's eating 500 cals/day, and his body is burning 1500 cals/day, then he's getting 1000 cals/day from his bodily stores and 500 from food. This is a 2 lb/per week weight loss. Since the difference between 300 and 150 is large, the body can sustain this, no problem (not counting the negative effects of vitamin deficiency at this point).

As supernu gets closer to the goal weight, and he's still eating 500 cals/day, and let's say he's now at 200 lbs, the body will start to slow down the metabolism so that it doesn't "overshoot" and go into underweight territory (this is a simplification. 50 lbs is still a ways to go in practice). So now, let's say the body is only burning 1000 cals/day, or sustaining 1 lb of lost fat per week (500 cals/day bodyfat). At this point, if supernu were to boost calorie intake to 1000/day, and simultaneously boost physical activity (at an extra 500 cals/day) to give the metabolism a bump, the body might burn 2000 cals that day with 1000 coming from food and 1000 coming from bodyfat, bringing that day's rate of fat burn back up to the equivalent of 2 lb/week.

The bottom line is, the body is smarter than you, so if you try to cut calories to lose weight, it will spite you by burning fewer calories. Or think of it like a fire: give it more fuel, and it will burn hotter.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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