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Old 02-11-2011, 03:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Daily Calories... thoughts???

I have been getting mixed answers. I want to know what the absolute lowest number of calories I can eat a day without sending my body into starvation mode. I work out six days a week, burning a mimimum of 500 cals per workout. Right now I am on a 1200 cal diet, but I have heard that as a female, I should go no lower than 1000, 1200, 1300 and 1500. What's the magic number here? How low can I go?

Stats are in my sig... Thoughts???
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1200 calorie diet
p90x workout 6 days a week
Goal is to create a minimum of a 900 calorie deficit per day, six days a week, in order to lose approx 1.5 lbs a week.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by taleynet View Post
I have been getting mixed answers. I want to know what the absolute lowest number of calories I can eat a day without sending my body into starvation mode. I work out six days a week, burning a mimimum of 500 cals per workout. Right now I am on a 1200 cal diet, but I have heard that as a female, I should go no lower than 1000, 1200, 1300 and 1500. What's the magic number here? How low can I go?

Stats are in my sig... Thoughts???
Hi there! I don't think there really is a magic number. It's best to just listen to your body...when you begin to feel your energy levels drop, you'll know your caloric intake is too low. And when trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to happen is for your metabolism to slow down and eating too few calories will do just that. I'm no professional but I wouldn't recommend going below 1200, maybe 1000 calories at most. That's pretty low as it is and you don't wanna cause any harm to yourself. Ultimately though, it depends on how you feel. If you can eat 1000 calories a day and still function through work and working out just fine, then you're good. Just break up your meals througout the day to keep the metabolism going, which I'm sure you're doing anyway

BTW... Based on your stats, you seem to be doing just fine at 1200 calories. Be patient and keep up the good work.

Shaun
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unfortunately there is no magic #! Everyone is different so I suggest playing with your cals to see what works for you.

I track everything I eat plus my workouts and sleep. I have had to adjust mine up or down at times.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll have to agree--there is no magic number and every body responds differently. Persoanlly, in the past I've dropped weight like crazy on 0 calories (for 30 days) and at 1,000 cals (for nine months) and now since last May at 1500 calories.

Fully admitting that I'm no expert, I think the whole "starvation mode" thing is, at best, misunderstood. I don't deny that the body may, at a certain level, burn fat more slowy. But, as long as you take in less calories than you expend, you WILL lose weight. The body is not a perpetual motion machine. You either live off the food you eat or what's stored (or some of both).

So, I say experiment. You may find it easier to stick to more that the absolute survival calories, thus weight loss will over time improve. Some have found that they actually lose faster with more calories (up to a point, of course). It's really up to you.

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Michael
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The best exercises for weight loss are Fork Putdowns and Table Pushaways.

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Old 02-21-2011, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Michael,
So you are saying at one point you ate no food for a month!? how did you possibly fight the hunger? BTW, I also dont believe in "starvation mode". calories in vs calories out (although this isnt working so great for me right now)
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Michael,
So you are saying at one point you ate no food for a month!? how did you possibly fight the hunger? BTW, I also dont believe in "starvation mode". calories in vs calories out (although this isnt working so great for me right now)
Yes, exactly that. I've done a full 30 days twice. Anywhere from a week to three weeks a number of times. It is quite an experience and you (or at least I) lose weight very quickly.

Back in '01 I did a 30 day water fast, followed by nine monts of 1,000 calorie (10 grams fat, total) days and lost right around 200 pounds. Of course, I've spent the intervening years putting it back on.

So, having decided that a super fast loss wasn't good for lasting results, last May I decided to come back to FitDay and try 1500 calories a day and see how that worked. And, it has worked pretty darned well. The loss is not as fast was when I was doing super low cals, but I am seldom hungry and feel great. And, really, 160 lbs or so off in 10 months isn't that bad.

Really, if you figure your calorie burn on the conservative side, and your calorie intake on the liberal side, drink lots (and lots) of water and 30 minutes of exercise most days I can't see how one can't lose.

Perhaps you'd share your logs--they may shed some light on your sluggish rate of loss.

Regards,
Michael

PS During a fast, one is really only hungry for the first couple of days, then hunger basically goes away. Into the end of the third week it might come back, but is really more psychological than anything. I could easily have gone longer, but was getting some nasty muscle cramps so I called it quits at 30 days.
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May 4, 2010...... 440? lbs. (Start FitDay Size 60 Jeans)
June 19, 2010.... 393 lbs. (First Weigh-in)
June 19, 2011.... 229 lbs. (164 lbs. gone in one year :-)
Current Weight... 185 lbs. (Size 36 Jeans)

Next Goal 169 lbs. (07/04/12)
Ultimate Goal 165 lbs. (12/31/12)

The best exercises for weight loss are Fork Putdowns and Table Pushaways.

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Old 02-22-2011, 07:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The problem with "starvation mode", as this amateur understands it, is not that you don't lose weight necessarily, but that you're more likely to lose lean mass rather than fat. Lean muscle burns calories and of course gives you strength conditioning and tone. Because muscle burns calories and fat doesn't, guess which one the body wants to get rid when the calorie deficit is too big.

End result? You're still carrying around big globs of fat but you're now weaker.

As someone has already said, you seem to be making good progress as you are so I wouldn't mess with a winning formula.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Michael, I can't believe you made it through 30 days without eating. Were you able to function normally at work? I really didn't think that it would be possible to live that long without eating. You are amazing for having the restraint and tenacity to keep it up for 30 days, although I am very happy you have found a healthier lifestyle now.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I really didn't think that it would be possible to live that long without eating.
Absolutely. The human body can last quite a few months without food. Only a few days without water though.
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