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Calorie intake

So I have been dieting for a month now and I am consuming 900 calories per day… I need to increase my daily calorie intake to 1200 because its healthier but I want to still loose weight? What will happen? Will I gain weight due to the fact that I am used to a specific calorie number ?

Answer:

I cant give you specifics as you didn’t complete your profile, but I would say that for most people 900 calories is very low and that even at 1200 this would be considered low. Its highly unlikely that you will gain weight at such a low calorie intake, if anything at very low calorie intakes your fat loss can stagnate due to your body thinking it is being starved and it tries to hold onto every calorie it gets. Adding a cheat day once a week where you consume a large amount of calories, allows your body to reset itself into thinking food is readily available and therefore it doesn’t need to “protect” itself.

calorie deficit

I have been tracking my calorie intake for 3 weeks and consistently taking in no more than 1200 per day, eating healthy foods. Meanwhile, I have also been tracking my daily calorie expenditure with a device I wear on my arm. Based on my activity level, I am burning between 2200 and 2700 calories daily. Each day there is a calorie deficit of around 500 – 1,000 however, I am not losing weight! Even if I am miscalculating my calorie intake, it could not be by more than a couple hundred calories, so how is it that I am not losing?

Answer:

Hi, reading your question and looking at your profile, you are making a lot of effort to lose weight which is to be commended. However what I suspect has happened is that you have managed to reach a point where your body considers itself to be in starvation mode. 1200 calories is very low as really for your parameters should be aiming for about 1500-1700 for weight loss. While on paper, the maths says that you have created a calories deficit, the reality is completely different. Yes you have created a calories deficit but the body is smart and if it considers it is being “starved” and that food is in very short supply, then it starts a process to preserve fat stores as much as possible. Your body thinks it is going through a hard time and that food is no longer readily available. Due to this, your rate of fat loss will come to a standstill as you metabolism has slows right down and is burning minimum calories. Most likely you leptin levels have reduced. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain whether you have sufficient energy stores available to carry out your normal metabolic processes. When your leptin levels are normal, they will tell the body to burn calories as normal. If you engage in extreme dieting and exercise at the same time and create a large calorie deficit your brain senses that and says, I don’t have the energy available that I used to. I am now in a starvation state. I would suggest that you introduce a cheat meal into your diet, whereby once a week you have a day where you eat anything you want, and aim for 2000 calories or a bit more. By having a cheat day, it resets your leptin levels as your body thinks that calories are readily available again and your metabolism is elevated again. This elevated state will carry on for a good few days after your cheat day, so you should then burn more calories on your diet days. See how it goes following your current program plus one weekly cheat day. If you find yourself in the same state, I would suggest either adding another cheat day in between or slightly increasing your daily calories.

Calories

I have been exercising for 5 weeks and haven’t lost any weight. I’m almost 41, weigh 130, and am 5’5″. I would like to lose 7-10 pounds. I work out 5 days a week for 45 minutes doing The Firm dvds (cardio and light weights.) I have been using myfitnesspal for 3 weeks and I think I may not be getting enough calories. I’ve been consuming around 1300 each day. Recommended calorie counts vary so drastically that I am unsure exactly how many calories I should consume. If I am exercising 5 days a week, how many calories should I have each day?

Answer:

Based on your stats, you should be aiming for the following in terms of daily calories: Maintenance 2079 Fat Loss 1664 Rapid Fat Loss 1248 You are consuming around 1300 which is right at the low end of the scale. In some people it is possible to stagnate when consuming such low calories as the body may respond as if it is being starved. In this scenario your metabolism will slow down and your body will try to preserve fat stores. My two recommendations would be that you introduce a cheat day once per week, where you allow yourself a large amount of calories. For 6 days you continue with your 1300 calorie diet and then one day of your choice per week, consume 2500-3000 calories. By doing this you reset your body into thinking that food is readily available and there is no need to “hold onto” fat reserves. This should help elevate your metabolism so on the days you return to your 1300 calorie program you continue to burn fat. I would also suggest that in terms of exercise you include more weight training, as that also helps boost your metabolism when you are not in the gym.

Calorie Intake

My name is Tina, I’m 49, used to have ED My question is, I’m currently eating between 700-900 Cal a day, I go to workout three times a week for an Hour, do lot’s a Housework as well. How many calories do I burn, is it healthy that I am in a calorie deficit ?

Answer:

Based on your stats, you are consuming very low calories, from your profile I have calculated that for fat loss you should be aiming for around 1400 calories and about 1285 for what you would call rapid weight loss. 700-900 is significantly lower than this and I would be concerned that your diet may not be supplying sufficient nutrients to maintain good health. Whilst it can be easy for some to follow a low calorie diet, making is balanced and rich in vitamins and minerals is not so easy. The fact that you are also expending calories working out three times a week would mean that at least a few hundred of these calories are just being used to fuel your workout, which leaves little for your body to recover properly. At such limited intake, you run the risk of burning muscle for fuel which will cause your weight loss to stagnate as you lose muscle. The key when dieting and weight loss, is to make sure you maintain your muscle mass, as this is what maintains your metabolism. if you lose too much muscle mass, your metabolism will reduce and even with reduced calories you will not be able to lose weight. I would slowly increase your calories so you are consuming over a 1000 at a minimum and then see if you are able to continue losing weight. If so then try and increase to 1200. If you do not feel comfortable increasing your calories back up again and worried that you will gain back the fat your lost. Try to introduce a cheat day into your diet where every 3rd or 4th day, you allow your self to eat whatever you want, cakes, sweets, or just more of what you normally eat. This resets your body so it doesn’t consider itself to be starved and helps elevate your metabolism again.

nutrition, calories, and oddities

I’m a vegetarian who usually eats around 1,500 calories a day (not much carbs either) – however, I am about 6 foot 4 and weigh around 300 lbs. its been like this for MANY years. my thyroid is fine. doctors say I’m healthy as a horse except for being overweight, and I am also very strong. 1,500 calories is my natural intake, if I eat over 2,000 I feel very full and uncomfortable. I recently started eating more beans and even more veggies, and started going to the gym every day- which means not only is my caloric intake less(closer to 1k), my workouts are cutting into what little I get, but I never feel starved, I eat when I’m hungry, and feel content. the problem is I don’t know how many calories I should be eating, because I’ve never eaten the roughly 3K my BMI says I should, but I don’t want my eating to backfire my exercise? I’d appreciate any feedback. I’ve kept a food journal for months at a time as well. no one has been able to help me yet.

Answer:

Thanks for your question. 1500 calories is very low especially for someone of your size. Based on your stats you should be aiming for around the following. Maintenance 3790 Fat Loss 3032 Rapid Fat Loss 2400 However that is not to say you have to be doing that. If you have been following your current diet for a long time without problems and if your doctor has checked you out and said you are fine then maybe this works for. There are some schools of thought that calorie restricted diets can be good for your health, although there have not been that many long term studies carried out. I think if you are exercising that you probably should try to increase your calories slightly to compensate for the additional activity you are engaged in. I also noticed from your profile that you are only engaged in cardio vascular exercise and not weight training. I would suggest that you do engage in weight training as that has a number of benefits beyond cardio, including increased metabolism and improved insulin sensitivity, both of which can help improve fat loss. I have quite often noticed vegetarians who follow a diet low in protein and don’t engage in any weight training often have a problem losing body fat. I don’t know why but my theory is that whilst cardio burns calories when you are in the gym, weight training helps elevate your metabolism throughout the day and night. I would say the most important thing you can do is to make sure you consume a decent meal following your workouts, aim for carbs and protein in a ratio of 2:1 respectively. Try to eat a meal within one hour of finishing your workout. Consume something like tofu and brown rice with vegetables or some low fat cottage cheese with brown bread, this will help feed your muscles following a workout.

Eating too few calories?

I’ve recently started using a food journal and found that I am only eating between 1000-1100 calories daily, but I am fully satisfied all day. I am a 5’4″ 137 pound female and I work out between 30-60 min 6 days a week. I don’t want my body to go into starvation mode and store fat, but I also don’t want to eat more than my body needs. Should I force myself to eat more even if I am not hungry?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. You are consuming quite a lot less than your recommended daily allowance and a less than what is required for fat loss. Based on your statistics your calories per day: Maintenance 2104 Fat Loss 1684 Rapid Fat Loss 1263 I would increase your daily allowance slightly to at least 1200 calories. Alternatively what you can try doing is introducing one “cheat” days per week where you allow yourself to eat whatever you want. Its up to you what you want to eat, bit if you want to treat yourself to some chocolate or cake, do so. By consuming more calories than your normally do, this resets your body into thinking that food is in abundance, and there is no need to hold onto calories coming in, i.e. the opposite of starvation mode. Doing this once week will not have an impact on your fat loss but will prevent you stagnating. I would start with one cheat meal a week and see how your body and your training responds. Remember its also important to make sure that on your reduced calorie days that you consume foods rich in valuable nutrients, minerals and vitamins such as oily heart-healthy fish, seeds, nuts, fruit and vegetables.

calories in lean vs. regular meat.

My noom app says that 1/2 cup of lean pork or beef has more calories than 1/2 cup regular pork or beef. I want to trust the app, but this sounds crazy.

Answer:

I am not familiar with the noom app, but certainly if you are comparing lean pork vs regular pork then this doesn’t sound right. 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories and 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. If its an equal serving size a cup of fatty pork is going to contain more calories than the lean one.

Target calorie range

I am an 18 year old male, 5’7″, 155 lb lacrosse player who works out 6 times a week between weights, practice, and games. I was previously aiming for 1300-1500 per day with poor results and recently switched to 1800-2000 per day. I was wondering if this is ideal for weight loss or at least a reasonable option?

Answer:

I would say based on your statistics and high activity levels, you are consuming too few calories. Recommended allowances based on your height and weight are listed below: Maintenance 2600 Fat Loss 2100 Rapid Fat Loss 1550 However these figures don’t account for the stage of life you are at and at this point your body is undergoing a growth spurt. Not only do you need to provide calories for your sport and exercise, but also to assist in the development and growth of your body. At your age and activity level you should be consuming 2800-3200 calories a day. You are not overweight for your height and therefore should not really be looking to lose weight but ensuring you provide your body with enough nutrition to ensure you optimise your physical development.

Net calories

Is there a minimum for net calories in a day that you should not go below?

Answer:

Yes, if you constantly consume less than your daily minimum for an extended period of time then you are effectively starving yourself. If you are talking about the odd day when you eat less than recommended this is not a problem, that’s why you have fat reserves. There are many free calorie calculators on the net that you can use to find your recommended calorie allowance based on your own statistics.

Healthy Diet

I’m on a diet and eating 1000 – 1200 calories a day. I’ve lost 10 pounds this month but I don’t want my metabolism to slow down and for the weight loss to stop. Is 1000 calories a day a sufficient amount? Would having a semi-cheat day of 1500 calories be enough to increase leptin production to increase metabolism?

Answer:

Firstly congratulations on your progress so far! I cant give a great deal of specifics, as your profile page was incomplete, so I don’t know your diet/activity levels. However I would say that a 1000 calories a day is low and may lead to nutritional deficiencies in the long term. In the short term you will find some success, but long term you will supress leptin levels. You also run the risk of losing muscle mass which in turn will reduce your metabolism further. Additionally with very low calorie diets, much of the initial weight loss is water weight. When calories are reduced, the body gets its energy from glycogen stores, which are carbohydrates stored in your muscles and liver. Glycogen binds to water, so when it’s burned, it releases water and causes a loss of water weight. To make your diet more sustainable going forward, and in line with your own thoughts, I would suggest increasing to a minimum of 1200 calories a day and that you introduce a higher calorie “cheat” day, perhaps every third day. Its difficult to recommend a target without your background, but I would suggest your cheat day should be higher than 1500 calories so as to make sure leptin levels are normal. Some low calorie diets make use of protein shakes, bars or other processed products, which are fine as a supplement but not as the basis of the diet. If you do choose to continue with a very low calorie diet I would certainly pay close attention to what you are consuming on the low calorie days, and ensure that you consume protein from good quality sources, white meat, chicken, turkey, fish. Consider low calorie fiber rich vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, peppers, pumpkin and spinach. Also try to consume some good fat sources from Olive oil and oily fish such as salmon or sardines. Nutrients should come from food first, but on a low calorie diet you may want to consider a multi-vitamin/mineral complex that provides 100% of your RDA(recommended daily allowance) so as to prevent any deficiencies.