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I know you low-cal dieters don't want to hear this...
      #163457 - 03/23/05 04:46 PM
e_mcmaster

Reged: 01/16/05
Posts: 520
Loc: Norman, Oklahoma

but have you considered that your metabolism has slowed enough that you cannot lose on 1500 anymore?

Weight loss is not as simple as "BMR + exercise - 500 = food budget" If it was that simple, everyone would be thin and never worry about gaining weight again. For example: my BMR + normal daily activity level (which adds about 900 calories) + exercise = about 2900 calories a day. So according to the above method, eating 1800 calories should cause me to lose a lb every three days. But it doesn't work like that because your metabolism is more complicated than a simple equation.

Most medical professionals suggest going no lower than 1800 calories for weight loss, unless the patient is obese or has a considerable amount of weight to lose (i.e. more than 5 or 10 vanity lbs.), in which they are put on a low-calorie diet for a SHORT amount of time. NOTE: This is not to say that the doctors that advocate it are completely right, but neither are the doctors that tell you it's ok to eat 1200 calories.

Eating too little calories for a long amount of time causes the metabolism to slow down to accomodate the body's feeling of starvation. In short: At some point, you can no longer lose on 1200 calories a day.

My advice: get your BMR actually tested. You may find that you do actually burn the amount of calories a day the online calculators say, or you may find, like me, that after years of low-calorie diets, your BMR is barely over 800.

How do you fix it? Upping your calories. You're going to gain a few pounds at first (I didn't, but most do), but most of it is water weight and you will lose it (and MORE) once your metabolism kicks back into gear. It took me 7-8 months of consistently eating between 1800-2000 calories a day for my metabolism to get high enough that I can now eat 2300 and not gain. And I finally started losing weight and am now at a lower weight than I was when I was eating 1200 and at the gym for hours each day.

Upping sucks, but it's worth it.

--------------------
Elizabeth

all those years it wasn't IBS - it was celiac!
send me an email: liz@dopple.net

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I wholeheartedly second this! Please read this thread! new
      #163510 - 03/23/05 07:47 PM
retrograde

Reged: 04/15/04
Posts: 1569


Thanks so much for posting this e_mcmaster. This is some really good advice. Your BMR changes as you diet - when you cut calories (extremely) you slow your metabolism, as e said. And your metabolism = your body's ability to burn fat/lose weight. What your body stores as fat or burns or keeps or sheds IS calories in vs. calories out, but it's almost much more complicated than that, which is where metabolism comes into play. Some quick and easy ways to slow down your metabolism? No exercise. Skipping meals or only having one large meal a day. And most importantly, not giving your body the energy it needs.

Also keep in mind that you should not be cutting calories from your BMR - your BMR is not what you burn in a day. It's what you'd burn if you literally lied in bed all day and didn't move. It's what you burn simply because your blood flows through your veins and your lungs keep on breathing. You probably burn around 500-900 calories more a day starting the minute you get out of bed. If you're eating LESS than your BMR, that's trouble. Think about it - you're giving your body LESS energy than it needs to pump blood and breathe air... Now that doesn't mean you're going to drop dead. The body's pretty clever at keeping itself alive - it's going to store every single calorie it can (mostly as fat stores) so that you can live off those. Not only is that insanely unhealthy, but isn't the opposite of what those trying to lose weight are trying to do?

I'm not sure about those numbers as applying to everyone, especially the 1800 one. But I *have* read numerous times warnings not to drop below 1200 (for women), and even that is strikingly low and should only be used in extreme circumstances like extreme obesity. No word of a lie, I overheard a woman at the gym the other day bewilderdly say to her friend "I don't understand why I'm not losing weight... I've done so good today - all I've had is a bagel and a salad." !!!!!!!! That's just not right.

Ladies, I know I've been harping on this continuously such that I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but PLEASE FEED YOUR BODIES! Sure you might lose some digits on the scale if you're only eating 1200 calories a day - you could lose also weight by eating nothing at all, or by taking a handfull of pills, or lots of other really unhealthy ways that simply do not work in the LONG TERM. You have to eat MORE to LOSE (yes I know, it's a paradox )

OK rant over Thanks for this thread e, I think it's really important.

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good info e_mcmaster and retrograde, thanks n/t new
      #163519 - 03/23/05 08:20 PM
Betharoo

Reged: 01/28/05
Posts: 815
Loc: Ontario, Canada



--------------------
Microscopic Colitis, IBS-A, GERD, Hiatal Hernia
Bethany, Ontario, Canada

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About BMR... somewhat related new
      #163520 - 03/23/05 08:22 PM
atomic rose

Reged: 06/01/04
Posts: 7013
Loc: Maine (IBS-A stable since July '05!)

Back when I was first trying to figure out what I needed to be eating on a daily basis, I wish someone had been able to explain it to me a little better... now that I understand it, I hope someone else who doesn't have the benefit of a software program to calculate it finds this useful.

The formula to find your Basal Metabolic Rate which is the number BEFORE you account for lifestyle and activity is:

WOMEN: 655 + 4.36 X Weight (lbs) + 4.32 X Height (inches) 4.7 X Age = BMR

MEN: 66 + 6.22 X Weight (lbs) + 12.7 X Height (inches) 6.8 X Age = BMR

As an example, here's mine:
655 + (4.36 x 127) + (4.32 x 62) - (4.7 x 30) = 1336

This is NOT the number that you should be subtracting calories and exercise from! This is the barest bare minimum that your body needs to keep itself going!

You then take this number and add your "occupational allowance", which is an additional percentage of your BMR that takes into account what you'd typically expend going about your day.

Quiet sitting = BMR +30%
Office work (light activity) = BMR +50%
Housework (moderate activity) = BMR +70%
Heavy manual labour (i.e. construction, landscaping) = BMR +100%

Mine, honestly, changes from day to day. On days that I do auction work, I fall into the "office work" category, and my daily calorie needs would be 2004. Other days, I'm pretty well sedentary, and so it would be more like 1737.

That's STILL not necessarily the number you subtract calories from when you're trying to lose weight!

You also have to add in any daily exercise... and extra activity counts. I don't vacuum every day, so on days that I do, you'd better believe I count it. Same for shoveling snow, grocery shopping, and anything else that involves expenditure of energy. An excellent site for figuring out how many calories you're burning with a specific activity is http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.html (thanks Shell!)... I like this one because it takes into account your age, weight, height, and gender - all of those things do affect how you burn calories.

Once you've added all of that together, THEN you can start thinking about decreasing calories.

Interestingly, the site that I got this information from recommends decreasing calories by only 350 a day (from that total number, including exercise), resulting in a weight loss of 1/2 lb a week, because it's a slow, gradual loss that won't sacrifice muscle.

Like has been said before, I think, if you're under the supervision of a doctor with your weight loss program, and they specifically want you eating low calories for some reason, that's one thing. But I definitely agree with what's been said already about low-calorie diets being counterproductive. Not only can it kick your body into starvation mode, but mentally and emotionally, it's very difficult... when I eat less than 1400 calories, I feel like a slug and I can hardly move. (And it's no wonder - my body isn't getting what it needs!) When you get to that point, you're just setting yourself up for binging, overeating, or eating stuff you shouldn't be eating. It just makes the entire process more difficult than it honestly needs to be. Trust me, I've been there.

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Re: About BMR... somewhat related new
      #163522 - 03/23/05 08:26 PM
Betharoo

Reged: 01/28/05
Posts: 815
Loc: Ontario, Canada

thanks, I was a little confused still so this helps

--------------------
Microscopic Colitis, IBS-A, GERD, Hiatal Hernia
Bethany, Ontario, Canada

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Re: About BMR... somewhat related new
      #163567 - 03/24/05 02:36 AM
cailin

Reged: 08/12/04
Posts: 3563
Loc: Dublin, Ireland

Great info girls thanks for this, you are all so knowledgeable on this.

Casey- my BMR on your calculations is :

BMR: 1375.36 and BMR plus lifestyle: 2063

From fitday.com its
BMR: 1398 Plus lifestyle (908- seated work some movement) is 2306

I am pretty active during the day, even though I have a desk job I rarely sit for more than 15 minute stretches without getting up to go to the printer/photocopier etc..I REALLY don't think I can survive on 1563 calories a day so I am going to stick with the other one! I lost 2lbs last week on this so hopefully it will continue..if not then I will have to consider my options..

--------------------
S.

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Oh, totally! new
      #163595 - 03/24/05 04:19 AM
atomic rose

Reged: 06/01/04
Posts: 7013
Loc: Maine (IBS-A stable since July '05!)

It sounds like you're eating a good calorie level for you. You seem to have a good grip on what your body needs to function. I think every BMR calculation I've ever seen has the disclaimer on it that it should be considered a "general guideline only"... if you want an EXACT calculation of your BMR, that requires some medical assistance. And, as always, you gotta listen to your body. If you're not functioning well at all on X number of calories, it's probably a pretty good sign that you need to adjust what you're eating. I was definitely not posting that to get people to check their BMR and eat less! Heh.

I'm mostly concerned that someone might be doing the whole BMR thing wrong as far as counting daily activities in it before you start subtracting, because I know I did at first.

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Re: I know you low-cal dieters don't want to hear this... new
      #163691 - 03/24/05 08:54 AM
AlyssaKaye

Reged: 03/21/05
Posts: 193
Loc: USA

Ugg...I kind of agree. I've always struggled with this. Leaning abit toward the compulsive side, so I get too caught up in the counting. The problem now is, if I eat too much in one sitting, I get ill. And it seems to be too many calories, not too much food bulk. Could be my imagination, but that's my perception.

Right now I'm eating every three hours (6am,9am,12noon,3pm,6pm,9pm) about 200 calories (give or take) each time. Although, its spring break, so I've been starting the day at 9am lately, loosing that first breakfast. So, while that would generally be right at 1200 calories, its been a little under these past few weeks. Often the "6pm" has a few more calories, because if I wait till 7 or so to eat with my family if they are running behind, I tend to eat a bit more (partially because I'm hungry, partially because I am eating with them). But afterwards I usually feel a bit ill.

Does this seem like too few calories? My BMR according to some calculator online said 1825... .

I'm just not sure how to consume that without making myself sick. For instance, I may very well have had that yesterday (eating out), but I'm still feeling ill as a result.

Any wisdom?

--------------------
~~~Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.~~~

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Medical assistance for losing weight HEALTHILY..... new
      #163699 - 03/24/05 09:19 AM
Snow for Sarala

Reged: 03/12/03
Posts: 5430
Loc: West Coast, USA

Do you recommend a GP, nutritionist, naturopath??? I def. want to do this RIGHT...and I have 30lbs to lose. Any suggestions? Thanks sooooo much *big hugs*

--------------------
Formerly known as Ruchie

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Re: Medical assistance for losing weight HEALTHILY.....
      #163820 - 03/24/05 03:08 PM
Vicam

Reged: 02/24/04
Posts: 1955
Loc: Ontario, Canada

I have to agree with this too...you have to be really careful when going the low-cal route. I was eating really low calorie for about 8 months last year (not for dieting reasons but because I was really sick and couldn't bring myself to eat) and I got really sick. I was eating somwhere between 500-900 calories/day. Sure, I did lose weight (50lbs) but I also screwed up my body. And I think my body did start to store everything as fat, because although I weight less than I did now, I'm by now means "trim" and I am completely out of shape. Plus, my iron, b12 and potassium levels got completely screwed up and it winded me in the hospital. That's where they started explaining to me about how you need a certain amount of calories to just lie in bed and breathe, and since I was obviously doing more than that, I was hurting myself by not feeding myself enough.

So, please everyone be careful, make sure you're eating healthy!

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