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Old 06-24-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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What about not enough calories?

Nutritional ketosis formulas say I should shoot for 1680 to 1960 cal per day, with 85 to 113 g fat. I never make that. I usually eat about 1400.

I ate less than the 1400 yesterday, and I'm way behind on how much food I should have eaten for B and L today.

How many days do you think is it okay to miss your calorie needs by a lot?
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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What's your weight and height?

Those formulas are notoriously wrong. If I ate as much as they say that I should be eating I would still be overweight.

I think the number one thing is - don't force food just because some formula says you should eat x amount of calories. Make sure you are getting enough protein though, like if you eat very little for more than a few days because you have no appetite.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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I'm using Phinney's formula for calories, but like I say I rarely eat it all.

I"ll push protein today at dinner.

But I'm still curious about whether it's okay to be 'underfed' for more than a couple days---not because I'm freaked out about having eaten so little today, but because I'd like to learn the science of it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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I do not count calories, but if I eat less, my weight drops. I never got the "eat more, lose more" thing. But, everyone is different. I just eat until I am full.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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The thing is -are you really under eating just because you aren't hitting some high calorie level based on a formula? I don't consider that being underfed. Now if you were only having coffee with coconut oil for 2 weeks and not eating anything else, yes that's being underfed because you aren't getting enough nutrients and no protein. Or, if you dropped your calories to 200 despite being very hungry and did that for a week.

You dont say your weight but if you are not at goal you have excess body fat and your body can burn that for fuel (the whole premise of losing weight being that you tap into your own fat stores).

I think as long as you arent purposefully starving yourself and are getting enough protein most of the time then you are fine and you will be losing weight. 1400 calories can be plenty.

Last edited by nolcjunk; 06-24-2013 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:32 PM   #6
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A few years ago there was an ongoing thread I participated in about eating at least to your BMR.

I had little by little come to eat less and less in an effort to lose. My losses were at a complete standstill. Once I started eating MORE (of the right things) I began to lose again. There were many others on the thread that experienced the same thing.

I have read that as few as 72 straight hours of undereating will down-regulate your metabolism via your thyroid. I know people say there is no such thing as "starvation mode" or people wouldn't starve to death. That is true of course, but that doesn't mean a starving person's metabolism didn't slow down as much as it could before death happened.

I think if you are eating as much as you are legitimately hungry for and your weight is stable, you are likely fine. I (and the other folks on the thread) were making an effort to eat less and less and I know I wasn't comfortable doing it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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I'm not a big fan of numerical formula's for health or weight.
This metabolism business is too much of a YMMV situation IMHO.
I would ask...how do you feel?
If you feel ok, then it's not a problem.
Now if it goes on and on and your weight starts falling too low, ok then it's time to go to the doctor, but otherwise I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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I use myfittnesspal to help me track my workouts and watch my carbs/fat/protein. I really don't care what the calorie count is, but, it just does it automatically.

Based on my height/weight it says I should eat 1200 calories a day. I NEVER hit that. Ever. I never go hungry, I eat plenty, and always good whole foods. I've consistently lost weight since starting in January.

Oh and it gives me more calories when I workout...I really never hit that number! haha
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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I do this all the time--- chug along happy with my food and then I stress out when I play with the numbers lol.
Thanks for the reality check.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzanneyea View Post
I do not count calories, but if I eat less, my weight drops. I never got the "eat more, lose more" thing. But, everyone is different. I just eat until I am full.
This is the way it is supposed to work. I strive to get myself to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avid View Post
I'm not a big fan of numerical formula's for health or weight.
This metabolism business is too much of a YMMV situation IMHO.
I would ask...how do you feel?
If you feel ok, then it's not a problem.
Now if it goes on and on and your weight starts falling too low, ok then it's time to go to the doctor, but otherwise I wouldn't worry about it.
This makes good sense to me!

I think it is entirely possible to mess things up for ourselves by trying to stick to some 'caloric quota' when in fact our bodies don't know what a calorie is and it has nothing to do with anything much.

Last edited by clackley; 06-24-2013 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:52 PM   #11
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From my own personal experience, I was eating too little and didnt realize it until I started tracking my calories. I thought I was eating too much fat because I wasn't losing although I was tracking my protein and carbs. As soon as I upped my calories I lost four pounds in a week. I try to hit close to my calories now. I don't always, but I get within 200 calories of my goal. This may change at some point. I will just have to keep tracking and monitoring my weight.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:41 PM   #12
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On average, I eat more calories when I'm on plan than when I'm off. Obviously, I'm losing eating more calories, but I wouldn't be losing eating more of the wrong calories.

But I don't count calories anyway. I just try to eat every six waking hours, which is still a struggle for me, and eat until I've had enough. That's usually still under my supposed BMR. I don't know how things would go if I ate to my BMR; I'm losing this way, and prefer not to count anything beyond carbs, so I'll keep at it until something stops working.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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Rosedale argues that down-regulation of the metabolic rate etc. is a good thing as it indicates that the metabolism is more efficient and less stressed. A different perspective is offered by Norton: was talking about physique competitors but Trillex posted about an interesting video series by Layne Norton in which he criticised the metabolic adaptation (he also called it 'damage') of cutting to too low a level of calories. Men vs Women

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
. I just try to eat every six waking hours, which is still a struggle for me, and eat until I've had enough. That's usually still under my supposed BMR..
Ignore this if it's intrusive - I've sometimes thought that it must be tricky to tack between avoiding thermogenesis from some foods and physiologic cold from eating too few calories at times. (A friend with leukaemia is having problems along these lines as the weather is so changeable at present that it makes menu planning tricky - and if he just skips a meal because he isn't in the mood then he ends up with issues triggered by being cold.)

Last edited by SlowSure; 06-24-2013 at 07:08 PM..
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #14
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I have thyroid issues plus Multiple Sclerosis, so my internal body temperature is all kinds of screwed up regardless.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:07 AM   #15
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Those formulas are notoriously wrong. If I ate as much as they say that I should be eating I would still be overweight.
Ditto this! I cant eat as much as the formulas recommend.

1400 cals a day sounds fine. As long as you aren't consistently eating ridiculously low cals (like 500/day, every day) you should be fine.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:25 AM   #16
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Ah, now we're getting some science! Thanks all---now I have more leads for stuff to learn.

Rosedale, Norton, and down-regulation via thyroid. Cool.

Calories were 948 yesterday, eating to satisfaction. Like I say, I don't think I'll wither away--still have 25-30 lbs to lose.
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