What's the minimum amount of calories I should eat in a day. I'm 20, 5'6", 253 lbs. I have been keeping track of my calories this week, and I find that most days I only get about 700, some days less. I know this isn't enough, but what is? I am eating, but I have class from 10-5, and I normally don't eat anything until I get home--then I eat one meal. Sometimes I have yogurt during a break. On the weekends I eat twice usually. I am never hungry enough to eat more than two full meals a day, and I can't stand eating breakfast. I get so full I feel sick. I have a really hard time eating if I'm not hungry. It makes me feel terrible, like I shouldn't be eating. What's the best thing for me to do?
You have got to eat to lose weight. Twice a day? Your body is probably in a sort of starvation mode and will hold onto the fat (and especially healthy muscle and tissue)... if you do lose any weight, it will not be healthy and you will put it back on. I know it stinks, but you have got to eat... make yourself eat. Fix salads and take them with you. Try to eat 5 small meals each day. Drink plenty of water and take your vitamins. You are not getting anywhere NEAR your body's requirements in calories... which would probably be around 2500-3000 (now of course to lose weight, you will cut that back some... but as you can see 700 calories is not even close... your poor body is starving...) Please try to eat more. You are doing your body a great dis-service and you are young enough to get into healthy eating habits and stick with them for life... please keep us posted!
I disagree with the 1200 minimum. I fail to see how anyone can come up an arbitrary number and apply it to everyone. Do a search for the Harris-Benedict formula. It will tell you how many calories you need per day to maintain your weight based on your gender, age, height, and activity level. Then reduce that number by 20%. The number you get is the minimum number of calories you need per day. Take that number and divide by 6 to get the number of calories each of your meals should have. Space those meals out so that the interval between them is no more than 3 hours. Yes, you have to eat every 3 hours to keep your metabolism going. The traditional 3 meal plan is why so many people gain weight. They wait so long to eat that their metabolism slows down and when they do eat, they're so hungry that they eat too much. Also try to plan your meals so that most of your carbs are consumed in the first half of the day. Drink lots of water and take in plenty of fiber.
[This message has been edited by DonutsNCoffee (edited 06-07-2003).]
It's not even that I've suddenly cut back to try to lose weight--I've never eaten a lot, yet I've been overweight since age 9. I was always active as a kid. I was in sports in high school, and I walked every day up until this year (now I've started again) and I've never lost weight. I stayed at about 180 all through high school til the last year, then the past 2 years I have gotten much much bigger. I haven't changed my eating habits at all, and I'm not that much lessa active that I should have gained that much weight, so right now I feel that if I start eating MORE i'm going to definitely gain more.
Okay, think about what you just said.... you have always eaten this way and you have always been overweight. You don't eat enough. Your body is in constant starvation mode and as you get older, it gets worse. Your body is not going to shed a pound because it is trying to protect itself. You have got to start eating or nothing will change. You HAVE to eat healthy though, drink water and exercise. I would recommend talking to a doctor or nutritionist... if you want to live a long healthy life, you really need to make some changes... take care of your body sweetie, it is the only one we are given, and believe me as you get older, it does not get easier... you are young enough to make a positive change. Good luck!
Ok, I can understand this, but will I initially gain more weight if I start eating more, or will it be ok as long as I maintain a steady exercise routine everyday? I walk 3 miles everyday and I bought the Walk Away the Pounds tape (3 mile) the other day and have been doing that, as well, so technically 6 miles a day. I did ask my doctor about this, but he's an *** and he just said "healthy diet and exercise" and was actually very rude about it. I'm on Medicaid, so I'm not sure what options I have for nutritionists. I have switched my doctor, though, so I will go to him soon.
Your metabolism is clearly in starvation mode. But suddenly increasing your food intake will cause you to gain weight. You need to gradually add calories and give your body time to adjust. Here's something else to keep in mind. When a person wakes up, their metabolism is very high, including yours. What you do after that determines how the metabolism behaves. If you don't eat as soon as you wake up, it slows down. If you eat, but don't eat enough, it slows down. If eat but then wait too long to have your next meal, it slows down. One of the best ways to jumpstart your metabolism is by doing cardio as soon as you wake up. Low-intensity cardio will burn stored fat and keep your metabolism elevated after the exercise is done. 45 minutes keeps it elevated for 3 hours, 60 minutes keeps it elevated for 7 hours. Just wait about 30-60 minutes after you're done exercising before eating. The reason is your body will still be burning fat after the exercise, so you want to give it a chance to burn that fat before you give your body more food. Once you have breakfast, be sure to have a meal every 3 hours. If you space your meals more than 3 hours apart, the metabolism will slow down. And each meal should have roughly the same number of calories. If one is too low, the metabolism slows down.
By the way, don't pay much attention to what doctors say. They don't educate doctors about nutrition in med school. They only teach them all the things that can go wrong with the body, not what you need to do to maintain it. Also, doctors are trained to answer certain questions with vague or very general advice because it's the answer that is least likely to get them sued.
Thank you for your replies. I am going to start exercising in the morning then, and making sure I eat breakfast. Whether I can eat every 3 hours after that is another story. With class all day, it's kinda hard, but I can at least bring yogurt (but that's only 80 calories). I will try, though. Thank you for the good advice.
I did manage to eat 790 calories today. I tried to eat more, but I was so full. I ate breakfast, a small snack, and dinner at about 730. So, the eating every few hours thing didn't happen today. I get so busy and forget about it. I will try harder tomorrow, though.
You said you are 20 years old, 5'6", 253 lbs. If you are only eating 700 or less calories a day, there is something extemely wrong that you need to see a doctor about. A person who weighs 253 pounds can not possibly only eat 70o calories without a pretty big problem. It's not a "starvation mode" thing. People who do starve themselves do not weigh 253, they weigh 100 or 90 or 80 etc.
I'd suggest you go to the doctor and see what is wrong because there is definately something wrong. Could be a thyroid/hormonal issue. Good luck to you.
I had a blood test before I came to college (my dad is diabetic so I'm supposed to get one done yearly). This was 2 years ago. My doctor said something about thyroid and she wanted be to get tested again in a couple months, but I came to school and I had insurance issues so I couldn;t get it done. I did just get bloodwork done last week, though, and my doctor never said anything was abnormal. I don't know. Even on days when I would really overeat, I never ate more than 2,000 calories. My activity has decreased since i've come to school, but never to the point of being totally inactive. On Medicaid, I can't get any testing or go to any specialists unless my primary doctor recommends it, and I can't afford to do it on my own.
hi lily. i do not know your circumstances, but i will give you my story, hopefully it will help you some. at age 22 i suddenly started gaining large amounts of weight. i had no clue why. like you, i ate VERY little, but the weight kept coming. about 2 or 2 and a half years ago i got a thyroid test, but everything was normal. withing 3 years i had tried almost every diet, diet pill and exercise known to man.... nothing helped! at 26 years old (october 31, 2002) i decided to try something different..... my attitude. i had become quite depressed through all of this weght gain, and even more depressed because no matter what i did, i wasn't and couldn't lose. i weighed 230 pounds on october 31. i went trick or treating that night with my kids, and people made fun of me, not that that was anything new, but it seemed like more were doing it than usual. november 1 i started a new diet. i started at 1900 calories a day (yes, thats alot, but....) when i reached 190 (by christmas, maybe january 1) i lowered my calories to 1750, i am now at 175. i have been stuck at 175 for a while now, but i actually haven't cut many calories, i still stay between 1700 to 1750, i recently started my new goal, which is 1500 calories, once i hit 150 pounds, i will reduce my calories to 1400, and aim for my goal of 140. since november i have lost 55 pounds, thats about 8 pounds a month if you break it down. it has worked for me. i have used some diet pills off and on but nothing that made a big difference. i was losin about the same with them as i did without. i also did the treadmill for 45 minutes a day at least 3 days a week, and i'd work out with weights at least 2 days a week. i don't know if this will help you or not, it depends on how your body takes to certain things. i eat at least 1 salad (a good salad with chicken chunks, bacon bits, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, red cabbage and diet ranch dressing) each salad is about 300 calories, but with the variety alot of times it fills your craving for "real food". like i said, i don't know if this will work for you, but i noticed when i stopped "starving" myself, and started eating 4 and 5 SMALL meals a day, the weight started coming off. every 2 to 3 weeks i will splurge and have pizza, or cookies, etc, but i always try to wait until after i've met my goal. at first it was every 10 pounds i'd treat myself, now i go every 5 pounds, but i don't oversplurge on my splurge days. i drink as close to a gallon of water a day as i can (sometimes can only manage half a gallon) if i drink a soda, i go diet (its nasty the first few times, but after about your 10th one you can't really taste a difference) i use equal instead of sugar. well i hope something i've mentioned will be of some help. i wish you the best, and take care. God bless!