Post # 1
After battling a lot of anxiety and some mild depression lately, I’ve decided I truly need to make a lifestyle change as far as my eating habits and my activity level. Before I had my daughter (who is now 6 years old), I was a healthy weight at 140 pounds. I wasn’t very active though, I was just blessed with high metabolism. As we all know, having kids completely changes that lol.
I don’t necessarily have a “goal weight,” I just want to look and feel better overall.
I have started using my fitness pal, and I have set a goal for myself to workout at least 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a session, and to eat no more than 1200 calories a day. I’ve also decided to cut way back on soda and juice, and drink water almost exclusively.
Having said that, does anyone have any tips on how to feel satisfied with that amount of calorie intake? I find myself still feeling hungry and having cravings. What do you do to curb your appetite and cravings? I purchased some vitamin B12 because I heard that helps curb your appetite and keeps you energized. I just started taking them though, so it’s too soon to notice a difference.
Any advice, tips, success stories, etc are appreciated!!
Post # 2
BMoreBecc: Honestly, I would rethink your plans. 1200 calories is likely way too low. What I would do is get a fitness tracker (my favorite is fitbit charge hr) to see how many calories you typically burn a day and try and eat 500 fewer calories than that.
In terms of meals, I eat oatmeal, fruits, veggies, yogurt, nuts, beans, cheese, and rice. A typical meal is a homemade oatmeal bar with a Greek yogurt and banana or beet risotto with a huge salad.
Post # 3
Big glass of water half hour before every meal will help you feel full longer, light dinners and plenty of healthy snacks. I agree with the PP, 1200 is too low. You are making some very drastic changes all at once. That makes it harder to stick with them. In the long run. Stop with soda, it is not good for you and replace it with water. Maybe water down some of the juice. It is high is sugar but has nutricianal content. Keep track of your calories and slowly cut back.
Post # 4
Be more active, like walk, take stairs, and don’t sit in front of the tv, and eat more calories (fiber and protein focused).
Post # 5
Agree with everybody, 1200 is almost certainly too low (unless you are, like, 5′ and 60 years old). But to answer your question about satiety, the answer is to CUT CARBS and eat lots of protein and dietary fats. (I don’t mean cut out carbs completely, but cut them down to like 70-100g per day and eat the rest in protein and fat.) That will help a ridiculous amount with satiety, especially if you also eat lots of veggies!
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
How tall are you? I used MFP and lost weight very comfortably eating 1310 calories daily and I’m 5’3″ so unless you’re super short I would say eat more. Also make sure you eat back at least half of your calories burnt during exercise, otherwise you will be seriously starving yourself. I can burn 800-900 cals in a roller derby training session and if I didn’t eat about 3/4 of those back I think I’d pass out. The MFP exercise calorie estimator is off for a lot of things though – don’t rely on it, I have a Polar heart rate monitor which I use to estimate calorie burn for cardio exercise (no use for weight training though).
Protein will keep you fuller for longer – there are formulae for how much you should eat (grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight) which might help you. I find with cravings that if I deny myself something completely, I end up binging and eating far more of it. Two squares of dark chocolate a day don’t seriously impact your calorie intake but will keep the chocolate cravings at bay!
Post # 7
I agree with everyone. 1200 calories is too low. I’m 5’6″ and struggle with being hungry at 1600 calories often. My suggestion is cut soda now and track calories to see how much you do eat. Like a lot of Bees, I use MyFitnessPal, which I actually started using when I was writing my thesis to make sure I stayed healthy. You’ll be surprised how much little pieces of information will change your habits and how ‘off’ you are on the nutritional content of some foods (who knew green peppers were a good source of vitamin C?? I didn’t. And apparently 5 baby carrots a day can often cover you for Vitamin A). Doing this even helped my transition into marriage with a man who is twice my size to keep me from competitive eating – he even asks me to put food in once in a while to see how well he’s doing. Just keeping track of your workouts (can be done in FitnessPal) and what you are eating will help keep you accountable and help you tweak towards a lifestyle that makes you healthier AND feel good. Just my 2 cents. I was surprised how effective that can be (and you can put it all in the phone app while doing a workout on the elliptical – bonus!)
ETA: Forgot to mention I’m 125 lbs. Also, as someone who also suffers from mild depression and anxiety, tracking can give you little feelings of accomplishment you can build on – just give yourself weeks off from tracking so it doesn’t become a source of anxiety (ie if you are traveling or are super busy and need to eat out a lot – that can make putting stuff in the app super time consuming, so just skip that week).
Post # 8
Thanks for the advice ladies! I’m 5’6″. Honestly the 1200 calorie intake was advice from my doctor! But it’s proving to be very difficult. I’ll take the advice you ladies gave and eat more calories, lots of protein, etc. I truly appreciate the help!
Post # 9
BMoreBecc: I did a 1500 calorie diet last year using MFP and honestly, I don’t know how anyone could go lower and feel satisfied. If youre working out 5 times a week, lets say – burning 300 calories – you’re only taking in 900 calories. In that case, your body is going to go into starvation mode and start holding on to anything you have – aka you won’t lose any weight.
Since I’m familiar with MFP – what’s your loss goal per week? 1 pound per week? 1.5? 2? I’m assuming you put in 2 if it’s only giving you 1200 calories.
Post # 10
At 5’3″ I lost 15 lbs. eating 1500 calories a day. It took me about 4 months though. I’ve been able to keep 10 lbs of the weight off for about a year now. My advice is to up your calorie allotment even though it may take you longer to lose the weight. You will be more motivated if you aren’t as hungry!
Post # 11
I was thinking the same thing.. 1200 seems low.. I would start with 1500 see how ur feeling especially with working out and stuff u need energy.. Or have u thought about maybe like a weight watchers? That’s a pretty easy diet as far as the point system..
Post # 12
Hey there. I’m actually a Registered Dietitian, so I may be able to give you a few pointers. #1: doctors are amazing, truly, but it irritates me when they give advice like this. 1200 calories is more than likely going to leave you unsatisfied, unable to meet adequate protein to help build lean muscle mass, and not giving yourself the energy to support a workout routine. I would recommend meeting with a licensed Rehearsal Dinner (NOT a “nutritionist”) to help you design a plan that’s individualized. As for protein, the recommended dietary allowance is .8 grams/kg body weight, but you’d prob up it to 1 gram (So grams protein = kg body weight). Without knowing your height, weight, activity level, etc I can’t tell you ideal caloric range, but if you can track your intake and caloties burned (like with a Fitbit) aim for a 250-500 calorie deficit 🙂
to keep full, adequate protein, adding fiber (try adding ground flaxseed) to meals like oatmeal, yogurt, etc (you can add it on a ton of stuff), drinking a full glass of water before meals, or eating a small salad before meals. just a few quick, easy tips
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2015 - Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception / Courtyard Marriott Legacy Ballroom
I agree with PPs about 1200 calories being too low! I eat around 1340 calories on days when I don’t exercise to maintain my current weight – I’m 5’0″ tall and weigh 102 lbs. Good idea to cut back on soda and sugary beverages! I find that snacking on healthy stuff – like fruits, veggies, yogurt & granola, crackers – in between meals helps sustain me. Along with snacking, though, I tend to eat smaller meals to spread my calories out through the day. Like, I’ll eat 200 calories for breakfast, have a 150 calorie snack, eat 300 calories for lunch, have a 150 calorie snack, then eat the rest of my calories at dinner. I have a Fitbit Flex that keeps track of my activity, so I connected that with MFP, where I keep track of my food intake, to make sure I’m eating all my calories for the day.
Post # 14
I eat 1200-1300 calories a day and I never struggle with feeling hungry – if anything I struggle with meeting the goal. My struggle was sweets – I couldn’t stop eating them so counting calories curbs those cravings. With that said, I am making healthy food choices that always satisfy me.
It did take a couple of weeks to learn how to balance everything out and make healthy food choices. I have two healthy snacks a day, eat three meals a day (lean meats with veggies). I work out 45 minutes 4-5 days a week and/or burn 200 calories a day. It took a month, but the pounds just melted away.
I eat eggs, slice of whole wheat toast, avacado, apples, babybel cheese, almonds, greek yogurt, plain yogurt, a variety of veggies, salmon, steak, chicken, salads, oatmeal, chia seeds, etc. Also, drink lots of water.
I started at 160 5’5″ and am now 140.
Post # 15
I’m a very small person (5’2, 112 lbs) and I netted about 1400 a day when I was losing weight, so I would echo PPs who are confused about your doctor telling you to eat 1200. I’m not sure I could survive on 1200 without being mean to everyone all the time. Did your doctor maybe suggest 1200 if you were sedentary, or 1200 net (meaning you would eat more than 1200 but then exercise down to 1200)?
In any case, I’m not a doctor, but I do have suggestions for dealing with a calorie deficit:
1. Eat a relatively small breakfast (200 calories or so), and then you can have most of your daily calories at lunch and dinner when you start feeling hungry. I’d much rather have a 150-calorie breakfast, but then have 650 at lunch and dinner (or even more if I worked out that day).
2. Eat lots of fiber – you will feel fuller way longer. Vegetables are the best, and they add very few calories, so you can eat more calorie-dense foods alongside them. I try to keep baby carrots in the fridge and have a handful at lunch to help with this. Fiance swears by oatmeal.
3. Having a high-fiber/low-glycemic-index snack halfway between lunch and dinner often helped me stay on track and not overeat at dinnertime. Again, baby carrots.
4. If you want to have something with empty calories, plan ahead for it today instead of paying for it tomorrow. If I wanted to have a glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream when I was losing weight, then I had to plan ahead for it by eating a smaller meal and/or working out more – and it was so wonderful to sit down with it in the evening, enjoy it, and know that I was still on track, instead of thinking guiltily that I’d have to do an extra workout tomorrow to make up for it.
5. Don’t stress if you go over by 100 or 200 every once in a while. In my experience, as long as you’re on track at least 5-6 days of the week, you will still lose weight.