(Closed) Not Eating Enough!?!?

posted 7 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
5398 posts
Bee Keeper

@Treejewel19  you talk about your calories, but you do not mention what foods you’re eating. What’s your diet comprised of right now?

Would you consider trying a paleo/low carb/specific carb type diet and not counting any calories at all but seeing if you get any results? I counted calories for years and I was far more successful when I stopped counting calories and just started eating what I’m hungry for (according to approved food lists). 

Edit: here’s a good read if you haven’t seen it before (@Treejewel19)

Post # 6
5398 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
@Treejewel19  Ok. It’s really not extreme or what I consider a fad and it’s totally healthy and sustainable. There are different variations of what people consider “paleo” but the most basic is to eliminate sugar and high starch grains and some of the very high sugar fruits. Sugar is not something we should really eat anyway. I much prefer eating only healthy foods over calorie counting (ugh stresses me out just thinking about it!) but if that works for you, more power to you!

Post # 8
5398 posts
Bee Keeper

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@Treejewel19  sure! I don’t really consider myself strict paleo anymore, though I did for many months. I guess I’m mostly paleo but I also eat dairy (some do, some don’t) though I only eat organic, full fat dairy like milk and cream, and raw organic cheese. I also eat some whole grains like brown rice, sometimes quinoa and oats, which most hardcore paleo people don’t agree with, so I do what works for me but I use the term paleo just because people have some idea of what that means. 

For breakfast I’ll have eggs like in an omelette with veggies and cheese or a quiche with spinach, either crustless or we make gluten free crust. Sometimes I’ll have eggs plain and vegetables on the side or as a breakfast sandwich with a gluten free biscuit recipe we have.

For lunch I’ll have vegetable soup we make from scratch with tons of vegetables (whatever we have/prefer–I like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots), chicken broth, garlic, a little cheese and cream with a chicken breast. We make soup in a large amount on the weekends or whenever and refrigerate or freeze. 

For dinner I might have steak or chicken with some sweet potato and broccoli or other vegetables.

For snacks sometimes I’ll have some tortilla chips and steamed vegetables or a glass of whole milk. 

Those are just examples and we try to mix it up with vegetable stir fry, fried rice with tons of vegetables, chicken and veggie soup, etc. So basically we eat a ton of vegetables, a decent amount or protein/meat, and a bit of grains. People who are strict on a paleo diet won’t eat any grains at all, but I feel better with them, the key is that we don’t eat a lot and usually just once a day. I don’t really eat fruit because I do best without it and the sugar can be problematic for some people. I get plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from the large amount of cooked vegetables I eat though. Most people who eat paleo eat low glycemic fruit like berries. We eat gluten free pasta occasionally too, usually brown rice, with plenty of vegetables in it, but not big heaping amounts.  

And also check out that link I posted above if you haven’t already. The transformation is amazing! It talks more about how to eat and they’re all about heavy lifting and crossfit. 

Post # 9
4953 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Your net should always be at least your BMR. Your BMR is the calories you need just for your organs to function every single day. If you consistently net below your BMR, your body starts shutting down nonessential functions in order to preserve energy. Slowing down your metabolsim is one of the first things it’ll do, which stalls your weight loss.  

Definitely listen to your trainer and not MFP!

Post # 10
1722 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I agree with what the others are saying, and think that about 1800 calories per day would be ideal for you in your goal of losing 1 – 2 pounds per week. You’re burning at least 4,000 calories per week through exercise, so definitely, eat more (your numbers are also quite similar to mine, and I am able to lose weight at 1,800 calories a day, sometimes more).

The problem a lot of people have in understanding metabolism is that they often think it grinds away at a consistent rate – whether you’re eating 1,000 calories or 3,000 calories a day. It can and will slow down over time if you’re consistently eating too few calories (even 1,200 calories a day is a very low-calorie diet for many women). We’ll compare it to a car; if you aren’t maintaining that car, it will start to lose its efficiency. Your gas mileage may plummet. The same is true with your diet – if you aren’t giving it enough fuel, it slows its burn rate down to preserve it.

I’d also recommend getting into some weight training to build up muscle. While bulking and cutting means you don’t do either as efficiently as you could, it does mean preserving more muscle mass while you get rid of fat (what it means is this – cardio bunnies may be able to lose 2 pounds per week. Those who do a mix of both may find weight loss to be slower – say, a pound-and-a-half per week – because they’re maintaining more muscle).

The more muscle you keep, of course, the more calories you burn even when inactive.


Post # 11
3125 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

MFP is notorious for setting waaaay too low of goals for calorie intake. I work retail and on a typical (slow) day of JUST work, no additional exercise, I burn 2225 calories according to my Fitbit. I should eat  1,725 calories to lose 1 pound a week. MFP recommends I eat 1200 calories net. Uhm… thanks but no thanks MFP.

I would definitely up your calorie intake. If you don’t see any changes or see a negative change you can always reduce again. Just be sure you increase your intake slowly (an extra 100-200 calories a day for the first week, then add another 100-200 the week after, until you get to your recommended amount).


Post # 12
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I do a lot of clean eating, but I noticed that my regular breakfast and lunch (smoothie, fruit, then soup and a cracker) wasnt giving me enough energy for the gym. I would literally be on slow  motion. I added some bread back in with my soup on gym days, and some extra crackers and I have a lot more energy to burn and I still lose weight. Less is not necessarily  better for you. 

Post # 13
8036 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

Just throwing this out there, but people often underestimate calories eaten and overestimate calories burned. It doesn’t sound like you’re eating too much, but you never know. I don’t really trust what exercise machines say, for example, and it is quite difficult to track calories accurately.

It does sound like you’re making progress, though.. inches gone = a good thing. You sound very fit. I read your other post about the asshat at the gym and the way you’re actually quite a seasoned hiker. Maybe you’re putting on muscle?

Post # 14
2424 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I agree with your trainer. If you are not eating enough calories your body basically goes into starvation mode and stores all the calories you DO take in in the form of fat, trying to keep energy reserves. By following the higher calories recommended by the BMR helps to avoid that. I know it’s counterintuitive but it’s true!

Post # 15
1848 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@Treejewel19  When you do TDEE -20% (which is what your trainer said), that includes your activity (I’m hoping your trainer asked for how much you work out per week). You need not eat back your exercise calories because they already accounted for it.

I’m a big fan of eating more. I see people on MFP eating 1200 calories on the forums, and I cringe. That’s not enough! MFP drives me nuts with that nonsense. I’m 258 lbs., I work out 5 days a week, and I’m NOT going to eat 1490 calories per day. That’s way below my BMR. I eat 1800-2000 calories a day and have lost 12 lbs. in 5 weeks.

Eat more, see how you feel. I know it’s a pain sometimes to get in the extra calories…but it’s worth it.


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