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to think 1,200cals per day should only maintain your weight if you've buggered up your metabolism?

(147 Posts)
DottyboutDots Mon 06-May-13 17:45:17

My friend and I are both trying to lose weight. She does around 800cals a day on the elliptical, while I swim and play squash.

She claimed that a woman approaching 40 can only eat 1200 cal a day and stay slim. I countered with, well I ate 1500 (adjusted with eating my excercise cals) a day on and off for a year and lost 3 stone.

Her examples are a) her mother who has eaten the same exact two meals a day for 20 years with a third option that she changes and is slim and b) our two friends who have openly admitted having food issues and don't eat very much.

She then mentioned that our overweight gynae (we met having our 3rd babies) had agreed with her. I said look to the messanger on that one.

Surely, there are healthy, slim women who eat more than 1,200 a day and stay slim. Please say there are, I need hope that the rest of my life is going to be a gastronomical desert.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 08-May-13 11:24:39

No, as I said, I've never been overweight or even heavy in my life. I've gained enough weight during the first trimester (which ended in a mmc) that I couldn't fit into my jeans anymore. That's why I'm trying to cut down on the crap I eat. I'm not buying a size bigger and am currently living in leggings and dresses.

It's a response to Kevin's post that there are many types who count calories. And I joined this thread originally because I don't think you could live on 1200 calories. It seems extreme to me. I'm quite petite at 160cm and have a desk job. Even then, myfitnesspal thinks I need 1700 to maintain my weight, not 1200.

ToysRLuv Wed 08-May-13 11:09:19

Bmi 20.9 is NOT overweight confused

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 08-May-13 11:02:01

I think you get many people who count their calories. Unlike ToysRLuv I never have problems with my weight, and never dieted. (Current slight overweight at BMI 20.9 is pregnancy induced). I use myfitnesspal and the calorie counter to remind me not to snack. I'm known as the snack queen in the office. I can happily munch on three donuts in one morning if someone brings them in to share. I always drink normal coke, and when it's hot I end up buying one every day. It's this snacking habit I'm trying to curb on. For example, yesterday, someone took in a tray of danishes. After eating one and entering it on my phone, I know that it's nearly 300 calories each. (I could find said danish by the shop name, the app is that good). That put me right off having another one.

So not everyone counting calories are obsessed or are dieters.

ToysRLuv Wed 08-May-13 10:53:47

freely admit that I'm an all or nothing kind of person, and in the early 90s, as a teenager, I decided to lose a lot of weight (was only borderline overweight) by obsessively calorie counting. Kept it up for ages, until my mind and poor body just snapped and I started bingeing like a maniac, until I was back in my starting weight and then some.

The problem now is that because my eating has been so disordered for so long (a fair bit of yoyoing gone on since initial dieting), I can't rely on my appetite to guide me, so I do rough calorie counting on most days, although tend try and relax on special occasions, and just try not to binge.

After you've counted calories for the best part of two whole decades, it just kind of naturally happens, whether you're conscious of it or not.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 08-May-13 10:48:05

Kevin I wouldn't have a clue until I used myfitnesspal grin. I still don't really know for the homemade things, but I use the closest I found on there. I was truly suprised how easy it is.

FasterStronger Wed 08-May-13 10:42:33

Living on 1,200 a day seems to be an extreme diet to me. Are there any nutrionists, doctors or nurses on this thread.

I agree very much with these and similar sentiments. here is the NHS saying women need around 2000cal. no mention of 1200cal which only 60% of the figure they mention.

Tingalingle Wed 08-May-13 10:32:35

Caffeine, now, there's another matter...

Tingalingle Wed 08-May-13 10:31:48

I'm with Kevin -- I have bugger all idea how many calories I consume each day. But I'm aware that I'm lucky rather than virtuous!

DottyboutDots Wed 08-May-13 10:31:36

kevin, i think you are quite right about the extreme dieters.

DottyboutDots Wed 08-May-13 10:30:22

I look at the 1,200 diet and just cannot ever think 'that's plenty'. Where the glasses of wine? The odd dinner out? Living on 1,200 a day seems to be an extreme diet to me. Are there any nutrionists, doctors or nurses on this thread.

FWIW i put on masses with my pregnancies and am still trying to lose 40% of it. But then I craved white, bread, strong cheddar and mayo sandwhiches and the like. I had no will power as, if i didn't eat, i felt hideous.

Post babies, i think if i eat 1800 i stay the same. So i keep half an eye on what i eat (try to have just a bowl of salad for lunch a few times a week) so that I can enjoy dinner parties etc at the weekend.

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 10:24:44

SummerRainIsADistantMemory - we could end up with a Donald Trump situation where we demand to see your weighing scales, food diary, waist measurements.. the list goes on and on.. If you are an exception to the rule, people will find it very difficult to believe you and you'll never convince them, so it's not worth trying or getting offended.

KevinFoley Wed 08-May-13 10:21:36

I'm really surprised how many people on here seem to know the calorie values for what they eat every day. Some of these posts seem a little obsessive to be honest and i suspect there are a few extreme dieters on this thread. I wouldn't have a clue what I eat in terms of calories but I bet it is quite high.

I'm being OTT hmm

As opposed to those saying I can't possibly have a low metabolism because I can't give them blood test results as proof of that fact.

Alright so confused

1200 calories can be a decent amount of food as others have pointed out, I'm hardly starving myself. I eat when I'm hungry, which doesn't happen to be as often as lots of others.

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 09:54:00

thanks FasterStronger , having a read through now - looks interesting smile

FasterStronger Wed 08-May-13 09:48:05

going back to the OP, some useful information:

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 08:24:27

SummerRainIsADistantMemory - seriously, you are being a bit OTT. This thread isn't all about you ;/

I think 1200 definitely is manageable. Through my late teens I was calorie counting to 1200. That including a good breakfast, lunch, tea and snacks throughout the day. As I've grown older, I've gone more towards ToysRLuv's approach - I find 1,200 calories too low to really enjoy my food smile I prefer eating a mostly vegan diet, but with the odd veggie treat, reducing carbs etc which means I can eat a lot whilst maintaining my weight.

ivykaty44 Wed 08-May-13 08:24:23

summer, if you are lying that is a shame for you, but it is of no real consequence to anyone else on here.

Mimishimi Wed 08-May-13 07:03:34

It wouldn't be healthy to do it for years or even weeks on end. Your body would assume that times are scarce and your metabolism might slow right down. Better to have a day or two a week where it goes up to 1600-1800 so it doesn't go into fasting mode. It's also carbs that trip up most people, it's really unhealthy (and aging) to try and cut out all fats.

ToysRLuv Wed 08-May-13 06:19:05

To clarify, I kind of fall in the live to eat category grin

ToysRLuv Wed 08-May-13 06:17:46

Minishimi: I certainly don't think it's impossible. I've done a similar amount for months/years even. But the difference to some of the othe women on this thread is that I literally couldn't/wouldn't want to live on it forever just to maintain an unnaturally low (for my body) weight. I know people are different in their appetites, though (although, as a biology graduate/health professional of a sort, I'm a bit taken aback by the extremeish samples on this thread) - Live to eat vs. eat to live.

Mimishimi Wed 08-May-13 04:49:04

I am on an average of about 1300 calories a day with MyFitnessPal. I found 1200cals difficult to maintain but not sure why people are saying it's impossible. A piece of toast, a fried egg, a piece of fruit and a cup of coffee with skim milk and stevia will come to about 300 calories. For lunch, half a cup of rice and 1 cup of vege curry with not too much oil comes to another 300 calories. A piece of fruit and 100g of plain yogurt with 2-3 walnut halves comes to about 200 calories for a mid afternoon snack. A small piece of meat or a larger piece of steamed fish and veges ( whilst limiting the carby ones like potatoes) will come to about another 300 calories. Add another small 100 snack like a piece of fruit or a sweet yogurt after dinner and you are at 1200 calories. You need a bit more if you are very active though. It's easy to find meal recipes which fit within the 300 calories limit and it doesn't have to be particularly monotonous, especially with spices etc.

Haven't taken my heart rate in ages but it used to be 50-55.

Active heart rate 90-110 usually.

At least that's what I say... I'm probably lying though. Really I'm an obese comfort eater with delusional behaviours which cause me to seek validation by making the internet think I'm thin and have a low appetite as my self worth is reliant on the opinions of people who don't know me and I'll never meet hmm

ivykaty44 Tue 07-May-13 22:23:01

The human body is incredibly complex though, I honestly don't think high/low metabolism is linked to just one or two factors, I imagine it's far more complicated than that.

Your metabolism can be tested with a blood test - have you had a blood test to check your metabolism as you stated I have a genetically low metabolism and I asked had you had a blood test and what are the results?

I do have a lower than average heartbeat, very low blood pressure and a reasonably low active heartrate. So if that's what bmr is calculated on I would come up low I imagine.

The only way you will find out is to wear a heart rate monitor for a day and see how many calories you have burnt by the end of the day - this will show you what is happening all day - apart from in the shower as they don't work in water.

Do you know your waking heart rate?

foreverondiet Tue 07-May-13 20:36:39

Calories are NOT all equal. Cut out grains and sugar and then you eat more calories and stay slim. I lose on 1200 a day - even without exercise - but I don't eat much grains.

I do like messing up the statistics grin

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