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To think 1,200 calories a day is enough?

(148 Posts)
MissDallas Sun 15-May-16 03:13:16

I am 3 stone overweight. I have also been thinking about moving to a plant-based diet for health and ethical reasons.

I am considering a 5 day Juice Cleanse to kickstart some weight loss and break some old habits. There is a company locally who supply 5 days worth of juice and I asked them how many calories a day that is. The guy worked it all out by each ingredient and told me it was 1,200 calories per day.

I know that juice cleanses generally get a bad press and are considered 'starvation', but I think 1,200 calories a day is fine for someone who is trying to lose some weight.

What does everyone else think? Thank you.

TheVillagePost Sun 15-May-16 03:23:59

It depends what you're spending the calories on. 1200 on rice, chicken and veg would keep you going. The energy density of juice is such that frittering 1200 calories on it will leave you very hungry...

dizzytomato Sun 15-May-16 03:25:41

use a calorie counting fitness app. Cut your portion sizes by 1/3 and if possible do exercise you like or can do. For example pushing a buggy uphill, carrying a toddler upstairs and pushing a child in a swing use up more calories than people realise and are all forms of exercise.
If you want to do a juice diet then make the juice yourself. If possible use molasses or honey to sweeten them and avoid too much factory processed foods. You'll start to notice a difference.

Baconyum Sun 15-May-16 03:30:58

NHS suggests 2000 per day for a woman, thats likely still a lot less than you're currently consuming if you are overweight. Add some exercise and you will likely lose weight.

I must admit I think crash diets of any kind are unhealthy and set you up for failure. Particularly as you'll mostly lose water rather than any fat. Plus you wouldn't be getting all the nutrients you need (which is what leads to cravings).

Fwiw I too am overweight, have tried various methods. I recently decided 'fuck it' I'll eat what I want and stop worrying. What's actually happened? I've lost half a stone in a month and this is the 2nd month and it's staying off. (And that was even with a major birthday party and a wedding factored in).

Main change I've made? Stopping having 'diet' food and drinks. Eating real food (aside from I still have skimmed milk as it's the only one I like taste of) I've naturally without hardly even realising reduced how much I'm eating because I'm not as hungry.

Not saying it would work for everyone but as its working for me I'm sticking to it.

JonSnowsBeardClippings Sun 15-May-16 03:38:53

1200 is fine - ignore the 2000 guidelines, unless you are very young and/or very active 2000 is probably more than you use in a day.
However, I find it hard to see how you can have 1200 calories of juice and not burst! Also, why would you pay someone to provide juice? If you want to do this get a blender and some fruit and make them fresh.

PerpendicularVincent Sun 15-May-16 03:52:32

I think it's far healthier to cut portion sizes, use my fitness pal to count your calories and exercise.

It's likely that initially, you'll need more than 1,200 calories a day to lose weight - it could be too low. Living on juice could also make you feel exhausted as you're missing out on so many essential food types.

I speak from experience. I'm several stone overweight but it's dropping well due to all the things I mentioned above. Having juice only would put me into starvation mode and I wouldn't last more than a day without gorging myself on chocolate buttons.

JonSnowsBeardClippings Sun 15-May-16 03:55:43

Having juice wouldn't put you in starvation mode. That's an absolute myth. If you had 1200 calories a day for a week or so you would absolutely lose weight. You just wouldn't enjoy it, and for that I don't blame you. Smaller portions of real food is much better than juice. But it will cause weight loss.

PerpendicularVincent Sun 15-May-16 03:58:24

It would Jon, it's a terrible idea according to my personal trainer. Crash diets affect your metabolism and are unsustainable.

Far better to diet and exercise.

JonSnowsBeardClippings Sun 15-May-16 04:12:32

Personal trainers have no particular expertise, they have a little knowledge and a lot of opinions! Honestly, the starvation mode concept is not backed up by evidence. There may be some slowing of the metabolism over a long period of under eating but the idea that you can slow down your metabolism with a few days of eating very little is just not true. You will have a rush of losing fat and water and when you return to eating normally you will regain the water which will make it appear as if you lost loads and gained it back. The net effect will be a small amount of fat loss. That's how bodies work.

StrawberrytallCake Sun 15-May-16 04:31:57

Starvation mode may be debatable but a juice/soup cleanse I did led to me being totally wiped out after two days. It's not a sustainable diet for anyone but if you have children it's impossible because of the lack of energy the juice provides.

I love plant based meals though and even though I'm not veggie having pb for lunch alongside exercise has made a hue difference to how I feel and look. Which books do you have? Deliciously Ella is amazing if you are looking.

StrawberrytallCake Sun 15-May-16 04:32:35


MissDallas Sun 15-May-16 04:53:05

That's the thing I don't get... I thought it would be extremely low calorie, but 1,200 calories a day is quite a lot, for a diet.

In my younger days the recommendation was to stick to 1,000 calories to lose 2 lb per week. This is 200 calories more per day.

araiba Sun 15-May-16 04:53:15

why dont you just follow a sensible eating and exercise plan instead of some guff fad

MissDallas Sun 15-May-16 04:58:01

I do exercise (gym at lunchtime) and have not lose weight eating 'sensibly'.

MissDallas Sun 15-May-16 04:58:17


araiba Sun 15-May-16 05:05:52

then youre not doing it right or have a medical issue

or by only using your weight as a measurement, you are misunderstanding. you know the whole weight of muscle/ fat thing

peggyundercrackers Sun 15-May-16 05:51:54

I agree with others, change your eating pattern and what you eat slightly. You may be able to juice for a week but it isn't a sustainable model, you can't do it every day, you need to go back to eating. Cut your portion sizes down, use smaller plates instead of larger plates, there are loads of resources about now for healthy eating meal plans.

Whilst going to the gym does do some good it doesn't do as much as you may think it does. You probably find if you went out walking at lunch time rather than go to the gym you would burn the same amount of calories.

JeffFromTheDailyMail Sun 15-May-16 06:29:46

I'm surprised the man didnt know how many calories the juice cleanse he is selling is without having to work it out? I wouldn't use this 'cleanse' for that reason alone!

Sceptimum Sun 15-May-16 06:35:59

1200 is not enough to eat in a day, studies have repeatedly found that sustained weight loss is more likely you reduce your intake to around the 1600 to 1800 range. If it's juice, you won't be getting enough protein, fats, fibre to fill you and you will be a nightmare to be around and probably fart like a trooper. Also, from a blood sugar point of view, juice will spike and drop you straight after.
No harm in some juice, but maybe mix it up with salads, soups, nuts and beans, some roasted veggies? All low cal and plant based but still tasty. A good hot soup like cauliflower or leek and potato is great for filling you up and giving you energy but without a load of fat and sugar.

timeforheroes Sun 15-May-16 06:36:48

No help re: the juice diet but in regards to plant based, I'm vegan and find it pretty easy to stick to 1200 calories. I use MyFitnessPal and track my macros. I don't eat back exercise calories at the moment as I am still losing the baby weight, I've lost over 2 stone, got another stone to lose to be pre-baby weight, and I think I will try and lose a bit more after that, but my first goal is pre-baby weight.
Do you feel like the juice cleanse would be a kick start? You would probably lose anyway by switching to veganism/plant based if you focused on whole foods to begin with. I often switch out pasta for spiralized veg to 'save' calories. It's working for me at the moment, I genuinely don't feel hungry on 1200 but I do track protein and fibre, and I find these keep me full.

EponasWildDaughter Sun 15-May-16 06:38:39

Are you going by literal weight or how your clothes look when you say eating sensibly and going to the gym isn't helping?

With 3 stone to loose the first stone or so (IME) should come off quite easily. Muscle vs fat weight needs to be taken into consideration.

timeforheroes Sun 15-May-16 06:40:28

Sorry, just to add to my post. I was following Slimming World and exercising as I do but not really losing, I started using MFP out of curiosity to see how many calories I was consuming, I was so shocked at how much I was overeating by that I started weighing foods like pasta, quinoa, rice etc and started adding other vegetables or pulses to my meals to 'bulk' them out, it's definitely taught me something about portion control and changed my eating habits.

user1463231665 Sun 15-May-16 06:47:44

Juice tends to be sugar unles it's a vile kale one only. So people con themselves that juicing is some kind of healthy thing but it's often loads of fructose from fruits. Also as it's sugar it pumps you up with sugar and then you have a crash after and feel hungry. If you ate 1200 calories of good animal fats, eggs and some veg which isn't juiced so you get all the good fibres etc then you'd probably feel fuller for longer.
1200 calories is not much for me but I like to eat a lot unfortunately!

Branleuse Sun 15-May-16 06:49:21

1200 is pretty hard to stick to in my experience. I can do 1500 a lot easier and still lose weight.

I wouldnt do any juice cleanse. Fruit juice is not good for you.
1200 calories balanced with protein and fibre is one thing, but 1200 calories of juice wont break any old habits, it will leave you hungry and unbalanced nutritionally.

If you stuck to fresh vegetables for all 3 meals a day, with a bit of chicken/fish or tofu/quorn for protein, veg such as those steamfresh microwave bags of veg, its really easy and ive lost weight by eating like that and actually felt great because of the lack of dairy and wheat, but getting all my nutrients.
Its not exactly exciting meals, but you really dont need to do juice plans or weird fasting type crap

Birdsgottafly Sun 15-May-16 06:50:02

I'm Vegan.

I've been Vegan in the past, but after an abusive relationship breakdown, I 'woke up' and decided to lose the five stone that I'd put on. I decided that going Vegan was the way to go (I'd also entered Peri-Menopause and its recommended for symptoms).

I don't believe in the 'Juicing' type diets/kickstarts. Just eat Vegatables, they fill you up and finding creative ways of cooking, makes you appreciate food, again.

I also exercised, I had loads of energy I needed to use, more than when I was in my 30's.

I used My Fitness Pal, but set mine to ignore Sugar, because I was eating fruit.

When I felt like a 'treat night', usually when watching a film with my youngest DD, I counted in my calories from excercise, so it would give me 1700-2000, but I ate chopped Pepper with Humous, had banana/Kiwi/Fresh Pinapple (and Wine).

I still lost 2lb a week, started in Febuary and was down to nearly where I wanted to be, in October.

I found I loved weights and being stronger.

If you want recipes, check out 'One Green Planet' and you'll have a local FB page for the " (Your City)....Vegetarian and Vegan group".

I focus on health, as well as body size, to keep yourself motivated. If you cut out processed foods and go towards a plant based diet, you'll see and feel the difference.

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