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1200 Cals killing me and not even working. Any advice please?

(42 Posts)
Loulou0 Tue 06-Sep-16 12:03:39

Can anybody advise please?

I'm 5'7 and 10st 5. Had my baby 4m ago and can't shift the last 7lb to get back to my ideal which is 9st 10.

I'm using mfp and eating 1200 cal per day.
Breakfast - 2 coffees, 2 eggs, slice of toast =350 cal
Lunch - salad =500 cal
Snack - 150 cal
Protein shake for dinner - 200 cal

I'm doing at least 15000 steps per day

Gym 3 times per week

Indulging a tiny bit at weekend. 1 x takeaway and a bit of chocolate. No alcohol at all.

Why aren't I losing weight??

I'm starting on 1200 cal so really don't think I could eat less.

Thanks, any tips would be great

Swifey Tue 06-Sep-16 12:05:38

Probably not enough protein, what is in your salad? And what is your snack?

Loulou0 Tue 06-Sep-16 12:10:02

Salad is chicken and avocado or feta. Spinach, peppers , tomatoes. Bit of low fat dressing
Snack is either nuts, protein bar or protein shake. Sometimes a smoothie with Spinach, berries etc

sophree Tue 06-Sep-16 12:18:37

Too much dairy? Not enough veg? Sometimes eating more good stuff is better than not eating ?!

CloudPirate Tue 06-Sep-16 12:19:38

I think that would kill me too - I couldn't cope with a 200 calorie shake for dinner.

The more you lose the harder it is to lose, and I know I tend to hit a plateau after a while; maybe try varying the exercise you're doing and vary what you are eating a bit as opposed to sticking to the same every day?

I use MFP and used to really struggle to stick to 1200 calories a day, because I was eating what I'd always eaten, and just cutting the portion sizes down so I was eating tiny amounts of relatively unhealthy food and was always starving. Have loads of good recipes now ... dinner last night was this which is under 400 calories but really filling, we have it with cous cous too which does add to it but I prefer to use fewer calories at breakfast/ lunch and have a satisfying evening meal. That said I sometimes struggle to have enough calories now that I have a range of low calorie recipes and end up having to have an emergency snack because MFP is telling me off!

Only other thing I'd add is muscle weighs more than fat - if you are going to the gym 3x a week is it possible you are losing fat and getting into better shape but not seeing the difference on the scales because you're developing more muscle?

Thefitfatty Tue 06-Sep-16 12:20:46

You've probably plateaued. But also remember our bodies change quite a bit and getting back to your pre-baby weight might not be possible for a variety of reasons.

How do you feel otherwise? Because really 7lbs isn't much. I don't even notice a 7 lb weight loss.

Loulou0 Tue 06-Sep-16 12:27:18

Cloud pirate thanks that recipe looks lovely! I'll give it a try. I think I am gaining muscle as my arms and legs are firming up but I can't get into my old clothes yet which is what's bugging me!

Thefitfatty 7lb for me is the difference between being a 10/12 and an 8/10 and I'm happy at an 8/10. I know I'm not fat but I feel bigger than I'm happy with and it's frustrating because I'm doing all the right things and getting bloody nowhere.

blueskyinmarch Tue 06-Sep-16 12:32:23

Your body spent 9 month growing an entire human being and you only give birth 4 months ago. Give yourself break. Eat well and eat healthily and don’t obsess about it. I would also be inclined to cut out the protein shakes and have a smaller lunch and decent dinner. I am not a fan of meal replacements when you can have real food.

PickAChew Tue 06-Sep-16 13:26:46

Why not replace the shake with some actual food?

trufflepiggy Tue 06-Sep-16 13:28:24

You're eating too little! Up your calories to 1500

Artandco Tue 06-Sep-16 13:32:42

It sounds like too little. Presumably your walking with lots of steps and busy with baby. Body is likely storing energy.

I think you need a proper dinner in the evening. Can still be healthy but something like some fish and rice and vegetables.

GummyBunting Tue 06-Sep-16 13:34:40

what is your calorie deficit per week?

KP86 Tue 06-Sep-16 13:39:20

You're not eating enough! Your body is probably in starvation mode.

Please tell me you're not breastfeeding on that many calories.

tigerdick Tue 06-Sep-16 14:39:01

There's no such thing as starvation mode.

Are you tracking/weighing/measuring everything you put in your mouth? I was having a salad for lunch everyday until I found out it was 800+ calories with dressing.

Make sure you include the takeaways and chocolate. I can do 4,000 calories on a cheat day easily. If you aren't eating at enough of a deficit the other days it could ruin your progress.

The harsh truth is, if you aren't losing weight after a couple of weeks then you are eating too much.

KP86 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:40:58

I'm assuming you're a nutritionist then?

KP86 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:53:32

Call it metabolic adjustment then.

Either way, eating enough to actually fuel your body and give you energy to live (not just survive) is better than being miserable on 1200 calories.

Eating 1500-1800 cal/day might give you the energy to then exercise for another hour which could burn 400+ calories. And you've felt better and not hungry throughout the day as well.

Muscle mass is needed to keep your metabolism high, and helps to burn energy/calories efficiently.

Loulou0 Tue 06-Sep-16 15:16:39

Hi thanks for the replies
kp No, not breastfeeding. I'm already exercising for minimum of 60 min per day. Doing cardio and weightlifting so don't want to do anymore!
I always thought starvation mode wasn't a thing! But maybe I'll try 1400 cal and see if that makes a difference... what I'm doing now obviously isn't working.

Loulou0 Tue 06-Sep-16 15:20:00

tiger yes I'm tracking every bloody morsel. On my last cheat day I had 2200 cals. This was an Indian takeaway and a bit of chocolate so it's high but not crazy. I really didn't think that the cheat was enough to undo the other 6 days' work. sad

oldlaundbooth Tue 06-Sep-16 15:23:09

Yup, the cheat day will undo. Think about it as all your total calories over a week, it's probably 1800 per day, so no loss.

Up your cals to 1500 per day, but don't have a cheat day. When you reach target weight, then have a cheat meal, rather than a full day.

Good luck OP, it'll soon come off.

Loulou0 Tue 06-Sep-16 15:32:36

oldlaund I guess when you put it like that it makes sense. Bloody maths.

KP86 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:36:38

Why don't you look for a BMR calculator (something like this: or to see what your base calorie needs are, taking into account your current weight, age and activity levels and it will spit out how much you should eat depending on how much weight you want to lose. Since you don't have much to lose, I would be working on 1lb per week, which should feel sustainable.

Loulou0 Tue 06-Sep-16 17:13:21

Thanks kp

KP86 Sun 11-Sep-16 07:53:08

How are you going, Loulou?

eurochick Sun 11-Sep-16 08:04:06

The cheat day could be the culprit.

I'm a similar height to you (5'6) and had a baby two years ago. I've never struggled to lose weight before but in January this year I was 10st5 and wanted to get back to my pre-preg weight of 10st. I thought it would take about 10 weeks, tracking cals and aiming for a 0.5lb a week loss. I eventually got there in August. It was such a slog. I was in calorie deficit for months and months and the scales just wouldn't budge for ages. My body has definitely changed!

Chasingsquirrels Sun 11-Sep-16 08:04:37

What about trying 5:2?
As others have said looking at your weekly calories intake rather than daily, do you have enough of a deficit?
On 5:2 I did the following and went from nearly 12 stone to around 9.5 stone;
2 (or 3 some weeks once I had got into it) days of 500 - 600 calories.
3 (or 2) days at maintenance calories.
2 days (weekend) at maintenance calories plus (maybe 300 more but I didn't stress about it).

I found it just worked for me, I never felt "deprived" because on a fast day I just thought I'd have XYZ tomorrow (although often tomorrow I wasn't bothered) and the majority of the time I was eating normally.

I now do 6:1 to maintance.

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