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Faint/Light Headed on low-cal diet? (MyFitnessPal)

(6 Posts)
JodieHarsh Tue 16-Aug-11 14:33:35


Quick question - I have noticed lately that I often feel faint and light headed. Having the constitution of an ox I slightly resent this. I have been doing MyFitnessPal, which restricts cals to 1200 a day, though with exercise you can eat more (you eat your exercise cals).

Just wondered if anecdotally anyone else has felt faint on 1200 a day? I am a bit puzzled. I've a pretty sedentary life and 1200 isn't what you'd call starving.

Hmph. Reluctant to give up as it does seem to be working (as I posted quite enthusiastically only the other day!).

If it's not this then I'd best hop to the GP I think...

JodieHarsh Tue 16-Aug-11 15:18:50


<pale but hopeful>

foreverondiet Tue 16-Aug-11 21:03:01

I feel fine on 1200, but why not try 1400 and see if you still lose weight?

Also try changing HOW you eat your 1200 calories. If you aren't already cut out all processed food (empty calories) and all sugar (apart from fruit/dairy) and all refined carbs. That way you'll get more food for your calories.

Smash09 Tue 16-Aug-11 22:51:38

There are a few possibilities here, mostly quite sortable ;-)

1) You just need a bit more fuel - 1200 calories is a very low amount for most people to eat on a daily basis - it's equivalent to the RESTING metabolic rate for a very petite, short woman. If you're quite tall then chances are you burn more than this just to keep the body ticking over lying in bed all day. So if you're living a normal lifestyle and also exercising, you can still lose weight fairly quickly on 1400-1600 calories (of nutritious foods).

2) It's just about enough (if you're about 5 ft tall and not very active) but not nutritious enough - are you eating alot of preprepared/packaged/diet foods? Sometimes the lack of nutrients in general can make you feel unwell even if you're well "fueled". Resolve this by cutting right down on diet brand foods, sugar, etc and focus on eating wholesome foods.

3) You're eating enough but it's not spaced out so well - do you eat evry little throughout the day and then get more than half your calories later on? Try eating a substantial breakfast and lunch, and a lighter dinner. (400 calories for breakfast and lunch, 300 for dinner and 1 - 3 100 cal snacks)

4) You aren't drinking enough - drop in food intake also means drop in fluid and salt intake - aim for about 3 litres a day of plain water, and eat plenty of moist foods such as soups and produce.

5) Sugar crashes, particularly if there are a few processed foods in your diet. Focus on as low GI as possible (ie, all wholegrains, veg, fruit and dairy with decent portions of lean protein and small amounts of fat throughout the day)

Hope this helps. If not, then go back to 2000 cals of healthy foods and see how you feel. If you're still not right then see dr and make sure you're not anaemic or ill! x

JodieHarsh Wed 17-Aug-11 11:56:55

Thank you both for this - greatly appreciated!

I am over 5' 8" and quite heavy 'for my size' if you see what I mean (ie I weigh about 2 stone more than other people with my measurements) so I guess it's possible that I simply need more cals. Difficult, because myfitnesspal only allocated 1200 if you want to lose 2lb a week, and doesn't disintinguish between strapping lasses like me, and little petite creatures...

I am loath to increase my allowance if I can possibly keep this up (I need to drop a lot of weight pretty quickly for various reasons, not all of them shallow!), but at the same time I won't sustain it if I keep feeling woozy. Great advice on sugar crashes and well-spaced out meals...I have noticed that it's when I'm at work I feel most faint, and that's when I tend to have to snack on whatever I can grab as opposed to eating my usual diet of butter bean this and puy lentil that...

anyway, thanks very much. I will see how I do, and if all else fails add another 200 cals and see what happens.

foreverondiet Wed 17-Aug-11 22:59:27

I think for someone who is 5 8 and overweight that 1200 is quite low TBH, why not aim for 1300 or 1400, yes weight loss might be slower, but probably heathier. And agree with what smash says, make sure all calories are nutritious.

Plan your work snacks and take with you.

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