HOw many calories is TOO LITTLE?

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Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 21

Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 12:53
What do you think that magic low number is? Where does your body decide you are starving and slow down your metabolism? And what tricks to you know to keep your metabolism going strong???? Just need input....

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 13:05
When I hit a plateau a couple months back, I opted to mix high and low cal days instead of dropping my daily calories and it has worked well. I've read that your metabolism starts to adjust after 3 days, so I figure if I throw in a higher cal day every 3-4 days, it will keep my body confused and hopefully my metabolism running strong. To give you an idea of numbers, I'm 5'8", 170 and exercise 5-6 days a week and I shoot to average in the 1700s by eating at 1500-1600 on the low days and just over 2,000 on the high days. Just in looking at my own data, I have found I do better when I eat more and exercise more that I do when I eat and exercise less, even when the deficits are the same. Weird, huh?
- Natalie

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 31

Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 13:27
I don't really do this on purpose, but I feel it keeps me moving downward. Generally on the weekend, I don't eat quite as good, or I don't workout quite as much. I think this keeps my metabolism moving because it is almost a shock to my system. I definately do not go overboard on calories or anything but they are probably 200-400 more than during the week. Almost like the "spike diet" only not as controlled. 1200 calories is always the magic number I've heard else where on minimum calories though! Just my thoughts!
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." ~Thomas A. Edison


Joined: May 10
Posts: 578

Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 17:24
Generally 1200 calories per day is considered basal metabolism. However, if you're insulin-resistant you may have to up that number a little. You can tell if you're not eating enough when you lose rather rapidly for a few days and then plateau for a long time.

I found that I had to increase my minimum to 1400 calories per day.

You can't compensate by eating way too little one day and then eating a lot the next day. Too little food moves your metabolic set point, and you want to keep your metabolism burning at a high level every day.

Joined: Jun 11
Posts: 443

Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 17:52
I firmly believe that if one is eating the right foods then hunger will be your best guide to how much food you should be eating.

"Eat as if your life depends on it!"

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

Posted: 30 Nov 2011, 19:42
There's no magic number that is right for everybody. A better measure of what's too low FOR YOU is to estimate what you're burning with exercise every day. I wouldn't necessarily go with what FS calculates but there are other sites like WebMD that can give you an idea of what you're burning each day. Subtract 1,000 calories & use that as the lower limit of your range.

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
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Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 21

Posted: 02 Dec 2011, 08:30
Thanks guys for all your input! I am probably not eating enough calories, but I am not hungry.... My schedule is just too busy to do more excercise, wish I could fit it in.....

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