Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables! I stopped seeing vegetables as a side dish, and started to see them as the main starting point for every meal I ate. That helped me cut down a lot.
Still though, it's hard for me to eatI can eat 1200 calories a day if I am very careful. However, it's hard for me to eat that few calories if I'm eating fat. I think that fat is healthy for our diets, and include nuts, avocados, seeds and olive oil in order to incorporate fat.
For example, I can steam my onions and peppers in water to cook them, or I can saute them in 1 tsp of olive oil. I can have a salad with only vegetables, or I can add nuts to it. I can eat an egg white omelette, or I can use whole eggs. Those little differences are what make the difference between 1200 and 1500 calories in my diet.
When I was exercising a lot (biking 25+ miles a day... I biked to work and back each day 5 days a week), and working a fairly active job (nannying) I found it impossible to feel satisfied on less than 1800 calories. Activity level really does make a difference.
I am a 58 year old woman, weigh over 200 pounds. My goal is to eat between 1200 and 1500 calories in a day. (Remember I am older so my metabolism requires fewer calories.) I am managing a moderate 1-2 pound weight loss per week. I exercise at least 300 minutes a week now (up from 150 minutes a week last month.)
1200 calories is very do-able if you are eating the right kind of calories. Eat only whole grains, skip the refined stuff. Reduce your meat to only a few times per week, and watch the portions carefully when you do eat meat. (Americans eat as much in one sitting as they need to eat in one week.) Avoid empty calories such as in things with refined sugar, and alcohol. Avoid unnecessary fats.
I wouldn't change anything at all. I have lost 140 lbs, and averaged less than 1 lb a week, because every time I cut back, I felt hungry, and got off plan.
While it sound good to say, cut 250 calories, and lose another 1/2 lb, it never works out that way. You should never mess with what is working. I know that at 24, you have little patience, to just wait, and continue with what is working, but I would guess that a majority of people who " tweak " their plans, fail. Losing a lb a week is something that is very rare over time. It just doesn't happen very often, and you should be happy, and patient.
I know this it isn't the answer you want to hear, but it is the best answer. You may choose to add exercise in the pool, which may speed up weight loss some, but otherwise, I would just be happy with 178 lbs in a year, and 165 in 18 months.
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Fitness Minutes: (60)
10 7/4/13 10:10 P
Good point thanks!
Fitness Minutes: (31,997)
7/4/13 9:04 P
I would be careful of going that low unless that is what you want to live on. My sister went down to 1200 (not due to medical condition) to lose weight. The weight came back and now if she eats over 1200 calories she gains weight. You are making a life change. To be healthier.
"It's not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you're not." Denis Waitley
Fitness Minutes: (60)
10 7/4/13 8:45 P
Okay thanks for that!
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 7/4/13 7:46 P
I am a larger, taller and much more active person than you are. I am almost always between 1200-1300 calories/day. Well, not yesterday, because I exercised for 5 1/2 hours and needed an extra snack and more dinner than usual...but I am in that range probably 98% of the time. I have been doing this for a couple of years and am not malnourished.
It isn't a choice in my case. I have an extremely slow metabolism due to medical problems. If I want to lose weight, this is where I have to be.
The point is that it can be done and it can be healthy--you just have to be careful about the foods that you choose and spend your calories on real foods that are going to be filling and give you vitamins. I don't eat junk food, I don't eat fast food, I rarely eat bread and I avoid most things that are processed. I eat a lot of veggies, a lot of protein and minimal fruit. I try to get my carbs from things like beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes and berries instead of from sugar and white flour.
I think that 1400 is probably pretty reasonable for you. If you did that along with increasing your exercise (30 minutes is really not very much) you would see better results.
P.S. I meant to add that I don't often feel deprived or hungry. If you have enough protein, fiber and liquid in your diet, it is possible to go to a lower calorie range without being miserable.
It seems like you have a really healthy attitude toward weight loss and recognize that "slow progress is good progress". I think you *could* cut down to 1200 if you were less active, but with your activity level I wouldn't recommend it. My other worrys is that, ideally, we're creating a lifestyle. Yeah, you could probably get by on a low calorie diet for a year or so but then what? Are you willing to commit the rest of your life to eating 1,200 calories a day? I know I'm not. I eat between 1,500 and 1,880 a day, am pretty active, and am losing about 4 pounds a month. It's slow, but I KNOW I can live the rest of my life this way. I'd rather go slow and keep the weight off than rush it and gain it back.
Fitness Minutes: (15,946)
1,078 7/4/13 9:29 A
It also depends on how active you are; the more activity you are doing, the more fuel your body needs for it. You don't want to be eating 1200 calories if you're burning off a good chunk of them through exercise.
7/4/13 5:42 A
I'm also 5'2" and began my journey to wellness at nearly 200 (a round 190). I've been at it since just after Christmas, 2011.
While I'm nearly twice your age; the point I make is that while I've had times of slow down/maintenance level scale readings - I'm learning to make wise choices, and my menu has been developing and progressing toward something I'm more comfortable with, for the duration, and not a quick fix, so I can go back to another way of eating (like some do - not saying you are one).
So, my encouragement is to keep up the good work, and make good choices. I'd say 1400 is probably about my average, as well, especially now. Not saying there are days of higher or lower amounts, but that's a general average number.
Fitness Minutes: (60)
10 7/4/13 2:39 A
This tip of trying 1400 sounds good to me. I will try it! Thanks for the advice!
Fitness Minutes: (60)
10 7/4/13 2:38 A
Thanks for this reply! I appreciate this :) I guess I'm going to have to count the costs of indulging vs. keeping my eating clean!
7/4/13 2:31 A
I'm older (48) taller (5' 6") and with a higher starting weight (245), I have a desk job and even though i'm more active these days, I was really very sedentary when I started.
For a good long while, I kept my calorie intake near 1200 on most days. Some days higher. It would work out that my 7-day-average always came out around 1350.
I have been losing an average of 2# per week. I know it will slow down now, or soon, but I did have a good long run.
I have not felt underfed or malnourished. BUT I am very careful to make sure that my 1200 calories are QUALITY calories. I pay close attention to making sure I get enough protein, and lots and lots of veg and fruit, and virtually no "junk food." I have naturally gravitated towards more-protein-less-carbs because I feel fuller/more satisfied that way (at the beginning, I ate more carbs and constantly had trouble meeting my minimum protein requirement... but over time I've managed to shift this around, and feel better for it).
Lately I have been eating more, my 7 day average is more like 1450/day. But that is probably reflective of the fact that I'm more active now. I continue to lose at an acceptable pace.
You don't have to make too many big changes to drop from 1600 to 1400 or 1200. Knock off one ounce of meat from your dinner, cut your butter from a tablespoon to a teaspoon, have a half cup of rice instead of a full cup and make up the balance with veg... little tweaks that you barely notice, but add up over a day. And you don't need to keep to 1200 every day, either. In fact, if you are at all active, you probably shouldn't - 1200 is the "bare minimum" for providing adequate nutrition for a sedentary person.
You can try it, but if you DO start to feel like you are too hungry and deprived, then go back to what you're doing now. What you are doing now is WORKING, so, don't feel you need to change it. The weight will come off; a few weeks here or there makes no difference in the long run, and is a fair price to pay to keep your sanity :)
Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE** Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE** Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)
It's absolutely possible, but it's not really necessary. If you go down to 1200, you have to plan EVERYTHING in advance to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need, and there's no wiggle room for sugar or white flour or any other type of junk food.
At 5'2" and over 200, you're looking at a year to 18 months to get to your goal. Cutting down to 1200 now is only going to speed that up by a month or so, and it's likely to be very uncomfortable. You have to think about yourself, your own tolerance for discomfort and how much time and effort you're willing to put into planning. Balance the value of losing a little faster against the possibility that being uncomfortable would make you quit.
A good compromise might be to split the difference. Think about using 1400 as your target, and see how that feels. If you can deal with that, you might slowly decrease down to 1200 and see how that works. If 1400 is really uncomfortable and it makes you want to quit, go back up to 1600.
Fitness Minutes: (60)
10 7/4/13 2:12 A
I'm 24, 5'2" female and I'm 204 lbs. I've been losing 1 lb a week by being moderately active and eating approx 1600 calories a day. I know that slow progress is good progress, but I feel that at my weight 2 lbs would be better. I go to school and have two jobs so my workouts are usually short but effective, and I also plan on making use of my college's pool at some point. For now, I try to at least get 30 minutes of some time of activity a day.
What I want to know is anyone with a similar health profile has been able to successfully eat 1200-1300 calories without feeling undernourished and/or deprived. I like salad, veggie burgers, and oatmeal but I still haven't been able to stick to such a low calorie amount.
Anyone have any thoughts or tips? I would appreciate any input :)
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