If it happening frequently then seeing your doctor and a nutritionist/dietian might be ideal to help you set a healthy personalized calorie goal and perhaps get some suggestions on managing the no-appetite days.
It sounds like you could really benefit by planning your meals out a few days ahead of time. You might want to start by using a meal planning program like the one Sparkpeople offers - to make sure you are meeting not only your caloric goals but your goals for macronutrients as well. This will also help you cut out the "garbage".
If you have no appetite for a prolonged period you may want to see a health professional and determine if there's an underlying problem - it could be as simple as a vitamin deficiency.
Thanks for the advice everyone. It is a pretty often occurrence (several times a week) that I don't feel like eating. But then on the other days I'll eat complete garbage. I have very erratic eating patterns. I think that it probably has done damage to my metabolism because when I just follow my whims and eat as little as I want, I don't lose weight. Thanks for the tip about depression; I have had issues with that in the past. Perhaps that is what's going on here.
Yesterday was a prime example of not wanting to eat, but because of this thread, I measured out my food and forced myself to eat 1400 calories anyway. I will try the force eating thing for a few months and see if I gain or lose.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,666 7/10/13 11:36 A
Here's my question:
How well has listening to your body worked for you in the past?
I don't say that to be mean, or flippant; those of us who are overweight really can't trust our bodies to tell us when we should or shouldn't eat. It's a common problem for those losing weight to lose their appetite because they've gone a long time eating poor-quality foods.
You DO need to eat at least your minimums (1200 is a minimum safety for nutrition purposes - you may actually need more than that depending on your body's individual needs) because if you don't, you will shortchange your body's nutritional needs, and slow your metabolism over time. Long enough undereating, you can cause lasting, difficult to reverse damage. It certainly won't speed the process or make it easier:
I'm in the same boat as you, where sometimes, depending on the meals I've had in a day, I'm at 950-ish calories and I'm just not hungry for anything else - and I'm on or pretty close to my targets for carbs, fats, and protein.
I really think it's fine as long as you're averaging at least 1200 calories every few days. I wish that Sparkpeople had a "weekly" nutrition report in addition to the daily report... I just estimate but you could pull out a calculator if you think you're averaging particularly low.
Are you losing weight when you skip calories, or just eating them later when you get hungry?
Weight loss should be easy. You pre-plan your day, and you shouldn't be full, or starving. Just eat what is on your tracker, and lose weight, as long as you do the exercise you had planned.
If you skip 100 calories at each of your 4 meals, I seriously doubt you got to 250 calories eaten, and said " No More! I can't eat another bite!! " 350 calories is only a few mouthfuls, and the extra 100 calories can be an oz of nuts, or cheese.
Whatever you choose to eat, you do need to stick to it on most days. Then if you eat 1400, and are losing 1 lb a week, but think you want more calories, you can just add 250 calories, and lose 1/2 a lb a week instead. If the calories are all over the place, or if you are tracking afterwards, odds are you have no idea of what your average is, and probably missed some calories you did eat.
It is so much easier to plan your day, and just eat exactly what you planned. If you do this, you will lose,provided you entered the correct info. Your only concern after that is cheat meals, which shouldn't be an issue if you aren't hungry, and are losing steadily on too few calories.
Sometimes my body, my brain & my tummy LIE to me! And I think it is easy to undereat at times like when we don't feel well with a cold & have a loss of appetite, or it's super hot, or we're super busy & forget or just run out of time.
Will a day undereating hurt us? likely not a big deal, but if we are consistently undereating an losing too quickly, it can be harmful for our body, leading to things like gallstones, or sub-nutrition the body needs to keep knitting itself together well.
oh, 1 other thing puts me at risk of undereating... when I start eating extra freggies like in the summer when they are so fabulous... they are not as calorie dense as other foods... think you can eat a huge salad for the same cals as a pack of m&m!
so this is where I think the nutrition tracker can be helpful. To see if we are getting enough to eat, to see if we are getting enough protein or healthy fats or even enough carbs from whole grains & freggies... and then we can adjust despite what our body might be saying that day...
jmo, this has helped me because I had totally squirrely eating patterns, but a bit the other way... I'd rather eat 95% sweets and that's always way more than I need... kind of the other end of the problem, but when I start trying to figure out what I need to eat to lose weight, then I have to do some of the same checking in the tracker because my body, brain and tummy definitely LIE to me! LOL
gl, hope this helps :)
Fitness Minutes: (33,526)
22,037 7/9/13 7:48 P
Hi NSMANN - if this continues to happen and you find it really difficult to up your calories and appetite, then you may benefit from an appointment with your Dr to see if there is something medical going on. Stress/Depression can cause this also. My mother refused to each much for a long time, claiming she wasn't hungry so didn't need it. She claimed she wasn't 'depressed'. I mentioned it at an appointment and they did a Depression Assessment on her, and in fact she WAS - moderate/severe. After appropriate treatment her appetite is back to normal, and she is eating well again. She just never realized she was in that state! As a result of her eating properly now, some of her other health issues have resolved, too!
For inspiration, track other nutrients, like fiber, and vitamins and minerals (especially calcium, which is necessary for us to metabolize fat into energy), and try to eat nutrient rich foods that will provide your body with those particular nutrients. Spinach is always a good fall back, but kale is really in fashion right now.
Also, it's good to eat something for breakfast, because digestion of breakfast will get your metabolism going, which will burn more calories. When we don't eat, our metabolism slows down, and we won't lose as efficiently. Your not being hungry could be a sign that your metabolism isn't revved up.
how often do these under 1000 cal days happen? if you're talking about something that happens at most every other week, it's likely fine to have that one off sort of thing and not fuss over it. if it's happening more often then that you should work on increasing portions a little bit and/or eating more calorie dense foods to help alleviate the problem. the only other exception would be if you have an unusual sort of sleep schedule [ie you work nights, but work two on, two off] and those really low days are days where you aren't actually awake very much. then it's fine to go below on that short day provided you're making up the calories on those days where you are up more because of your weird schedule.
I would say add some higher calorie foods to your diets, so when you do eat, you are getting in your calories. Not fast foods or things like that, but whole grain pasta, crackers, yougurt, things like that.
You don't need to force to the 1400, but you should never go below 1200. your body simply needs 1200 cals a day to "run" correctly.
If you do ever have to go below 1000, you should check with a certified nutrition expert (I never remember if nutritionist is the one who has the degree, or if they are the ones who can just call themselves that) to make sure the minimum needs of your body are being met.
I am about to start a new calorie restricted diet, and according to an online calculator I should be eating 1400 calories per day for weight loss (I'm 5'4", 170 lbs, sedentary, woman). My question is about appetite. If I'm just eating whenever I get hungry and no more, there are often times where I just don't feel like eating that much that day, and my calories dip under less than 1000. My question is should I force myself to eat the 1400 or as close to it as I can every single day, or if I don't feel like eating should I listen to my body and let myself dip below that?
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