The lower limit is about nutrition, not about calories. In general, women are discouraged from going under 1200 calories because that's the amount of food it takes to have a good chance at meeting a woman's minimum needs for nutrients like fiber, calcium, protein, vitamins, and so on.
For today, if you're satisfied, don't worry about it. There's really no significant difference between 1165 and 1200; those 35 calories aren't going to make or break anything. You've done a good job just by finding foods that will fill you up within your calorie range, and you don't need to get everything exactly perfect your first day.
In the future, if you find yourself 100 calories or more below your minimum, look at your nutrients and see whether you *need* something else. For example, if you're significantly below your requirements for protein and calcium, you might have a glass of milk or a cup of homemade cocoa. If you're a little low on fiber, you could have a little dish of frozen berries. It's all about what your body needs in order to be healthy. It doesn't make sense to eat a cookie just to hit your calorie target, but it does make sense to eat something that will provide missing nutrients (especially if you're frequently below your target for those specific nutrients.)
Now and again, it's okay to go under. But if this is a pattern, you can undereat, and damage your metabolism in the long run by shortchanging your body's nutritional needs.
Frankly, trusting hunger to tell us when to eat doesn't work for many of us. That's how we got here! our bodies sometimes swing the opposite way, too, and our appetite can be suppressed by many factors other than "our needs being met."
You don't have your trackers shared, so I can't comment on whether or not you need to eat more. I don't see any reason to force yourself to eat more right now, but keep in mind that if this becomes a habit, you need to be more diligent. It can even be something as simple as whole milk instead of skim, a tablespoon of peanut butter, adding avocado to a sandwich, or something like that. You don't have to add a lot of bulk; the main thing is choosing smart. Maybe have a glass of milk before bed, if you can... that is one way to boost calories without filling up.
Heather Writer, mother, wife, and breadwinner. I love to run, but running doesn't love me, so I'm switching to my low-impact bike.
I've been on and off this site for over 5 years now. Just starting back up today. Maybe being active on the message boards will help me with sticking to it long term. So I reset all my trackers and goals today and have finished my dinner and am full! But I'm still only at 1165 cals for the day about 250 cals under what it's telling me to eat today. I know i've tracked correctly. I've measured all my food and even remembered the margarine (I ALWAYS forgot to track that before). What should I do? Do I stop eating because I'm content with how much I've eaten today or do I eat something else later to make sure I meet the bottom range of my cals for the day?
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