Nutrition Articles

Nutrition FAQs

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Is it a problem to eat less than my recommended calories each day?

Strange as it sounds, going too low on calories is a common cause of getting stuck at your current weight despite dieting. Your body is designed to protect you from starvation during times of greatly reduced food availability, and when you eat too little, your body thinks it’s starving. To compensate, your metabolism will slow down considerably, making it very difficult (or impossible) for you to lose weight. In this state, your body will preferentially burn everything but your stored body fat. Eating to little poses other problems, such as nutritional deficiencies. On top of that, if you later eat more calories, your body is more likely to store these calories as fat, in preparation for a possible "famine" again in the future.

Your best bet is to aim for a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week through combining a moderate calorie reduction with increased calorie expenditure through exercise. If all the info you entered during your program set-up is accurate, the recommended calorie range you received should be what you need to accomplish this healthy rate of weight loss.

Some people have problems eating enough calories when they go too low on fats—especially by always choosing low-fat or non-fat versions of common foods. So try to find some good sources of "healthy fats" (the monounsaturated fat in nuts, olive and canola oils, avocados, etc.), and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like flaxseed, salmon, or tuna. Read SparkPeople’s Nutrition Reference Guide: Fats and Oils for more information on including healthy fats into your diet.

Are diet pills safe and will they help me lose weight?

Sometimes these pills claim amazing results that sound too good to be true—and that's because they are. There is no "magic pill" that works. Think about it—if there really was one pill that people could take and see amazing results quickly, and with little to no effort, everyone in the world would know about it and probably use it.

Don't waste your money.

Some diet pills work because they usually contain stimulants, such as high doses of caffeine, which speed up your metabolism, making it easier for you to lose weight. These can be addictive, and cause serious health problems such as heart problems, medication interactions, and even death. In addition, as soon as you stop taking them, you’ll likely put all the weight you lost back on.
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Member Comments

  • learn more about sodium intake and sodium food guide or food chart - 4/28/2016 6:18:34 AM
  • Help I just found out I have high cholesterol and I am not sure what I can eat or do to get it lower. I hear conflicting reports on eggs and I like eggs in the morning with turkey bacon. I guess I need to make a list of the can/can't things to eat.
    Thanks for the help. - 4/26/2016 12:27:23 PM
  • what can I add to water instead of drinking straight water all the time: - 3/21/2016 2:06:07 PM
  • ALLENC37
    Diadetes help
    - 3/13/2016 5:15:49 PM
  • I am trying to eat more fiber and have started to eat a tossed salad every day. But I notice that on my nutrition page I list a cup of tossed salad and It counts it as zero fiber.
    - 2/27/2016 6:51:19 PM
  • LOSTNAME
    Slow eating: putting down my eating utensils between bites, no shoveling food.
    Chewing & no more food until food is swallowed.
    I am working on my goal weight with sparks people, the 20 more pounds
    So far in total weight I have given away 50 pounds
    I don't say lost weight because lost means you want it back instead I say given away - 2/11/2016 11:25:04 AM
  • POTSIEP
    Can someone tell me how to estimate nutrition information when making casseroles? - 11/19/2015 6:50:24 PM
  • EAWOODS63
    I am new to the program and have a question about food portions. Is there somewhere on the site where you can get portion infor, e.g. baked chicken breast is listed as 0.5 bone skin removed - is this 0.5 lb and not 0.5 oz? Same with tuna don't understand how much i can have in one serving. Is there a chart that lists the portions and where do i find it??? Thanks - 11/10/2015 5:09:35 PM
  • MEASHA2
    I joined the 30 fit food but when I try to put it into my tracker the food does not come up.
    How do I keep track. Please Help. and thank you - 6/3/2015 9:38:34 AM
  • CLAY10237
    Diverticulitis is an acute, painful condition requiring immediate medical attention. Do you mean diverticulosis? Avoiding corn and a lot of really coarse fiber helps. Check out WebMD.com for more ideas. - 5/15/2015 7:15:40 PM
  • CACTUSMAN10
    Becky could you please get ahold of me

    Thanks - 4/9/2015 12:41:19 AM
  • SUNFLOWER17751
    I love eggs and like to have them scrambled or hard-boiled. Why do they have to have so much fat calories. I don't like not having the yolk. - 2/12/2015 12:10:37 PM
  • MCCARTHYDONNA
    Hi , Iam new and havr question i have Diverticulitis can you suggests a meal plan for me i can have seeds,corn,berrie
    s,popcon,pine
    applles,grapefruits? I am hoping you can help! thanks Donna - 2/1/2015 9:20:14 PM
  • MAXINECHARLIE
    I'm using gun clean shake. Can I add more than 8oz of water or milk to my shake? - 9/12/2014 10:42:59 PM

  • People are asking what to eat to feel "full". I HATE to feel full. I like to feel comfortable. so why am I overweight? I don't have the slightest idea. - 8/27/2014 3:41:48 PM

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