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RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/21/13 1:09 P

Eating too little will slow down your metabolism, and can eventually cause weight gain, however that is after you resume eating more calories again. While you are eating say 900 calories, you will lose weight. You don't stop losing due to too few calories, you just make it easier to gain weight after you resume your regular diet. People fast and lose weight all the time. Less calories will lead to more weight loss. It seems that people are confused as to what is meant by "starvation mode ".

I ate 1 meal a day the summer after I graduated, probably less than 500 calories a day. I went from 317 to 183 in one summer. Weight loss will happen if you cut out calories. The slowing of your metabolism hurts you when you resume eating say 1600 calories, and now are burning 1100 a day, instead of 1250 a day. You don't use that extra 150 calories. So now you resume gaining a lb a week like you did before the diet, but add an extra 1 lb every 24 days ( 150 X 24 = 3600 calories ). You are re-gaining weight faster after you starve yourself.

If you are eating 900 calories, and burning 450 a day through exercise, then you will lose weight. We all burn more than 900 calories even if sedentary. Our metabolisms don't slow down THAT much.

I just wanted to point that out. It seems that many people are using " starvation mode " as the reason they are not losing, when it is something else entirely. So they aren't bothering to take a second look at their diet, and find what the real problem is. If eating less caused us to maintain weight, then fasting and anorexia would not cause weight loss.

To the OP: 104 at your height is a BMI of 19.0. I am not sure if this is healthy or not, but is very light. I would consider that it might be a goal to lift weights, and firm up, instead of become skinnier. Changing the composition of your body might give you the results you are looking for, while dropping 15 lbs. might not, and if not, then you can't safely lose MORE weight, so what do you do then? I have been 180 while lifting weights, and playing sports for hours a day, and 180 when I finished starving myself for 4 months, and losing 134 lbs, and I didn't look the same at all. In the first scenario, I had abs showing, and was muscular. After losing weight to achieve 180, I still had flab around my stomach, and no muscle. I had a 34" waist, but still looked fat without a shirt.

If you still decide to lose the 15, I would suggest that you pre-plan your diet, so you know what you are going to eat when you wake up, and click on your tracker. That way you never get to dinner, and find yourself 1000 calories short. At this point, just eat a regular dinner, and plan tomorrow. One day low on calories won't make a difference in the long run.

MEG-NATALIA07 Posts: 679
7/21/13 12:26 P

I think you are burning too much and eating too little. Your body has stalled in weightloss and is hanging onto every gram of fat it can. If I were you I would take a few days a week to rest and relax instead of walking and see if in a couple weeks your weightloss is back on. You still might need to add calories for nutrition, but that would be my advise.

7/21/13 11:38 A

I don't really have anything to add, the advice given below seems great. I just wanted to wish you good luck with it all. I hope you enjoy those extra calories and they bring you the health and vitality you deserve.

WINKUMS11 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (37,343)
Posts: 44
7/21/13 10:02 A

thank you Jenni I appreciate your help. As you probablly have guessed I have some eating issues and am trying to be healthy. I really appreciate your advice and I will try. would you mind checking in every once in a while to help me be accountable? I hope you have a blessed day!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
7/21/13 9:41 A

with so little weight to lose, you're looking at eating about 250 cals less [tops] a day than what you need to maintain. two pounds per week isn't reasonable for someone your size and with your activity level. one pound per week isn't reasonable for someone your size with your activity level. you need to be eating very close to where you would maintain.

EIRENA SparkPoints: (13,172)
Fitness Minutes: (16,600)
Posts: 33
7/21/13 8:38 A

Math aside you could do what I did. See, every person is different, so is their metabolism and calories suggested are just that, suggested. What you could do is eat as much healthy food as you can handle between 1200 and 2200 for a month, check the average consumed in the reports section, check how much weight you've lost then.. well, do some simple math to see how your body responds to calories. Say you lost 3 pounds during that month, and the average calories consumed was 1500, it means that you were burning roughly 0.75 pounds a week which is within the healthy range of weight loss, this means your best chance is to keep your calories around 1500. If you see yourself burning more than 2 pounds a week, it means you should increase calories consumed and go for 1800-2000. If you are burning less than half a pound a week, you might want to stay around 1200-1300 calories.

Alternatively, have the website calculate your calories at a sedentary or lightly active rate and add your activities to your fitness tracker and eat at the top range of what the site suggests (if it suggests 1500-1800 eat mostly around 1800 for example.) then same rule applies: judge your future calories according to your weight loss within a month.

Edited by: EIRENA at: 7/21/2013 (08:43)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
7/21/13 7:40 A

I have similar stats to you, 5'2 and 119 lbs although my goals are slightly different. I don't want to weigh 104 lbs at our height! I got to 107 lbs and looked like Skeletor. My doctor told me I needed to put weight back on and I should weigh around 115 lbs. My goals now revolve around body composition. When you are already a healthy weight body composition is *far* more important in how you look than weight. I gained weight, almost 15 lbs but I still wear the same size 1 I wore at 107 lbs because I gained muscle through strength training (muscle takes up less room than fat, makes you appear tighter and less jiggly). I did have decent muscle tone even at 107 lbs but I still had my problem areas (mainly my belly) and lost fat from areas I'd rather not lose it. I honestly cannot tell much of a difference in how I look now compared to 107 lbs except I put weight on in areas I needed it (my flat butt and boobs) and my stomach looks flatter and less pot-belly-ish. My clothes still fit exactly the same, I'm just filling them out better.

Anyways, I'm not near as busy as you are as an RN. I'm a SAHM but I am fairly active around the house and do a lot of walks with my kids on top of an intense exercise program. I definitely wouldn't be "sedentary" like Spark considered me before they added the new feature. I followed the old Spark tracker most of my weight loss which usually gave me the standard cal range of 1200-1550. For the most part I ate around 1400 cals while losing weight. I lost around 25 lbs and then lost my cycle for the next 5 months following that calorie range. I also found I lost weight on the faster side. It wasn't until I started eating around Spark's suggested maintenance and then more to gain weight that it returned.

I changed to the new feature the other day and put myself as "lightly active" and now on my exercise days Spark wants me to eat in my old maintenance range of 1600-2000 cals. Which yes, I am (just like you) having a hard time wrapping my head around that if I eat that much I'll continue to lose (which isn't a huge concern of mine as like I said, I'm working on body comp. over losing scale weight). It is a concern of mine to have an accurate calorie range for maintenance but of course maintenance is a tricky thing to get an accurate calculation on and requires a bit of experimenting.

Since I'm not in a race to lose any weight and am quite happy to maintain at this moment. I'm going to give my new range a try. See what happens. I do suspect that considering I lost my period and was losing weight quicker than my old deficit suggested on a 1400 cals diet that this new range may be more accurate for me. So if 1400 cals was too low for me and you're more active than I am... I don't think you should have much to worry about eating around 1500 cals and more to lose weight.

Honestly though and I have a tendency to preach at any other woman I see who is trying to reach a low weight, don't do it!!!! You will still have your problem areas. The only way to get rid of those areas is to focus on ST and lifting heavy to muscle fatigue. When you are already a healthy weight, this is far more important. Your body fat percentage, not scale weight. Trying to rid myself of problem areas by losing more weight only led to me losing fat from areas I'd rather not and holding on to my problem areas. Focus on body fat percentage and toss your scale.

I love this blog! She inspired me to do the same:

And please take the time to read this article as well:

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/21/2013 (07:57)
SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,762)
Fitness Minutes: (41,586)
Posts: 27,289
7/21/13 3:15 A

You BMI is already in the mid-healthy range, and losing to the weight you want to will put it in the very low end of healthy. Can I ask if there is a particular reason why you want to lose weight?

Certainly, what you have consumed so far is not enough to sustain an average weight sedentary woman - working the hours you do nursing on a Medical Ward and then doing the exercise on top of that would require a fair bit more than 1200 calories. I doubt if you would gain by eating around 1550 calories or even a bit more. Why not try it and see what happens? If you have only eaten the calories you have because you feel full, perhaps you could include some nuts and avocado and some other energy dense foods into the mix.

Good luck,

7/21/13 12:15 A

Completely clear your fitness goals. If you have goals set in the fitness tracker, your nutrition tracker includes the calories you intend to burn in its calculations, whether or not you actually do the exercise you plan.

HARVESTER54 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (13,278)
Posts: 308
7/20/13 11:59 P

Oops, you are eating so little that you are slowing your metabolism down! Also,you cannot get the nutrients that your body needs. This site is set up for you to loose 1-2 pounds a week. That is a healthy way to loose weight. I have fond how ever, that I need to find a middle ground a little lower then this site recommends. I's and RN too. I think that my body is used to a high level of movement, so need to find that place where I am slowly but steadily loosing weight.

WINKUMS11 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (37,343)
Posts: 44
7/20/13 10:32 P

i just switched to new tracker setting, I'm 5'2 119 32 year old RN on a busy med floor. I walk average of 3.5 - 4 miles a day at work alone 4 days a week. I also either run 4 miles or do eliptical 5 days a week , my goal is to loose to 104 lbs. with this new system based on my burning 450 at gym this am on eliptical for 45 minutes and walking 3.36 miles today alone it is telling me my calories should be 1988 to 2338, yikes !!!!!!! I have only eaten 870 to 900 and its after dinner!!! I m thinking that this will make me gain weight. I know I need to eat more to loose but this seems a bit overboard. Any math genius out there willing to take a stab and see if this is close to what i need? thanks for any suggestions.

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