correct, i was speaking about the 1000 cal deficit being too much. i sometimes go on with the theme in my head and fail to properly clarify. or use proper pronouns, but that's another story and entirely off topic. if you were much larger/had more to lose, you would have more room to play around. and 400 cals isn't too bad a spread if spark is a low end and the other is a high end. especially as these numbers are approximations and have to account for those who run high and those who run low.
for your size, 1000 cals a day is probably getting to be too much. because you have to eat more than a certain minimum number [depends based on you and your activity there isn't a magic minimum for everyone], while still creating a deficit. the closer you get to the size you need to be, the smaller this window is. when i google maintenance calories and plug in numbers i get pretty close answers [give or take about 200 cals]. how far off are you getting?
I never eat less than 1200 and I track a lot of nutrients on the tracker (carbs, vitamins, fat, protein, sodium, a bunch of vitamins, fiber etc) and I try to always stay in range. Some are easier to get than others, but when I'm too low I might take a vitamin or something to boost it up.
I'm just always confused about how many calories to eat when I work out. I do mostly strength training two times a week with some light cardio (gotta work about that). I try to eat more on work out days, but different sources that I've found use different formulas and give me different maintenance levels. Strength training is also very difficult to track in terms of calories.
I know Spark makes all these calculations and stuff, but I've been wanting to verify it with another source, just in case. Spark is great, I just wish it was a bit more personalized. I understand why it can't be though. And I can't complain.
The max healthy calorie deficit is 1000 calories a day, give or take, right? What's an excessive calorie deficit?
I don't want to stall my weight loss by eating too much or too little, or hurt myself in the process because of a misconception.
I try to eat depending on the activity level of the day. On pretty sedentary days I stay in the 1300s (very occasionally in the 1200s). Strength training days I aim for the 1400s. And I was planning on eating in the 1400s-1600s when I do cardio (depending on the intensity). I'm trying to aim for a 750-1000 calorie deficit a day. To result in 1.5-2 pounds a week (That of course, is ideally. Wouldn't everything be so wonderful if it worked out how we planned it?)
Well firstly, as I suspect you are implying, there is no magic switch at exactly 1200 calories. :)
However, for most average women, 1200 calories worth of a healthful diet is providing sufficient vitamins, minerals, carbs and protein, fats, antioxidants and fluids to sufficiently meet the body's needs.
It is difficult to get enough "nutrients" at less than 1200 calories a day, even though energy requirements (as per calculations of BMR etc) may work out to a figure showing less is okay.
Health is not just about calories - the body needs all types of foods to provide all types of health. Skin and hair, fingernails, vitality, even possibly fresh breath (I know you get bad breath with ketosis, for example).
The 1200 figure is an average and it's not to mean that every single woman is going to do major damage to her body if she eats only 1,150 calories on just one day. But a diet that is consistently below around 1200 calories is going to be deficient in nutrients and vitamins etc. It has to be.
Now, as for calorie deficits that are too big, when the body cannot provide sufficient energy to meet needs from what has been eaten, it turns to stores (your body fat). However, a body is a calorie-expensive thing to maintain. Muscle, in particular, takes a lot of calories to maintain on the body. If the body is consistently getting a LOT fewer calories that it is spending, it will naturally attempt to decrease its needs by reducing muscle mass. It also harvests bone and organs - literally eating itself. Anorexics suffer this at the extreme end of it by eating virtually nothing and some of them work out a lot too. Their bodies become so damaged that, quite literally, they die. It's not quite starvation, it's also failure of major body organs.
As you can see, maintaining a very high calorie deficit, or consistently eating below "around" 1200 calories, can have some negative effects on the body. But nothing is certain, and nothing is instantaneous. Like slow and healthy weight loss, it's the pattern of trends that is going to do the harm, not individual instances where goals weren't met.
I think I read somewhere that if you consistently eat under 1200 (one day might not hurt) your body will begin to take nutrients from muscle which defeats our effort as muscle helps us burn calories faster, even in a resting state. What I don't understand is if the nutrition values we use to track calories are based on a 2,000 cal diet, are we tracking accurately if we're on a 1200 cal diet?