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SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,475)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,137
6/26/13 7:33 P

Generally, and unless supervised by a Registered Dietitian or a Dr with extra Dietetic qualifications, eating under 1200 calories per day makes it a lot harder to get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and deal with hiccups, like fighting infections or repairing miniscule little tears that you WILL sustain through exercise. UNDEReating can cause things like Osteoporosis, organ problems, like fogginess in thought processes because the brain doesn't get enough carbs to function, renal problems, skin problems (skin is the largest organ of the body.), It can cause things like fainting - particularly dangerous if you drive. These are just a very short list of negatives that can happen from under-eating.

If you do lots of exercise, then your body NEEDS more calories to accommodate the calories burned. It sounds counter-productive but ARCHIMEDESII has explained well the reasons.

Hope this helps.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
6/26/13 2:22 P

For the fitness minutes / calories burned, keep doing your normal workouts and tracking them in the tracker. At the end of the week, see how many calories you've burned. If this is going to be a standard week for you, then update your fitness goals to reflect the total weekly calories correctly (that 650 is just a guess that Spark starts with - you have to manually update it to what you really burn).

Once you've updated the goal to show what you normally do, then there might be a change in your calorie range (depending on how much weight you have to lose, how aggressive your goal date is, and how large the increase is in calories burned).

As has been very eloquently stated, you do have to eat to lose, so don't be freaked out if the change in your fitness goal results in an increase in your calorie range!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (199,935)
Fitness Minutes: (298,868)
Posts: 27,311
6/26/13 1:39 P

Why is undereating a bad thing ? As I mentioned in my previous post, the food you eat should nourish your body.

While it's true that most Americans eat too much and need to eat less, the problem is that they are eating too much of the wrong food and not enough of the right foods. Quality really does matter more than quantity. Too many times, Americans will drastically cut their caloric intake in order to speed up their weight loss.

People have done this for years. So, to now paraphrase, Dr Phil, "how's that working for ya ?" It's not. starving your body of the calories and nutrients it needs to function properly is the reason your weight loss can stall. Your body needs those calories to function properly. Eat too little and your body will compensate by slowing down your metabolic processes. I know this is going to sound strange, but a person has to eat in order to lose weight.

Let's say you do eat 1200 calories per day in an effort to lose one pound per week. Let's say you also workout for an hour and burn 500 calories with exercise. This means your body is only netting 700 calories for the entire day. that's not enough calories to sustain an adult women.

It's a very fine balance, but you really do have to eat in order to lose. Starving doesn't work and if you cut your calories too fast, that's what's going to happen i.e. your starve your body of the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

that's why I tell people to nourish their bodies with the food they eat.

VPIERCE570 SparkPoints: (2,256)
Fitness Minutes: (440)
Posts: 12
6/26/13 1:24 P

Thanks for the input. I think everyone answered my question. But slimmerkiwi, your response made me think of another question. I don't understand why undereating is as bad as overeating. Like yesterday I ate my 1200 calories, and went over my calories to burn in a week. It says I should burn 650 calories a week and I hit 670 (and its only Wednesday). Does that mean I'm not supposed to walk, etc for the rest of the week?? Why?

WARMSTRONG2 SparkPoints: (429,458)
Fitness Minutes: (150,051)
Posts: 15,628
6/26/13 10:44 A

It's more about what you eat than when. Sometimes I get stuck at a meeting that last until midnight and I am going to eat when I get home. I just don't over eat.

SUSANSEARCY SparkPoints: (13,697)
Fitness Minutes: (11,815)
Posts: 120
6/26/13 10:07 A

No matter what time it is, your body will process foods the same way. It is better to eat late than to under eat for the day. You might want to avoid snacks or drinks with tons of sugar or caffeine.

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (44,612)
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
Posts: 1,243
6/26/13 9:59 A

My boyfriend has classes every weeknight until 11:30pm, and he always has something to eat when he gets home. I make sure that I have enough cals allotted for then because I always want to snack with him. Usually I have some kind of fruit or carrots with PB and that tides me over until bed.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
Fitness Minutes: (23,835)
Posts: 827
6/26/13 7:21 A

If I go to bed hungry, I wake up during the night. If I don't get a good night's sleep, I am tired the next day and seem hungrier the next day. Then I want to snack on more junk food. Part of the problem with evening snacking, is it can be a lot of mindless snacking with lots of calories and not very healthy. Ice cream while watching tv, chips while on the computer.

If I have a snack around 7:30pm and am up until midnight (I usually go to be around 10) I would be hungry again and need a another snack before bed , since 4 1/2 hours had passed since my last meal.

ARCHIMEDESII's post does a good job explaining evening snacking.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (199,935)
Fitness Minutes: (298,868)
Posts: 27,311
6/26/13 4:46 A


I know there are some dietary experts who say that to lose weight, a person shouldn't eat past a certain hour. I can understand their logic. the logic is that if you eat something at night, you're not going to burn it off. That's something of a misconception.

When you eat your calories really doesn't matter. What matters is the QUALITY of those calories. Because when it comes right down to it, weight loss is nothing more than a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle. If you are eating right, watching your portions and getting some regular exercise, the weight will come off on its own.

When to eat ? the one thing you should do is try to keep your body on a schedule. Try to eat meals at regular intervals so that you're not going too long between meals. If you starve yourself thinking that you're being good, you'll end up binging later. Is it okay to snack ? absolutely ! Snacks should be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

What could you eat at night if you feel like a snack ? some fresh fruit, dried fruit, piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, hummus/pita, a small salad, a half a sandwich, etc... there are lots of options for snacks. The goal is to make sure the snack is good quality and that it's not too high in calorie.

When you eat your calories really doesn't matter as long as your body is getting the nourishment it needs.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,475)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,137
6/26/13 4:45 A

As the previous poster said, the body doesn't care what time it is!!

If you are hungry, then eat. Perhaps you could use this as a learning experience, to ensure that you eat enough during the day, but having said that, I always allow calories for snacks, and that includes just before going to bed around 2300hrs or midnight. If I don't, I tend to get woken in the middle of the night with genuine hunger pains.

Apart from eating enough, check the ranges of the fats/carbs/protein to ensure that you are getting enough of all of them, and also check that the carbs aren't refined carbs, because they don't do anything to help you feel full.

Another thing is to ensure that you are eating enough for what you do in the day, too! A lot of people make the mistake of seeing their range 1200-1550, etc., and think that 1200 is fine. Well, if you are an average weight, sedentary person, it is, but if you are overweight and/or getting in exercise, then you won't be. Under-eating can be just as bad as over-eating.

Good luck,

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
6/25/13 11:37 P

Your body doesn't care what time it is - it will process the calories exactly the same way. If you're hungry, then please do have something to eat, or you may end up having trouble sleeping or waking in the night in search of food.

There are some folks who have trouble sleeping shortly after they've eaten, but if that's not a problem for you, then enjoy!

VPIERCE570 SparkPoints: (2,256)
Fitness Minutes: (440)
Posts: 12
6/25/13 11:00 P

What if it's after like 8 or 9pm and you are really hungry? You haven't reached your total calories recommended...Is it ok to snack or is that a bad idea?

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