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Is 1000 calories/day enough??

I have a group member who was wondering if her 1000cal/day diet is adequate. She exercises also and has been at a plateau with her weight loss. Does she need more calories to boost her metabolism?

Fri. May 25, 10:51am

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Unless she has a medical problem...

Friday, May 25, 2007, 11:01 AM

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P.S. My response above was to the question "Does she need more calories to boost her metabolism?", not the subject line question.

Friday, May 25, 2007, 12:03 PM

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If she has plateaued she especially probably needs to take in more calories. 1000 calories is not enough to sustain your body's general functions everyday for an adult. Even for strict diets, doctor's don't recommend dropping below 1200 calories and for most of us, that would still be too few. If she has been limiting her calorie intake for a while already, her body is probably in "starvation mode"-hence the plateau. In order to get out of that, she needs to feed her body enough for it to know the "famine" is over. She should add at least 500 calories to what she has been eating each day for a few weeks. It sounds scary to do when you are losing weight, but I've done it and it's gotten me back on track and back to losing a couple of times.

In addition to eating more food, if she has been doing the same exercise routine for a while, switching it up will help. If she bikes, have her walk. If she uses the elliptical, switch to stairmaster, or go swimming etc. And make sure she's doing some resistance training to increase muscle and strength, which will incinerate calories!

Friday, May 25, 2007, 12:58 PM

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To avoid going into "conservation mode" it's best to eat at least 10x your final desired lb weight in calories, but for a woman at least 1200 cal per day. Men at least 1500/day.

Friday, May 25, 2007, 2:14 PM

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Just remember that not all calories are created equal. get them from good for you foods, not Little Debbies and white freshly baked bread...but then she probably already knows that...

Friday, May 25, 2007, 2:27 PM

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So how big is she? I mean, if she is 5' 11", no. If she is 4' 10", well, her needs are going to be different. And they are going to vary by age, too..... This question is very individual.

Friday, May 25, 2007, 5:07 PM

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Technically all calories are created equally, it's just that if you eat a little Debbie you'll be hungry again in 30 minutes, whereas if you eat whole wheat toast w/almond butter, you'll be full for a couple hours.

Friday, May 25, 2007, 5:12 PM

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No matter what anyone tells you, no, 1000 calories is not enough, especially if she is working out at the gym more than 4 days a week.
Your best bet is to talk her into visiting her doctor for some more advice on this.
As the 12:58 poster said, the body needs energy to burn energy.
As far as starvation mode, it is true, and I have seen it both in myself and in others around me. I work with a guy who weighs about 400 lbs, and he only east one meal a day. I keep telling him to eat better and eat more, but he's stuck in his mind he needs to eat less. He also can't figure out why he's always so tired!

Saturday, May 26, 2007, 1:19 AM

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sq, thanks for posting the question on my behalf and thanks to everyone else as well for replying.

I am 5'4" and currently weigh 147. I've already lost 25 lbs and have another 20 to go. I exercise quite regularly - 2 personal training days a week at the gym and running 2-3 times a week (target is supposed to be 5). I noticed that while my bodyfat % has been dropping, my overall weight has plateau'd for a while now until last week. I was travelling and ate a bit more due to biz lunches and dinners but made sure that I got on the treadmill for 45 mins a day at the hotel gym. I thought it would be just enough to make sure I didn't gain any weight. But, lo and behold, when I got back I had lost 2 lbs! It made me wonder, hence the post.

Saturday, May 26, 2007, 1:36 AM

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You mentioned that your fat% is dropping! That is the best thing you could achieve at this stage of the game. Usually when you plateau, you are at the stage of losing more and more fat%.
So your weight is staying relatively in the same place. Now is the time to forget about weight. You have thought long and hard about what you think your body weight should be and now you’re getting frustrated with how far you’ve come and how far you think you need to go. Here’s the strategy you may now want to consider.
First, forget about less calories. This is not healthy for you and you should up it to about 1450 to 1500 per day.
Second, you should focus on the fact that you may be getting more weight from muscle mass now than you are losing from fat. This is the best position you can be in. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is and the more fat your body will burn.
Third, you have done a great job up to this point! You should be happy for yourself, and keep up the good work!

Saturday, May 26, 2007, 10:58 PM

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OK, this is ONLY for curiosity's sake...I am very healthy & eat an appropriate amount of calories daily...but if one must consume more than 1000 cal. etc, to lose weight, how in the world do today's current celebrities get so incredibly thin?

Thursday, May 31, 2007, 1:46 PM

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Thank You

Many thanks for the May 26, 10:58 post! I know I've done well but it is a work in progress as far as letting go of my fixation on the weight goal. I continue to work on it and to focus more on exercise/activity. The support and encouragement that I have received from everyone around me (including you!) help to keep me going.

Thursday, May 31, 2007, 10:07 PM

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how can an average person find out bodyfat %

I have never done that is it a formula or do you need calipers and all?????

Friday, June 01, 2007, 5:39 PM

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You need to get an analysis (either calipers, water test, etc.). A lot of gyms offer this. Alternatively, you can get a Tanita or similar scale that "measures fat" - they are NOT accurate (my scale has me at least 4% higher fat than I read on a real fat test; they tend to be BMI-based) but you can at least watch your progress in terms of % increases or decreases (about $40 - the tests are more expensive) when you get on them. For me, it's been great and motivational to see a drop of 5-6% on my scale's fat meter, even if the actual # is incorrect.

Friday, June 01, 2007, 6:13 PM

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