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1200 limit -- quanity vs quality

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Long time user of MFP, first time poster. I lost 70 pounds using MFP a couple of years ago and have done a good job maintaining but have recently quit smoking (yay) and put a few back on so I'm back logging again. I've noticed there's been an update to where not only does the app give you the nasty message if you don't meet 1200 calories for the day, it won't show the 5 week projection or generate a news feed post for the day. I understand the sentiment behind putting a guideline for people to go by, because obviously its not healthy for your body to not get the necessary nutrients in order to function, but its illogical to me that somehow if I eat 1200 calories a day regardless of what I eat I'm ok, but if I eat 1150 I'm starving myself. I'll give you an example of my intake yesterday --

Breakfast -- coffee with 2% milk (50ish calories, I have never been much of a breakfast person even when i was overweight)
lunch -- spinach salad with cup tomato basil soup (400ish calories)
dinner -- feisty feta chicken flatbread tropical smoothie (369 calories)
hungry in the evening so I had a snack of raw cauliflower and salsa (100ish calories)
Total : 950 calories

I could have added a mid morning snack of a cup of yogurt or a banana and still came in well under 1200. I went to bed satisfied. Is that really less healthy than if I had a big steak omelet at IHOP (1220 calories) at 8 am and was ready to chew my arm off by 2 oclock and went to bed famished? Basically I don't waste calories. I don't put cheese or mayo on sandwiches. I don't eat sugar. I drink nothing but water, unsweet tea, and coffee. MFP taught me to view my intake as a bank account and calories as money, so I focus on getting the maximum amount of fullness for every calorie spent. I eat lots of raw, steamed, or grilled veggies, high protein low fat meats etc. I'm not trying to troll, I just truly don't understand this magic number of 1200 and I was hoping someone could shed some light, I really miss the sense of accomplishment of seeing how much progress I can look forward to in 5 weeks.

Replies

  • MultipleHigh5s
    MultipleHigh5s Posts: 49 Member
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    I 1200 cal is the minimum that doctors and health officials agree on, but I think the 1200 min is very unfair for short people.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,564 Member
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    It doesn't post your diary if you're under 1000 calories like that.

    There are some pretty significant health concerns that come with consistent undereating. Muscle loss, hair loss, brittle nails, irregular/missing periods, organ malfunctions, lack of nutrients (especially if you're lacking fat), and the list goes on. MFP wants to make sure you do this in a healthy manner, and unless medically necessary, 950 is not healthy for the vast majority of people.
  • LazSommer
    LazSommer Posts: 1,851 Member
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    Coffee with 2% absolutely disgusting.
  • nataliem257
    nataliem257 Posts: 7 Member
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    I understand the risks of undereating, thats not my point. My point is that is it not possible to undereat eating 1200 calories a day if you eat high calorie foods with low nutrient content that don't leave you feeling sustained, and by that same logic is it not possible to eat less than 1200 calories a day if i'm eating filling, nutrient rich low calorie foods? I don't starve myself, i listen to my body and when it tells me I'm hungry I eat. I just don't understand why 1200 is such a set in stone number.
  • fishshark
    fishshark Posts: 1,886 Member
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    I understand the risks of undereating, thats not my point. My point is that is it not possible to undereat eating 1200 calories a day if you eat high calorie foods with low nutrient content that don't leave you feeling sustained, and by that same logic is it not possible to eat less than 1200 calories a day if i'm eating filling, nutrient rich low calorie foods? I don't starve myself, i listen to my body and when it tells me I'm hungry I eat. I just don't understand why 1200 is such a set in stone number.

    a calorie is a calorie regardless if it satiates you. and a calorie is a calorie regardless if you are getting "nutrients". I can take 15 multivitamins a day and meet the daily recommended amount of "nutrients". That doesnt matter I need calories to function and even have my body take said nutrients and put them to use. Micros are not the only thing that matters. Also when eating small amounts of those foods you arnt getting the amount of nutrients you think you are.
  • rawley69
    rawley69 Posts: 49 Member
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    LazSommer wrote: »
    Coffee with 2% absolutely disgusting.

    I just go it black now-a-days.
  • Quinn_Baker
    Quinn_Baker Posts: 292 Member
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    LazSommer wrote: »
    Coffee with 2% absolutely disgusting.

    yeah, 'cause that is helpful.
  • nataliem257
    nataliem257 Posts: 7 Member
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    LazSommer wrote: »
    Coffee with 2% absolutely disgusting.

    Haha 2% milk is the only low fat thing I do, and I think I only do that because my mom did and whole milk tastes weird to me. I also buy real butter and full fat dressings, I just use less. I don't think its a coincidence that morbid obesity skyrocketed back in the 90s right about the time the low fat diet craze hit. I can drink really good coffee black, but this coffee was crap so it needed some help.
  • Quinn_Baker
    Quinn_Baker Posts: 292 Member
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    rawley69 wrote: »
    LazSommer wrote: »
    Coffee with 2% absolutely disgusting.

    I just go it black now-a-days.


    once you go black you never go back.
  • coalz
    coalz Posts: 308 Member
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    Maybe try bulletproof coffee since your not big on breakfast. It will. Give you some added calories & needed healthy fats that will sustain you throughout the morning. Check out intermittent fasting. Seems like it would suit your eating pattern well.
  • nataliem257
    nataliem257 Posts: 7 Member
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    coalz wrote: »
    Maybe try bulletproof coffee since your not big on breakfast. It will. Give you some added calories & needed healthy fats that will sustain you throughout the morning. Check out intermittent fasting. Seems like it would suit your eating pattern well.

    This is fascinating. I have never heard of this in my life.. but the leangains method is basically what I've been doing every time I've ever went on a "diet". I almost always skip breakfast and only have coffee, lunch somewhere between 11:30-11:45, dinner between 5:00-5:30, and a snack between 7:00-7:30 if i feel hungry. Interesting research to the benefits of this as relates to longevity of life, cancer risks, etc. Seems to contradict the "1200 calories or die" school of thought. The most important thing I think with any nutritional plan, I think, is to listen to your body and find what works for you. For example, around 7:30 tonight I was feeling hungry so I had some plain greek yogurt sweetened with honey (200ish calories) as a snack. That put me at about 1000 for the day. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that eating a chili dog would have been a better choice because it would have put me over 1200 calories.
  • lusir113
    lusir113 Posts: 13 Member
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    I am having the same Issue, most of my meals are quite healthy and I am not much of a snacker, I enjoy 1 or two fruits most days but others I don't snack all. My goal is now 1200 and I always come under 1000, I can't bring myself to eat 1200 everyday its hard as much as I love food if I am eating healthy my meals are often low in calories. I am pretty much satisfied and not starving so should I be trying to force myself to eat more? I would try but im scared I wont lose fat
  • jennypapage
    jennypapage Posts: 489 Member
    edited April 2016
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    When i finished highschool i went to a dietician to help me lose weight. I'm only 1.50m and i had to lose about 15kg. When i was close to my goal i stopped losing for weeks and she reduced my daily intake to about 800cal. My breakfast was milk and cornflakes ,lunch was lean fish or meat with salad, and dinner was a yoghurt.2 fruits a day as a snack.i lost the weight and maintained it for about 7 years.
    This time around i have more weight to lose and my endocrinologist game me a diet to help me lose it.It's basically steamed veggies and lean meats/fish again.No pasta, or rice. I decided to just set my cal. intake to 1000/day and eat healthy.
    Sometimes i eat 800cal, sometimes i eat 1000. I'm not hungry and i feel just fine so i go with it.
    Doctors have general guidelines for people, but everone is different. We don't all have the same metabolism, the same health etc. As long as you feel good and eat healthy food, i don't see why eating less is bad.
  • nataliem257
    nataliem257 Posts: 7 Member
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    I just had lunch. I had a salad from a local restaurant with spring mix,a few small grilled shrimp, hearts of palm, papaya, avacado, shaved jalepeno, cilantro, and a drizzle of Chili-lime dressing. It's literally my favorite thing in the world to eat right now, I'd take it over chocolate cake any day of the week. I'm completely full, all for around 400 calories :-)