what's your experience with a 1200 calorie diet or less?

Does this type of calorie restriction really do what it says? All of the articles I have read say that to drop below this level causes "starvation mode".
For me, my usual intake was around 2600 calories a day. maybe more. I am 260 lbs @ 5 foot 9 inches and 53 years old male.
According to the "calculators", faster weight loss is around 1400 calories yet at around my level of 1250 calories, I am only losing 1.5 lbs. per week.

I'd like to lose between 2.5 to 3 lbs a week but I'm not sure if I need to add a few more calories to avoid "starvation" mode or to restrict the calories even more.

I am exercising but only burning about 400 -500 per day "water walking". Beyond that, because of pain and mobility issues, I do virtually nothing else (sedentary).

Anyone else in this boat? I need to drop 30 lbs in 3 months to avoid diabetes. I've already dropped 10.5 lbs. in 4 weeks but most of that was in the first week when I was at 900 - 1000 calories per day. The following week I did the same caloric intake and I actually gained a pound back over the previous weeks loss. I assume the first week it was water loss and not fat. The third week I bumped up to 1250 calories and lost the 1.5 lbs i mentioned earlier

It's frustrating as hell
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Replies

  • bigbandjohn
    bigbandjohn Posts: 769 Member
    I did 1200 calories for 3 months and lost 36 lbs. It was very difficult. I may have been wrong for going that low (6' male near your age), but I did achieve success. I am glad I'm back to my old plan (1.5 lb/week). It's a lot easier than before.
  • wilmapf
    wilmapf Posts: 1 Member
    Dilvish wrote: »
    Does this type of calorie restriction really do what it says? All of the articles I have read say that to drop below this level causes "starvation mode".
    For me, my usual intake was around 2600 calories a day. maybe more. I am 260 lbs @ 5 foot 9 inches and 53 years old male.
    According to the "calculators", faster weight loss is around 1400 calories yet at around my level of 1250 calories, I am only losing 1.5 lbs. per week.

    I'd like to lose between 2.5 to 3 lbs a week but I'm not sure if I need to add a few more calories to avoid "starvation" mode or to restrict the calories even more.

    I am exercising but only burning about 400 -500 per day "water walking". Beyond that, because of pain and mobility issues, I do virtually nothing else (sedentary).

    Anyone else in this boat? I need to drop 30 lbs in 3 months to avoid diabetes. I've already dropped 10.5 lbs. in 4 weeks but most of that was in the first week when I was at 900 - 1000 calories per day. The following week I did the same caloric intake and I actually gained a pound back over the previous weeks loss. I assume the first week it was water loss and not fat. The third week I bumped up to 1250 calories and lost the 1.5 lbs i mentioned earlier

    It's frustrating as hell

    The Calorie intake is set by the app depending on your height, sex, age, and also the amount of pounds you wish to loose weekly.
    So, taking all your facts in consideration, and the little amount of calories set in the app, I assume you just set the app to loose more than 2 poudns per week wich is extreme since the healtiest it is to loose 2 pounds tops.
    To avoid starvation and all the side efects (cravings, reebot weight) of a too low calorie based diet, you should reset your weight loss goal to 2 pounds per week, and check the kind of macros (carbs, protein and fat) you are taking with your foods.
  • Wizard87
    Wizard87 Posts: 21 Member
    I'm the exact same height, weight and age. This is my second time using MFP. The first time I did the 1200 calorie diet, and it was very effective. I lost nearly 20 pounds in two months. But, it was very difficult and I hit several weeks when my weight didn't change at all. And I went back up within 5 months.
    I'm doing MFP again now, and I"m using 1500 calories. I find it much more tolerable, and I figure that increases my compliance. Keep in mind, for people like us, we can lose weight at 2000 calories a day. Or even 2100. It just will take longer.
    Also, pay attention to whether you are cheating. Even a little. I know I do. An extra slice of bread with butter a day can throw you way off.
    I found MFP to be the most effective thing I've tried, because it makes me think about food. I realize I can eat 2 burgers off the bun instead of one on (yes, I know fat intake is an issue). I pick out the least damaging snacks I can. Snacking is still an issue, but if you're going to do it, at least minimize it's impact.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,112 Member
    nutmegoreo wrote: »
    wilmapf wrote: »
    Dilvish wrote: »
    Does this type of calorie restriction really do what it says? All of the articles I have read say that to drop below this level causes "starvation mode".
    For me, my usual intake was around 2600 calories a day. maybe more. I am 260 lbs @ 5 foot 9 inches and 53 years old male.
    According to the "calculators", faster weight loss is around 1400 calories yet at around my level of 1250 calories, I am only losing 1.5 lbs. per week.

    I'd like to lose between 2.5 to 3 lbs a week but I'm not sure if I need to add a few more calories to avoid "starvation" mode or to restrict the calories even more.

    I am exercising but only burning about 400 -500 per day "water walking". Beyond that, because of pain and mobility issues, I do virtually nothing else (sedentary).

    Anyone else in this boat? I need to drop 30 lbs in 3 months to avoid diabetes. I've already dropped 10.5 lbs. in 4 weeks but most of that was in the first week when I was at 900 - 1000 calories per day. The following week I did the same caloric intake and I actually gained a pound back over the previous weeks loss. I assume the first week it was water loss and not fat. The third week I bumped up to 1250 calories and lost the 1.5 lbs i mentioned earlier

    It's frustrating as hell

    The Calorie intake is set by the app depending on your height, sex, age, and also the amount of pounds you wish to loose weekly.
    So, taking all your facts in consideration, and the little amount of calories set in the app, I assume you just set the app to loose more than 2 poudns per week wich is extreme since the healtiest it is to loose 2 pounds tops.
    To avoid starvation and all the side efects (cravings, reebot weight) of a too low calorie based diet, you should reset your weight loss goal to 2 pounds per week, and check the kind of macros (carbs, protein and fat) you are taking with your foods.

    There's no way he got 1400 from MFP. It won't go under 1500 for a man.

    OP, if your doctor is telling you to exceed safe weight loss, go back and get his recommendations on how to do that safely or see a registered dietician.

    It might not through guided set-up but you can set it manually below the recommended amount.
  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,532 Member
    nutmegoreo wrote: »
    wilmapf wrote: »
    Dilvish wrote: »
    Does this type of calorie restriction really do what it says? All of the articles I have read say that to drop below this level causes "starvation mode".
    For me, my usual intake was around 2600 calories a day. maybe more. I am 260 lbs @ 5 foot 9 inches and 53 years old male.
    According to the "calculators", faster weight loss is around 1400 calories yet at around my level of 1250 calories, I am only losing 1.5 lbs. per week.

    I'd like to lose between 2.5 to 3 lbs a week but I'm not sure if I need to add a few more calories to avoid "starvation" mode or to restrict the calories even more.

    I am exercising but only burning about 400 -500 per day "water walking". Beyond that, because of pain and mobility issues, I do virtually nothing else (sedentary).

    Anyone else in this boat? I need to drop 30 lbs in 3 months to avoid diabetes. I've already dropped 10.5 lbs. in 4 weeks but most of that was in the first week when I was at 900 - 1000 calories per day. The following week I did the same caloric intake and I actually gained a pound back over the previous weeks loss. I assume the first week it was water loss and not fat. The third week I bumped up to 1250 calories and lost the 1.5 lbs i mentioned earlier

    It's frustrating as hell

    The Calorie intake is set by the app depending on your height, sex, age, and also the amount of pounds you wish to loose weekly.
    So, taking all your facts in consideration, and the little amount of calories set in the app, I assume you just set the app to loose more than 2 poudns per week wich is extreme since the healtiest it is to loose 2 pounds tops.
    To avoid starvation and all the side efects (cravings, reebot weight) of a too low calorie based diet, you should reset your weight loss goal to 2 pounds per week, and check the kind of macros (carbs, protein and fat) you are taking with your foods.

    There's no way he got 1400 from MFP. It won't go under 1500 for a man.

    OP, if your doctor is telling you to exceed safe weight loss, go back and get his recommendations on how to do that safely or see a registered dietician.

    It might not through guided set-up but you can set it manually below the recommended amount.

    I'm aware of that, but then he still didn't get that number from MFP.
  • Wizard87
    Wizard87 Posts: 21 Member
    Wizard87 wrote: »
    I'm the exact same height, weight and age. This is my second time using MFP. The first time I did the 1200 calorie diet, and it was very effective. I lost nearly 20 pounds in two months. But, it was very difficult and I hit several weeks when my weight didn't change at all. And I went back up within 5 months.
    I'm doing MFP again now, and I"m using 1500 calories. I find it much more tolerable, and I figure that increases my compliance. Keep in mind, for people like us, we can lose weight at 2000 calories a day. Or even 2100. It just will take longer.
    Also, pay attention to whether you are cheating. Even a little. I know I do. An extra slice of bread with butter a day can throw you way off.
    I found MFP to be the most effective thing I've tried, because it makes me think about food. I realize I can eat 2 burgers off the bun instead of one on (yes, I know fat intake is an issue). I pick out the least damaging snacks I can. Snacking is still an issue, but if you're going to do it, at least minimize it's impact.

    It wasn't very effective, if you regained?

    I agree, from that standpoint. I regained not because of MFP, but because I stopped using it. I had a series of family tragedies hit, so one by one healthy habits disappeared. I stopped running. I ate crap when sitting by my mother's side. I stayed up late and ate chips. MFP was effective to do what I expected. If I stayed on it forever, I'd likely be in better shape now. But I don't want to be wedded to this site for the rest of my life.
  • confidenceinrain
    confidenceinrain Posts: 104 Member
    On the days I've eaten under 1200 (rare--once in a while because I wasn't able to eat lunch and dinner was low cal etc) I've been so so hangry and tired the next day. I'd probably be cranky enough to murder if I did it long term. So that's my experience--I don't think it's a good idea unless you have a doctor prescribing it and guiding you.
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