Eating more to weigh less or eating less to weigh less? .

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  • rml_16
    rml_16 Posts: 16,414 Member
    So, many people say they (or others) are not losing weight because they eat too little... But what about those people who eat too little and end up weighing "98" pounds ... Why do some people eat little and stall/gain even, while some eat too little and lose too much weight?

    (basically, "why does eating less work for thos chicks with anorexia but not for others?"- and, no, I do not want to be 98# or 108#.. I did the 108 thing when I was in my 20s, it was a BAD IDEA! I am just curious.)

    Genetics, hormones, how much brown fat you have -- there are many factors involved.

    And with anorexia, "eating less" is basically not eating at all.
  • AntWrig
    AntWrig Posts: 2,273 Member
    I had a hard time figuring out "eat less to weigh less" as i follow the eat more to weigh less but i am thinking Its eat less to weigh less meaning eat less then you burn meaning if my TDEE is for example 2500 and I'm eating 2000 calories then voila eating less, still a 500 cal deficit which would be 1lb per week. I don't think it means eat 1000cal everyday. In the end is it not the same thing?
    It doesn't work like that in the real world.
  • Greenrun99
    Greenrun99 Posts: 2,065 Member
    Eat the correct number for your sustainable weight loss (TDEE - your cut percentage) is the answer you should be looking at...
    You should aim for 1-2 lbs a week, ya its slow but its usually the best and healthiest way to keep it off, you hear of those people losing 4-5 lbs a week eating nothing, and thats a great job for them.. or those lettuce diets.. you reach your weight alot quicker at the expense of extra muscle and maybe other things however when you start eating like a normal everyday healthy human you gain that weight back usually really quickly as well.. so there is your endless cycle.
  • Girl_Bomb
    Girl_Bomb Posts: 195
    I had a hard time figuring out "eat less to weigh less" as i follow the eat more to weigh less but i am thinking Its eat less to weigh less meaning eat less then you burn meaning if my TDEE is for example 2500 and I'm eating 2000 calories then voila eating less, still a 500 cal deficit which would be 1lb per week. I don't think it means eat 1000cal everyday. In the end is it not the same thing?

    Same thing (eat less vs. eat more) and "ok so you lose a little bit of muscle" comment, news flash you need that muscle to burn more fat, more muscle you have the more calories you burn. You want to be a pile of bones with random fat pockets sagging and bald spots then by all means starve and lose all your muscle, but if you want a lean tight body that doesnt jiggle when you run and currdle at your thighs then your going to need to eat and build muscle.
  • Depends on your exercise or activity level. Some people need the extra calories to hit the gym harder. Are you talking about starvation mode? That's a myth. You still lose weight even if you don't hit the mythical 1200 calories a day number.


    .

    Although different people have different ways of being able to loose weight.. I do not think it is healthy to starve yourself.. and if your body is used to a certain amount of calories.. then you suddenly will feel like you are STARVING TO DEATH.. and I have trouble with my blood sugar that drops real low if I don't eat enough to have my body satisfied.. I have postpartum weight I struggle with.. that does not make me fat.. I just needed more exercise.. and I choose not to starve myself to get myself to loose the weight.. in fact it is not a myth of starvation mode because if your body is used to something you have to let it get used to lowering calories slowly.. so you don't pass out and you can function.. and exercise helps you get healthier.. it is not just about the numbers on the scale.. it is about becoming HEALTHY... so just choose healthier food choices AND PLEASE DON"T STARVE YOUR BODY.. your body will just start using your body fat as food which will make you loose weight but believe me.. that weight will come right back because that is not the healthy way of loosing body fat.. loosing body fat is by burning the fat off with exercise.. and the scale can say differently as you go on and you can seem like you gained but are gradually actually gaining muscle.
  • Girl_Bomb
    Girl_Bomb Posts: 195
    I had a hard time figuring out "eat less to weigh less" as i follow the eat more to weigh less but i am thinking Its eat less to weigh less meaning eat less then you burn meaning if my TDEE is for example 2500 and I'm eating 2000 calories then voila eating less, still a 500 cal deficit which would be 1lb per week. I don't think it means eat 1000cal everyday. In the end is it not the same thing?
    It doesn't work like that in the real world.

    What doesn't work like that in the real world?
  • kenazfehu
    kenazfehu Posts: 1,188 Member
    In the end, I think it distills down to a very simple formula: eat less,move more. I know there are exceptions, but I think they're fewer than we hear. I imagine that some people who claim to be eating 1000 calories a day and exercising but not losing are either retaining water from too much sodium or guesstimating their intake as lower than it actually is. In the past, I'd claim to be on a 1200-calorie diet, but that was only what was on my plate. It didn't include the tastes while I cooked dinner or the bite I took from husband's plate or the spoon I licked ... etc. Things like that add up.
  • jeleclekat
    jeleclekat Posts: 124 Member
    Depends on your exercise or activity level. Some people need the extra calories to hit the gym harder. Are you talking about starvation mode? That's a myth. You still lose weight even if you don't hit the mythical 1200 calories a day number.


    .
    It is not a myth. http://voices.yahoo.com/starvation-mode-dispelling-myths-2900886.html
    If you've been on a diet, you've surely heard about it. The dreaded starvation mode. How many people have said to you, "be careful not to dip below 1200 calories. Your body will go into starvation mode and you'll gain weight." Or, what about, "Oh, you're not eating enough, that's why you're not losing weight. Your body is in starvation mode." A frightful sounding thing indeed. It seems like a dieter just can't win. If they eat too much, they won't lose weight. If they eat too little, they won't lose weight. Can all this really be true?
    The simple answer is no. Starvation mode has been embellished so much that it's almost a complete lie at this point. So what is starvation mode really? Starvation mode, more formally known as famine response, is part of your body's survival mechanism. When you aren't getting a sufficient amount of calories to run your body, your body does indeed fall into famine response, because normally, when one isn't eating, it's because there is nothing to eat. Starvation mode slows down the body's metabolism to try and save as much energy as it can. It also breaks down muscle, but I'll go into that a bit later. So, yes, famine response, or starvation mode, does slow down your metabolism and does break down muscle, but that's where the truth ends and the embellishment begins.

    Firstly, starvation mode is not something that kicks in automatically. If you skip a day of eating, your body is not going to freak out and drop your metabolism to a slow crawl. Starvation mode kicks in after continuous fasting or severe calorie restriction, usually longer than a week, but at least 3 days. If you've fasted, or restricted calories severely, you know the feelings of hunger pangs and how horrible they were. That's your body saying, "Eat. I need fuel." Since your body is telling you to eat, it believes there is still food to be eaten, so no starvation mode yet. When the hunger subsides, usually after about 3 to 5 days, your body has decided to there must not be food and uses alternative energy sources. This is a good indication that starvation mode is not far away.
  • lots of people are having success with the eat more to lose more plan. Look, if you have to eat 3500 calories over your TDEE to gain 1 lb, the eat more to lose more theroy works and makes sense. it's just a very slow process and most people get really impatient. it feels wrong because it is against everything we have been taught (eat less and lose).

    for some people, they can simply eat less and lose and never plateau.

    i read so much about people pleateuing that i think there is something to the homeostasis of the bodies metabolism and it's ability to "save" itself. eating too less puts it in a weird mode where it doesn't want to let go. eating more allows the body to free up the fat. the trick is to eat right. so, now that you have 1000 more calories a day, or whatever, doesn't mean it's ok to eat twinkies. that might be where some people fail. i don't know.

    i do not believe that everyone is different. in fact, i think that's bunk. were all the same. but, the variable are diet, effort in exercise, and commitment. so, given a set of variables within your own life, you have to find that balance. i like the eating more group. i am in maintenance and i am eating way more and i feel better than i did eating less. my workouts are better and i have more overall energy. so, jus try different things and see how it works for you.

    I definantly agree with the last paragraph.. I feel better taking in more calories.. and then exercising regularly.. sometimes hitting the exercise hard.. and sometimes take it a little lighter but overall yes. I do have more energy..
  • snowgrrl83
    snowgrrl83 Posts: 242 Member
    I think that the whole philosophy to "eat more to weigh less" is for everyone who tried to eat less than 1400 calories per day for a month and then started stalling their weight loss after a month....and then lost control and ate everything in sight. Weight loss is NOT LINEAR! Weight gain is not linear.

    Why do people say "eat more to weigh less" is because
    a) you metabolism probably won't slow down as much
    b) it is much easier to sustain a 1800 calorie diet in the long run and lose slowly than a 1200 calorie diet.
    c) weight loss is supposed to be a lifestyle change... I wouldn't want anyone to eat less than 1200 calories per day for the rest of their lives.... its painful physically and emotionally.
    d) you will have much less chances of running into nutrient deficiencies (Vitamins, minerals) in the long run if your diet is varied, a varied diet is difficult to sustain on so few calories - think anemia
    e) you will likely have a lot more energy losing on more calories than less...so you can still have energy to enjoy your sports and activities.
    f) you won't wake up in the middle of the night and binge.
    g) you are less likely to end up in the eating disorder circle or "starve and binge" or "yo-yo dieting" because its a more sustainable way of losing weight.


    Now, I'm not saying to eat 3000 calories per day if your TDEE is 2500.
    I'm saying eating 2100 calories instead of 1600 if your TDEE is 2500.
    You still need a caloric deficit to lose weight.... just don't make the gap between your TDEE and your daily caloric intake so large.
    Weight loss is a lifestyle change...not a race.
  • 2BhappyBhealthy
    2BhappyBhealthy Posts: 181 Member
    I couldn't possibly wrap my brain around this idea either - but recently started to INCREASE my calories and dramatically increase my protein - and BAM. It's working. I have been watching what I eat every single damn day of my life, worked out more than anyone else I know... and it did very little. I was always the same. Still had my little muffin top and my @ss jiggled like cafeteria Jello. I don't think I was netting over 1200 cals a day... I would TRY to eat a little more and I think I would stress so much about it that I would starve myself to "make up for it" and instead of using the extra energy I would store it because my body would go into fear mode (call it whatever you will). Now, I aim to net between 1300 - 1600 calories that are more balanced (I also used to be a vegetarian actually near vegan because of my fear of food) and suddenly I am seeing definition, a MAJOR increase in energy and a whole new positive outlook. And I never ever EVER feel like "I'm so hungry but I don't have enough calories - oh noo what should I dooooo" instead now I think "oh crap! I need to eat wayyy more - gimme a chicken. YES. The whole chicken. And a side of those beans too". Pay attention to your weekly goals, eat in balance for your goals - keep MOVING and you will lose more FAT than you would by eating less. Which is ultimately what we all want, right?
  • neverstray
    neverstray Posts: 3,845 Member
    Because although seen as unhealthy by most, I feel like theres no doubt that if you eat less, you'll weigh less. You might feel ****ty & lose a bit of muscle along with it, but you'll still weigh less.

    this is what I'm saying... LOL..

    saying "eating less will make you gain (or not lose)" makes no sense to me.

    Because your body wont let go of fat because you are not eating enough for it to let go. What's so hard to understand about that? It will hold on forever to that fat and never let it go. this is why every single day people are writing in about their 6 month plateaus and can't figure it out.

    What's so hard to understand? Nothing. I absolutely get what you (and everyone else in the bajillion threads about this) are saying. My issue is the people who DIE of STARVATION or waste away because of eating disorders. They are skinny. Too skinny. Their bodies didn't hold on to fat.

    And this is coming from someone who eats roughly 1600cals/day. I'm not starving myself. I just think the starvation mode thing is silly.

    But, you are talking about different things. Actual starvation is very different than someone regulating a healthy diet. They are not even comparable.
  • Sweetsugar0424
    Sweetsugar0424 Posts: 451 Member
    People will argue this all day long, but in the end...why would you want to eat less if you can eat more and lose weight and be HEALTHY? I'd much rather be able to eat until I am full and have energy to fuel my workouts than feel like I'm always hungry and feeling like I'm missing out on so much.
  • neverstray
    neverstray Posts: 3,845 Member
    If your TDEE is 1800, you can eat 1800 and maintain. If you eat 1500, you will lose. That's all I mean. I don't mean you have to go crazy. But, if you are active, chance are your TDEE is higher than 1800. Many women think they have to eat like birds. The fact is there is science around how the body processes food and knows it's OK to let go of fat. You also want to try and make sure you aren't losing muscle. So, it's tricky.

    My only point is that it is important to feed your body, not to "starve" it. I don't mean starve in the literal sense, but I mean in a way where it knows what you are doing. It should be slow and gradual.

    Maybe some of you can try this. There's another thought around you just figure out your goal weight, and then eat at your TDEE at that level. Eventually, you will just slowly drift to that weight, if you did your calculations correct, you eat right, and excercise as planned. Easy-peasy. no eating back calories or any of that. you just stay steady. It takes longer, but it's easy and there are no flucuations on calories or exercise.

    Lastly, if you have success with what ever you are doing, then just do it and don't worry about what others are doing. But, if you plateau, or if you are having trouble, there are lots of different ways to get results. Helloitsdan has a great method that seems to work for many people and allows a healthy level of calorie intake. No one really needs to starve to lose weight. That's old fashioned. We know so much more about proper nutrition now, and it's unneccessary to be walking around hungry all day long, everyday.
  • astrampe
    astrampe Posts: 2,169 Member
    I find it interesting that the people who argue the loudest against the "starvation mode" thing and refuse to acknowlege any of the facts that's been stated and proofed and beaten to death, are still in the process of losing weight - (according to their profile pictures anyways)
    On the other hand, most people who advocate eating enough to fuel your body and doing all kinds of exercise (both cardio and strengh) are the ones who look really healthy and even buff in their profile pictures.....:bigsmile: :laugh:
  • Bob314159
    Bob314159 Posts: 1,178 Member
    What are the chances of someone who feels they're in "starvation mode" really just under estimateing their calorie intake and/or over estimating their calories burned? Just a thought.

    Very very sure this happens a lot. Following the starvation mode myth gives a great excuse to eat too much.

    Today I'm sitting at the computer burning calories as I hit the keys.
  • astrampe
    astrampe Posts: 2,169 Member
    What are the chances of someone who feels they're in "starvation mode" really just under estimateing their calorie intake and/or over estimating their calories burned? Just a thought.

    Very very sure this happens a lot. Following the starvation mode myth gives a great excuse to eat too much.

    Today I'm sitting at the computer burning calories as I hit the keys.

    Actually, you do....You are breathing, your heart is beating (I hope!) your organs all do what organs do....You don't burn the amount of calories you will burn when running outside, but you are still using energy...That's where the "don't eat below your BMR ever!" FACT comes from.....
  • Gramps251
    Gramps251 Posts: 738 Member
    What are the chances of someone who feels they're in "starvation mode" really just under estimateing their calorie intake and/or over estimating their calories burned? Just a thought.

    Very very sure this happens a lot. Following the starvation mode myth gives a great excuse to eat too much.

    Today I'm sitting at the computer burning calories as I hit the keys.

    Quick, log those calories.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    Here's my current opinion.

    First of all, I'm generally against VLCD's in individuals that don't understand implementation or are using it out of either ignorance or as a short-cut out of impatience. I think for "most" people, a reasonable ~20% reduction from TDEE with macro sufficiency will result in favorable body composition whereas a crash diet will not.

    But that being said, adaptive thermogensis is a big culprit in the reduction in both BMR and NEAT/EAT. But you can't directly say that it's tied to acute caloric intake as much as it's tied to fat mass.

    Eating at a massive deficit may cause AT to happen faster but it also causes more rapid weight loss.
    Eating at a reasonable deficit may cause AT to happen gradually but it also causes slower weight loss.

    I believe the latter is favorable (I want to be clear on that) for body composition purposes but just generally speaking, I don't buy into the idea that the reason one is not losing weight is that they are "eating too little and their body is hanging onto fat because of it".

    The only way I see this is possible would be if an increase in food increases expenditure by a greater amount than the caloric increase in food.
  • thedreamhazer
    thedreamhazer Posts: 1,156 Member
    I think it is in part a bastardization of this idea:

    'Metabolic and behavioral compensations in response to caloric restriction: implications for the maintenance of weight loss.'
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19198647
    "CONCLUSIONS: For the first time we show that in free-living conditions, CR results in a metabolic adaptation and a behavioral adaptation with decreased physical activity levels. These data also suggest potential mechanisms by which CR causes large inter-individual variability in the rates of weight loss and how exercise may influence weight loss and weight loss maintenance."

    That eating less can cause a weight loss stall or gain is not wrong, I just believe it is not being fully communicated.