Calling all those just starting out ...

MacInCali
MacInCali Posts: 1,089 Member
So here's the thing ...

You're excited to start, you plug in your numbers and MFP tells you to eat ___ calories a day to lose ___ pounds a week. (And let's face it, most of us put in 2lbs a week cause we want this damn weight off already, am I right?!)

Oh wow, ____ amount of calories seems a bit scary as you think of what you normally eat every day, but hey, you're here to change the way you eat! Right? Right!

So you give up those "high calorie" foods ... you give up those "unnecessary" calories ... you know the ones that go first ... the munchies like chips and crackers ... the goodies like chocolate and sweets in general ... and don't forget the alcohol ... I mean, if you're limited in your calories, it's hard to justify drinking a 250 calorie martini when you can EAT those calories instead, right?

Not necessarily.

So let's say MFP gave you 1200 calories a day. And you ate 1200. And you lost weight ... Yay!
But what if MFP told you your calorie intake was 1300 instead. And you ate 1300. And you lost weight ... Yay!
Or 1500 ... or 1800 ... And you ate THAT much. And you STILL lost weight? YAY!!!

I started here in September of 2011, 65lbs heavier than I am now. I believed MFP when it told me that I had to cut to 1200 to lose weight. So I cut to 1200. I cut out the snacks I enjoyed. I cut out the occasional drink I enjoyed. I cut out the sweets I enjoyed. And I lost weight. Until I stopped losing it.

ONCE YOU STOP LOSING at 1200 calories a day, WHAT DOES MFP TELL YOU TO DO? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. This is when everyone seems to go to the message boards ... Help! My weight loss has stalled!!

I'm here to tell you to go to the message boards NOW. Don't wait until you have questions, just go out and see what information is out there. Take everything with a grain of salt, use your common sense and find what works for you.

Those of us who have "been here, done that" are NOT bashing 1200 calorie plans. It's what MFP told a lot of us to do, so we did it, and we lost weight doing so. Most ~everyone~ would lose on 1200 calories in the beginning. But what most people don't understand ... what I, myself, didn't understand back in 2011, is that there was a chance that I could have also lost weight while eating 1300 ... or 1500 ... or even 1800 when just starting out. Do you want to be at maintenance at 1200 calories for the rest of your life? I sure as hell didn't. I made changes to fit me and how I want to eat and it's working.

If, before MFP, you were eating 2000 calories a day, you could cut to 1800 and you WILL lose weight. You can cut down to 1500 and you WILL lose weight. You can cut all the way down to 1200 and you WILL lose weight ... but why go to such extremes if it's not necessary?

For those of you who are already finding "success" on 1200 calories a day, I do not expect to change your mind. However, if there is someone who is just starting ... someone who was previously eating 2000+ calories a day before joining MFP and who received that 1200 number, I would challenge you to try cutting 200 calories a day to start. Accurately log your food and eat 1800 calories and see if you start losing. If you do, wonderful! You are now eating 1800 calories a day and you're losing weight! If, after two weeks ... yes, at LEAST two weeks ... you do not lose ANY weight, try cutting it to 1700 and see if you start losing then. And so on and so forth ...

Find out what YOUR number is, not what MFP's number is.

P.S. I know I didn't post any of the amazing links and publications that would be helpful to newbies here, so if any of my very knowledgeable friends see this and would like to give a hand, please do so!! :smooched:
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Replies

  • sunsnstatheart
    sunsnstatheart Posts: 2,545 Member
    Very well said!
  • Chief_Rocka
    Chief_Rocka Posts: 4,711 Member
    Great post. It's better to start with a higher intake, because you have more wiggle room to lower calories later on as necessary.

    Jumping into 1200 calories is wasting all your ammo in the first 10 minutes of a 2-day long firefight.
  • MiloBloom83
    MiloBloom83 Posts: 2,723 Member
    So here's the thing ...

    You're excited to start, you plug in your numbers and MFP tells you to eat ___ calories a day to lose ___ pounds a week. (And let's face it, most of us put in 2lbs a week cause we want this damn weight off already, am I right?!)

    Oh wow, ____ amount of calories seems a bit scary as you think of what you normally eat every day, but hey, you're here to change the way you eat! Right? Right!

    So you give up those "high calorie" foods ... you give up those "unnecessary" calories ... you know the ones that go first ... the munchies like chips and crackers ... the goodies like chocolate and sweets in general ... and don't forget the alcohol ... I mean, if you're limited in your calories, it's hard to justify drinking a 250 calorie martini when you can EAT those calories instead, right?

    Not necessarily.

    So let's say MFP gave you 1200 calories a day. And you ate 1200. And you lost weight ... Yay!
    But what if MFP told you your calorie intake was 1300 instead. And you ate 1300. And you lost weight ... Yay!
    Or 1500 ... or 1800 ... And you ate THAT much. And you STILL lost weight? YAY!!!

    I started here in September of 2011, 65lbs heavier than I am now. I believed MFP when it told me that I had to cut to 1200 to lose weight. So I cut to 1200. I cut out the snacks I enjoyed. I cut out the occasional drink I enjoyed. I cut out the sweets I enjoyed. And I lost weight. Until I stopped losing it.

    ONCE YOU STOP LOSING at 1200 calories a day, WHAT DOES MFP TELL YOU TO DO? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. This is when everyone seems to go to the message boards ... Help! My weight loss has stalled!!

    I'm here to tell you to go to the message boards NOW. Don't wait until you have questions, just go out and see what information is out there. Take everything with a grain of salt, use your common sense and find what works for you.

    Those of us who have "been here, done that" are NOT bashing 1200 calorie plans. It's what MFP told a lot of us to do, so we did it, and we lost weight doing so. Most ~everyone~ would lose on 1200 calories in the beginning. But what most people don't understand ... what I, myself, didn't understand back in 2011, is that there was a chance that I could have also lost weight while eating 1300 ... or 1500 ... or even 1800 when just starting out. Do you want to be at maintenance at 1200 calories for the rest of your life? I sure as hell didn't. I made changes to fit me and how I want to eat and it's working.

    If, before MFP, you were eating 2000 calories a day, you could cut to 1800 and you WILL lose weight. You can cut down to 1500 and you WILL lose weight. You can cut all the way down to 1200 and you WILL lose weight ... but why go to such extremes if it's not necessary?

    For those of you who are already finding "success" on 1200 calories a day, I do not expect to change your mind. However, if there is someone who is just starting ... someone who was previously eating 2000+ calories a day before joining MFP and who received that 1200 number, I would challenge you to try cutting 200 calories a day to start. Accurately log your food and eat 1800 calories and see if you start losing. If you do, wonderful! You are now eating 1800 calories a day and you're losing weight! If, after two weeks ... yes, at LEAST two weeks ... you do not lose ANY weight, try cutting it to 1700 and see if you start losing then. And so on and so forth ...

    Find out what YOUR number is, not what MFP's number is.

    P.S. I know I didn't post any of the amazing links and publications that would be helpful to newbies here, so if any of my very knowledgeable friends see this and would like to give a hand, please do so!! :smooched:

    Your ticker should be all anyone needs to see. And that sexy belly.
  • crossfit_lover
    crossfit_lover Posts: 230 Member
    Excellent write-up Marnie!
  • Thank you for the great info! Never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense!!!!
  • LuckyAng
    LuckyAng Posts: 1,212 Member
    Brilliant :flowerforyou:
  • FitandTrim2013
    FitandTrim2013 Posts: 12 Member
    Well done!
  • Well, said, wish I would have had the common sense to think of this when I first started...good information for thos that are starting out and may have questions. :wink:
  • Wow thank you for the advise, i set myself a limit of 1800 a day as im still nursing my baby but i find it hard to even hit 1400 a day!
  • Am1802
    Am1802 Posts: 2
    Hi, I JUST joined 2 minutes ago! I started trolling the website, trying to find my way around, and read your post. Thanks for the wonderful info, I sure plan on putting it to use...Thanks again!
  • Music_is_my_soul
    Music_is_my_soul Posts: 879 Member
    Great advice Marnie! Very true! I know the newbies and some old members could benifit from this!

    <3
  • Junken_Diraffe
    Junken_Diraffe Posts: 716 Member
    Awesome, Marnie. So true, I had the same experience, only I didn't lose at all on 1200. Not until I bumped up to 1600 did I lose. Great info for those starting out!

    :flowerforyou:
  • Thanks for the advice. So what I'm hearing is don't freak out if I go over the "magic" 1200. In fact, going over may not be a bad thing.
  • AmberB519
    AmberB519 Posts: 336 Member
    Thanks! That's where I'm at now. I lost 57 lbs eating 1200-1400 a day, now that I only have 35 more to go, nada! I need to dig around the boards and figure shiznit out.
  • I'm the opposite.. I need to eat more! My first day i plugged everything in that I ate and I was told that I was starving myself... I felt fine... I didn't feel hungry. I wasn't craving anything... but the computer said I was slowing my Metabolism down by eating less than 1200 a day... so I have to work at eating good carbs.. it's a learning curve.
    No wonder I've not been losing weight!

    Thanks for this info though.. I'll keep it in mind if everything goes crazy in the opposite direction. .. which I hope it doesn't.

    So I'm off to have a walk now... I need a recipe for egg and bacon pie... anyone have one listed on this site?

    Sylvie
  • Wenchilada
    Wenchilada Posts: 474 Member
    Great post. It's better to start with a higher intake, because you have more wiggle room to lower calories later on as necessary.

    Jumping into 1200 calories is wasting all your ammo in the first 10 minutes of a 2-day long firefight.

    Great analogy! And great post, OP! :flowerforyou:
  • Best message I've seen yet!! You are spot on :)
  • MrsSardone
    MrsSardone Posts: 194 Member
    I lost at 1200, but I was SO exhausted all the time. My workouts sucked and I felt pretty horrible. Eating more helps my energy levels so much. And my mood is better too since I upped my calories.
  • Wenchilada
    Wenchilada Posts: 474 Member
    I'm the opposite.. I need to eat more! My first day i plugged everything in that I ate and I was told that I was starving myself... I felt fine... I didn't feel hungry. I wasn't craving anything... but the computer said I was slowing my Metabolism down by eating less than 1200 a day... so I have to work at eating good carbs.. it's a learning curve.
    No wonder I've not been losing weight!

    Thanks for this info though.. I'll keep it in mind if everything goes crazy in the opposite direction. .. which I hope it doesn't.

    So I'm off to have a walk now... I need a recipe for egg and bacon pie... anyone have one listed on this site?

    Sylvie

    I'm not sure what that is, but I really want some. Is it like quiche? :love:

    And yes, it is totally a learning curve. Lots of trial and error. I understand why people get frustrated. I get frustrated. I have a long ways to go, but I'm proud of how far I've come already. And even when I get super stressed and stall out, or actively losing weight takes a back burner to stress, I've learned enough along the way that I know how to keep myself together so that I can at least maintain my weight (and not gain, which is what's always happened in the past), if not continue to lose weight. I know people get sick of hearing this, but "eat carefully and move more" is pretty much my philosophy and my "secret."

    And please note, I didn't say "eat less"! Eating less is usually a good place to start for most people, but making good nutrition choices and eating mindfully (which, for me, includes logging - I do way better when I'm honest with myself and log everything) are way more important IMO than just eating "less."
  • JewelE77
    JewelE77 Posts: 134 Member
    Great post & information! :)