Supporting MFP friends on very low calorie diets

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I have this dilemma and I am curious on how the general MFP population would deal with this issue (of course, this is assuming that one would be using their MFP friends list for motitivation and support).

I have noticed this trend that a decent amount of my MFP friends are eating nowhere the amount of calories they should be like logging an insane amount of exercise calories and netting something like 400 calories for the day. There was even one friend that had a daily calorie goal of 600 calories. I mean, is this *even* possible to do when setting up a MFP account? I always assumed that there was a 1200 daily calorie cap on MFP but I guess not since I peaked at her diary and saw this with my very own eyes.

I suppose the purpose of MFP friends list is to be able to support and motivate one another, but I have a problem of supporting people that are either a) not exercising and logging under 1000 calories or b) eating over 1200 calories, but netting well under 1000. I just can't bring myself to support such behavior and was wondering what other people have done (or would do) under these circumstances. Do you ignore it? Remove them from your friends list? Preach to them that what they are doing is not a viable long term solution?

Anyways, I will look forward to any comments that will come my way (good or bad) and good luck to all on their weight loss journey and may you get to your desired goal!

P.S. I am not referring to anyone that is occasionally doing this (like if they are sick and/or not hungry that day). I am talking about friends that are doing this consistently everyday.
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Replies

  • ImtheOnethatsCool
    ImtheOnethatsCool Posts: 212 Member
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    I question them on it. Because occassionally there's a good reason (gastric bypass would fall into that category).

    If there's no good reason, and they aren't open to seeing some logic, I remove them from my friends list, because I'm not going to support someone who is pro-ana
  • StarLiteKiss
    StarLiteKiss Posts: 18 Member
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    I get where you are coming from on this. Is it possible they have forgot to add in other items they ate? Or is the goal posted that they will not eat no more than that low Calorie amount? It is definitely a concern because they are practically starving themselves and it could hurt them. If you say something to them be sure to show you are here to support them but you are really concerned about their low calorie intake.
  • StarLiteKiss
    StarLiteKiss Posts: 18 Member
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    I question them on it. Because occassionally there's a good reason (gastric bypass would fall into that category).

    If there's no good reason, and they aren't open to seeing some logic, I remove them from my friends list, because I'm not going to suppose someone who is pro-ana



    I agree as well.
  • golfmonk
    golfmonk Posts: 119 Member
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    I question them on it. Because occassionally there's a good reason (gastric bypass would fall into that category).

    If there's no good reason, and they aren't open to seeing some logic, I remove them from my friends list, because I'm not going to suppose someone who is pro-ana

    There are a few friends that explained their situation and I am good with that and will support them. My experience is that if you flag their behavior, explain to them why it is a bad idea and they *still* do it (the in one ear and out the other effect), then I am at a point where I am not sure what do next. I cannot internally support that type of destructive behavior.

    Thank you all for the feedback so far. I am weighing in on the opinions I get before deciding my next move.
  • Hungry_Annie
    Hungry_Annie Posts: 807 Member
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    I deleted someone a while back (previous account), because she was netting like 400 calories a day. She blamed it on surgery, but her diary was like that every day. People expressed concern, but she didn't care. I deleted her. I am not going to give positive comments to someone who is damaging themselves
  • Joanne_happygramma
    Joanne_happygramma Posts: 207 Member
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    I struggle with this too. For some people I use the silence is golden when it comes to low calorie diets ( day after day). I will support elsewhere but it's hard. I am attached to some of these 1200 calorie people and I just can't give up. I saw this with my brother, he dropped a lot of weight this year with MFP, but he most likely did it on too few calories, because for sure he lost a lot of muscle mass. I will see him at Christmas and I am hoping he is looking less manorexic, he is 6'4" and most likely 185.

    Slow and sure wins the race on so many levels, but it's difficult to convince everyone that losing 2 or more pounds a week isn't such a good thing. LOL says me that only ate 1400 calories today and lost 2.5 pounds this week - both events are NOT typical of my time here.
  • kamakazeekim
    kamakazeekim Posts: 1,183 Member
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    It's nice the hear that genuinely care about people and wants what's best for them. All you can really do is keep encouraging them to be healthy...maybe encourage them to throw in an apple or an extra salad for the day. If you see them consistently way too far under then don't comment....only comment on a healthy day....that may help make something click for them if they see their being praised when they eat a bit more.
  • donnaleighh
    donnaleighh Posts: 178 Member
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    I recently had this situation where an already very tiny young person was effectively starving themselves. I tried to provide some concrete and informed information, links etc, as did others, after a while I noticed we were giving this person consistent messages and while they responded really politely, they continued with the behaviour. I also noticed another group around this person who were similarly tiny and with similar eating habits - it was starting to look like a peer group of young people with significant Eating Disorders and they were pushing each other along, a lot of misinformation etc. I stayed with it as long as I could and then sadly had to let it go - the support I tried to provide has not getting traction and the behaviours were really established - felt that with my limited time, it was better to provide support that would add value to anther's journey than blow hot air.
  • Roaringgael
    Roaringgael Posts: 339 Member
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    This topic is useful for me. I am too new at this to express an opinion on what is right or wrong. However I think I would value somone's input if they thought I needed help.
    Old habits die hard and this week, just for instance I lost very little. My all or nothing thinking wants me to sabotage or get 'tough' with myself.
    So a voice of sanity is mighty helpful.
    I have learnt so much recently from people's guidance on these forums. The best are information backed up with references to further reading, they have really helped.
  • tokyoshorty
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    I've been sick for the last week, so have forgotten to log... it's possible they're forgetting to log their stuff. 600 calories is way too low! I also thought MFP had a cap; at least they do on the app.

    Maybe breach it first with a non-direct comment first. For instance, if they're missing a log for a meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), be like "Oops! Don't forget to log this one!" If they mention that they're not eating, then you can be more direct.

    For the people that are exercising crazy amounts, maybe ask them specifics on their exercise (I don't really know who has the time to burn 500+ calories a day)... could be they're logging it wrong.... don't know.

    It's a difficult situation... one I never realized was going on until I ventured to the forum element of MFP.
  • candiceh3
    candiceh3 Posts: 379 Member
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    I have a similar issue - but with people who eat 1000 cals and log an hour of jogging in at one calorie... I know it is so it doesn't make their net APPEAR low, but the reality is that they are netting 400 cals. It is ridiculous. I don't even question them anymore, I just delete them from my FL.
  • meshashesha2012
    meshashesha2012 Posts: 8,326 Member
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    i dont keep these people on my friend's list. sorry but some BS i just can't be a witness to and people in first world countries willfully starving themselves is one.
  • Pandora_King
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    I am bad for closing my diary and then eating more and not logging it. Or making a plan for the day to eat 1500 cals and then forgetting that I exercised 500 cals off.

    Some people don't eat their exercise calories back, so even though they only net 600, they may still be eating upwards of 1200.
  • golfmonk
    golfmonk Posts: 119 Member
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    It's nice the hear that genuinely care about people and wants what's best for them. All you can really do is keep encouraging them to be healthy...maybe encourage them to throw in an apple or an extra salad for the day. If you see them consistently way too far under then don't comment....only comment on a healthy day....that may help make something click for them if they see their being praised when they eat a bit more.

    The thing is, I *really* want people to reach their goals in a healthy manner; nothing on MFP would make me happier. And I know what they are going through because 3 years ago, I did *exactly* the same thing that I am complaining about now!

    I was eating just one meal a day, was lifting weights three times a week, did long walks (8-12 miles) on the days I was not lifting and walking two plus rounds of golf a week carrying my golf bag and with all that I was creating a very low net calorie on a daily basis. I lost 50 pounds, but I know I lost a lot of muscle too and after I stopped doing this insane diet, I packed on 30 pounds and now I am here on MFP a different (and hopefully enlightened) person.

    I know that these message boards get some flack from the newbies, but I *now* know that the experienced voices of MFP *know* what they are talking about and I learned a lot here (and from other web sites) about losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

    So, I *do* know how some of my low-calorie friends are thinking. VLCD will result is short term weight loss, but long term health issues. So, I try, I really do, to pass on this knowledge/experience, but I really feel I am going "against the tide" as it were.

    Anyways, thank you all for the opinions and as I said before, I hope that everyone gets to their goal weight in a safe and healthy manner!
  • maysee1985
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    I am guilty of what you have mention so I will say this to defend myself.

    # 1. By logging in everything I put in mouth- I feel responsible for every calorie in take therefore I am more strict about portion control and make wiser decisions to eat this and not that.

    #2. Although I am usually at 800-1100 calories a day, I find that I simply don't get hungry if I eat certain types of food plus eating every 2 hours helps with hunger. I prepare and enter in the food the day before that way I know exactly what I will be eating for which meal/snack.

    #3. Drinking more water fills me up so I tend not to think that I am hungry.

    #5. GUILTY- I have developed a way of convincing myself that I am full and not hungry. Somedays when I am very busy- I often forget to eat until I start to feel dizzy. I don't eat until I feel stuffed... I push away from the table and throw away the food or save it for latter.
  • golfmonk
    golfmonk Posts: 119 Member
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    I have a similar issue - but with people who eat 1000 cals and log an hour of jogging in at one calorie... I know it is so it doesn't make their net APPEAR low, but the reality is that they are netting 400 cals. It is ridiculous. I don't even question them anymore, I just delete them from my FL.

    About the one calorie workout; one of my friends did that and I had to reply "is x amount of minutes of exercise really 1 calorie?" Of course, I got no response back on that, just shrugged my shoulders and moved on.
  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,532 Member
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    I think it is nice that you are concerned. I deleted one who has set her daily goal at 950 (yes, apparently you can override the MFP 1200 cal cap). She was evasive (denied setting it that way, refused to consider alternatives, etc.), and it was sucking my energy with frustration. I find that most people have it ingrained that you have to starve or feel hungry and suffer to lose weight. I have approached some of my friends, if I am concerned about what I am seeing in their diary (through PM). It really can be a mindset that is difficult to overcome. There is so much misinformation out there, body shaming, and an all-or-nothing mentality (this is mine) that if you go VLCD you will lose faster.

    Basically, if you find it is sucking your energy, or frustrating you... delete them. You are here for your own journey, and adding stress is not helpful.

    :flowerforyou: for being a thoughtful and supportive friend
  • whitebalance
    whitebalance Posts: 1,654 Member
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    I have a similar issue - but with people who eat 1000 cals and log an hour of jogging in at one calorie... I know it is so it doesn't make their net APPEAR low, but the reality is that they are netting 400 cals. It is ridiculous. I don't even question them anymore, I just delete them from my FL.

    About the one calorie workout; one of my friends did that and I had to reply "is x amount of minutes of exercise really 1 calorie?" Of course, I got no response back on that, just shrugged my shoulders and moved on.
    People who use the TDEE method typically log their cardio exercise as 1 calorie because they want to keep track of the activity but the calorie burn is already included in their total daily energy expenditure.
  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,532 Member
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    I believe that those following TDEE - x% will log exercise as 1 calorie, because TDEE method takes exercise into consideration. The MFP method is designed for calorie eat back.
  • PikaKnight
    PikaKnight Posts: 34,971 Member
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    I don't think he'd have that big of an issue with the 1 cal burn if the calorie goal was set to (for example) 1800. But his example is one of someone who has their cal goals set to 1000. In that case, I don't think they are following TDEE and are instead in the disordered eating/eating disorder territory.