Not Enough Calories>????

MFP recommended that in order for me to lose 1.5-2lbs weekly I need to intake 1200 calories daily. I am 5'3 240 lbs. my goal is 140 in 12mos. I work out 3-5 times weekly. I have a desk job. It is not difficult for me to eat this amount and find it satisfying as I am consuming things like fish chicken feta cheese kale, lots of fruits and veggies.....but I havent seen the loss I am expecting just yet and in fact a gain this week......just wondering if this is too little but I am afraid since this is my recommended amount that I should not eat more. I am worried I may gain from upping my calories.
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Replies

  • heavenlyb14
    heavenlyb14 Posts: 303 Member
    If you open your diary then there will probably be a few suggestions that could be made.
  • PINKinquisition1908
    PINKinquisition1908 Posts: 180 Member
    I'm not an expert, but I'm the same height. I literally do not lose unless I eat around 1400 calories and burn about 500 of those off. You have to do what is right for your body.
  • nishass
    nishass Posts: 9 Member
    I have about that amount to lose as well and I have a desk job also. I find that when I consumed 900-1000 calories, I lost less weight than when I took it up to around 1200. I guess my body goes into starvation mode then. I am satisfied at around 1200. I try to use a sense of "satisfaction" as a guide generally so don't mind it too much if i exceed that amount. I am trying to focus on increasing my activity levels and adopt more of an athletic mindset.
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    If you open your diary then there will probably be a few suggestions that could be made.

    I opened it up! I am open to any and all suggestions as this is a new journey for me!
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    I have about that amount to lose as well and I have a desk job also. I find that when I consumed 900-1000 calories, I lost less weight than when I took it up to around 1200. I guess my body goes into starvation mode then. I am satisfied at around 1200. I am trying to focus on increasing my activity levels and adopt more of an athletic mindset.


    that might be my problem. Some days I end up only eating 900-1000 cals and have a hard time hitting the goal of 1200 then other times (weekends) it might go up more.
  • pamcuster
    pamcuster Posts: 770 Member
    Just an observation...anorexics do NOT stop losing weight (or lose less weight) when they eat too few calories...EVER!
  • ttknowles01
    ttknowles01 Posts: 255 Member
    When you say that you are eating 1200 calories, is that your net calories (MFP calories + some exercise calories)?. I try to make sure I net at least 1200 (which means I'm eating 1600-1800 cals depending on how much I burn). It took me a while to figure that out, and the weight (at least for me) started moving in the right direction :smile:
  • ell_v131
    ell_v131 Posts: 349 Member
    Hi there, before determining a certain number of calories is not right for you, it's best to first check for accuracy of logging. Do you eyeball some of your food? Ideally you would weigh all your food, as measuring it is quite inaccurate and with a low target like ours and with your height/weight, a 100-200 calories off will make a difference.

    When I am in my regular regime of work/home or on a business trip, I usually do quite well. i measure most of my food and have the rest pre-packaged or already know how to eyeball that specific food. But when I go on holiday or a business trip someplace I don't usually go, I log by eyeballing but since it's not as familiar to me, I end up not losing that week, and I attribute it to inaccurate logging. I think mentally when I see delicious food I log it as a little less so I can have more. Also less familiar foods are harder to eyeball.

    I'm not saying your case is exactly like mine, just illustrating the point that without a digital foodscale, the numbers you put in are only guesses, some more accurate than others
  • Branstin
    Branstin Posts: 2,320 Member
    Be careful following a generic recommendation. MFP sets the initial goal calorie amount to 1200 for people who do not exercise at all. Most people are at least "Lightly Active". Secondly, the initial number already has a calorie deficiency built into it and does not include exercise calories. This is added after you enter your exercise which creates a larger deficiency. A deficiency too large could hinder weight loss. Try eating back half of your exercise calories and be very accurate in tracking your activities (food, water, activities, and measurements).
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    When you say that you are eating 1200 calories, is that your net calories (MFP calories + some exercise calories)?. I try to make sure I net at least 1200 (which means I'm eating 1600-1800 cals depending on how much I burn). It took me a while to figure that out, and the weight (at least for me) started moving in the right direction :smile:


    I log only my food and I dont usually count the calories I burn on here.
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    Be careful following a generic recommendation. MFP sets the initial goal calorie amount to 1200 for people who do not exercise at all. Most people are at least "Lightly Active". Secondly, the initial number already has a calorie deficiency built into it and does not include exercise calories. This is added after you enter your exercise which creates a larger deficiency. A deficiency too large could hinder weight loss. Try eating back half of your exercise calories and be very accurate in tracking your activities (food, water, activities, and measurements).



    Thanks for the advice. Yes I am lightly active. I work out 4x weekly usually an hour each time.
  • gypsy_spirit
    gypsy_spirit Posts: 2,107 Member
    Are you weighing all your solid foods? When you add homemade pasta salad - is that your recipe? Or a generic recipe in the database? How do you know what's in that?

    Most people overestimate the amount of food they eat. Using generic entries & guessing at weights is the most common reason for not losing. Do you use a food scale? If not, invest in one.

    ETA: Why does your calorie amount change daily? One day is 1260, one day is 1600, and there are no added entries for exercise.
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    Hi there, before determining a certain number of calories is not right for you, it's best to first check for accuracy of logging. Do you eyeball some of your food? Ideally you would weigh all your food, as measuring it is quite inaccurate and with a low target like ours and with your height/weight, a 100-200 calories off will make a difference.

    When I am in my regular regime of work/home or on a business trip, I usually do quite well. i measure most of my food and have the rest pre-packaged or already know how to eyeball that specific food. But when I go on holiday or a business trip someplace I don't usually go, I log by eyeballing but since it's not as familiar to me, I end up not losing that week, and I attribute it to inaccurate logging. I think mentally when I see delicious food I log it as a little less so I can have more. Also less familiar foods are harder to eyeball.

    I'm not saying your case is exactly like mine, just illustrating the point that without a digital foodscale, the numbers you put in are only guesses, some more accurate than others

    Very good point! I usually measure things whether it be a measuring cup or scale but of course it is impossible to do this all the time!
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    Are you weighing all your solid foods? When you add homemade pasta salad - is that your recipe? Or a generic recipe in the database? How do you know what's in that?

    Most people overestimate the amount of food they eat. Using generic entries & guessing at weights is the most common reason for not losing. Do you use a food scale? If not, invest in one.

    ETA: Why does your calorie amount change daily? One day is 1260, one day is 1600, and there are no added entries for exercise.


    I dont usually log my workouts on here. I work out usually 4x weekly roughly an hour. my calorie goals changed like that because I have been playing around the last week with what works and the goals did fluctuate when I did decide to enter exercised on some days.
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    Are you weighing all your solid foods? When you add homemade pasta salad - is that your recipe? Or a generic recipe in the database? How do you know what's in that?

    Most people overestimate the amount of food they eat. Using generic entries & guessing at weights is the most common reason for not losing. Do you use a food scale? If not, invest in one.

    ETA: Why does your calorie amount change daily? One day is 1260, one day is 1600, and there are no added entries for exercise.
    \


    Also, if I make a homemade recipe I usually just enter the ingredients all separately
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    When you say that you are eating 1200 calories, is that your net calories (MFP calories + some exercise calories)?. I try to make sure I net at least 1200 (which means I'm eating 1600-1800 cals depending on how much I burn). It took me a while to figure that out, and the weight (at least for me) started moving in the right direction :smile:

    This!^

    MFP gave you a calorie deficit with ZERO exercise built in. When you increase the deficit too much, you can't maintain existing muscle mass very well. If you want a to lose mostly fat - then you want to eat some* exercise calories back.

    *Some calories back ......because calorie burns are estimates. MFP (and many machines) are "generous"

    One weigh in is not important. Your weight may fluctuate daily......hormones, sodium, sore muscles hold water....lots of factors. Weight loss won't be linear. You may lose nothing one week & 2 pounds the next. As you get closer to goal weight loss will slow down......

    Pounds per week
    75+ lbs to lose 2 lb range
    Between 40 - 75 lbs to lose 1.5 lb range
    Between 25-40 lbs to lose 1 lb range
    Between 15-25 lbs to lose 1 -.50 lb range
    Less than 15 lbs to lose 0.5 lbs range
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    Just an observation...anorexics do NOT stop losing weight (or lose less weight) when they eat too few calories...EVER!


    and I am clearly not an anorexic.
  • firstsip
    firstsip Posts: 8,399 Member
    Just an observation...anorexics do NOT stop losing weight (or lose less weight) when they eat too few calories...EVER!

    Where is this observation coming from? People can last a surprising amount of time at low calories. Anorexia is incredibly dangerous, but you can definitely survive at a certain ~set point~ for awhile at a low weight. That's half the reason why anorexic behaviors progress; after awhile, the weight loss slows, so more extreme methods get used.
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
    I have about that amount to lose as well and I have a desk job also. I find that when I consumed 900-1000 calories, I lost less weight than when I took it up to around 1200. I guess my body goes into starvation mode then. I am satisfied at around 1200. I am trying to focus on increasing my activity levels and adopt more of an athletic mindset.


    that might be my problem. Some days I end up only eating 900-1000 cals and have a hard time hitting the goal of 1200 then other times (weekends) it might go up more.

    You also don't log some of those days on the weekends.


    You have been asked several times now but I haven't seen an answer (sorry if I missed it) - how do you measure your food?
    Do you log everything? I don't see drinks on there. I also see one morning where you have coconut oil logged but nothing else.
    You also use a few generic entries. What is the Sandwich Bros chicken pita? It is very low calorie.


    MFP is designed that you are supposed to eat back your exercise calories, so even at 1200 you should be eating more. Granted there are issues with estimation so some people choose to only eat part of them back, but you should be consuming at least some of them.
  • DevSanchez
    DevSanchez Posts: 314 Member
    When you say that you are eating 1200 calories, is that your net calories (MFP calories + some exercise calories)?. I try to make sure I net at least 1200 (which means I'm eating 1600-1800 cals depending on how much I burn). It took me a while to figure that out, and the weight (at least for me) started moving in the right direction :smile:

    This!^

    MFP gave you a calorie deficit with ZERO exercise built in. When you increase the deficit too much, you can't maintain existing muscle mass very well. If you want a to lose mostly fat - then you want to eat some* exercise calories back.

    *Some calories back ......because calorie burns are estimates. MFP (and many machines) are "generous"

    One weigh in is not important. Your weight may fluctuate daily......hormones, sodium, sore muscles hold water....lots of factors. Weight loss won't be linear. You may lose nothing one week & 2 pounds the next. As you get closer to goal weight loss will slow down......

    Pounds per week
    75+ lbs to lose 2 lb range
    Between 40 - 75 lbs to lose 1.5 lb range
    Between 25-40 lbs to lose 1 lb range
    Between 15-25 lbs to lose 1 -.50 lb range
    Less than 15 lbs to lose 0.5 lbs range


    Thank you for your input! I appreciate the advice!