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Doc says one thing, calculators another

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Hi everyone. I'm new and confused.

Me: 46F, 5'9" 220.

I have had a life long battle with weight. Almost 360# in high school. Starved my way down to 120# in eight months-not kidding. After losing the weight I ate one meal a day for over 10 years. Of course I put some weight back on. Ended up around 180# in my 30's. I gave up the one meal a day thing at around age 33. I pretty much gave up any type of dieting and ended up around 250#

Fast forward to 5 years ago and I was DX'd with fatty liver disease. After much research I decided to turn pescetarian. I dropped 30#, didn't try. 2 years ago I added chicken and turkey back in to the meals. But I still don't eat red meat (hard on the liver) I've cleaned up my diet in the last 5 years too; I eat whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat pasta. I make my own bread, peanut butter, tomato sauce etc. During these last 5 years I have yo-yo'd up and down 20#

I started exercising 2.5 years ago; just bike riding (5-20 miles 3 days a week) and walking dogs.

10 months ago I joined a gym.
Gym routine: 3-4 days a week
10 mins on the treadmill to warm up.
Weights: I only do machines because of 4 herniated disc's in back, but I lift as heavy as I can for 3 sets of 8-10 (example: curl 65#, calf raise 140#, hip abductor 260#, chest press 45#, lat pull down 110#)
30 mins treadmill after weights.

Here is where I get confused. MFP says I should eat around 1900-2700 (depending on exercise that day), TDEE say 2500, and my doc...well she said 1500. When I wasn't losing fast enough, she told me to drop down to 1200/day. When I couldn't make it through a work out without wanting to vomit, I upped it. I did lose about 16# in about 7 months but now I've added weight back on. I've gained 14# I've dropped and maintained one pant size.

Color me confused. I am willing to put in the work, I am willing to weigh and measure everything but I just don't know what advice to follow. I can also tell you that the thought of eating over 2000/day and lose weight??? Really?? blows my mind.

My goal is to get below 200#, if possible. I don't mind muscles! I've been fat, I've been anorexic...I'm ok with trying muscular and to take over small villages. So anyone willing to give me their .02? It would be much appreciated.

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Replies

  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,151 Member
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    Follow MFP's way for a couple of weeks and see where you are.
  • Alluminati
    Alluminati Posts: 6,208 Member
    edited March 2015
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    So the rate at which you are losing seems to bother your doctor? I don't know a lot about fatty liver, I'm sorry. But your doctor also doesn't seem informed on nutrition either. Maybe see a nutritionist and coordinate the results with your doctor, because 1200 is too low for your stats.

    Eta: my doctor found out I was eating 2k cals a day and losing last year...but advised me that for my frame I should eat 1000, lol. I told him to go *kitten* himself in my head and did nothing of the sort.
  • Ellaskat
    Ellaskat Posts: 386 Member
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    OdesAngel wrote: »
    So the rate at which you are losing seems to bother your doctor? I don't know a lot about fatty liver, I'm sorry. But your doctor also doesn't seem informed on nutrition either. Maybe see a nutritionist and coordinate the results with your doctor, because 1200 is too low for your stats.

    Eta: my doctor found out I was eating 2k cals a day and losing last year...but advised me that for my frame I should eat 1000, lol. I told him to go *kitten* himself in my head and did nothing of the sort.

    This. Doctors don't know everything- way too many specialties to be informed about all things, all the time. I would ask for a referral to a nutritionist who has experience with you Dx.

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
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    Ellaskat wrote: »
    OdesAngel wrote: »
    So the rate at which you are losing seems to bother your doctor? I don't know a lot about fatty liver, I'm sorry. But your doctor also doesn't seem informed on nutrition either. Maybe see a nutritionist and coordinate the results with your doctor, because 1200 is too low for your stats.

    Eta: my doctor found out I was eating 2k cals a day and losing last year...but advised me that for my frame I should eat 1000, lol. I told him to go *kitten* himself in my head and did nothing of the sort.

    This. Doctors don't know everything- way too many specialties to be informed about all things, all the time. I would ask for a referral to a nutritionist who has experience with you Dx.

    Make that a dietician. Anyone and their cousin can be a nutritionist....

    A dietitian is a health professional who has university qualifications consisting of a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a certain period of practical training in different hospital and community settings (in the U.S. 1200 hours of supervised practice are required in different areas). Some dietitians also further their knowledge and skills by pursuing various Specialist Dietetic qualifications. Dietitian is an expert in prescribing therapeutic nutrition.

    A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term Nutritionist is not protected by law in almost all countries so people with different levels of and knowledge can call themselves a “Nutritionist”.
  • apfei
    apfei Posts: 20 Member
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    This is an interesting thread for me because my doctor also recommended 1200 for me and MFP says 1540. I've been trying some where in between. I've on been at it just under three weeks. I lost my first two weeks but the start of a diet i always lose easily. Tomorrow is week three weigh-in and i don't know what to expect. I haven't been hungry the week eating 1200 - 1540 and it worries me.
  • Alluminati
    Alluminati Posts: 6,208 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Ellaskat wrote: »
    OdesAngel wrote: »
    So the rate at which you are losing seems to bother your doctor? I don't know a lot about fatty liver, I'm sorry. But your doctor also doesn't seem informed on nutrition either. Maybe see a nutritionist and coordinate the results with your doctor, because 1200 is too low for your stats.

    Eta: my doctor found out I was eating 2k cals a day and losing last year...but advised me that for my frame I should eat 1000, lol. I told him to go *kitten* himself in my head and did nothing of the sort.

    This. Doctors don't know everything- way too many specialties to be informed about all things, all the time. I would ask for a referral to a nutritionist who has experience with you Dx.

    Make that a dietician. Anyone and their cousin can be a nutritionist....

    A dietitian is a health professional who has university qualifications consisting of a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a certain period of practical training in different hospital and community settings (in the U.S. 1200 hours of supervised practice are required in different areas). Some dietitians also further their knowledge and skills by pursuing various Specialist Dietetic qualifications. Dietitian is an expert in prescribing therapeutic nutrition.

    A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term Nutritionist is not protected by law in almost all countries so people with different levels of and knowledge can call themselves a “Nutritionist”.
    Yeah what he said ^^
  • pensierobello
    pensierobello Posts: 285 Member
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    apfei wrote: »
    This is an interesting thread for me because my doctor also recommended 1200 for me and MFP says 1540. I've been trying some where in between. I've on been at it just under three weeks. I lost my first two weeks but the start of a diet i always lose easily. Tomorrow is week three weigh-in and i don't know what to expect. I haven't been hungry the week eating 1200 - 1540 and it worries me.

    1200 is only for very tiny ladies and very old people. Up it. Absolutely no need to be eating that low, ever. Eat at least 1400 and you'll feel better, and you can always eat loads more by exercising and eating at least half your cals back (this is without knowing what you weigh, what your height is or what you want to lose)
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
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    I think doctors know people are human and that means they underestimate their intake by large percentages and when the scale doesn't move, they quit in frustration. Whereas the MFP intake goal assumes you're going to be 100% accurate and 100% patient, like a computer.

    Personally, I think you get what you pay for.
  • TiberiusClaudis
    TiberiusClaudis Posts: 423 Member
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    Agree with many on this site...go to a specialist. A general sawbones isn't knowledgeable in this area. I had fatty liver...was 60lbs overweight. Once I lost that fat..and gained muscle...it totally went away...along with high blood pressure and high tris. There is hope if you get the weight down...don't give up. Keep chugging!
  • LavenderLeaves
    LavenderLeaves Posts: 195 Member
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    Listen to the others in the thread. Get a referral for a registered dietician, or just go to one if you don't need a referral. Doctors can have as little as 1 hour of nutritional training in medical school.
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,623 Member
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    apfei wrote: »
    This is an interesting thread for me because my doctor also recommended 1200 for me and MFP says 1540. I've been trying some where in between. I've on been at it just under three weeks. I lost my first two weeks but the start of a diet i always lose easily. Tomorrow is week three weigh-in and i don't know what to expect. I haven't been hungry the week eating 1200 - 1540 and it worries me.

    I'm almost never hungry and I've lost 30lbs eating about double.
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,623 Member
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    I think doctors know people are human and that means they underestimate their intake by large percentages and when the scale doesn't move, they quit in frustration. Whereas the MFP intake goal assumes you're going to be 100% accurate and 100% patient, like a computer.

    Personally, I think you get what you pay for.

    Or like people already said, doctors don't know everything and they are giving shite advice on this topic, and likely don't really know much about nutrition and caloric intake requirements (as demonstrated above by someone being recommended 1000 calorie for her frame....)

    OP, see a specialist for any health issues, and use the calculator numbers for now and adjust down is you aren't losing at your expected rate. Down by 100 calories a week is more than enough. And I am 157 eating more than 2000 calories, so yeah it can be done. This is with only 4-5 hours exercise a week, and most of that is weight lifting. I do tdee so all my exercise calories are already accounted for in my intake. If my doctor told me I was eating too much, I'd probably tell her to log her normal intake and then shove it.
  • amy8400
    amy8400 Posts: 478 Member
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    Your doc's recommendation of 1,500 seems pretty aggressive for someone 5'9", especially if you are working out 3-4 days a week. I'd definitely talk with a registered dietician due to your history of fatty liver disease and the fact that you've not had lasting success despite years of effort. Good for you to say you're willing to do the work. I like that--no excuses ;)

    When you are on the treadmill are you doing intense workouts where you are feeling exertion and have your heart rate up? I will notice people who walk for extended periods at an incline of zero, maybe 2.5 mph. I would recommend doing interval work on the treadmill to boost your exertion level if you're not already. I love doing that. Also try to mix up your routine with different machines--elliptical, stairs/stepper, bike, rowing machine, etc. Keeps your workouts from becoming boring and gives you a more well-rounded cardio workout.
  • justsayinisall
    justsayinisall Posts: 162 Member
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    amy8400 wrote: »
    Your doc's recommendation of 1,500 seems pretty aggressive for someone 5'9", especially if you are working out 3-4 days a week. I'd definitely talk with a registered dietician due to your history of fatty liver disease and the fact that you've not had lasting success despite years of effort. Good for you to say you're willing to do the work. I like that--no excuses ;)

    When you are on the treadmill are you doing intense workouts where you are feeling exertion and have your heart rate up? I will notice people who walk for extended periods at an incline of zero, maybe 2.5 mph. I would recommend doing interval work on the treadmill to boost your exertion level if you're not already. I love doing that. Also try to mix up your routine with different machines--elliptical, stairs/stepper, bike, rowing machine, etc. Keeps your workouts from becoming boring and gives you a more well-rounded cardio workout.

    I just recently started treadmill. I had been doing bike and then moved to elliptical. When on treadmill I do 15% at 3-3.8 mph. Heart rate consistently 155+

    Thank you everyone. I am just frustrated. I have been following 1600-2100 calories/day and the result is 14# weight gain these last 3-4 months. Now to be fair, when the scale started climbing, I would stop food logging and take weekends off and it IS Girl Scout cookie season lol. But even not logging on weekends, I didn't go out and eat cheeseburgers and ice cream. I just didn't measure the butter I put on toast, or the dressing I put on my salads. But other than that, I do log and measure yada yada yada.

    So I vacillate between taking docs advice and lower calories or should I try to do the TDEE and consistently aim for the 2000+ I've opened up the food diary. I do know I'm not getting enough fiber and protein (I also can't fathom how to hit the marks that TDEE says I should for those two).




  • QuilterInVA
    QuilterInVA Posts: 672 Member
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    There is an article in the new Reader's Digest on Diet myths. Guess what - research supports that losing weight faster has longer lasting results than taking it slow. 1200 calories is required to get adequate nutrition. So I think your doctor is right.
  • HeySwoleSister
    HeySwoleSister Posts: 1,938 Member
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    There is an article in the new Reader's Digest on Diet myths. Guess what - research supports that losing weight faster has longer lasting results than taking it slow. 1200 calories is required to get adequate nutrition. So I think your doctor is right.

    Reader's Digest is not a peer-reviewed medical journal.

    OP, 1600-2100 calories is a big range, and when you add in your "weekends off" (not a sustainable habit, by the way, it just continues the idea that you are "on a diet" and that sensible eating is something that has a finish line.) you are very likely not operating at a deficit for any reasonable period of time.

    Listen to MFP, set to say, 1900, but BE 100% honest and accurate about it. No more of this "weekends off" or "cookies, LOL!" business. Weigh your food, measure your liquids. Drink lots of water. Eat back about half of your exercise calories. Give it a month or two and THEN you can talk about frustration. It sounds like you haven't even given a sensible moderate approach a try yet...you've gone from crazy starvation plans to "I'm reducing...but not really, LOL."

    You won't lose an ounce until you buckle down and get to it. Log everything, hold yourself accountable. I bet you start seeing a change.
  • DebzNuDa
    DebzNuDa Posts: 252 Member
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    ^^This^^
  • MoiAussi93
    MoiAussi93 Posts: 1,948 Member
    edited March 2015
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    You should take your doctors advice...when you upped the calories you started to gain. That should tell you something.

    Some advice on what worked for me...you absolutely can be full and workout on 1500 calories. I am 5'9 1/2" and did it on even less. The key is what you eat. I don't know your full diet, but just looking at your post...you mention whole grains, rice, pasta, bread. If carbs are over 50% of your diet, the problem is they don't keep you as full as protein...and even fat. I'm not telling you not to eat that stuff...I'm just saying you will be less hungry if they are a relatively small part of the diet, and you have more protein and fat. Playing with the macros can make a huge difference. BTW, I was 267 at my heaviest and running and later added interval training. So my workouts are pretty intense and I never had any problems with energy.
  • SilverRose89
    SilverRose89 Posts: 447 Member
    edited March 2015
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Make that a dietician. Anyone and their cousin can be a nutritionist....

    A dietitian is a health professional who has university qualifications consisting of a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a certain period of practical training in different hospital and community settings (in the U.S. 1200 hours of supervised practice are required in different areas). Some dietitians also further their knowledge and skills by pursuing various Specialist Dietetic qualifications. Dietitian is an expert in prescribing therapeutic nutrition.

    A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term Nutritionist is not protected by law in almost all countries so people with different levels of and knowledge can call themselves a “Nutritionist”.

    Sorry to go off subject a little, but is this the case everywhere then?

    I know here in the UK, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist but a dietician is a legally protected term and needs adequate training. On this site I see lots of Americans telling people to see a nutritionist and I often find myself wanting to jump in and say "go to a dietician instead" but thought that maybe in the US it's different and nutritionist and dietician are interchangeable terms for qualified and accredited clinicians.

    TLDR: Are nutritionists non-accredited in America as well as the UK, then?
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,623 Member
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    MoiAussi93 wrote: »
    You should take your doctors advice...when you upped the calories you started to gain. That should tell you something.

    Some advice on what worked for me...you absolutely can be full and workout on 1500 calories. I am 5'9 1/2" and did it on even less. The key is what you eat. I don't know your full diet, but just looking at your post...you mention whole grains, rice, pasta, bread. If carbs are over 50% of your diet, the problem is they don't keep you as full as protein...and even fat. I'm not telling you not to eat that stuff...I'm just saying you will be less hungry if they are a relatively small part of the diet, and you have more protein and fat. Playing with the macros can make a huge difference. BTW, I was 267 at my heaviest and running and later added interval training. So my workouts are pretty intense and I never had any problems with energy.

    Yup, it sure does: water weight gain. The weight will stabilize and likely lower itself. I have had MUCH experience increasing my calories over my 8 months here, and yes, half the time it led to a temporary gain. I lost way more than I wanted to the last 2 weeks on 2100 calories so I'm going back up to 2200, actually to 2250. It's not a huge jump in calories though so I may not see any noticeable scale weight increases from it. But I sure as hell will feel better at the gym - and my gym performance has suffered slightly on the 2100 calories despite getting in plenty of fat and 125g+ of protein every day.

    For you to advocate that she should be eating so little when she did not feel good eating at a low number is just ridiculous. The key is not what you eat, it's how much you eat. OP eating <1500 calories of lettuce and chicken isn't going to make her feel any better at the gym and in daily life than if she ate ice cream along with it at the same caloric intake level. Some people DO feel full on high carb, others don't.

    Think that OP should eat 1200 calories when she felt horrible? Great advice. Top notch.