how low in calories is unhealthy

ok, so I'm not going to sugarcoat it i need to lose a whole person, I'm very tall but weigh 436lbs, ikr shocking, so I wanted to be a bit more extreme in losing weight because I have an injury that is keeping me from working out, so I looked at calorie calculator. com to see how many calories to lose weight with very little workouts,2600 was the a recommendation to lose 2lbs a week, so I decided to go lower to 2000 flat.. but I don't want to put my health at risk, how drastic have some of you gone and with what success?


  • samiann96
    samiann96 Posts: 10 Member
    I wouldn't go too crazy low. You need to still feel satisfied, or else you'll just end up gaining the weight back again because you'll start bingeing. At least, that's what happened to me. If you wanted to drop, I would drop it down to maybe 2300-2400 and see how you feel with that first. You just want to make sure what you're doing will sustain you for the long run, not just for a "quick fix." Because, trust me, gaining your weight back sucks.
  • 1tufmomof4
    1tufmomof4 Posts: 11 Member
    Hi, Mike, it always is a big help to get your doctor involved too. He or she can help guide you to proper calorie consumption/restriction. Also, try to see if your insurance covers you working alongside a registered dietitian. Some insurance companies or doctors can refer you to programs that can connect you with one.
  • 1tufmomof4
    1tufmomof4 Posts: 11 Member
    By the way, I'm proud of you, Mike!
  • mikebelljr68
    mikebelljr68 Posts: 7 Member
    thanks i appreciate the feedback, i need to check into getting a dietician, recently found out that I'm pre-diabetic and need to get my weight under control fast
  • SherryTeach
    SherryTeach Posts: 2,836 Member
    No one should go lower than BMR.
  • orangpeel757
    orangpeel757 Posts: 38 Member
    I second the recommendation to get your Dr involved in helping you find a dietician. I also recommend gaining access to a pool for exercise. My mom, who was well over 300 lbs at 5'2", lost a lot of weight by swimming. It's easier on the joints.
  • pebble4321
    pebble4321 Posts: 1,132 Member
    It doesn't seem like 2000 would cause a problem in the short term, when you've got a lot to lose and have health issues, the priority is probably to get the weight off. But of course you have to ensure you have to do what's right for your health, and as others as have suggested it would be wise to get some good advice that's specific to you.
  • hjlourenshj
    hjlourenshj Posts: 66 Member
    the heavier obese people can go in a much bigger deficit. When you eat healthy you have the nutrition side covered so i would say go for it!
  • VintageFeline
    VintageFeline Posts: 6,771 Member
    On the face of it it doesn't seem too drastic at your current size. But be mindful that long term compliance is a factor too, cutting so much so fast can lead people to just feeling plain over hungry and then bingeing. 2lbs and perhaps more should be safe for you but don't be too hard on yourself, being hungry is miserable and trying to figure out what works for you satiety wise can take some time to figure out. So there's no harm in slowly coming down to 2000 as you experiment and get used to your new normal intake.

    Good luck!
  • Gallowmere1984
    Gallowmere1984 Posts: 6,626 Member
    edited August 2016
    No one should go lower than BMR.

    Nonsense. At 5'10", 151.2 lbs, my BMR comes out at 1648, off of the calculator. You know what happens when I eat at 1648? I maintain. Hell, I've been maintaining this weight at 1650-1700 kcals for well over a month now. I have to cut to at most, 1500 to see any notable loss.
  • trigden1991
    trigden1991 Posts: 4,658 Member
    At your weight I would speak to your doctor about undertaking something along the lines of Rapid Fat Loss by Lyle McDonald which is a VLCD and is ideal for hugely obese people.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,720 Member
    2000 should be ok if it doesn't leave you too hungry, as you have a lot to lose. losing 1% of your weight per week is fine.
  • Firefly0606
    Firefly0606 Posts: 366 Member
    When you decide on your calories, remember that it's not a fixed number forever. Perhaps start at 2200 and see how you feel. If you are doing well and feel you could go a little lower, then adjust. You will make adjustments throughout your journey. You don't have to be starving hungry to do this.
  • Zedeff
    Zedeff Posts: 651 Member
    No one should go lower than BMR.

    Nonsense. At 5'10", 151.2 lbs, my BMR comes out at 1648, off of the calculator. You know what happens when I eat at 1648? I maintain. Hell, I've been maintaining this weight at 1650-1700 kcals for well over a month now. I have to cut to at most, 1500 to see any notable loss.

    While I agree that the original advice of not eating below BMR is nonsense, I have to point out that if you are maintaining your weight then you obviously are not eating below your BMR, so your example isn't a good one. All it shows is that the estimate of your BMR or TDEE was not a good one.
  • goldthistime
    goldthistime Posts: 3,214 Member
    edited August 2016
    I am a fan of being aggressive in the beginning when your enthusiasm is high and you are least likely to do any damage, (especially if you have health concerns), tapering off to a more sustainable level as time goes by. Be prepared psychologically for stellar results, followed by what you may think of as disappointing results (revisiting old numbers, aka regaining a little) as you start increasing calories. If you find yourself getting irritated by being hungry or by not being able to have ANY treats during this initial phase, slow it down right away. Sticking with this is far more important than rate of loss.

    Eta: I do agree with the concept that the winner is he who eats the most and still loses, but imo, that's for later on in your journey.
  • dykask
    dykask Posts: 800 Member
    edited August 2016
    I would look at out much you are currently eating. If you are eating 5000 kc / day, you will probably be really noticing any cut, even the 2600 kc one. A few hundred calories probably won't make much difference. If you are eating around 3600 kc / day, then cutting back to 2600 probably is going to be a lot easier than cutting to 2000 kc / day. You just have to find what works for you.

    As far as health, it really depends on what you eat. You probably should be taking a daily multi-vitamin or doing something to make sure you get the vitamins and minerals you need. This is where a dietician probably could really help.

    I was pre-diabetic at 232 lbs. That was over 4 years ago and I'm about 196 lbs now. I went really slow and didn't even start with a calorie deficit. I started just by working out and modifying my diet to healthier foods. In a year I was down about 15 pounds and my blood sugar was normal. I was out of shape so I started with 4 exercise HIIT workouts, I could only do 8 minutes a day for the first few months. Every year my weight has been dropping but now I can workout hard for more than an hour if I drink some water during the workout.

    Since you can't workout, that isn't an option for you. Hopefully that will improve for you in the future. Working out isn't so great for just losing weight but it does improve your health, burn fat and allow you to eat a little more and still maintain a calorie deficit if that is your goal.
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,491 Member
    edited August 2016
    The general recommendation is it's safe to lose up to 1% of total body weight per week.

    At your current size you can and should be losing more. Roughly 4.3 pounds a week.

    However, at your current size i would recommend to undergo medical supervision as you lose. You'll want someone in your corner to make sure you're staying on track.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,218 MFP Moderator
    At your size, you can sustain a bigger deficit than most and it's hard to tell what your loss per week will be. So if anything, aim for 2000-2400, eat foods higher in protein and fiber to satiate you, and then monitor progress over an extended period of time. And at some point, when you can, start doing some resistance training to help mitigate lean body mass loss and metabolic reductions.

    In the end, it comes down to dietary adherence. So don't cut calories so much that you can't adhere, but cut it enough that you are losing at a comfortable pace. I would also recommend doing doctors visits so they can monitor progress and do additional blood test to look for deficiencies.