Am I Eating Enough Food?

Hey all!

I'm 31yo female, 5'0 317 lbs and I recently was diagnosed with ADHD and Prediabetes as well as being deficient in several vitamins/minerals. It's only been two months, but I've been working towards living a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable/doable with the ADHD while also being mindful of my choices for the prediabetes.

My ADHD went undiagnosed my entire life and a huge part of that was having difficulty with executive function to feed myself most days, so it was either not eating at all or making convenient "quick" choices like fast food/frozen food. My nutritionist explained that my body has probably been storing food for so long since I never ate consistently. I'd go days of only eating 1 meal, sometimes 2 meals but never anymore than that. And when I did eat, it wasn't a lot of food.

I'm trying to also balance out my diet to get the nutrients I am deficient in (iron, vitamin D/C and protein) while keeping my carb intake where the nutritionist suggested. And I'm just concerned that I'm not eating enough food, which I'm sure sounds silly considering my size.

Today I tracked all of my meals for the first time (dx'd prediabetes for a few weeks and just saw the nutritionist today!)

Entire Day's Numbers:
Calories: 1100
Carbs: 45g
Protein: 99g
Fat: 52g

My nutritionist put me on 105 carbs a day to start off with, which is more than enough for me in terms of being satiated when eating mostly starchy vegetables/beans/fruit for carbs. I can't eat breakfast in the morning so I have a protein shake. Snack was 2 cheese slices. Lunch was 1 and a half (couldn't finish) chick pea and pork belly tortilla wraps with spinach. Dinner two slices of meat loaf and a cup of broccoli.

From what I can tell on nutritional info, I do seem to be getting an variety of nutrients from the shake and the chickpeas/spinach/broccoli for veggies today.


I know that isn't an array of examples for what I've been eating, but those meal choices today are pretty much on par with how I eat everyday. I'm just concerned I'm not eating ENOUGH. I do feel satiated by what I ate today and was full, but my ADHD medication also suppresses my appetite. And I don't want to eat too little to where my body still thinks I'm not eating.

Is there anything I should be looking out for to include more in my diet? I feel like 1100 calories is too low, even at my size.
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Replies

  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,967 Member
    You've got this! 🙂
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 7,929 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    Not sure why your nutritionist would tell you that not eating for a day or two and then not eating enough calories when you do eat makes your body store it as adipose. Makes no sense whatsoever, that's not how it works. It also appears your trying to relay the message that when you eat you don't consume much food. Something is amiss here based on your stats. You have enough adipose to comfortably sustain a caloric deficit for a while without worry, but I suggest you get another opinion.

    She said she has prediabetes so she has insulin resistance. This means her body doesn’t process carbs and sugars like a normal person so they are more likely to get stored as fat. I’m sure she was eating way more than 1100 calories but I also do know that insulin resistance can impair glucose metabolism. I also read a research paper that said people with IR have a really low bmr which is why they gain weight so easily. I think her nutritionist was saying that eating less causes your body to hold onto fat which could be true if eating less causes you to move less and so burn less calories due to fatigue. I personally experienced this myself.

    Yes, higher circulating blood sugar does impair glucose transport but generally in that state liver and muscle glycogen stores are full and continue to be full simply because of elevated blood sugar. Basically someone that is overweight or obese that consume enough daily carbs stores almost all of that glucose into adipose tissue. Low BMR who have insulin resistance, to what degree of IR and what degree of reduced BMR, need to see the study.

    Anyway IR can in short time come to a grinding halt and reverse (lowering of circulating blood glucose) when in a deficit and reducing carbs and intermittent fasting which she does by missing whole days of eating. Anyway I stand by my previous post. take care, cheers.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 883 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    Not sure why your nutritionist would tell you that not eating for a day or two and then not eating enough calories when you do eat makes your body store it as adipose. Makes no sense whatsoever, that's not how it works. It also appears your trying to relay the message that when you eat you don't consume much food. Something is amiss here based on your stats. You have enough adipose to comfortably sustain a caloric deficit for a while without worry, but I suggest you get another opinion.

    She said she has prediabetes so she has insulin resistance. This means her body doesn’t process carbs and sugars like a normal person so they are more likely to get stored as fat. I’m sure she was eating way more than 1100 calories but I also do know that insulin resistance can impair glucose metabolism. I also read a research paper that said people with IR have a really low bmr which is why they gain weight so easily. I think her nutritionist was saying that eating less causes your body to hold onto fat which could be true if eating less causes you to move less and so burn less calories due to fatigue. I personally experienced this myself.

    Yes, higher circulating blood sugar does impair glucose transport but generally in that state liver and muscle glycogen stores are full and continue to be full simply because of elevated blood sugar. Basically someone that is overweight or obese that consume enough daily carbs stores almost all of that glucose into adipose tissue. Low BMR who have insulin resistance, to what degree of IR and what degree of reduced BMR, need to see the study.

    Anyway IR can in short time come to a grinding halt and reverse (lowering of circulating blood glucose) when in a deficit and reducing carbs and intermittent fasting which she does by missing whole days of eating. Anyway I stand by my previous post. take care, cheers.

    https://drc.bmj.com/content/8/1/e001381

    Even if she was eating one or two meals a day this can still cause erratic blood sugar swings which can also disturb proper insulin function over time because it can cause blood sugar levels to plummet in some people. We all have different hormone levels. Also maybe OP was binging due to only eating so little in her meals? This probably explains why her nutritionist told her to eat frequent balanced meals.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 7,929 Member
    Thanks for the study, I appreciate it. I think you didn't interpret the study properly. You said " people with IR have a really low bmr which is why they gain weight so easily" What the study is actually inferring is that people that have lower BMI are more susceptible to IR, which I totally agree with. Basically someone with a slower metabolism doesn't burn the amount of calories they should, given that particular demographic and subsequently store more calories as adipose tissue. Makes total sense. Erratic eating will certainly cause erratic circulating blood sugar swings and is most evident with higher levels of IR and especially when needing injections because the pancreas is basically failing and for all intense and purposes, dying. Pre diabetes, not so much. Regardless if in a deficit, circulating blood glucose levels will be consistently lower and the pancreas lives another day.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 883 Member
    Thanks for the study, I appreciate it. I think you didn't interpret the study properly. You said " people with IR have a really low bmr which is why they gain weight so easily" What the study is actually inferring is that people that have lower BMI are more susceptible to IR, which I totally agree with. Basically someone with a slower metabolism doesn't burn the amount of calories they should, given that particular demographic and subsequently store more calories as adipose tissue. Makes total sense. Erratic eating will certainly cause erratic circulating blood sugar swings and is most evident with higher levels of IR and especially when needing injections because the pancreas is basically failing and for all intense and purposes, dying. Pre diabetes, not so much. Regardless if in a deficit, circulating blood glucose levels will be consistently lower and the pancreas lives another day.

    Below is from the study:
    “low BMR may constitute a considerable risk factor predisposing to development of T2D.”
    I was talking about low BMR not BMI. So if someone with IR were to eat a normal 1800-2000 calorie diet they could be gaining weight because their body just isn’t burning that many calories. This happens to women with pcos as well who have IR. Also it’s only been 2 months since OP changed her lifestyle. This stuff can take time to see.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 883 Member
    rorybees wrote: »
    Hey all!

    I'm 31yo female, 5'0 317 lbs and I recently was diagnosed with ADHD and Prediabetes as well as being deficient in several vitamins/minerals. It's only been two months, but I've been working towards living a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable/doable with the ADHD while also being mindful of my choices for the prediabetes.

    My ADHD went undiagnosed my entire life and a huge part of that was having difficulty with executive function to feed myself most days, so it was either not eating at all or making convenient "quick" choices like fast food/frozen food. My nutritionist explained that my body has probably been storing food for so long since I never ate consistently. I'd go days of only eating 1 meal, sometimes 2 meals but never anymore than that. And when I did eat, it wasn't a lot of food.

    I'm trying to also balance out my diet to get the nutrients I am deficient in (iron, vitamin D/C and protein) while keeping my carb intake where the nutritionist suggested. And I'm just concerned that I'm not eating enough food, which I'm sure sounds silly considering my size.

    Today I tracked all of my meals for the first time (dx'd prediabetes for a few weeks and just saw the nutritionist today!)

    Entire Day's Numbers:
    Calories: 1100
    Carbs: 45g
    Protein: 99g
    Fat: 52g

    My nutritionist put me on 105 carbs a day to start off with, which is more than enough for me in terms of being satiated when eating mostly starchy vegetables/beans/fruit for carbs. I can't eat breakfast in the morning so I have a protein shake. Snack was 2 cheese slices. Lunch was 1 and a half (couldn't finish) chick pea and pork belly tortilla wraps with spinach. Dinner two slices of meat loaf and a cup of broccoli.

    From what I can tell on nutritional info, I do seem to be getting an variety of nutrients from the shake and the chickpeas/spinach/broccoli for veggies today.


    I know that isn't an array of examples for what I've been eating, but those meal choices today are pretty much on par with how I eat everyday. I'm just concerned I'm not eating ENOUGH. I do feel satiated by what I ate today and was full, but my ADHD medication also suppresses my appetite. And I don't want to eat too little to where my body still thinks I'm not eating.

    Is there anything I should be looking out for to include more in my diet? I feel like 1100 calories is too low, even at my size.

    So before you met your nutritionist were you in a binge and restrict cycle?
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 7,929 Member
    edited May 2021
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    Thanks for the study, I appreciate it. I think you didn't interpret the study properly. You said " people with IR have a really low bmr which is why they gain weight so easily" What the study is actually inferring is that people that have lower BMI are more susceptible to IR, which I totally agree with. Basically someone with a slower metabolism doesn't burn the amount of calories they should, given that particular demographic and subsequently store more calories as adipose tissue. Makes total sense. Erratic eating will certainly cause erratic circulating blood sugar swings and is most evident with higher levels of IR and especially when needing injections because the pancreas is basically failing and for all intense and purposes, dying. Pre diabetes, not so much. Regardless if in a deficit, circulating blood glucose levels will be consistently lower and the pancreas lives another day.

    Below is from the study:
    “low BMR may constitute a considerable risk factor predisposing to development of T2D.”
    I was talking about low BMR not BMI. So if someone with IR were to eat a normal 1800-2000 calorie diet they could be gaining weight because their body just isn’t burning that many calories. This happens to women with pcos as well who have IR. Also it’s only been 2 months since OP changed her lifestyle. This stuff can take time to see.

    That was a mistake I meant BMR but that should have been kinda obvious. And changes nothing I said. Your an excellent proof reader.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    Your instinct is that 1100 is not enough. Trust your instinct! 1200 is the recommended daily minimum for women to get sufficient nutrients, and that is not necessarily a good plan for every woman. Aiming for 1500-2000 (general consensus of prior posts here in your thread, I think) seems to be a good zone for long term success and health.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,836 Member
    Ditto to advice given, in which case you probably noticed the amount of deficit is coming off what you likely burn, not some arbitrary low number.
    The volume of "unhealthy" foods wasn't the problem for the weight aspect, merely the calories.
    For sure could have made it easier to overeat though, perhaps, depending on you.
    The weight loss will likely have the much bigger effect on PD than than super careful food choices - but you need other nutrients anyway, so good to go into this realistic and sustainable.

    Being shorter, your calorie and nutritional needs would be lower - but you aren't to the point of playing how-low-can-I-go - which usually causes problems later when daily burn goes down because you weigh less, and then how low do you go to keep making progress.

    How active are you able to be?

    Because even if truly Sedentary according to MFP levels (which is truly more sedentary than many believe), and 2 lb weekly loss, or 1000 cal deficit, which could be reasonable, your eating goal would be right at 1500.

    If you were coming at this easily maintaining current weight, 2 weeks at higher deficit likely wouldn't be bad - but quick back off unless under a diet specialist Dr's care giving blood work on constant basis to confirm not messing the body up.

    Also, if in US - is that nutritionist or RD Registered Dietician?

    You got some realistic goals and realizations - keep it up!
  • rorybees
    rorybees Posts: 9 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    There is a tendency on a calorie counting site to equate "enough food" with CALORIES.

    You're seem to be using the term in your post in regards to VOLUME of food; and not necessarily Calories.

    It is pretty common for people who revamp their food choice with the help of logging to add nutrient dense but lower caloric content foods and reduce calorically dense and less nutrient filled foods.

    Common. Not universal. It is just one strategy that helps people achieve a caloric deficit while feeling less deprived.

    With stimulant medication (which is often prescribed on ADHD) your eating cues may be impacted because many stimulants have appetite suppression effects.

    Your basic question in your OP was whether 1100 Cal (if accurately counted) is a good amount of calories to aim for.

    My resounding answer is no. It would be too little to sustain your effort long term. And from your starting position you should be looking at the long term. In other words you should be thinking in terms of renewable 5 year plans that include both weight loss and maintenance.

    Sometimes the more we know the more complicated we make things.

    Your "big health money" will come from reducing down from morbid obesity.

    Your second "big health money" will come from improving your food choices; but I would do this in conjunction with and NOT in preference of reducing overall weight.

    Whether you achieve this by reducing carbs or not, unless an active diabetic, I would worry less about this and more on how to achieve sustainability of effort.

    Large deficits may be sustainable short term especially if you have adequate reserves of adipose tissue, but longer term they will have side effects.

    Again: while revamping the menu may help achieve and maintain an appropriate caloric deficit, at least initially and until you're well into a groove (and even then) the deficit and caloric balance will come first in terms of achieving weight management. The type of food choices you make WILL, of course, make caloric balance easier or harder to achieve for you, and will contribute, or not, to your long term health by providing you with appropriate nutrients.

    Anytime I see people creating deficits that substantially exceed 25% of their TDEE even while obese... I inwardly cringe as I do believe them to generate more side effects and be less long term sustainable than deficits in the 20% range...

    At your current weight, if you track close to population estimates, I would expect you to be able to lose weight fairly rapidly while eating closer to 2K Calories than 1100.

    Thank you so much for the reply!

    And you're on point with where my mind is at, not sure if I have articulated that well enough in my posts above though! I did not think 1100 was sustainable. But, with Doctor Google, everything I read from any editorial article was suggesting lower caloric intake in that very low 1100-1200 (sometimes lower) count. But some websites suggested a rounded out diet of 1800-2000 calories for someone my size.

    I'm not looking to have a low calorie diet intentionally. I'm big enough that my mere existence requires a pretty high calorie intake just to maintain. I think hitting around 2k will be the way to go. I'm just now trying to figure what I can add to my meals (but probably just snacks) to add 900 more calories. I love beans so I'll probably add more of those to my diet!

    I've been learning this past week that unless I am intentionally eating things like bread, rice or pasta for a meal, it is actually really hard to eat the volume of food it takes to hit my 45 carb limit per meal when its coming primarily from beans and starchy vegetables.
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 6,825 Member
    I agree totally with pav and north cascades.
    When I was sorta where you are, as far as drinking my calories—coke, for energy— and not eating enough vitamin rich food to fuel my body, it took me a few weeks to build up to eating 1600 calories a day. I tried hard to eat meat and vegetables at every meal and fruit at two meals a day. Not because I thought that was perfection, but because that was what I set as MY personal goal for improvement. I stayed there for quite a while, with my general feeling of well-being and my energy and sleep improving all the time, before learning enough to improve on that.
    It sounds like you’re learning faster than I did. But I definitely suggest you eat more calories consisting of relatively healthy foods as soon as you are able. Maybe not tomorrow, but start thinking that direction, moving that direction.
    I think you are going to do well, too. You’ve got the right attitude.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,583 Member
    I find 45g carbs easy to hit. I ate 161g carbs yesterday without bread, rice, or pasta. Are you not eating any fruits?
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,717 Member
    rorybees wrote: »
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    There is a tendency on a calorie counting site to equate "enough food" with CALORIES.

    You're seem to be using the term in your post in regards to VOLUME of food; and not necessarily Calories.

    It is pretty common for people who revamp their food choice with the help of logging to add nutrient dense but lower caloric content foods and reduce calorically dense and less nutrient filled foods.

    Common. Not universal. It is just one strategy that helps people achieve a caloric deficit while feeling less deprived.

    With stimulant medication (which is often prescribed on ADHD) your eating cues may be impacted because many stimulants have appetite suppression effects.

    Your basic question in your OP was whether 1100 Cal (if accurately counted) is a good amount of calories to aim for.

    My resounding answer is no. It would be too little to sustain your effort long term. And from your starting position you should be looking at the long term. In other words you should be thinking in terms of renewable 5 year plans that include both weight loss and maintenance.

    Sometimes the more we know the more complicated we make things.

    Your "big health money" will come from reducing down from morbid obesity.

    Your second "big health money" will come from improving your food choices; but I would do this in conjunction with and NOT in preference of reducing overall weight.

    Whether you achieve this by reducing carbs or not, unless an active diabetic, I would worry less about this and more on how to achieve sustainability of effort.

    Large deficits may be sustainable short term especially if you have adequate reserves of adipose tissue, but longer term they will have side effects.

    Again: while revamping the menu may help achieve and maintain an appropriate caloric deficit, at least initially and until you're well into a groove (and even then) the deficit and caloric balance will come first in terms of achieving weight management. The type of food choices you make WILL, of course, make caloric balance easier or harder to achieve for you, and will contribute, or not, to your long term health by providing you with appropriate nutrients.

    Anytime I see people creating deficits that substantially exceed 25% of their TDEE even while obese... I inwardly cringe as I do believe them to generate more side effects and be less long term sustainable than deficits in the 20% range...

    At your current weight, if you track close to population estimates, I would expect you to be able to lose weight fairly rapidly while eating closer to 2K Calories than 1100.

    Thank you so much for the reply!

    And you're on point with where my mind is at, not sure if I have articulated that well enough in my posts above though! I did not think 1100 was sustainable. But, with Doctor Google, everything I read from any editorial article was suggesting lower caloric intake in that very low 1100-1200 (sometimes lower) count. But some websites suggested a rounded out diet of 1800-2000 calories for someone my size.

    I'm not looking to have a low calorie diet intentionally. I'm big enough that my mere existence requires a pretty high calorie intake just to maintain. I think hitting around 2k will be the way to go. I'm just now trying to figure what I can add to my meals (but probably just snacks) to add 900 more calories. I love beans so I'll probably add more of those to my diet!

    I've been learning this past week that unless I am intentionally eating things like bread, rice or pasta for a meal, it is actually really hard to eat the volume of food it takes to hit my 45 carb limit per meal when its coming primarily from beans and starchy vegetables.

    Do you like, and can you eat, nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, full-fat dairy (yogurt, cheese, etc.)? Those tend to be less filling (well, avocados are kind of filling, maybe, because fiber), still have a good nutrient profile, and are a bit more calorie dense from fats/protein.