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Low Calories, Should I Worry?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM

I am 350lbs and decided i wanted to go the paleo route for my food guide, but i'm a little concerned about calories. using an myfitnesspal it looks like i am going to be under 1000cal as my daily total. i am mostly sedentary and am slowly building up a cardio regimen, but right now it's 30-60 minutes a day 5-6 days a week of light to moderate exercise. i drink a lot of water and nothing else.

here is my typical day: breakfast-bacon, eggs, some vegetables lunch-meat (fish, pork, chicken), vegetables dinner-meat, salad

i'm thinking fruit would probably be the easiest to pack on calories, but i don't want a whole lot of sugar. i can't do dairy or coconut.

while i'm excited that i can pack a days worth of healthy food into the calorie of a mcdonalds meal i'm worried that this low calorie diet is going to hurt me.

should i add another meal or a bunch of snacks like nuts, even if i'm not hungry? does my high weight/low activity mean i can get away with really low calories per day? should i ease into paleo more than i am and keep some grains in my diet to inflate my caloric intake?

thanks in advance for your help.

Af0206be710565b29655edfb91086cc1

(0)

on May 12, 2013
at 09:50 PM

i feel fine, which is why i came here to ask the question. it's not like i set up a plan for 900 calories, i just ate meat and vegetables with every meal and no drinks besides water. when i started putting it in, i was getting very few calories. as i start adding more workouts hopefully my hunger will increase some. some fruit for a snack was good the other day and i think i'll get some nuts as well. thanks for the advice.

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4 Answers

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on May 11, 2013
at 05:15 PM

Get your protein, and other things will follow. You have a lot of excess weight (no duh, right?) Fatty meats will probably be the best way to get more protein and fat.

The bigger question is really, how do you feel? Good? Bad? lethargic? Freaktastically energized? Your body will tell you someway, some how, if what you're doing feels right.

A note. at 255 lbs, long periods of netting 955 calories a day was much easier than it is now at 167. At 167, it drains me, probably because I"m on my last 20 lbs. But you have a good way to go for that, so I personally wouldn't worry. I also wouldn't even think anything about it if you net, say, 1500-1900 a couple days since your calories are so low other days.

Good luck :)

Af0206be710565b29655edfb91086cc1

(0)

on May 12, 2013
at 09:50 PM

i feel fine, which is why i came here to ask the question. it's not like i set up a plan for 900 calories, i just ate meat and vegetables with every meal and no drinks besides water. when i started putting it in, i was getting very few calories. as i start adding more workouts hopefully my hunger will increase some. some fruit for a snack was good the other day and i think i'll get some nuts as well. thanks for the advice.

0
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 12, 2013
at 12:00 AM

You need to up your calories at least a little - general consensus is that 1200 is the minimum to get your nutrient needs in. Perfect Health Diet has a good page on weight loss for the relatively sedentary:

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/perfect-health-diet-weight-loss-version/

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on May 11, 2013
at 08:44 PM

At 350 lbs I'd be very surprised to hear you haven't already tried calorie restricted diets before, and this is where it got you. In order to regain health first and foremost and get to a normal bodyweight, you need to improve your metabolism. Calorie restriction (and 1000 calories a day would be extreme calorie restriction for you) does the opposite--it would cause your thyroid to down regulate, slowing your metabolism and weight loss and reducing your energy. And to stay that low in calories, you wouldn't be eating adequate fat to meet your nutritional needs and provide the satiety that keeps you from binging on lousy junk instead.

You need adequate calories, a good amount of healthy fat (Paleo healthy--clean animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, and perhaps dairy fat), adequate protein, and some carbohydrates (mostly in the form of non-starchy veggies, rather than fruit) to heal your metabolism and your gut, to normalize insulin metabolism, to burn body fat instead of lean body mass.

If you need to increase calories, let it be from fat. If you're eating a healthy diet with plenty of fats and protein, you should eat to satisfaction. When you're no longer eating so many carbs that you're causing wide blood sugar excursions, your hunger will come under control and you'll be satisfied by the nutrient dense foods you are eating. You will naturally decrease the number of calories you are eating as your body meets its nutrition needs. AND your body will burn fat.

If you aim for health, your body FAT reduction will follow. But if you are aiming to lose weight with significant calorie restriction, you'll be no better off than any of the other diets you've ever tried.

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on May 11, 2013
at 07:50 PM

If you're just starting, try not to be very restrictive on the amount. You will be hungry, so you should eat as much as you want, just focus on what you're eating instead. After a couple of weeks, your appetite will adjust. Being too restrictive at the beginning can cause you to give up, it's very hard.

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