Getting in Shape

1200 Calories

Let me start this post by telling you I'm petite. I'm only 5'3 and I have a very small frame. I am SO close to my goal in terms of the size (in clothes) I want to be, I can taste it. With that said, I definitely still have a decent amount of body fat to lose. I've been eating 1200 calories a day, probably for the past 6 months. In order to maintain the weight that I've reached I need to eat about 1600 calories a day. With the philosophy that I need a 500 calorie deficit to lose 1 lb a week - this would not be possible if I need to stay at 1200 calories. Because I am petite would it be ok to reduce my intake to 1100 or will my body still go into starvation mode? I only weigh myself every 2 weeks (I know the scale isn't everything, I measure too) and I am losing less than a pound each time I weigh. I have had a crazy busy schedule on weekends (i.e. a lot or parties, picnics, weddings, etc) in the past month and still do over the next few weeks so I know this has partially hampered my progress - but any advice on going below 1200 calories for a petite person?
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Re: 1200 Calories

  • Here's the thing. When you're petite, it's harder to lose weight. You're still losing. Yes, it's slower than ideal, but that's what happens when you're small, unfortunately. With that said, it's possible that 1100 would be ok for you. But look at it this much difference will an extra 100 calories a day really make on your weight loss? It will take you 5 weeks to see the additional pound loss. To ke, that's not worth cutting your fuel.

    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • edited May 2012
    Totally agree with J... 
    In addition, keep an eye on yourself and how you're feeling. Are you feeling super hungry right now, even on 1,200 a day? 
    If so, you may be staggering because your body wants more than what you'regiving it. 
    Remember that as you lose weight, you gain muscle, and muscle requires more calories. THe more muscle you pack on, the more your "maintenance calories" go up. 

    It may be time to play with the system a little bit. Maybe cut yourself down to  1,100 for a couple weeks and see how you feel in terms of weight loss and hunger. Then go up to 1,300 to see how you feel in terms of weight loss and hunger. Don't be afraid to try a little increase in calories (especially since you're probably working out on TOP of that). If it terrifies you, just make those added 100cal of protein and carbs from things like veggies.
    It's also time to re-evaluate what you're doing. When was the last time you mixed up your cardio routine? Your lifting routine? 
    Have you been eating the exact same foods for months on end? It might be time to switch those up to. 

    I'm at this point to. There isn't much more I can LOSE, really. Just maintain and gain in muscle. The past couple months have been me just messing with my system of diet and exercise to see what works best. It's a long, tedious process, but great for the long run. 
  • edited May 2012
    Thanks guys :)

    It does scare me to up my calories by 100 versus lowering by 100. I do work out. A lot. But I do also feel hungry a lot (like right now haha) so maybe I do need to give my body a little more? It just scares the crap out of me to come to that conclusion. Especially when I see the angry MFP red number lol. But I agree - time to play around with it. You are both right by reducing by 100 - I may not be giving myself enough fuel to sustain my work outs, I had not given that thought.

    I definitely lift. I actually just upped the weight I was using and changed my pattern for lifting. Heavier weight, less reps, trying to lift so I can barely get that last rep in. So I am hoping that boots a change in me. I also just started trying to incorporate a HIIT work out once a week. These things are all very recent - within the past couple of weeks. I know I'm being impatient there and need to give my body time to react to those changes I have made. But it's hard to be patient sometimes. The end point is always the toughest I guess.

    As for food - I'm always changing it up. I keep it as clean as I can. I try at least one new recipe a week and try to keep my in between snacks changing so I feel like that isn't the problem (if there is a problem). I know my "carbs" are probably higher that they should be - "carbs" meaning I'm eating wheat bread, brown rice, or wheat/super pasta everyday (not all in the same day). I don't do any refined carbs if I can help it, though with most of my weekends being spent at weddings or family parties or whatever I am finding it harder and harder to avoid that stuff. I know I need to focus more on getting my carbs from veggies instead or brown rice, etc.

    Thank you for the advice!!! When I don't know where to turn, I always post on here.

    @firsttimers - sorry you are in a similar boat with me - but it is somewhat comforting to know I'm not the only one!
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  • If you are working out as much as you say I'd consider going up in calories instead of down. It sounds like your body needs it.
    June 16, 2012
  • I'm the opposite of you... I'm a taller girl with a larger frame... I eat 1700 calories a day and I actually loose weight... If I went down to 1100 I would die...
    Going down to 1100 shouldn't be a problem.

    Let us know how it goes! 
  • AWESOME about lifting! That's how it should be. You should NOT be able to finish that last set. That's how you know you're lifting heavy enough :o

    It is scary to up the caloric intake, but if you're hungry as it is right now, don't decrease. I definitely lean towards upping it.. maybe even more than just a 100cal.. but I would start with that jsut so you don't feel super guilty. 
    That could EASILY explain your weight loss slow down!

    Sounds like you already know your food goals and are on top of that. :) 

    GL and keep us updated! 
  • Oh, wait, you're eating 1200 and then working out on top of that, without eating them back?

    Yeah, I'd definitely add some more.  When I'm working out regularly, if I NET less than 1400, I don't lose at all.  And I'm 5'2", so I feel your short girl pain.  You should up your calories for sure.  You might gain a bit at first, but give it at least 3 weeks.  Things should even out.

    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • @ J&K I always net 1200. I eat more on the days I work out. I try and work out 5-6 days a week.

    Thanks for all of the advice guys!! I really appreciate it. Will keep you posted :)
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  • Oh, good, you scared me.

    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • LizzyRBLizzyRB member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Love Its
    I think if your 1200 calories comes from different foods it may help as well. 1200 calories protein and veggies > 1200 calories bagels and pasta. The protein can help you add muscle!

    I don't know if this works for everyone but I found after I ate the same calorie amount for so long my body got "used to it." Now I have days where I will eat a lot (500 or so)  more than my calories goal just to wake up my system. I was terrified to go above my goal calories but once I did I actually lost 5 more.
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