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Falling short of daily calorie requirement

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  • Falling short of daily calorie requirement

    I have a question that I've never been able to understand- but here goes. I've been monitoring my weight loss since the 1st of the year when I've started going primal, and the last 2 weeks, I've hit a plateau, where as the first two weeks I dropped about 15 pounds, now I've leveled off, only dropping about a pound or none at all on a weekly basis. I've been measuring my calorie intake with Dailyburn, and I'm averaging about 1400 - 1600 calories a day, but when I planned out my intake, I calculated that I need about 1900 calories a day.

    So that being said, I've been eating 1400-1600 since I started going primal, and I think that's part of why (as well as the change in the quality of food) I have lost weight so rapidly. But my question is what happens to your body when you don't make the daily requirements on a daily basis? Does the body kick into starvation mode- and hang on to what it has (which is why I'm at a plateau)? I'm trying to figure out more ways to get the right amount of protein and fat to make up for the 300 or so calorie deficit. My carb intake is dialed in where I want it to be, so I'm good there, I just need to make sense of the plateau so I don't lose my mind and get discouraged.


  • #2
    The first of which year? You didn't lose 15#'s in two weeks unless you cut your arm off, you pissed away water associated with inflammation.

    A little bit every week is how your supposed to lose it, that's how you gained it. It isn't exactly linear either, so stay off of the scale.

    Stay. Off. Of. The. Scale.
    Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


    • #3
      You lost 15# in 2 weeks and have lost what 1 lb the next 2? That is NORMAL, that is not a plateau. WAY too soon to try to force things. If you are satisfied/not hungry, then hang tight.

      First you shed a lot of water and a little fat. Then the body takes some time to readjust to its new stasis...often hanging on to a little water in the process as things rearrange, then you lose a little more.

      Weight loss is not linear and 2 weeks does not make a plateau.
      MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

      "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7


      • #4
        If you lost 15 lbs. that fast your body is naturally going to try to hang on to what it has... you scared No, but seriously... you may be in a plateau for awhile while your body adjusts. Just be patient... what's the rush?


        • #5
          There is no rush, I'm just trying to get a better understanding of what my body is doing. I get that I've shocked it, because I have totally changed the type of foods, and cut out a lot of junk. I have been satisfied with how I'm eating, and that I'm not feeling hungry. I'm just wondering if I am ok eating at the calorie level I described, or should I be eating more toward the 1900 level. Is it going to hurt or cause my body to react in a different way? Should I be trying to eating 1900 calories (which is the daily req) or am I going to be ok with they way I'm currently eating (at 1400-1600 calories).



          • #6
            Here's what your body is doing--it's recovering from shock!

            First of all, anyone who reduces carbs sufficiently will get a big loss of WATER weight initially. That accounts for your 15 lb loss. Keep in mind that the human body can only lose about 2lbs of FAT a week--any more than that is water--or, worst case scenario, muscle. So if you're losing a pound each week now, after that big water loss, you're doing very well.

            Many, many people will have no loss for a week or so when they experience that big initial drop in weight because the body needs time to adjust. Keep in mind that the number you see on the scale is only slightly related to fat loss. The body regards loss of weight as a negative, and it has a few mechanisms to try to preserve equilibrium as much as it can. So don't expect your weight loss to be linear.

            If your daily requirement is 1900 calories, you should cut by 500 for healthy loss, so your current calorie level seems just fine.


            • #7

              Thanks, thats exactly what I was looking for. Would an increase in water help with trying to preserve that equilibrium?


              • #8
                You don't need to artificially increase or decrease water...this will help explain the water loss via a low carb diet:

                I think it's MOST important to keep eating nutrient dense foods (meat, veggies, healthy fats), which is of course the primal way of eating. Beyond that, eat to satiety and don't worry about calorie counting per se. Don't over indulge, but don't fret over hitting 1400 vs 1600 calories every day or eating back exercise calories or whatever. Your body isn't machine - weight loss/gain isn't linear, nor should it be. Hunger will eventually kick in if your body thinks it's running chronically low on fuel or nutrients. I think if you are eating nutrient dense foods and getting enough fat, you will naturally eat less and you'll burn more fat as fuel....gradually over time.
                Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!


                • #9
                  @ Kennelmom

                  The quality eating (nutrient dense food) is where I'm doing well in, I'm still fighting off some junk food cravings (mostly when I work 15+ hours a day and I dont have enough food prepared to get me through, or I get sleepy). Thanks, I basically just need to keep on keeping on, and I'll see more results as time goes on.

                  I appreciate all the responses, not only are you helping me, but some other people I work with who are going through the same struggles.