Should I eat more?
February 8, 2012 1:25 PM Subscribe
Am I doing damage to my body by eating below my estimated BMR? Is starvation mode a real thing?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm female. I lost 100+ lbs eating 1200 calories a day and working out. I gained almost all of it back over the course of 5 years (first due to a medical issue and then bad habits that resurfaced). Now I'm counting calories and working out again. I'm using LoseIt to log food, and they estimate that I eat about 1600 calories a day to lose two lbs a week without taking exercise into account. I usually eat between 1200 and 1400 calories a day (I measure or weigh my food), and do cardio (I've slowly built up to elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes a day at a moderate (3mph) pace). Doing daily cardio also helps depression and anxiety issues I've been having. I've been doing it for 5 weeks, and my average weight loss is 2.5 lbs a week (but that includes a rapid drop in the first two weeks, water weight, probably). I would have to lose 110 lbs just to get me into "healthy" BMI territory.
I feel fine! I'm not hungry. My diet includes a lot of veggies and fruit, so I get a lot of fiber, and I eat small meals throughout the day, mostly vegetarian, but some chicken and fish. LoseIt says that last week, my calorie breakdown was 31.5% from fat, 46% from carbs, 22.5% from protein.
An online calculator estimates that my BMR is over 1800. I've been reading that it's really bad to eat under your BMR, and that if you do it for a long time, you can permanently lower your BMR. I'm just wondering if I damaged myself by eating too little the first time I lost weight, and if I should be eating more now.
Here's what I ate during a recent day:1 cup high protein cereal, 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, coffee with 1 tsp coffee, a grilled chicken salad with some other veggies, an asparagus and goat cheese souffle (made at home), 1 cup mixed greens, 1 tsp vinaigrette, an apple, string cheese, light yogurt, and a dark chocolate vitamuffin. That's 1,263 calories.
I've had the occasional day when I've gotten close to 1600 calories (and one where I've gone over). I don't stress about getting close or going over.
TLDR: Am I eating too little? How would I know if I were?