Too Few Calories?


Last night was the Biggest Loser nutrition seminar. It turns out that we’re eating too little calories. The dietician said that according to our food journals, we’re all eating between 800 and 1200 calories a day, which is too low.

I had a bunch of thoughts fly through my head when she said this. First, how does anyone eat 800 calories a day?! I love food way too much to only eat 800 calories a day and would feel like I was going to die (dramatic, much?!). I feel sad when I only eat 1200 calories a day.

Then, I thought there’s no way that people are only eating 800 calories a day. They must be miscalculating the amount of calories in things. But then I remembered that we’re doing a Biggest Loser challenge, and maybe people are super restricting their calories in an attempt to lose more weight. Obviously, we weren’t eating 800 calories prior to this challenge or we wouldn’t be here in the first place.

The dietician went on to tell us that none of us should be eating below 1500 calories a day. What?! You tell me this now?! This sure is extremely different from the 1136 calories that I was told to eat while doing the  spring weight loss challenge. If you remember that post, I kind of freaked out a bit.

I currently eat between 1200 and 1500 calories a day, usually with a high calorie day thrown in the mix from a cookout, birthday party, or going out to dinner. I kind of feel that upping my calorie count to 1500 calories a day will not aid in my weight loss, so I emailed the dietician last night about it and am waiting for her reply.

Another thing I realized is that since I don’t work outside the home, I am around food all day long. People that have jobs or work in an office probably don’t have immediate access to food like I do. I used to raid the kitchen every day around 3 pm, because I would get snacky and had a full kitchen at my service. Mindless afternoon snacking was one of the things that I really had to work on and still do.

After the nutrition seminar, we headed outside into the heat and humidity to do our 5k prep training. We ran 90 seconds fast, and then walked 90 seconds for a total of eight times. I have no idea how long we ran or how far, although I’m sure that I could calculate the time, I’m just too lazy to do the math. All I know is that I was a hot mess by the time we were finished.

Today’s Breakfast

I actually ate a normal breakfast before I went to the gym today, instead of eating when I got home. We had a tiny bit of oats left, so I used them to make overnight oats. Last night, I mixed up strawberry Greek yogurt, oats, almond milk, and chia seeds. This morning, I added another splash of almond milk and topped it with Fiber One cereal. I like it.

Today’s Workout

  • 3.1 miles treadmill
  • 3 miles bike

Even though I ran last night, I decided to run again this morning. Only two more days until the Muddy Buddy! I plan on taking tomorrow off from working out, so I’ll be all rested for Saturday.

After the gym, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things.

And yes, that it tomato soup you see. Even though it’s the middle of summer and 90 degrees outside, I was craving tomato soup. And that’s actually funny because I hate tomatoes. Well, I hate tomatoes in their raw form. I like them squished up into things like tomato soup and pizza sauce, as long as it’s not chunky. If it’s chunky soup or sauce, I hate it.

Also, I’m not sure if that prepackaged fish is healthy or not, but it tastes good and I like it, so I buy it.

Questions of the day:

  • What are your eating habits like? Do you eat three main meal? Lots of mini meals?
  • Do you go a long time without eating while you’re at work? Do you bring snacks?
  • Do you like soup? Favorite kind?


Filed under Biggest Loser, Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

17 Responses to Too Few Calories?

  1. I bet 1500 would be just fine for you! You seem to be pretty active, so in a resting state your metabolism may be slightly quicker than a “normal” person.

    I only know this because I went to a nutritionist last year and they tested my metabolic rate (using some machine where they plug your nose and then you breathe in and out of a tube for 10 minutes – very interesting!). I always thought I should eat in the 1200-1500 range too, but at a resting state my body was burning 1600 calories a day on its own! Add in exercise, and you could be creating a huge deficit if you only ate 1200 cals… at that point, your body will hang on to every calorie = no weight loss.

    Long story short – give it a try!

    ALSO – us office workers have a whoooole different type of temptation than what those who stay at home face. In my company, they love to reward us with FOOD, and it’s rarely healthy. On top of that, people are bringing in donuts, bagels, etc.

    I totally know where you’re coming from though – left alone at home, I do the same thing in the afternoons. My advice is to just not buy things you “shouldn’t” be eating, then you’ll be less likely to reach for it.

    You look great – keep up the good work!!! (sorry for the novel!)

    • Thanks for the information about the metabolic rate – its helpful! Maybe I should up my calories a bit!

      I never even thought about all the food companies buy, plus birthday celebrations and stuff! Maybe I am better off at home.

      The hardest thing is when I buy yummy snacks for my kids – I can’t seem to stay away from cocoa puffs! 🙂

  2. I work in an office and there is so much food around all of the time! People bring in muffins, donuts etc and it’s really hard to pass up. I typically start looking for food when I get bored. I’m actually better at home most of the time because I don’t keep much junk food in the house (but it would probably be different if I was home everyday).
    I also hate tomatoes! But I love tomato soup- it’s my favorite!

    • I never even thought about all the snacks in offices – my hubby brings me home oatmeal chocolate cookies from his office! But since I have kids at home, I feel like we have so many kids snacks that I want to grab! I’ve been better about grabbing a yogurt or apple instead though. I would have such a hard time passing up donuts, they’re my fav!

      • Next time you’re in Chicago- you need to try the Doughnut Vault
        It’s a little pricey, really long lines, and they only make a certain amount each day and close right after they sell out (which is typically after a couple hours). But it’s so worth it!!!! The buttermilk and vanilla doughnuts are my favorite. I work close by and have noticed that the best days to go are weekdays and when it’s raining- it’s the least crowded those days.

  3. At my old job, access to food was never an issue. There was always food. Some group always had a birthday or something they were celebrating. I would warn new people that they would gain 20 lbs their first year with us. LOL

  4. I have to agree with Nikki. 1200 calories might put your body into starvation mode, which won’t promote weight loss. And if it’s a quality 300 calories (like, not eating 10 apples to make up the calories), it will benefit you in other ways, nutritionally speaking.
    BTW, I don’t think you need to lose weight. In your pictures you look great!

    I work in an office where there is a constant supply of pretzels most of the time. And I have an entire drawer in my desk dedicated to food. If I get a little hunger pang before lunch I will just have one handful of my trail mix. Or get up and get a handful of pretzels. There are cookies too but I don’t like sweets much. I don’t think it’s too bad to have snacks here and there. I try to keep fruit and yogurt in the work fridge and a banana on my desk, but this summer I haven’t been as hungry as I was in winter so it’s not getting eaten fast enough.

  5. susie

    It’s interesting how much conflicting information is out there. I think you have demonstrated that it’s really important to know your source. One common thing I have heard alot is “everything in moderation”. I like to graze rather than eat big meals. I just have to watch portions. I love chicken tortilla soup but not too spicy!

  6. This is the problem I have with challenges like this. People only think about “winning” and not as much about how to make changes that will last. Those who are restricting their calories to 800-1200 are going to be in for a rude awakening when the program is over because that cannot be maintained for long term. Also, this is the type of behavior that causes bingeing.

    Basically, I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satisfied. Not full, but satisfied. I hate counting calories(who has the time) and it is not necessary when you are eating healthy foods and controlling portion size.

    • That was the exact point that the dietician brought up – there’s no way that you can maintain so few calories! Your do smart! I’m doing this challenge more to lose those last few pounds than to win. I want to be able to eat a calorie count that I can maintain for a healthy lifestyle, not a “diet”.

  7. I think 1500 calories as a minimum is a good thing. Slow and steady wins the race! Plus not all calories are equal 400 calories on a big salad is going to be more useful to your body then 400 calories on donuts. Don’t worry about adding more calories just worry about the source of the calories. My aunt went on a diet of 800 cals a day. Lost too much weight very quickly and gained it back.

    • That’s what I worry about gaining the weight back – it’s so hard to lose it and so easy to gain it back! I agree with eating 400 caloires of something that is healthier for my body. I try to eat healthy most of the time with small treats in moderation.

  8. I can’t BELIEVE you were eating under 1200 calories a day when you’re an active person…not to mention that you’re pretty healthy in your food choices! I think that I probably eat like 1500-2000 calories a day and my weight stays the same 😀

    • I was eating at least 1200 on low days, but before I started writing down what i ate, I was eating tons and tons of calories. Now, I’m just trying to find a healthy balance!

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