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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Jul-10-20, 12:08
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
Default low calories on weightloss?

I started intermittent fasting recently, which is suiting me, but it has cut my calorie intake even lower - sometimes as little as 600 calories a day. I must be burning fat for energy because although I get hungry towards mealtimes, I'm not feeling any ill-effects. I feel better on these lower calories, particularly with skipping breakfast.

I'm probably not getting enough protein (according to some calculations I should be eating around 75g of protein daily, but my intake is more like 40g, and today it's only been about 30g. I just worry about losing muscle and all that stuff. I listened to Jason Fung explaining that in weightloss, it's not a big deal to eat less protein as the body will consume excess skin, etc., rather than target important muscle. I have excess skin, and I'll hopefully also have excess fat cells I'll be glad to relinquish. :P

Could anyone with a bit more knowledge and experience advise me?
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Jul-10-20, 13:33
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
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I found this transcript of Jason Fung talking about fasting, loss of muscle and other issues very interesting. It put my mind at rest regarding muscle loss and the other issues:

https://blog.daveasprey.com/why-you...nd-jimmy-moore/

Quote:
Iíll just touch on the two main concerns that people have, which is the starvation mode and muscle loss. The starvation mode is this idea that youíre body is going to slow down its metabolism when you donít eat. If you normally burn 2,000 calories a day, the idea is that as you go into starvation mode, youíll go down to 1500 calories a day because youíre burning less, itís easier to plateau your weight loss and regain. Whatís truly ironic about this whole myth about starvation mode is cutting a few calories a day guarantees that you will go into starvation mode. We have studies going back almost 100 years which tell us that if you simply reduce your calories, say, by a quarter, go down from 2,000 calories a day to 1500, your metabolism will slow to 1500. Thatís because the bodyís not stupid. If itís taking in 2,000, burning 2,000, itís great. If you drop down to 1500, you canít keep burning 2,000 because then youíre going to die. The bodyís just not that stupid. If really cuts down to 1500. Thatís why caloric reduction diets are guaranteed to fail. Guaranteed, because you go into this starvation mode. What doesnít put you into starvation mode is actual starvation, or at least the controlled version which is fasting. What youíre doing is that youíre not actually slowing down the metabolic rate. Youíre forcing the body to switch fuel sources, so that youíre not burning food, youíre burning stored food, which his body fat. Then youíre bodyís like, ďHey. Hey, look, thereís plenty of this stuff. Letís just burn 2,000 calories because thatís really what I want to do.Ē If you look at studies of the metabolic rate, even over 70 days of alternate daily fasting, or four straight days, if you measure the metabolic rate after four straight days of fasting, a value 10% higher than when you started. The VO2, which is your exercise capacity, is 10% higher. That makes sense, because your bodyís actually pumping you full of energy. This makes sense because if you are a caveman and itís winter and thereís no food, you canít shut down your metabolism because every day is going to get harder to go out and hunt that rabbit. Your body, again, is just not that stupid. What it does is it switches fuel sources and then pumps up your energy so you can out and hunt that woolly mammoth. Thatís how we survive. Thereís a huge number of benefits to the hormonal fasting. Itís the same thing with the muscle loss. If we all lost muscle when we fasted, again, those cavemen would have died out a long time ago. Think about this. All those aboriginal people, indigenous people who went through these feast and famine cycles. Every time you gain weight, you gain fat. Every time you lose weight, you lose muscle. Itís like, ďOkay, so youíre telling me that nature designed us to store energy, food energy, as fat, and yet when we need energy we burn muscle?Ē Itís such a stupid Ö You think Mother Nature is so stupid? Itís like storing firewood for the winter, but as soon as you need it, ďOh, letís chop up our sofa, throw it in the fire.Ē Nobodyís that dumb. This is the thing, neither is our body. All those indigenous people who had those feast and famine cycles, they should be 100% little balls of 100% fat. Itís funny how that didnít happen. All those Native Americans, all those [Inuit 00:19:12], all those Bush people, theyíre all lean and muscular with no fat. Why? Your body stores energy as fat, and when you need it, you burn energy as fat. All the metabolic studies show the same thing. People say, ďWell, because of gluconeogensis, youíre going to burn protein.Ē If your question is, ďDo you lose protein,Ē then measure the protein. Again, just recently there was a study comparing directly caloric reduction versus alternate daily fasting. At the end of it, if you look at lean mass percentage, it had gone up a little bit in both cases because theyíre burning fat, but the percentage went up .5 in the caloric reduction and 2.2 in the intermittent fasting, which means that itís four times better at preserving your lean mass than caloric reduction. Itís way better. Again, the same thing. If you look at metabolic rate, with the caloric reduction, it went down. With the fasting, it did not. If you are trying to keep your weight off, you must fast. You canít just cut calories. You will fail. Thatís why everybody fails, because theyíve given up this therapeutic modality, because the two things is the hunger and the metabolic rate. Thatís what kills the weight loss in the long term. Thereís a huge advantage for fasting from a metabolic rate standpoint.

Last edited by Kirsteen : Fri, Jul-10-20 at 23:49.
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  #3   ^
Old Fri, Jul-10-20, 16:40
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is online now
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Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/214/153 Female 5'8"
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Location: Massachusetts
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IF doesnt have to be everyday. Dr Fung talks about every other day fasting , meaning a skip day, but eat well on eating days.

Did you find info on autophagy??
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  #4   ^
Old Fri, Jul-10-20, 23:32
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
IF doesnt have to be everyday. Dr Fung talks about every other day fasting , meaning a skip day, but eat well on eating days.

Did you find info on autophagy??


Hi Ms Arielle, Thank you for the reply. I found some information on autophagy. It perhaps explains why I am feeling so good on this IF. I'm only skipping breakfast, and it is suiting me far better. I think my blood sugar regulation is really wonky in the morning, so even eating an egg can knock me off-colour. Delaying eating until noon is feeling great for me.

My only concerns are about the calories/protein sometimes being so low. I do get hungry towards mealtimes, but am very satisfied by the amount I'm eating at mealtimes. I made a lot of mistakes before learning about Atkins, cutting fat and food quantities lower and lower to try to avoid any further weightgain, so my metabolism ground to a very limited pace indeed. I think both my mind and body need to adjust further to a more liberal way of eating, and of course that is difficult to achieve with anxiety caused by the controversy around animal fat/protein health risks.

Thanks again, Ms Arielle.

Last edited by Kirsteen : Fri, Jul-10-20 at 23:50.
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Jul-11-20, 04:45
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is offline
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Posts: 21,266
 
Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
BF:
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Default

Hi Kirsteen. I have the same problem with getting enough protein. I always underestimate it, too, if I'm eyeballing it, compared to using my handy little digital food scale.

I wouldn't worry about low calories as long as you're generally listening to your appetite, which it sounds like you're doing. Starvation mode does exist, but it takes a lot of deliberate starvation. Like Dr Fung said, it's not going to happen from prudent IF and good nutrition. (An exception might be some very messed-up thyroid or other hormone issues, but that's probably a whole different thread/discussion about seeing a competent endocrinologist.) I practice IF as long as it's suiting me. Like Arielle mentioned, it's easy to forget that the "I" in IF is intermittent. I've pulled the plug on intended fasts many times if I get a hypo (do you have a glucometer?) or if I'm just plain too hungry.

Are you doing at least some strength training? I think it's pretty well established that it goes a long way to prevent muscle and bone loss, especially for us ladies. I hate it, but I've begrudgingly adopted the habit and I'm determined to do at least a bare minimum.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Jul-11-20, 05:50
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thud123 thud123 is offline
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Posts: 6,261
 
Plan: M-W-F ADF (2020 Q2)
Stats: 342.2/191/000 Male 182cm
BF:
Progress: 44%
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if you're doing 600 calories a day (every day) it sounds like you are calorie restriction eating. do you have days where you don't count calories and eat Low Carb ad hoc? But if this is working for you now with no hunger or are able to satisfiy it with 600 cal a day - might be right for you for now - and be open to changing this strategy later
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Jul-11-20, 08:38
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
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Hi Thud123, I'm really just trying to limit the carbs, and am only really counting because I tend to eat too many veggies, which pushes me out of ketosis. When I add up my intake, I realise that I have eaten too few calories, but I tend to add them up after mealtimes, so I don't really feel like eating any more. As I say, I get hungry before mealtimes, but by the time I have eaten, I don't really want to eat more. I do have days when I eat over 1100 calories, so perhaps they balance things out a bit.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Jul-11-20, 08:41
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
Default

Hi Kristine, thanks for the reply. I hink I probably need to do some mental adjustment and also to try to find foods which I can have to boost protein after meals, if I find they have been a bit low.

I can't do any working out. I have a chronic condition which totally rules out any exertion and pans me in with a small amount of activity. I just try to do as much as I can.

Thanks for your reply. I'll get better at this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine
Hi Kirsteen. I have the same problem with getting enough protein. I always underestimate it, too, if I'm eyeballing it, compared to using my handy little digital food scale.

I wouldn't worry about low calories as long as you're generally listening to your appetite, which it sounds like you're doing. Starvation mode does exist, but it takes a lot of deliberate starvation. Like Dr Fung said, it's not going to happen from prudent IF and good nutrition. (An exception might be some very messed-up thyroid or other hormone issues, but that's probably a whole different thread/discussion about seeing a competent endocrinologist.) I practice IF as long as it's suiting me. Like Arielle mentioned, it's easy to forget that the "I" in IF is intermittent. I've pulled the plug on intended fasts many times if I get a hypo (do you have a glucometer?) or if I'm just plain too hungry.

Are you doing at least some strength training? I think it's pretty well established that it goes a long way to prevent muscle and bone loss, especially for us ladies. I hate it, but I've begrudgingly adopted the habit and I'm determined to do at least a bare minimum.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Jul-12-20, 06:33
thud123's Avatar
thud123 thud123 is offline
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Posts: 6,261
 
Plan: M-W-F ADF (2020 Q2)
Stats: 342.2/191/000 Male 182cm
BF:
Progress: 44%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsteen
Hi Thud123, I'm really just trying to limit the carbs, and am only really counting because I tend to eat too many veggies, which pushes me out of ketosis. When I add up my intake, I realise that I have eaten too few calories, but I tend to add them up after mealtimes, so I don't really feel like eating any more. As I say, I get hungry before mealtimes, but by the time I have eaten, I don't really want to eat more. I do have days when I eat over 1100 calories, so perhaps they balance things out a bit.

I'd say continue on and see what happens. If appetite increases, go with it.

The only way to lose weight (hopefully mostly fat), if that's your goal, is to expend more energy than you take it over a period of time. There's no magic in that but there's also no calculators and way to measure what is happening - especially on a home scale. During that period of time you want to let the body operate as it was designed to and not throw things out of wack with sugar, over/under exercise, low or no protein, etc. If you have excess fat to use as fuel on your body, putting your metabolism in a position to have access to it is a good thing. At some point, if your body works right, your appetite may come back - watch what you then put in your mouth

I like this axiom lately and generally it seems to work for me:

Control Carbohydrates (sound like you're on top of that!)
Prioritize Protein (there's much debate on how much)
Fill with Fat (that's tuff cause I can eat lots of fat and it doesn't fill me - working on it myself)

Anyway, keep on truckin'
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Jul-12-20, 13:30
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is offline
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Posts: 21,266
 
Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
BF:
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Default

^ I almost typed the same one, Thud. I can't remember where I heard it first.

My tricks lately for getting more protein:
- Add collagen and gelatin powder to hot liquids like soup and sauces (winter) and to sugar-free Jello (summer.) I've heard of people mixing it in coffee or tea.
- Keep your meat scraps and bones for broth; use it for your cooking
- If you like to make scrambled eggs, quiches, etc - get a carton of liquid egg whites. You can add some for a protein boost, and you can freeze what you don't use before it expires. I found several half-price one time and froze most of it in ice cube trays - then the cubes are 2 Tbsps each. It was handy. These were pasteurized, too, so I wasn't afraid to put them raw into smoothies.
- Protein powders, but I'll admit that I'm better at buying them and ignoring them than eating them.
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  #11   ^
Old Sun, Jul-12-20, 14:21
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
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Hi Thud, thank you so much for your encouragement. I'll follow your advice and go with the way my body feels.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Jul-12-20, 14:24
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
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Kristine, I really appreciate these pointers about how to get extra protein. I'll look into those. I'm sure it'll help.

Best wishes

Kirsteen
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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Jul-13-20, 20:48
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gzgirl gzgirl is offline
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Plan: Atkins DANDR/ Candida
Stats: 300/197.8/172 Female 67
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I keep Trutein protein powder around for those days when I need a little extra protein. It tastes good, doesnt have a lot of extra junk in there and a half scoop has 100 calories and a nice boost of protein. I just mix it with 6-8 ounces of water and ice and it isnt a huge shake to drink-- easy to get down.
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Jul-15-20, 18:55
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gzgirl
I keep Trutein protein powder around for those days when I need a little extra protein. It tastes good, doesnt have a lot of extra junk in there and a half scoop has 100 calories and a nice boost of protein. I just mix it with 6-8 ounces of water and ice and it isnt a huge shake to drink-- easy to get down.


Thanks Gzgirl. That sounds really good.
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  #15   ^
Old Tue, Jul-21-20, 06:04
Kirsteen's Avatar
Kirsteen Kirsteen is offline
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Posts: 3,731
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 217/164/150 Female 172cm
BF:
Progress: 79%
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Updating this thread.. I bought protein powder and have made an effort to eat more protein and fat. I also had a breakfast today to shake things up a bit. I'd moved onto the OWL level of Atkins, so I am aiming closer to 30g of carbs daily, and probably overshoot that a little some days. Since making all those changes, my weightloss has stopped, and I've maybe gained a pound or two, however, I am going to persist longer to give my body time to adjust and then I will see how it goes.
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