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I think I'm eating a lot compared to most dieters

Seems like so many diets recommend very restricted calorie counts -- 1200, 1400, even 1800.

I wonder what that does to dieters' long-term metabolism and I wonder how much muscle they're losing along with some fat. My understanding is that each of us should at least eat our's "basal metabolism" in calories every day, the amount of calories our bodies expend just to support basic living functions. (Here's a link to a calculator.)

Super-restricted-calorie diets aren't necessary, at least if your body reacts to calories like mine does. In particular:

  • I don't think I've eaten less than my basal metabolism in calories a single day during the past year and a half, the time of most of my weight loss (and likely not before either!) Even when I hit my goal weight of 185 my basal metabolism will be 1,908 calories. No need for me to ever eat any less than that I think. (Note that I'm a 6'1" middle-aged male, which allows me more calories than some of you get.)

  • I'm not sure that I've ever lost more than three pounds in a week -- definitely not more than five pounds in two weeks. This loss was gradual but it was steady.

  • I have had breakfast every day, typically at least 470 calories worth.

So, it's possible to have success without starving yourself, and perhaps it's long-term better to lose weight gradually and always eat at least your basal metabolism in calories every day. This also helps create long-term sustainable lifestyle change.


 

 

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