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Very low cal diets - a good idea or not?

Discussion in 'Low Calorie Diets' started by zand, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    I am starting this thread as discussion on this subject was happening on another thread
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/cholesterol-shock.119466

    I have done very low cal diets in the past and believe they have harmed me so I try to have at least 1200 cals a day now (more if I manage to stick to my carb allowance of 49g)

    After reading the above thread though I am tempted to go back to my old ways. I have had 589 cals today (after my evening meal ) and would normally find ways to increase the total calorie intake. The old way of thinking of 'the less you eat, the more weight you lose' is so tempting, even though I know this thinking isn't right for me.

    So what do others think?
     
  2. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    As exercise was not an option for me I had to go very low cal in order to lose weight in from twelve months to eighteen months I have lost over eight stone. However I have lost muscle mass as well as fat, so I would not recommend it unless in extreme circumstances..

    I am now trying to regain some of the muscle lost but still being unable to exercise to any great extent it is very difficult.

    I am now trying BCAA supplement as it helps protect from muscle loss and promotes the production of proteins and muscle gain and burning off fat or so I have been told, not sure if it is suitable but will give it a trial period.
     
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  3. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Thanks, that's very helpful. Do you know why this happened? Was it because your calorie intake was so low that you couldn't have enough protein for your needs? All in all do you feel better now you have undertaken this diet? Would you have done it differently if you knew then what you know now?
     
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  4. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    I was eating between 500 and 700 cals a day for over a year and I think my protein was far too low. I do feel better for losing the weight but think I went a bit too far though have put diabetes into remission. At times I do feel weak and totter a bit but that could be down to other conditions. I would do it differently if I could on retrospect but I feel I took the only option available to me at the time.
     
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  5. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Thanks, yes it's easy to look back and see the mistakes we made, not so easy to spot them at the time. :rolleyes: It's good that your diabetes is in remission though. :)

    I want to shift some more weight because I am back on BP tablets and I know that losing some more would help. The problem is I sometimes take things to extremes and I don't want to do more harm than good. In the past (before I knew better) I used to cut down on protein (because I'm not that keen on protein) to get a lower calorie intake. I'm trying to be sensible and not go for the quick fix because it's not desperately important that I lose weight right now, but it could become so if I don't manage to lose some more the sensible way.

    Thanks for your comments. :)
     
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  6. douglas99

    douglas99 I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Energy 847kJ (201kcal)
    Fat 3.0g
    Saturates 0.7g
    Carbohydrate 26.1g
    Fibre 4.2g
    Protein 15.2g

    Well, that was the breakdown of my 600 calories a day, (200 x 3)
    The rest was simple dry fried veg, and salad.
    I can't say if I had any muscle loss, I tried to avoid it by exercising, with a mixture of hard and light exercises and gym sessions. I didn't feel tired, and had no issues with shutting down in starvation mode.
    I didn't quite make the 8 weeks, for two reasons, I hit my target, and I had a few dives planned, and didn't want to risk any side effects 30m down. 100ft of water over your head is a bit different to running on the treadmill in the gym, so I bottled it there.
    I certainly had no side effects after, I still exercise, and if I do put on weight (I let myself have leeway up and down) I do go back on a VLCD again.
     
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  7. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Thanks. So you got to your target weight, that's interesting. I think I will resist the urge to do very low cal again until I am nearer to my target weight. I'll plod on as I am for now, with maybe an odd day or two of very low cal thrown in to mix things up a bit and keep my body guessing.
     
  8. Art Of Flowers

    Art Of Flowers I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    There are some programs for low calorie diets such as the BSD 800 Fast diet - see https://thebloodsugardiet.com/the-bsd-options/

    This diet is 800 calories for up to eight weeks. After eight weeks people would revert to a 5:2 diet (fasting two days a week) or just a low carb diet. Many people are seriously overweight and the 800 cal diet is designed for people to lose 10-20% of their body weight in two months. Obviously, this is not sustainable in the long term.

    If you want the BBC Horizon documentary "Eat, fast and live longer" you will see that fasting and low calorie diets are associated with longer life and better health. In the film Dr Michael Mosley interviews a man over 100 years old running the London Marathon. His secret for long life was eating very little.
     
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  9. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Thanks. I have done 800 cal diets before so I am wary of them. I was really asking about the even lower cal diets that some had mentioned here recently. I'll stick to my IF and low carb for now. I have already lost over 10% of my bodyweight so I doubt that the 800 cals would do much more me right now. I have to accept this is a marathon not a sprint. :(
     
  10. douglas99

    douglas99 I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think as you said, you have a different metabolism.

    I come from a background of intermittent fasting, while still exercising I guess.
    Well in the sense I'd eat heavily in the hotel at night, then work hard the next day with no food, (apart from sometimes breakfast) work over 13 hours, without eating, then repeat.
    I've always been the 'walk out of the jungle after the plane crash' person as well, so my metabolism never gets the option to slow down.
    I've also eaten whatever was available, so can live on carbs, or protein, (rarely a lot of fat though, unless you count cheese) for a few days with no issues.
    It takes me a very short time to start to noticeably lose weight on vlcd, (first the water phase, then I seem to start on fat fairly quickly)
    I have no worries about nutrients, or vitamins, I'm healthy, I eat a balanced diet, it takes months of unbalanced eating before the human body suffers any sort of loss.

    What got me was stopping that type of work, eating the same foods, and not burning off the excess 1000's of calories.
    I don't work anywhere near as hard, so the only option was to drastically reduce the calorie input for me, and up the exercise again.

    I do agree the best option is to shake things up though, as the body can take a while to adjust to different eating patterns, and will lose weight in between, but as you said in your first post, I'd also consider not eating if you don't feel like it, simply to up the calorie intake.
    I've always read that HF leaves you satiated, and your body tells you when you actually need food, so I would try to listen to it.
    And eating in the evening was the real thing that did me, (mainly as it's when I normally ate), so I tend to avoid eating more than I need to at night, maybe planning for eating in the morning, and then you won't need to force food in in the evening if you don't feel like it?
     
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  11. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    I suppose my problem in the past was that I was almost addicted to low calorie diets and scared of reverting to being like that again, hence the adding calories if I had eaten less during the day. You are right though, I don't need to do that anymore. If I am not hungry I can afford to just have a very low cal day once in a while, just not every day.

    I tend to eat when I am hungry, so that could be anytime between 10.30 am - 2.30 pm for my first meal. I think this suits me fine and my evening meal is usually the smaller of the two and eaten before 6 pm (never later than 7 pm) I too struggle when I eat meals any later than that, so I prefer not to eat out nowadays.
     
  12. chalup

    chalup Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Men also tend to lose weight easier than women. It is not true for all as we are truly all unique but women tend to have a harder time. It is most likely hormones and a smaller muscle mass. Having the odd very low calorie or fasting day can help with weight loss but I have found personally that constant very low calorie just slows down your metabolism and when you do eat a bit more the body hangs on to every calorie. It seems for me that mixing low carb with the odd low cal day here and there keeps my body from settling in. This is just my personal experience as a middle age, post menopausal woman.
     
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  13. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Yes that's my experience too.

    The world seems to think that fat people always eat loads, so my instinct is to cut down even though I know that's not worked for me in the past. I was truly surprised at my reaction to the discussion on the other thread that I mentioned. I know very low cal isn't for me, but sometimes I want to show the world that I can live without stuffing my face all the time! So very low cal appeals to me, it seems 'right to deny myself food to punish myself for being fat' because that is what others seem to think I should do. It's a crazy attitude, almost like any other addict thinking it would be OK to have just one.....
     
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  14. douglas99

    douglas99 I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean, for me there was definitely an element of that, but I did actually realise in myself it was overeating that had made me fat, so I took it as a positive, and used it to re-address my relationship with food, and force myself to eat a more balanced, far less calorific diet, spaced out throughout the day.
    I do still have days when I eat to much, but I have days when I make an effort and re-address the balance again.
     
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  15. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    About ten or so years ago, I did a low calorie diet, because of my insistent weight gain, slowly but surely! I didn't eat enough for my body's natural metabolic rate.
    I didn't lose weight. I asked my then current diabetic specialist GP, why?
    He insisted that I was not keeping to the diet and I was cheating, and snacking and so on. Was I still drinking? You know, when they don't have a clue!

    I believe that, and I know you're like me, have tried everything. But I think it's how the metabolism works, you like me have an imbalance in our hormones and if that balance isn't prevented the excess hormones, insulin and glucose goes to visceral fat, even though your blood glucose levels are good it doesn't stop the excess!

    The gut brain trigger producing the hormones is the hardest to identify. Because regardless of any diet tried, you could be doing all the right things and still get it wrong. I know mine is to stop the second insulin response from overshoot. So I can't trigger the insulin! The only way is to avoid carbs as much as possible. Be as low as possible! This has probably not worked for you.
    Have you ever had your insulin levels tested?
    Could it be any of the other hormones that effect weight, and there are a few?

    My body will turn to fat if I don't be very very careful as well as being really ill.
    My metabolism works better without food!
    But (as usual) I'm weird!

    I don't know what to advise, I'm just putting my experience out there for you!
    Best wishes @zand
     
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  16. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Thanks @Lamont D :) You're a good friend :) I'm just feeling a bit diet/diabetes weary right now. I'll try to snap out of it soon. :)
     
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  17. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Like Lamont D I have been accused of not sticking to a diet - of lying, cheating, stuffing my face, gluttony - you name it and I've had it thrown in my face because on a low calorie diet I was dying on my feet, unable to do my job properly, unable to cope with looking after myself and sometimes even having no food because I was physically unable to walk to the shops.
    I advocate low carb because I can eat what for me are normal amounts and lose weight. Doctors insist that they know what I ought to eat and then scream at me for naughtily getting fatter on their diets.
    If you fast you will lose more weight than on low carb, but on low carb almost 100% of the weight lost is fat.
     
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  18. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Yeh me too. I was once accused of cheating on a diet because I was seen buying a cream cake. It was for my Mum who was dying of cancer and had a craving for one.

    I was always ill on low cal diets, I know deep down they are not for me.
     
  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Zand, how many calories are you currently eating?
     
  20. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't do it!! It's definitely not healthy!
     
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