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The Biggest Loser (1500 calories a day?)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have read many threads here and have heard it over and over from all types of health people that losing so much weight is not healthy for your body. But, how come you can find many examples, such as the Biggest Loser, where people have been successful in keeping it off, after losing 100+ pounds in a few months? Everyone says it should be a pound or two a week. I know that some contestants have relapsed, but a quick websearch reveals that quite a few of them have successfully kept it off.

If you are mindful of your calories, approximately how many you are burning and how many you're expending, then why is it bad for a big man or a big woman to do a lot of activity on low calories? There's a forum on Men's Health and out of interest I looked on there and there were a number of regular guys who had lost large amounts of weight in less than a year and have still kept their new physique. Is the conventional wisdom bull, or is there still something to it?
post #2 of 18
i think the body is resilient and everyone is a little different, just simply listen to your body and go with what works for you sensibly.

just like the drinking 10 cups of water per day, these are just guidelines, no one is going to throw out there, "go ahead and lose 1500 cals a day if you can and it works for you" in fear of legal liability if someone insensibly mindlessly goes overboard with one any advice bit.

there were days when i did go minus 1500+ cals during stretches when i lost tremendous weight. i had no negative repercussions due to it. but that is for me.
post #3 of 18
Eating 1500 cals a day?

If your primary concern is dropping weight fast, its fine. Say you want to go from a high level of bodyfat (25%) to something lower (18%) a crash is OK, if you are eating a metric asston of protein and are taking multivitamins.

If you are worried about keeping muscle mass or building mass, 1500 cals a day is only ok if you are tiny, and even then, It's only enough to maintain.
post #4 of 18
I guess it can be done...but not by me. I probably eat closer to 2500-3000 cal a day. Any less and I'd be hungry all day. I just work out about 4 times a week as well.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmeow View Post
Eating 1500 cals a day?

If your primary concern is dropping weight fast, its fine. Say you want to go from a high level of bodyfat (25%) to something lower (18%) a crash is OK, if you are eating a metric asston of protein and are taking multivitamins.

If you are worried about keeping muscle mass or building mass, 1500 cals a day is only ok if you are tiny, and even then, It's only enough to maintain.

In the short term, this caloric intake should not cause any loss of muscle mass, and in fact with a good workout routine it may be possible for someone to add muscle mass while still losing weight.

Long term, however, that is likely to reverse and your body will cannabilize "excess" muscle. That's not necessarily a problem, because there is nothing inherently wrong with "losing mass", there may even be long term benefits (look at the studies on aging on a calorie restricted diet).

I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually learn that 1500 is actually on the high side of healthy for an adult with a moderate level of physical activity.
post #6 of 18
I eat 1500 per meal with ease and I don't gain weight. I'd feel awful on only 1500 per day.
post #7 of 18
Is this just eating 1500 calories a day, or a net deficit of 1500 calories a day?
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by imatlas View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually learn that 1500 is actually on the high side of healthy for an adult with a moderate level of physical activity.

Perhaps for an exceptionally tiny adult but for a normal sized one, no.
post #9 of 18
IIRC, for years the average recommended caloric intake for an adult was 2000 calories. I am also pretty damn sure they reduced it to well below 2000 calories in the past 2 or 3 years. So 1500 to me is not a huge stretch at all. Hence, my question.
post #10 of 18
I've spent weeks remaining active and eating 1500 calories a day without losing any weight. Sometimes a persons body will simply account for lack of calories and store more fat. Then again, actresses employ rediculous diets, which seem to work sometimes (i.e. Post-Baby Elizabeth Hurley, Post-Bridgette Jones Renee Zellweger).
post #11 of 18
We are all different. I used to be able to eat everything in sight and not gain weight. Then age caught up with me. These days, I work out six days per week (weight training and cardio on M,W, F and Cardio on T, TH, and S), two hours each day. I measure my food portions (jeez, I hate that!) and log my intake and count calories, limiting intake to 1800 to 2000 calories per day. Sunday is a free day (no workouts and eat what I want)! While I am not gaining weight, I am also not losing it on this routine!
post #12 of 18
I probably eat 1200-2000 most of the time and never feel weak. If i was 100 pounds heavier i don't know if i'd be able to do it though. I somehow don't want to eat much when working out/playing sports but make myself because i know i have some leeway with extra burned calories and i love food.
post #13 of 18
1500 calories a day is not that low. I think most women under 5'3" eat about this much, or far less?

A Big Mac is 550 calories. 1500 calories would 3 of them per day. or 2 big macs and 2 cokes. It's not exactly starving.

The biggest loser is different because, aside from whatever diet they are on, they are literally working out 8 hours a day or more. They are working out all the freaking time. Nobody exercises that much, not even the most obsessive stay-at-home moms.
post #14 of 18
1500 kcal a day isn't that bad. Get your protein and fats right , you'll never be hungry. Morbidly obese people can drop much more weight than "regular" slightly overweight people. The 1-2 lbs per week is a guideline for sustained loss, if you start at 350-400 lbs, then you definitely can lose more than 1-2 lbs per week. I've seen sustained losses of 5 lbs per week. One of my clients was a big guy, about 300 lbs when he first started, and he dropped more than 100 lbs in 6 months. Turned into a skinny bastard!
post #15 of 18
1500 is a-ok if you're kinda small and have the proper macro-nutrient ratio.

If you're training really hard, eat way more.
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