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Alyssa

Can I go lower than 1000 calories?

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Hi,

my name is Alyssa and I am 19 years old, 5 foot 5 and 125 pounds. I just started the CR diet a couple weeks ago and I am finding it fairly easy to stick to 1000 calories a day by eating mainly fruits and veggies, some meat for dinner, yogurt, and sometimes a piece of whole grain bread as well as a multivitamin daily. It isn't much different from how I normally eat so that's why I'm not having much difficulty adapting. I am using a website called caloriecount on which you input what food you have eaten throughout the day and it tells you how many calories you have consumed as well as which nutrients you are lacking in. So far it seems like I am meeting all of my recommended daily intakes for my vitamins although I would like to purchase the computer program that goes with the "Beyond the 120 Year Diet" book. Should I be trying to eat even fewer calories or should I stick to 1000? Also, I work out 4 days a week, what should I be eating before I work out that doesn't conflict with this diet? Thanks!

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Hi Alyssa, You can go below 1000 calories, but you must take great care with the foods you choose. A multi vitamin isn't the recommended way to get all your nutrition. A diet high in veggies with some fruit and a source of protein is good but foods must be chosen carefully to get as much nutrition as possible from the diet. At 5' 5" and 125 lbs, you should take care not to get below a BMI of 18.5. Your current BMI of around 20.8 should look pretty trim and nice. Beyond the 120 Year Diet book is great, but the software that was created is very dated now. Instead you should choose CRON-o-Meter which is a much better program. They also have a website version at http://www.cronometer.com.

 

Good work getting started on it. CR is a great way to get healthier.

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Hi. Thanks for your reply. I have started using the cronometer website and so far it has been working really well for me. I have input all the foods that I have been eating over the past few days and it looks like I'm getting all of my viatmins and minerals without the multi-vitamin so I guess I can stop using it for now. I have been trying to eat as many veggies as I can with some fruit and protein which so far seems to be working well for me. I think I'll stick to this for a little longer and make sure I'm doing everything properly before I go lower than 1000. Once again, thanks for your help!!

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Alyssa, I would recommend that you continue to use Cron-O-Meter. Getting all of your vitamins and minerals with your current diet is excellent! Congrats. Nevertheless, I really think that meticulous tracking of your diet (with a scale and software) is necessary for a daily CR regimen, especially if you're even remotely close to 1,000 calories. Indeed, even if you're comfortable with your current diet, you might run into sudden and rapid weight loss. Coming up short on essential nutrients is definitely an ever-present risk, and it's not just a matter of vitamins and minerals. It's important to meet general requirements for protein and essential fatty acids.

 

Metabolic idiosyncrasies aside, I'm the same height as you, and I can tell you that ~1850 calories a day brought me down to 107 lbs. I consume much more than that now, and my weight is stable at around ~120. Calorie requirements can be a tricky business. Just make sure to monitor your weight, and don't lose more than a pound a week. There are risks of damage to muscle (ie; heart muscle) and bone. Take it slow and pay attention to protein and fat.

 

Good luck! :)

 

EDIT:

Whoops, just realized you're 19.

Alyssa, I hate to say it but I'm not sure it would be wise to practice full-blown CR at a 20.8 BMI when you're 19 years old...let alone even consider a 1,000 calorie/day diet. I can't speak for others here, but I believe it is extremely unwise to practice CR while your body has yet to fully develop and reach maturity. You are in a critical phase of your life; you have not yet reached peak bone mass, you haven't even had your last growth spurt, and there are plenty of changes that will be going on under the hood. You don't want to mess with this stuff. You can do what you want, of course, but I really think 1,000 calories is out of the question here.

 

Not what you want to hear, I know, but a human is not a mouse; retarding aging is also not the same as retarding healthy growth and development. If I were you, I would continue to make the excellent dietary choices you've made so far regarding vegetables, and continue to get adequate protein and fat. I really don't think you should be on CR right now.

Edited by Taurus

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Guest Alyssa

Thank you so much for your reply. I have upped my calories to 1500 a day but am still going to continue using Cronometer to make sure that I'm getting all my nutrients. Maybe in a few more years I'll lower my calories again, but right now this is working for me and I still feel like I'm doing something good for my body.

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