View Full Version : Please Help! What would YOU eat? Dr. limited me to 1200 cal/day!

02-27-2010, 07:03 PM
My endocrinologist has limited me to 1200 calories a day. I have some ideas, but I would appreciate any suggestions of foods to help me get the MOST out of those limited calories.

A couple of background notes: I know that doesn't seem like much; she is basing it on me weighing 145 lbs and a goal weight of 120. I did tell her that I KNEW my friend who lifts weights would tell me that isn't enough. She responded that they find exercise to be very effective in MAINTAINING weight loss but not much help in losing. She said it stimulates your appetite and you tend to overestimate how many calories you've burned.

02-27-2010, 07:13 PM
I would totally go controlled carb. I can't eat just 1200 calories and still keep a 65% carb level. I stay hungry and then I binge. It's not sustainable for me.

02-27-2010, 07:20 PM
Here is my typical breakfast:
1/2 cup plan quick/instant oats (1 cup cooked)
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1.5 tsp. olive oil
1-3 packets of Splenda
1.5 cups diced apple
0.5 cup fat free milk
I measure out everything. I can be very anal and have a specific method of making this. I measure out 1/2 cup uncooked oats and add that to my bowl. Then I pour in 1.5 tsp. of olive oil. I add 1-3 packets of olive oil directly on top of the olive oil. I dice up a medium apple, measuring out 1.5 cups. (My mom gets the extra.) I pour 0.5 cup of fat free milk on it and microwave it for 90 seconds. I top it with 2 tsp. of cinnamon and stir it together. I love it! You can't taste the olive oil and it really keeps me satisfied. Sometimes, I have another full cup of milk to drink with the meal. I also have 16 oz. of water. I count points and the entire breakfast with the extra cup of milk is 7.5 points.

Here is a typical lunch:
Pepperidge Farm Deli Thin with 2 oz. of roast beef and 2 oz. of turkey breast. I add in some Sun Chips and salsa, 4 oz. of Fiber One yogurt, and plenty of water for another 6 points.

Dinner is anything lean, like chicken breast, 93% ground beef, ground turkey/turkey breast, pork tenderloin, beef sirloin (steak), turkey breast cutlets, etc. I typically have two servings of broccoli or other non-starchy veggie, a large salad, or 1 serving of a starchy veggie with dinner as well.

I try to spread my 35 extra points out throughout the week and usually eat 10-12 points for dinner. I get 23 points a day and tend to 23-26 a day. If I want a chocolate treat, I rely on WW frozen novelties or Skinny Cows.

I love veggies and my body needs a good level of carbs to feel full. You can easily cut out some of what I eat. I average 1200-1400 calories a day. I try to burn at least 200 calories in exercise plus I aim for 10,000 steps a day outside of exercise.

Best of luck! I hope this helped!

02-28-2010, 08:34 AM
Yea, for 1200 calories a day I'd go with lean proteins like chicken breast, as it'll stay in your stomach longer. Obviously lots of fresh vegetables will also help. You're really going to have to avoid fatty cuts of meat, startchy foods which contain lots of calories. Also I would def take a multivitamin so you're not robbing yourself of nutrients you need as you cut back on the food intake.

02-28-2010, 09:46 AM
Ask your doctor to refer you to a registered dietician or nutritionist. About 20 years ago I used the nutritionist when I was in grad school. I was on a 1200 calorie diet and exercised an hour a day -- I lost over 50 pounds.

I was using guidelines from the American Dietetic Association. I got three servings of dairy (180 calories), 4 servings of meat (320 calories), 2 fruit (120calories each), 4 veggie servings (180 calories) 5 bread/pasta (300 calories) and 2 "free" serving (100 calories).

It seems like a small amount but if you take a whole days food and put it on the counter, it isn't too bad. It will take you a few days to get used to it. You will also learn which food you can eat a lot of -- veggies, lettuce and which will burn up your calories quickly, i.e. canned fruit cups. I had great success with this plan -- I may start using it again for myself. :goodvibes

You can also go to www.sparkpeople.com and they will tell you what a 1200 calorie plan would have in it and give you ideas. I like them because they give you probably more food that you would give yourself if you were doing all the planning. There is a Disboards team on sparkpeople, too.

It sounds like you doctor was pretty good at telling you what
to do but not so good at telling you how to do it.

Feel free to join us in the Biggest Loser Challenge -- we are about 1/2 way through -- if you want some accountability and support.

Good luck and enjoy your journey to better health! :goodvibes

03-06-2010, 10:04 PM
Thank you Lisa! I didn't get a notification that you had posted.

The weight loss conversation wasn't the main focus of the appointment, in my endo's defense. It was follow up for thyroid cancer. She had planned on putting me on metformin (not for diabetes) and I asked if I could try losing on my own first. She said that I can try, and certainly diet and exercise was best, but the reality is that only 5% do that successfully.

03-07-2010, 08:32 AM
No worries! :goodvibes I was going to suggest the Thyroid Thread on the Coping and Compassion Board but when I went to get the link I saw you had already found it! :thumbsup2

I wasn't dissing your doctor -- many of them are good at telling what to do but not how to do it. You have a lot of other stuff going on in your life and stress is going to interfere with your weight loss success. I would shoot for 1 lb a week and take it slow and easy. Better to get it off and keep it off than to do it quickly and have it all (or more) come back.

Good luck!

03-09-2010, 01:59 PM
I second the recommendation to go to a dietitian. I think you will find that it isn't that hard to limit yourself to 1200 calories, but you have to make sure they are quality calories (include the nutrients you need to stay healthy).

I find that whole grains are vital to helping me feel full and maintain my energy levels over a longer period of time. I eat oatmeal and a piece of fruit every morning for breakfast and it lasts me until lunch. I buy the weight control kind that has added protein and fiber. Whole grains are considered a "slow" carb because it takes your body longer to process it. Other slow carbs are whole wheat breads (also bagels, english muffins, etc), and beans.

The following is my personal take on weight loss; I know there are special circumstances that require a special approach, but I have researched the issue for a long time and this is the conclusion I have come to...feel free to ignore it :)

I don't think 1200 is too bad considering your current weight (I am 100lbs heavier than you and my target is 1600), but I don't agree with the Dr that exercise does not have much effect on weight loss. Of course you have to be honest with yourself about what you eat. The simplest thing to remember at losing weight is that it takes 3500 calories to make a pound. If you want to lose a pound a week, burn 3500 calories more than you consume (also count your Base Metabolic Rate in your calorie burn)...or 500 calories a day for 7 days. I am using the Go Wear Fit and it measures my calorie burn through the day. I aim for a 1000 calorie deficit per day (2 pounds a week) and so far my weight loss has been spot on...well, except for a temporary water weight gain when I added in resistance training to my workout regimen. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you can replace some of that fat with muscle, not only will you look better, but your overall calorie burn will increase. Also, I have found that regular exercise DECREASES my appetite rather than increasing it. (of course, exercise has other, non-weight related benefits like heart health, stress relief, etc)

03-09-2010, 02:57 PM
I have actually been to a nutritionist once, a couple of years ago. I felt like the things she told me were pretty common knowledge so I am uncertain whether it would be helpful for me to return.

I actually have found it pretty do-able, and have lost about 5 pounds. I'm trying to find what foods give me the most bang for my calorie buck. Besides fruits, veggies, and chicken breast some of my favorites are

Air popped popcorn
Extreme wellness tortillas, 71 calories, 12 g fiber and 8 g protein.
laughing cow light swiss cheese ( I think they are like 35 calories)
string cheese (80 calories)

I bought some greek yogurt but I haven't had the nerve to try it yet.

03-09-2010, 10:10 PM
You can easily do 1,200 calories a day; I've done 500 cal/day on HCG for about 120 days before taking a break to maintain my current losses with the intention of going back on for another round the first of April to lose the last 25-30 lbs--I've lost 65 lbs thus far. I guestimate that I'm consuming somewhere between 1,200 and 1,800 calories now to maintain my weight, but I've found that the type of calories I consume is more important than the amount. An indulgence of a few french fries or a half bun on a burger is enough to induce cravings and make the scale go up. Although rice, limited to a half cup, appears to have no impact on my weight at all.

I currently limit starchy carbs (rice, beans, potatoes) to once every two weeks and very small amounts. I don't consume any processed carbs (pasta, breads) at all if I can help it. I eat lean meats and fish (chicken, flank steak, lean hamburger, turkey or chicken sausage, and salmon, fresh tuna, halibut, and shellfish) in about 3.5 to 4.5 oz portions. I also eat lots of eggs (frittatas are our new favorite).

Almost any non-starch veggie in a filling portion is great as are fresh fruits. I seem to tolerate low-fat cheeses, trim cottage cheese, greek yogurt, etc. I still use vinegar alone for my salad dressings, but have begun to use a little olive oil for cooking and have added back avocados and limited nuts.

I highly recommend getting a food count book, a good food scale, and learning to use fresh herbs in cooking. The more flavorful the entree, the less you will need to eat of it and the less you will feel deprived. Serve yourself on the salad size plates and take the time to enjoy your meal instead of multi-tasking while you eat. Its make a big difference in feeling satisfied.

Good luck on your journey; I know that you can do it.

03-09-2010, 11:45 PM
I did a body fat analysis in one of those "Bod Pod" machines. Just to maintain my weight, the analysis recommended 1311 kcalories a day. So, I think that if anyone is trying to lose weight, 1200 seems to make sense.

It seems like next to nothing in numbers, doesn't it? Why are all of the RDAs at 2,000 calories? Who can eat that much and still be slim (unless you're a bodybuilder)?

03-14-2010, 09:18 PM
It seems like next to nothing in numbers, doesn't it? Why are all of the RDAs at 2,000 calories? Who can eat that much and still be slim (unless you're a bodybuilder)?

Large men, I think! :)