Is this healthy?


I'm currently averaging about 1,250 calories per day and do a brisk 45 min walk eevry day (but know I should do more really!). I'm concerned, having done a lot of internet reserach and worried myself, that I may actually be doing more harm than good. I've only been at this for 2 weeks, first 10 days I lost 5lb. Since then, I've lost 0.9lb (0.4kg), which I'm a bit disappointed with.

My typical day's diet consists of:

Breakfast: Special K or low fat yoghurt: 170cals

Lunch: Soup for lunch: average 150cals

Snacks: Fruit, 100 - 150 cals, Oatcakes (if I feel the need): 100 cals

Dinner: Usually veg/bean stews, veg curry, bean burgers, once a week macaroni cheese with cauliflower, occasional chicken, sometimes followed by a low fat yogurt, slice of brown bread occasionally, averge 600 cals

This is supplemented with 'treats' such as a coupe of pancakes on tuesday, a more substantial (still low fat) lunch at the weekend, or some wine. Last night I had a treat dinner of gnocchi bake with tomato sauce topped with low fat cream cheese and a chopped up frankfurter with a roll (713 cals - delicious!).

So, some days I'm below 1,200, most days I'm a bit over, other days more like 1,300/1,350 cals. I'm feeling fine on this, but I do get hungry between meals. If it gets too bad I have extra fruit or oatcakes, but I really am trying not to, as snacking was my weakness. My BMI is 29 (80.6kg) and I want to loose about 3 stone.

8 Replies

  • Hi losingweight288,

    My sense is that your calorie intake is a tad too low really. And I think perhaps a slightly more substantive breakfast might help you not feel so hungry later on in the day.

    I'd be inclined to suggest that you try to get yourself into a eating regime of something like meal - snack - meal - snack - meal - snack. Try not to go over about 4 hours with nothing to eat at all and use the snacks to tide you over to your next meal.

    Remember, a snack might only be a tomato, or an apple, or a tea with a low fat Digestive, or something quite small and only perhaps 50 to 100 kcals.

    I've noticed that Tesco's are now doing bags of mini low fat Digestives. Each bag contains 5 smaller bags (each apparently 97 kcal with 9 or 10 tiny low fat Digestives in them). So, even a cup of tea (no sugar, skimmed milk) and two or three of those mini Digestive would - as my Mum would have put it - "skate the hunger off of you" till your next meal. I was a bit surprised at a main supermarket doing anything so potentially helpful.

    If you can vary the snacks a bit, that will help to stave off boredom.

    Also, remember all the things about "eating with your eyes". Try to make a meal out of what you eat - don't eat on auto-pilot - because mentally registering your eating will help it be more satisfying. Also slowing down your eating, so that your meals take longer, may well help with feelings of satiation.

    The opposites of those, which needs to be avoided, is mindlessly munching in front of the TV / laptop or bolting down the food like someone is going to take it away from you any moment. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to notice and respond to a meal, so if you get loads of food in before that, you're likely to have eaten too much before your body can react by feeling full.

    (That, in turn, also kind of trains you into a habit, of eating fast and eating too much - which is another 'bad' eating habit that is well worth trying to change if you want to have control of your body weight).

    And sometimes just a drink of water helps.. Sometimes people are really seeking a bit of hydration at times they claim to be hungry

    Those ideas might help you feel less hungry between meals.

    Good luck with your weight loss journey.

  • Thanks Doikosp, that's good advice. I think I'll try and have a bit more at breakfast - difficult as I'm not really a breaksfast person and having it at all have been a bit of a departure for me!

  • I'm BMI mid 29 having gone from BMI 31/32 in December. I need to lose 2 stone to get to the top of the helathy weight range. I'm having bananas for breakfast, and often have chicken with salad (no salad dressing) or fish with salad for evening meal. Walking is the only exercise I can stick to, although i do try to get on the exercise bike. I'm not really counting calories, but am watching what I'm eating.

  • Hi losingweight228,

    I'm also calorie counting, something I always was against doing as it seems to difficult (every brand seems to have different calorie intake for seemingly the same foods). Anyway, someone suggested myfitnesspal and I've found it quite easy to use as a rough guide to what I am consuming. Interestingly, I have found that days where I've eaten more substantial foods for breakfast (maybe something I take to work as like you I don't like eating first thing in the morning) I feel much better and end up having much better food later in the day. The days I have limited myself to a (albeit quite large) fruit salad I have found my belly is empty quite quickly and I snack more and feel hungry all day. Also interestingly on myfitnesspal you can record your exercise. I found on days where I ate more than just fruit and veg I was easily doing more exercise. I guess the pattern is that when your body is well nurished it works better. I've therefore found it easier to lose weight when I eat slightly more than what I thought I should be eating. (Sorry if I'm rambling, hope some of that makes sense!)

    Good luck with losing weight and reducing your BMI!

  • I'm 63 kg 139lbs and looking to lose a further 6kg 14lbs. I aim for about 2 hours of exercise a week and I work in a sit down job. I've got myfitnesspal and based on my weight, it tells me how many calories I should be aiming for (1,420 per day) as well as helping me keep track of them. On the odd day when I eat less than 1200 calories it warns me that this is not enough calories for me to lose weight safely. I would definitely agree that you should get myfitnesspal and I would think that you should be having more than 1200 calories otherwise your body can go into starvation mode and this will cause you to store fat. Get myfitnesspal and let it do all the work :-)

  • The sugar content in Special K is quite high, the low fat yoghurt may be the same. Swapping to lower sugar alternatives will help you stay fuller for longer and be better for your general health. Your body needs fat to function properly, so don't go too low.

  • If I eat breakfast I'm far more hungry as somehow it 'opens the gates' and starts me thinking about food. I fast one or two days a week (500 calories) and on those days I don't press the 'complete this entry' button on MyFitnessPal.

    If you're hungry between meals then have a hot drink and distract yourself - hunger passes, it goes in waves and doesn't get worse.

    If you desperately need to have a snack don't eat carbohydrates as they will cause you to want more, causing an insulin spike. Better to eat some raw vegetables, not fruit as that will do the same.

    Have you worked out your TDEE?

    Mine worked out at barely more than 1200 when I started so I wouldn't have lost weight on that - everyone is different.

  • I didn't used to be good at breakfast but I find it helps me. Usually protein based so try egg or well grilled bacon. Perhaps a bit later than first thing if you are working and can take something with you.

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