Weight Loss NHS
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Under eating?

Despite losing seven pounds in the last week, I have been warned that I am under eating by a large amount. I currently find it hard to have 1000 calories a day, never mind 1400. This is starting to make me feel a bit ill but I am paranoid at eating anything with over 200 calories, even something that is said to be good for me. How can I hit 1400 calories a day without feeling paranoid of gaining again?

13 Replies

Hi Rosie-Chan,

I am not an expert, but 1000 cal is a very low intake, and 7 pounds loss a week is too much. The most important thing in the whole process is to be healthy and to acquire long-term, balanced healthy habits.

As for intake of calories, I would suggest (again I am not an expert and I don't know your diet) nuts (some scientific recommendations are 1.5 ounces /about 3 tablespoons/ of nuts a day. Also, I take one tablespoon of flax-seed oil a day. Honey, as well, 1 tbs is 64 calories. New researches have shown that we should consume 7 portions of fruit a day.

It is important to make your own choices that will make you energetic and feeling good.

Good luck. :)

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Are you officially overweight? It may help to see your GP and get some advice


It depends on what you weigh to start with. Go on the nhs bmi calculator which will tell you your bmi but will also suggest a calorie allowance if you do need to lose weight. Alternatively go on my meal mate it is an android app and gives your calorie allowance very simply. A healthy rate to lose weight after the first 2 weeks is 2lb a week. The first 2 weeks you do not lose just fat but water.

If you are older very short and only slightly overweight 1000 calories may be ok for you. If you are taller younger and heavier then you need more calories.

If you are overweight then the novelty of dieting will probably wear off and you will soon find it easy to eat more. If you are not overweight then you should talk to a medical professional for guidance. You don't really give enough info for us to help much.

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Hi Rosie-Chan

I think that 7lbs a day is too much to lose unless you are grossly obese. I do not lose weight at 1400 calories and I found I needed a more exact number of calories to enable me to lose about 1lb - 1.5lb a week on a sustainable ongoing basis. Someone on the site gave me a link to the following calculator: myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-... which enabled me to work out a more exact range of calories to lose weight.

I also use a free website called 'Future Self' the link is futureself.com/. You set yourself up a free account and in 'settings' you put in the weight you want to be, how much you want to lose per week and your average activity level. There is a food diary where you put in everything you eat each day and it shows you how many calories you still have left for the day on a sliding scale, it remembers all your regular foods, it shows you a break down of the food into its various nutrients so that you can see if you are going over the top in any area, it tells you how many days it will take to reach your goal and gives you a graph to show how you are doing - all really encouraging. You know that you are not overeating and you can balance out the amount you eat to reach your target weight.

Hope it is helpful



I have started using my fitness pal and it is helping a lot. I've managed to start eating a little more and the weight loss is dropping to a better amount.


Eat 6 portions total must be approx 1500 - 1800 cals

Speak to a dietician or a nutritionist


I agree with all the other posters.

Firstly I would check out your bmi on the nhs website to see what it recommends.

If it says your weight is within range then really you shouldn't need to be cutting any calories. Maybe all you need to do is tone. Society spends too much time telling us how we look and the only way we can change this is by telling it to go and take a running jump because we are society and the only way opinions will change is if we change them. The only real opinions that count are our own, medical practitioners whose job it is to help us keep healthly and to a certain extent our families who care for us who want us to be happy and healthy too.

If you do genuinely need to loose weight then weight loss however large the amount, needs to be done slowly.

You wouldn't expect to run a marathon without training for it. Your body needs training and slow encouragement to get to where you want to be. It's great that you're loosing weight and sometimes if you way a little more at the start like I did (16st 5lbs) then you can experience a sudden huge loss mostly due to water retention however this shouldn't happen every week. You should aim for no more than 2lbs a week. I know this sounds tiny and that it will take forever but if you think of it in terms of percentages of your lifespan then it's really not. Say you live until you're 80. You want to loose 6st (which is around about what I wanted to loose). At 2lbs a week max that will take you 42 weeks. There are 4160 weeks in 80 years. 42÷4160=1.0096153846. That means just over 1% of your life would be spent on loosing weight. You spend more time watching TV (11%) . Don't forget that by loosing weight you'll be helping to reduce your risk of things like a heart attack.

Going at a reasonable pace is best as it allows your body time to adjust to changes, means you can tone muscles and allow skin to shrink back meaning you don't have so much excess skin when you're done loosing.

Your weight loss regime should not maje you feel ill. If you haven't already then I would speak to your doctor. It's important to make sure you are getting a balance. That does mean eatening some higher calorie foods. If it's carbs you're worried about then why not try switching certain ones for healthier alternatives e.g potatoes can be switched for sweet potato which is lower calorie, white bread for wholemeal and also white rice and pasta for wholegrain version.


Hi hun

If you are feeling ill you are simply not putting enough calories into your body, it's very easy to get paranoid about eating and calories etc but at the end of the day it just is not good for you. If you don't eat enough eventually your body will hold onto calories and your weight loss will slow...

Like some of the others have posted just adding small amounts of higher calorie healthy food is an option, high calorie does not always mean unhealthy food.

You'll have lost a considerable amount in your first week as the others have said due to water loss, so it will be unreasonable to expect another high loss this week unless you have a lot to lose. I'd say 1000 calories is only for people who find weight loss is slow despite dieting and sticking to it like myself, that said I average 1300 per day and still loose, albeit it 1/2lb a week, it's a long road and the longer it takes to come off the longer it stays off.

Try not to focus on calories all the time, can you join a club like slimming world or weight watchers? Their books focus on healthy eating and portions and not calorie intake, I know its expensive but with a voucher you can join at a discount, then take the books and do it yourself at home once you get the hang of it.

If not, some others have suggested myfitness pal which is fab to use and best of all free, work out a meal plan for the week including snacks according to their suggestions for your calorie allowance and then don't think about the calories, just eat what is on your plan so you don't become fixated with how many calories you are eating in a day,

Anyway hope this helps


Hi Rosie-Chan

I know exactly how you feel. I too am eating almost nothing and not losing any weight. I like you know that if I eat just a little something over my limit, I will gain at least a pound the next day. The only way I can lose weight (a pound) is by eating absolutely nothing! I am paranoid alsox


It sounds like you have a underlying reason why you are not able to eat more than what you do and would benefit to come under guidance of a dietician and doctor if you are struggling. 7 pounds is way too much to loose in a week, the recommendation is to loose no more than 1-2 pounds a week. I think the calorie intake that you have, is for people who really need to jump start a weight loss or who literally sit around and don't do much. Have you tried to drink meal replacement drinks? I know when I am very unwell and tired, I tend to not eat so good. During those times, I can find it good to do a meal replacement shake and drink that, so that I know I get some kind of nutrition and calories, when I can't get myself to eat solid foods


Sorry I didn't reply sooner and for not giving more information. I am 23 years old, 5 foot 1 and weigh 18 stone 4. I started at 19 stone. Having looked at my fitness pal and working things out, I have found I should be eating about 1300 calories a day. I have now managed to eat some more, mainly healthy snacks such as nuts or fruit, and my partner keeps an eye on me because of my paranoia of food. I have read through what has been said and thank you! So much good advice and information.

My weight loss has calmed down. I have only lost 3 pounds this week. It may not be as fast but I'm still proud of it. I'm not as paranoid as I can now just eat something when I do feel sick or hungry (I bought a supply of fruit and nuts for that) and I seem to be a little more energetic and not as sick. I probably will see my doctor for help so I don't start "starving myself" as the people around me say.


Be proud, have you set a short term goal 18 may be or a BMI number when you get there use a non food treat as a reward! Good to here your partner is on board too!


Well done on your weight loss so far, it is normal to lose more weight in the first couple of weeks, what you have to get your head round it's not a diet but a new way of life, so some foods you can eat lots of certain green veg are not too calorific, beware of the obvious high cal foods that we all know about, but certain things like nuts, pineapple grapes can be quite calorific. So you have managed to up your intake glad it has,and will give you more energy. Have you thought about exercise? It will burn calories and can aid your weight loss, brisk walking is good and free if you haven't joined a gym yet, if you want to record your weight loss woes, and successes Lowcal does a weigh-in every Monday morning feel free to join our virtual fat fighters club! Fad diets just don't work long term, good luck!


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