Advice please! Cal count, Fasting, LCHF - Weight Loss NHS

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Advice please! Cal count, Fasting, LCHF


Hi everyone!

I’m trying to find my way through this maze of a weight loss journey and have had lots of my original beliefs completely challenged and after watching/reading various links posted, I’m trying to figure out the way forward.

I have a lot to lose but am otherwise fit and healthy . I’m 5’7” tall and am 98 kg Aiming for 25kg loss in 9 months but not hung up on speed- just want to do it in a healthy way and sort out the issue of losing huge amounts only for it to go back on.

For 2 months I’ve eaten healthier and stuck to around 1500 cal per day, and run 3x a week. It’s resulted in around 1kg loss a week, so I’ve been happy.

Lately feeling hungrier though and less energised and harder to shift the weight each week. I feel the answer is not to reduce cals, but to include a fast and look more at controlling my carbs intake

My question is.. if I combine a fast (say not eat for 12-14 hours overnight), and lower carbs intake to around 130g per day, and eat healthy fats (I just can’t yet bring myself to eat large amounts of fatty meat or creamy stuff) ... should I then still be ok to stick with 1500 cal per day? Or is that too few cals and am I in danger of lowering my metabolism?.. I’m just desperate to get it right this time in a sustainable way for good!!

Thanks for listening if you’ve made it this far 😊

I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts or advice!

14 Replies

Here are my thoughts, Cosmo, for what they're worth.

For 2 months you've been consuming far too few calories, which will have led to an altered metabolism and the feeling of hunger and lethargy. At the weight you are now, you should probably be eating a minimum of 2,000 calories.

You can either gradually increase your calories to the correct amount OR you can swap over to an LCHF way of eating. You should not do both. There are many different ways to get fat into your meals and I'm sure you'd find some way that was palatable to you. You would need to do an induction first, to get your body used to burning fat for fuel, rather than glucose, BEFORE even considering any form of Intermittent Fasting.

IF may be introduced gradually, further down the line, if necessary, but it's not essential and is something else to think about, should the need/desire arise.

You may like to join the LCHF forum, to see if it's the way forward for you and have a read of this

Continue with your research, so that you feel you're following the path that's correct for you.

Good luck! :)

Cosmo50120kg in reply to moreless

Thanks moreless! I was wondering if that’s what was going on. I haven’t felt hungry until this point though so wasn’t finding it difficult sticking to 1500. I’ll have to go back to the calculator... I fear I must’ve calculated the correct calories wrongly. So if I change to an LCHF way of eating, are you meaning I should stay with 1500 cal per day? Sorry. A bit confused.

I already eat in a fairly ‘clean ‘ way just normally. Only drink water, no caffeine or alcohol, I don’t eat cakes/sweets etc or many processed foods, and I love fruit and vegetables but I now know I’ve previously damaged my metabolism by focusing on a low fat diet.

I’ll read more and try to get my head around LCHF. - I joined the forum a few weeks back and have found a lot of interesting information.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Hope you’re having a good Easter weekend so far.

morelessAdministrator in reply to Cosmo501

When sticking to LCHF, it's not necessary to count calories, in fact it's dangerous, because you'll be put off the nutrient dense foods, because of their calorie count. Simple answer - DON'T COUNT CALORIES :)

Some people count carbs, at least initially, but I never found the need for that, just stuck to the rules.

You will have to curtail your fruit consumption, as most are very high carb and limit to a few berries, but, again, mainly at the beginning.

It is a lot of information to absorb, made worse because it goes against everything we've been told to do, but it does get much easier, very quickly.

Happy Easter :)

Cosmo50120kg in reply to moreless

Thank you so much! I’m slowly getting my courage up!

morelessAdministrator in reply to Cosmo501

Good for you! You can do this! :)

I don't know if this will help you make up your mind, but it can't hurt

LythamSuper Host 3 stone

Hi after years of a low fat diet ive switched to lchf and the food is sooo lush! And ive lost more weight! Would you like it join our Summer Challenge ? Here is the link with all the information! :-)

Cosmo50120kg in reply to Lytham

Thanks Lytham. I’ll have a read of the link. Yes, keen for any challenge that helps keep me focused and in touch with people with similar goals!

My mum had some sort of heart problem at a young age many years ago and we were all brought up thinking that fat is the devil incarnate 😂🙄 so ... only now I understand why I have gallstones! I know I’m going to head down the LCHF route but I’m just wondering if there’s any sort of middle ground!

Have a great weekend. Thanks for answering!

LythamSuper Host 3 stone in reply to Cosmo501

In my experience no! If I incorporate too many carbs, I put weight on ! Good luck ! :-) x


A wise and knowledgeable person on this forum once said, "Eating should not require a post-graduate degree".

I understand your confusion as we have been told for decades to reduce fats and build our meals on carbohydrates and what do we see during those decades? Steady and continuing increase in obesity.

For my part, I started with the 12 week plan and found it helpful in getting a much better sense of food values and portion control than I had had previously. With wise advice here, I ate in the upper half of the calorie range advised by the NHS BMI calculator. That got my weight loss off to a good start.

From there on, I started to pay much more attention to what I was eating, rather than focusing solely on how much i.e. calories. I came to understand why "a calorie is a calorie" is neither true nor helpful as a way forward. That led me to a low carb high fat way of eating which feels natural, easy and enjoyable. And sustainable: that's vital: you need to lose weight in a way that you can continue with, not with half an eye to going back to "normal" eating when you've lost the excess weight.

I now eat twice a day. I didn't make a particular decision about "fasting", I just found that the lchf way of eating is more filling and satisfying so that it came comfortably and naturally. If I had tried to push myself that way while eating high carb, low fat, I'm sure I would have felt hungry and deprived - probably a bit of a martyr but certainly dieting: I don't want to diet and now I know I don't need to. But that's me.

Cosmo50120kg in reply to BridgeGirl

Thank you! It’s good to hear positive results from starting slowly and not focusing on low calories count. I’m really keen to just make new ways of eating become habit for life and not fear my weight shooting up uncontrollably. Everything I’ve been reading has forced me to reconsider my ingrained views.

I’ll definitely have a read through the 12 week plan again and maybe go ahead that way. I know I definitely have trouble guessing portion sizes!!

Have a great weekend. I appreciate you taking time to respond!

BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to Cosmo501

You're more than welcome :) It's all the generous support on here that got me on the right track. It's very hard to turn the advice we have been given for so long on its head but it makes sense to me.

Calorie counting (and eating well up in my calorie range) gave me a great start, and moving to lchf eating has helped me find a way of eating for life. Wishing you every success and a happy Easter :)

Hi, Cosmo501

I am a kilo or two heavier than you - and I have lost about 25kg in about 10 months.

I lost a stone at two pounds a week... and then lost a pound a week.

I walk 30 or 40 km a week, so my energy requirement might be similar to yours. I did not count calories, but my Apple watch and apple Health tell me I am burning about 2,800 calories a day (when I was heavier and walking more it was over 3,500) so, to lose a pound a day, I would suggest that you eat over 2,000 calories a day (if you count them). See:

Many members who have several stone to lose can lose more than a pound a week - but, as "Lately feeling hungrier though and less energised and harder to shift the weight each week" I would suggest you try one pound a week from now.

I Intermittent Fast and eat something approximating to LCHF. (I think that not having a gallbladder makes it hard for me to digest much fat).

See my post on the Fasting and Furious Forum:

You can gradually change your diet towards LCHF, and you can gradually start Intermittent Fasting (I call it Not Eating All Day).

So... you are on the right track - but I suggest you eat more.

Goodness me you’re doing incredibly well! That’s an amazing weight loss. Thank you so much for responding. I didn’t realise an Apple Watch could be used that way. I’ve been thinking whether to get one, and that sounds like it could be a very helpful tool.

Definitely seems conclusive that I need to up the calories. I’m so glad I asked, and so grateful people have been kind enough to respond!

I really like the sound of the combination of your approach. It is what I would like to achieve also. I just Hope it works for me too. As easy as it is to calorie count these days with all the fantastic apps out there, I would love to liberate myself from it at some point along the way!

I had an awful year of severe gallbladder attacks a few years ago but they couldn’t remove it because I was pregnant. By the time my son arrived I had lost 30kg and the attacks just stopped happening. But that’s why I’ve been so nervous to increase my fat intake as I’m scared to set the whole thing off again. however... having now read about the whole link between low fat diet and gallstones... everything is beginning to make sense! I almost have the courage to give LCHF a go.

Good luck for your continued weight loss, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thanks again for responding!

Sewn2020 March

I'd use the free app my fitness Pal where you enter the activity and foods to keep you on track. Running on so few cals to me sounds like it would be impossible to sustain.

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