Can eating less than your recommended calo... - Weight Loss NHS

Weight Loss NHS

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Can eating less than your recommended calorie intake daily, stall weight loss?

Luna502020 July

Have lost 10 pounds in 9 weeks. Want to loose 2lb instead of always 1lb so tried to be clever an eat less, which didn't work! Any tips to hit the magic 2lb some weeks?

20 Replies

Hello and welcome, Luna50 😊

The short answer is, yes it can. Our bodies are clever things. As we put less in, the metabolism lowers so the body needs less to run on. The way to healthy weight loss is not "eat less, move more" but eat well and keep your insulin level low.

There's a good explanation, here, of the role of all the relevant hormones , and this is a straightforward approach to eating well, for weight loss and for life

You'll find all the information you need about the forum in our Pinned Posts including a Welcome message. A good place to start is by joining a weekly weigh in - why not tomorrow morning? - and using the Daily Diary, where members share their meal plans.

Take your time exploring. This gives you a tour of the forum and, along with Pinned Posts, will show you how things work. I hope you'll become an active member and we will see you joining in around the forum 😊

PS the app doesn’t give access to all parts of the forum so we advise everyone to get rid of the app and log on to the full website using the browser on their phone

Luna502020 July in reply to BridgeGirl

Thank you Bridge girl... So helpful. Will pursue links 😉


Try eating enough to maintain some weeks, then your body won't slow your metabolism thinking it's starving on some desert island.

It can be hard to get your head around, but the amount of insulin you produce will govern how much of what you eat is turned to fat, so eating more fat, calorie for calorie, than carbohydrate or protein will result in you being able to tap into your body's fat reserves better.

Try 60g protein per day, 120g carbohydrate, with enough natural fat (3:2 monounsaturated to saturated) to achieve your weight loss or weight maintenance targets.

Luna502020 July in reply to StillConcerned

Thanks so much... Figures are helpful 👍

As others have said, it's down to what the food is rather than the calories. Over the last 51 weeks, I've fairly consistently lost 2 pounds per week (105 pounds so far).

My consumption target is c.120g meat or fish for lunch (plus veggies) and c.180g meat or fish for dinner (plus veggies) and cut the daily carbs right down to around 50g (which might be a pinch of Alpen on my yoghurt breakfast, or a couple of crackers with cheese, or a breadcrumb coating on dinner.

This plan relies upon being very tough with cutting out sugar (food <5g/100g sugar), including 2 pieces of fruit/day max (natural sugars) and having healthy fats instead of 'low fat' diet food.

Luna502020 July in reply to SofaJockey

Thanks so much.. Congrats on weight loss!


I actually find days I exercise heavy as playing tennis and walk 4 miles I find the next day I actually gain weight this has been a pattern I’ve noticed think it’s the muscles retaining more water as they repair. If I do a 2 mile and eat enough calories to maintain my weight as my lose app says I usually lose 200g every other day. The body does strange things lol. Good luck with the lose. I’ve hit my Target Managed to lose 17 kg since April 20 so very happy with myself. Wife not so impressed as still Insist of counting my calories and weigh some food for portion size.

Luna502020 July in reply to Tall1732

👍 Great achievement.. Thanks

Hi Luna50, personally I think 1lb loss a week is absolutely great! I know I have some weeks that are better than others, but I can't always work out why?! Keep doing what you were doing and make sure you're eating enough. 😃 You'll hit your goals in no time.

SofaJockeyHost in reply to Sayitagainsam

Amongst the tips, this is such a valuable point. Slow and steady wins the race.

Luna502020 July in reply to Sayitagainsam

Ah, thanks so much.. Yes, I know slow and steady wins the race.. Why does it go on so easily yet come off so slowly!

Luna502020 July in reply to Sayitagainsam

Thanks so much... I must be patient!


Hi Luna50!

I'd like to chip in my two cents and try to help if you don't mind?

I'm an intermediate level athlete in barbel sports (which basically means I compete and hurt myself for little to no money at all) and as we're organised by weight classes weight management is vital and something I'm very involved with.

Here's some practical, science based principles we use to go about loosing weight efficiently!

Efficiently = at a rate that prioritises health, performance and wellbeing.

Here we go:

- have a healthy calorie deficit, that means you're eating little enough to loose weight, but not starving yourself and damaging your health. Moderation is key!

- lean meats/fish, eggs and low/no fat yogurt and cheese are awesome sources of protein!

- fruit, veg, and wholegrain rice and pasta are brilliant sources of carbs!

- avocados, nuts, milk and eggs are great sources of healthy fats!

(tip: It can get boring I know, but try to jazz it up with spices instead of sauces and using very little to no oils/butter or other fats to cook with)

- there's no magic numbers, everyone is different! You focus on you and what's working for you (this may involve ignoring a lot of what people around you suggest, politely of course)

- sleep is ABSOLUTELY vital, get as much sleep as you can, being underslept will directly impact your weightloss rate as well as your general health!

- phase out your weight loss out! (big one)

People tend to think weight has to continuously go down until you reach your goal. Truth is, weightloss is a stressor (mind and body) that you need to recover from.

As such, even professional athletes don't diet for more than 12 weeks in a row, and even that is quite the stretch because it becomes very aggressive.

After dieting you do a maintenance phase, where you increase your nutrients and just stay at the same new weight for about half to 2/3 of the time or you spent dieting.

Like this you get super healthy again and let your body settle at its new weight before loosing more! If the diet goes bad you'll more likely go back to your last maintenance weight that you settled on.

This keeps you from yo-yo dieting and putting it all back on. Also let's you phisically and psychologically recover from dieting.

It's a good idea to start low with 4 week phases and make them longer as you get better at it and more comfortable/confident. Take it slow it's a marathon, not a race.

- with that said, you should be aiming to limit your weightloss to:

1% of your bodyweight per week

10% bodyweight per weightloss phase

Womens weight fluctuates significantly with menstruation, so you're better off getting a weekly average of your weight and use that as your reference. (Google how if needed)

I know it might sound daunting, but if your goal is to be healthy and make a long term change you must be patient. Long term takes time, but you got this!

- and lastly, stay active!

Obvious, but even if you don't exercise just moving around helps. Every phone has a step counter nowadays, try to get those steps up! (I even offer to clean, pick up the post, take out the rubbish, etc when I'm dieting. Yeah, my gf loves it ahah).

I think that's about all I can pull out of my head right now but I think it's comprehensive enough.

Excluding cases of underlying health issues/conditions that might factor in (I'm not a doctor and you should consult with one and get checked up at some point during your journey) these principles have worked for me and about every other athlete on the planet!

I can only hope they clear out some doubts you might have had and help/motivate you to write out a weightloss plan that makes you happy and keeps you healthy!

Best of luck!

BigRedDBA22kg in reply to Hidden

Some interesting concepts there. Out of interest, why did you join the group?

Hidden in reply to BigRedDBA

Hi! Thanks for asking.

Was initially pointed here by my gfs sister who has struggled with weight for a long time.

I want to become a personal trainer so I'm hoping to learn about people's struggles with food and weight management so I can better help others in the future.

All the best!

BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to Hidden

Hi, are you wanting to lose weight and join this forum? Do let me know and I'll give you the necessary links so you can find your way around.

Many of us would disagree with some of your advice, particularly about 'calorie deficit', using low fat products and avoiding olive oil and butter, but good tips about the importance of sleep and staying active :)

Hidden in reply to BridgeGirl

Hi! My intentions were stated in a comment before yours, thank you for the offer nonetheless!

I'd be happy to learn why you disagree with a calorie deficit as a viable strategy for weightloss if you have the time


Luna502020 July in reply to Hidden

Thanks Ruben! Had no idea re maintenance phase /pause in dieting.


Also a pound a week plus getting fitter, better muscle tone , more exercise is healthier.

Luna502020 July in reply to Hidden

Yes, dieting has really made me reflect on just how inactive I was. Trying to get 150mins done weekly, not always successful! Thanks

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