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Not enough calories

#1
Hi I am a 27 year old male and my weight is 160 lbs and my hight is 6 1. For the last 5 or so months I have been eating what I thought was a healthy diet to lose weight but after I stopped losing weight I thought I would check out how many calories I was actually having because I didn't check when I started my diet.

When I added them all together it was never over 900 calories. I didnt realize this and I was wondering if anyone could tell me a good diet to follow as what I though was good wasn't enough calories.

I was normally having cereal in the morning then a ham sandwich for my second meal then chicken veg and different kinds of potatoes each day

Edit: my reason for losing weight is I want to go back down a few Jean sizes to what i was last year

Thanks in advance
 
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Last edited:

boggins

Silver Member
#2
Hello!

Have you had a look at foodfocus.co.uk? That's what I use. It's free, and includes a food log. You input what you've eaten and it adds up the calories, fat, carbs and protein for you. It has a lot of branded items on there (Kellogg's, Tesco etc), and you can add stuff if it isn't there.

I use it to plan ahead. Earlier today I put in tomorrow's meals, so I could make sure I'd be eating the right amount.

It also allows you to add any exercise you do, and will calculate how many more calories you need to eat as a result.

Worth a try perhaps?
 
#3
Its just that i don't know what to eat to add more calories. it says i should be eating 1700 but on a normal day i have 800-900. i really don't know what i should add to my diet to add the extra 800 calories. i feel full with what i am eating now.

which is cereal
tuna sandwich
chicken with veg and jacket/sweet potato.

its starting to worry me because i am eating so little calories to what i am supposed to
 

boggins

Silver Member
#4
I had the same problem when I started. You should snack between meals, just nothing hugely fatty or sugary. There are loads of low-fat, mid-calorie "diet" snacks on the market. Bars, bags of savoury snacks, that kind of thing.

If you're really stuck, try mixing up a Complan shake, that'll boost your calories by between 250 - 350 (made with water/milk).

From what you've said here you are definitely eating waay too little, and it could be dangerous, so at this point I would worry less about *what* you're eating to get the calories up, just eat more!

This morning I managed 420 calories for breakfast, like this:

40g porridge oats
1 tsp golden syrup
120ml semi-skimmed milk
topped with about 30g mixed nuts and dried fruit (brazil, macadamia, cashew, raisins, apricots)
1 nectarine
 
#5
I'd suggest firstly having something more substantial for breakfast - maybe porridge with sliced banana and honey? You could even add a scoop of natural flavoured protein powder to up the calories and protein content (which will help to build lean muscle)

The tuna sandwich actually sounds ok for lunch and your dinner sounds ok too. Like the previous poster I would recommend adding snacks between meals. The things you could have are:

Fruit
Low fat yoghurt
Nuts/seeds
Rice cakes topped with peanut butter or cottage cheese


If you were to have a bigger breakfast and add in regular snacks between meals then you should be able to up your calorie content by quite abit.

If you find you are really struggling to find the time to eat more or simply aren't that hungry, try making up a smoothie with porridge oats, milk, protein powder, maybe some peanut butter or fruit. Experiment to see what combinations you like, but it's a really easy and quick way to add in healthy, nutritious calories without resorting to sugary or fattening snacks.

Good luck!
 
#6
Thanks a lot guys, should I gradually up my calories or just do it all straight away? I forgot to mention I go cycling every 3 or so days and according to my phone that burns around 800 calories.

For the last few days I have started eating 1000-1300 instead of 700-800 and have cycled about 10 miles (burning 800 cals) and have put on 3 pounds. Is this normal??

Thanks again for the help guys
 
#7
It's totally normal for you to have gained some weight since upping your calories. Remember your body had got used to functioning on very little, and when you suddenly start eating more it goes abit 'woah!' and will take a while to settle down. I think after a few weeks or so of eating at the higher level your body will have adjusted and you'll start to see losses again.

As far as I'm aware most maintenence plans say to increase calories by 100 cals a day per week. So if you were on 800, the first week you would have 900 a day then next week you would have 1000. I think this is to avoid the large initial gain you can get from upping calories too quickly.

Well done on getting some exercise too - remember you may need to eat more on days where you do a lot of exercise.

If you are concerned about how many you should be eating, take a look at the website/app called My Fitness Pal. If you input your details it will tell you how much calories you should eat per day to get a loss of 1 or two pounds a week, whichever you prefer. You can also enter what exercise you do and then it will allow you more calories to eat (whether or not you want to eat them or 'bank' them to create a higher deficit is up to you). It also tracks carbs, fat, protein so you can have an idea if you are getting the correct balance in your diet.

:)
 
#9
Right, i have added a few things to the diet to add a few more calories so tell me what you think?

first meal: weetabix 250

second meal: two eggs 200

third meal: beans on toast 250
Or tuna sandwich 350
Or tuna pasta 370

fourth: chicken with baked sweet potato and broccoli 350

what do you guys think of this?
Is it too many carbs? If so, what could i replace the carbs with that would have the same amount of calories? i don't want to really be loosing any

Should i also add a protein shake each day to up the calories a bit more?

also if you guys can suggest anything else to add or swap that would be great.

Thanks so much for all the help so far.
 

Circes

Strutting her stuff
#10
Right, i have added a few things to the diet to add a few more calories so tell me what you think?

first meal: weetabix 250

second meal: two eggs 200

third meal: beans on toast 250
Or tuna sandwich 350
Or tuna pasta 370

fourth: chicken with baked sweet potato and broccoli 350

what do you guys think of this?
Is it too many carbs? If so, what could i replace the carbs with that would have the same amount of calories? i don't want to really be loosing any

Should i also add a protein shake each day to up the calories a bit more?
No I don't think you should add a protein shake - I think you should add some good nutrtitious food! You are getting so focussed on the calories you are forgetting about healthy eating.

Do some research on what the guidelines are for healthy eating and go from there
http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/bghbooklet.pdf

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx

If you are still in any doubt go and speak to your GP
 
#11
You could think about adding:
A piece of fruit to breakfast/lunch.
A mug of soup with lunch.
Some nuts/seeds added to the weetabix.
A yogurt after dinner.

Think about having a slightly larger portion of tuna/chicken.
 
#12
after nearly a week i am still having trouble finding things to add to meals and it is really getting me down.

does anyone have any meals plans i can follow?

:cry:
 

Emmaline

Hippety Hop!
#13
You could think about adding:
A piece of fruit to breakfast/lunch.
A mug of soup with lunch.
Some nuts/seeds added to the weetabix.
A yogurt after dinner.

Think about having a slightly larger portion of tuna/chicken.
after nearly a week i am still having trouble finding things to add to meals and it is really getting me down.

does anyone have any meals plans i can follow?

:cry:

Hi Ozeck, Never mind hunting for meal plans altho' that is a good idea.. but at the mo' get some fruit and veg added pronto! Should at least have a five a day quota in order to be healthy. Like Tranquility says, fruit and /or nuts is good and will soon up the calorie count too.
 
#14
Just a quick update

I am now eating around 1500 calories a day by eating a handful of nuts and an apple or other fruit for my snacks.

My question is, now that I have gone from 700-800 to 1500 will that be ok at the moment to loose weight again? I'm cycling every other day or sometimes every 3rd day and burning anywhere from 400-700 according to my iPhone. Should I cycle more or keep doing as much as I am doing? If I am burning that many calories will it bring me back into 'starvation mode'?

Thanks for all the help so far guys. It's been amazing.
 
#15
That's really great that you've upped your intake of fruits and nuts. They give you good calories with vitamins and minerals.:happy096:

With the exercise you'll burn calories during the exercise, and also your body will burn more calories throughout the day. So you've basically got a bigger engine to feed now, and if you're cycling as much as you are, you're body should get used to the new calorie intake in a couple of days or a couple of weeks. Since everyone's body adjusts differently.:talk017:
 
#16
Hi Ozeck.. There are some good recipe ideas in the whats for dinner tonight thread in the cc section. Also Caroline g wrote a very good piece re eating back your exercise calories and read happyhealthy's diary..Very inspiring :)

Hope this helps..

Oh and your as bad as me... Eat some fruit and veg!!!!!!!
 
#17
well i would like to count the calories because last time i didn't count them i didn't realise that i was only eating around 800.

like i said, i am now trying to eat around 1500 a day but feel like i am eating too many carbs a day.

cereal in morn, sandwhich or pasta for second meal and potato or pasta for third meal and i have read a lot on the internet that too much will stop you losing weight

what can i swap the pasta/potatoes for that would still be a good amount of calories?

thank you for the help. i can't believe i am finally eating more each day
 
#18
Hi Ozeck. If you want to swap out pasta and potatoes for something else you should check out GI/GL diet. You can swap out those fast burning carbs for slower ones like beans, quinoa, brown rice, rye bread, grain breads and crackers.

You can lose weight with GI/GL or you can maintain weight with it. It's a healthy way to eat.
 
#19
I often eat carbs with every meal and I find that if you eat good quality 'brown' carbs an keep the portions small then it's fine. So good wholemeal seeded bread, wholewheat pasta, brown rice and good quality oatmeal and swap your potatoes to new ones in their skins. You can roast boil and even do a rough mash with them just like White potatoes :) I love em!!

Sent from my iPhone using MiniMins
 


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