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13011 Views 85 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2006 12:36 PM by peachtree003 1 2 3 ... 6 Previous Next
FatHobbit Rookie 14 posts since
Dec 14, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 31, 2006 11:17 AM

800 calories/day is the only thing that works. Seeking medical advice...

I’m back again, and in the same frustrating unhealthy dilemma again. I need some help and sport physician recommendations in the Boston/Nashua corridor.

For six months, after being told by nearly everyone (informed by their dime-store nutritionist mantra) that I was putting my body into starvation mode, and that I was too fat “simply because I ate too little,” I increased my daily calories more toward a ‘normal’ daily intake. I still ate way under the 3,000 calories nutritionist formulas want me to eat, but more than my usual (so-called ‘crazy’) 800 calories per day. So I’ve been eating around 1200 calories per day. Eating more toward ‘normal’ in that I was able to participate in eating parts of the same group dinner with the everyone else at the ski house, and was not on my usual “fear all fats” and “fear all carbs” highly restrictive healthy super-foods-only CRAN diet where dinner is a ski-house-ridiculed "not normal" bowl of microwaved spinach and an open can of tuna.

Justifying the moderation of eating some fats with “a body needs a little good fats,” I started using some olive oil and stir-fried my whole fresh veggies instead only fat-free steaming them. From the runner pro-carb sentiment here, I started justifying some carbs by eating more fruits (in particular allowing bananas) and switching from plain fat-free cottage cheese to pineapple (more carb grams than protein). So instead of my usual orange for breakfast, plain cottage cheese for lunch, steamed veggies and chicken/fish for dinner, I switched to a banana for breakfast, don’t-fear-carbs pineapple cottage cheese for lunch, another banana as mid-day snack, and same dinner except some olive oil in veggie stir fry versus steamed. On ski weekends, told myself to loosen up, “the little bit of carbs in a single beer with the group won’t kill you, you can have dinner with the group, that little bit of carbs in their carb brown rice won’t kill you on just the weekend”.

And here I sit having gained 40lbs!!!! Yet again! Do you know what trying to hang with the cycling pack on hill climbs with 40 extra pounds is like?!?! This trial yet again shows that if I don’t maintain a minimum of three hours of cardio and 1 hour weight-lifting on a maximum of 800 calories EVERY single day – my body rapidly gains weight in the winter off-season. It’s been this way all my life as a cyclist in the off-season, going on thirty years. Over winter I went from 160lbs to 200lbs, from 18.7% bodyfat to now technically obese at 31.2% bodyfat. THIS FAT IS UNHEALTHY – NOT the style of diet and exercise that keeps the fat off. Don’t you agree?

The ONLY thing that works, and has EVER worked, to keep bodyfat off my frame is the above so-called ‘crazy’ levels of exercise and reduced calories.

This trial of “moderation” – like all the rest - just doesn’t work for my body type. Only super strict so-called ‘starvation’ restricted CRAN calories on so-called ‘burn out’ levels of extreme exercise keeps body fat from accumulating on me. No breaks, no rest days, no special dinners. All extreme, no moderation, all the time. I relaxed these rules a bit, said “everyone needs off-season rest”, said 1200 calories of still healthy foods is still restricted enough, stopped fanatically weighing myself two times a day, and bang, forty pounds of fat results.

I know what works. Every attempt to try different approaches fails despite strict adherence to whatever regime it is. I should no longer be surprised by the data from every experiment anymore. I AM doing my usual routine again, the ONLY regimen that ever works to keep me non-obese. But the lack of this math adding up really bothers me. 40 lbs of fat is 140,000 calories extra!!! On bananas and pineapple cottage cheese? Just because in winter I only went to the gym for an hour per day and stopped cycling in the bitter cold, replacing it instead with ‘only’ XC skate skiing and telemark skiing winter sports. At the ski house, I eat way less than everyone else, only eat whole foods, avoid all the gobs of junk foods they eat in huge shocking amounts (cookies, pasta, cereal, granola, pizza, cheese/crackers, beer, etc), work out much more than them as they sleep in – yet I am the one who is 40lbs overweight!! The group comparison screams that something is way different for me than the norm. The numbers just don’t add up!! Yet I’d be the fool once again to ignore the real life data that eating more 800 calories of anything but super-clean low-fat low-carb low-calorie foods is BAD for me!! I won’t even get into the fact that my ideal race weight is 120 lbs, as I sit here once again at 200lbs – OBESE!!  Prevented now from the best workouts because I cannot keep up with the pack. NUTS! If I maintain the above regimen to my usual ‘extremes’, by the end of summer I will be lucky to be back down to 160lbs again, where winter comes again, I gain weight again, next summer repeat!! Year after year.

Can anyone recommend a sports-minded physician in the Boston/Nashua area? I’d like to understand with my body seems to break the laws of physics. Even though I’ve probably trained my body over the years of restricted cyclist eating regimen to make it ever more efficient on ever fewer restricted calories, this still doesn’t make sense to me.

I work out more, I eat way less, yet am unhealthy obese to show for it all. Frustrating!! I need some medical feedback. Either “Yes, your body is that abnormally efficient at converting food calories and at conserving calories used, where 800 cal/day IS healthy for you and what you need to do” or “No, you are too fat because you eat too little and work out too much, see, here is the cortisol/hormone blood test levels which shows us why.” I cannot be alone in this “outside the typical group norm” experience.

  • bmccurdy Rookie 21 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I would suggest putting together a food/exercise journal if you don't already have one, taking it to your family doctor and talk to him/her candidly about your situation and possibly following up with a group called "Best Doctors" (, they can look at your case and talk assign you to a top specialist to help understand and find a treatment for your situation.

  • CSuzette Rookie 290 posts since
    Apr 8, 2005

    If you were really eating low carb and not being afraid of fat you would be losing weight.  So, there is definitely something else going on.  Low carb/high fat does not mean spinach and low-fat tuna.  I agree with the food diary idea.  Be honest about what you are putting in your mouth (including all drinks).

    I also suggest putting your diet through something like Fitday.  Figure out how much protein/fat/carbs that you are actually eating.

  • Ariann092 Rookie 680 posts since
    Jan 4, 2005


    Originally posted by FatHobbit:

    I’m back again, and in the same frustrating unhealthy dilemma again. I need some help and sport physician recommendations in the Boston/Nashua corridor.

    For six months, after being told by nearly everyone (informed by their dime-store nutritionist mantra)
    I need some medical feedback.


    You get the advice you pay for.  Advice on this site is free.  If you find yourself far outside the realm of what's "normal," you're unlikely to get a highly personalized, intelligently crafted response here.  Please seek out a new primary care doctor if this isn't worrying your current doctor.  Then ask for a referral to an endocrinologist.  I'm sorry I am not in your area and have no recommendations, but I really hope you find someone who can help you, it sounds like you're having a terrible experience.

  • Swampy13 Rookie 55 posts since
    Oct 31, 2005

    Wow, I would first go to a doctor and get a full check-up, especially on yout thyroid.  I believe you about your caloric intake, but to gain weight on 1200 is not normal.

  • bigapplepie Legend 2,455 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I would definitely see a doctor. You don't know what harm an 800 calorie diet does. It takes more than that just to keep your organs functioning.

    Please see a doctor or nutritionist and let us know what they say.

    [http://This message has been edited by bigapplepie (edited Mar-31-2006).|http://This message has been edited by bigapplepie (edited Mar-31-2006).]

  • chicnfngas Rookie 15 posts since
    May 25, 2005

    You should definitely contact your primary care physician who is better able to refer you to a nutritionist than any of us.

    I also think that keeping a food/exercise journal is in your best interest.  It sounds like you have an eating disorder and are either not being honest with us about what you are eating and/or not being honest with yourself.  Eating 1200 calories per day is borderline unhealthy, and eating that few calories WILL NOT promote a forty pound weight gain in six months.  It's not possible, unless there is something completely abnormal going on.

  • Swampy13 Rookie 55 posts since
    Oct 31, 2005

    I'm not saying ask the doctor for advice on how to drop the weight.  I'm saying get serious blood work done, especially regarding your thyroid. 

    You also show a lot of signs of someone with a severe ED.  I'm not saying you are, but you might want to think about that.

  • lyric12 Rookie 53 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    sorry to jump in... I was reading your dilemma and I also suggest that
    you get blood work done. Being thin is useless if you are hurting yourself and you are way more important than a scale reading. A thyroid problem may be a likely scenerio... I hope this all works out for you...
    good luck 
    best wishes your way

  • annora77045 Rookie 78 posts since
    Jun 26, 2006


    Originally posted by Swampy13:

    I'm not saying ask the doctor for advice on how to drop the weight. I'm saying get serious blood work done, especially regarding your thyroid.


    a complete blood panel is your best first step, FH.  it will help your doc rule out any screamingly obvious reasons why your body is all wonky.  it may or may not have anything to do with your thyroid.  you should have other, more serious health issues if your thyroid were that far gone.  but, it's worth looking in to.

  • jenuin1 Rookie 40 posts since
    Feb 3, 2002

    Where's volpicellina when you need her?[/URL" target="_blank">

    I recall her posting about the same exact problem as you. So while it's certainly out of the norm, there is at least one other person for whom they could testify the regular calories math doesn't seem to apply to.

    Seems to me that the weight gain on so few additional calories has to do with your metabolism being different than the norm. (Duh, right? like you didn't already figure that one out). At some point your body probably has learned to be super efficient with its calories. If you are tracking your calories that religiously, maybe a slower increase stretched out over a much longer period of time would help. For instance just eating 100 cals a day more for say two to four weeks. This way you can monitor weight gain and allow your body to sloowwly adapt and raise its metabolism. Then raise another 100 for a few more weeks. It's the extra slow metabolism (and possibly low mucle mass from low calorie intake) that makes it easier for your body to put on weight. If you get scared you can back off. But you really do need help - for your sanity and for your health! So keep searching until you find someone!

    Most of all I would suggest seeing a nutritionist who specializes in helping people with eating disorders. They know ED people who experience this phenomenon too, and a good nutritionist familiar with EDs could be able help you.

    I wish you well,

  • merigayle Amateur 1,569 posts since
    Aug 15, 2007

    Someone else here will know the information, but there is a really great Eating disorder clinic in Boston.  You have an eating disorder which may or may not have a root in a deeper medical condition, hypothyroid or something else. You need to find a specialist who can do proper work up and testings on you. Also, if there is not a medical explaination, maybe you are not calculating your food intake properly, I would look into a Nutrisystem/Jenny craig system where your food is prepared and measured for you. I know two morbidly obese people who used them as a last ditch effort and it worked because their caloric intake was controlled to an exact number.

    good luck.

  • cadburyegg Rookie 43 posts since
    Jan 4, 2005

    I am sooo sorry, fathobbit...(I am sorry you call yourself fathobbit... (but I am named after the DEVILS candy...  !|src=|border=0!
    I could have pretty much written your post...
    I have issues as well...
    I used to be 250 lbs... and lost about 125 of it... I had gotten down to a weight I was happy with... (through a strict diet, of WATCHING every damn calorie to pass my mouth... writing it down...etc...
    I run EVERYDAY too... at LEAST 12 miles some days up to 25 (I will run 3 times a day somtimes) OCD? yes sorry..... and I cannot go over maybe 1000 calories, thats pushing it... because I even increased my milage when I was 10 lbs lighter... and ate even less.. then gained ten lbs!! where the heck did I t come from...
    I dont know if you have an eating disorder... I am sure I have one...
    PArt of me is stubborness... thinking ,yes I can go to a therapist... but can they REALLY change the fact that I eat like a person TRYING to lose weight.. and only maintain... plus gain? can talking to sombody really help that? (Thats the brick in my road) just my 2 cents, and stubborness, I am not telling you to not get help...(only my opinion, and I am sure its incorrect)
    I had been to a nutritionist..had my thyroid checked... unfortunately (or fortunately) it was fine....
    and I had A HORRIBLE DOCTOR... I complained of my problem, then for two weeks he had me write down EVERYTHING I ate, and how much exersize I did...he was sooo sympathetic the first appointment...saying Oh honey, you shouldnt have to be doing this much... your thyroid has to be bad... so I went for tests, and wrote down everything..
    (I also do taebo, and pilates)
    two weeks later, at a follow up appt, where he told me my thyroid was okay...he shook his head, and said that he didnt belive me...sombody that runs that much shouldnt have this problem...
    then he made a comment.
    Fat is in the genes, your destined... I guess just keep your calories under 1000 and run your 12 miles a day...
    it seams to be sort of keeping the weight off..
    (ten minutes earlier, he asked me why I had gained three lbs in two weeks... (He had put me on lexapro) right then and there I didnt want that medication anymore...
    but fat hobbit...
    your not alone... and my heart goes out to you... it really does....
    I hate the term weight loss is simple, more calories burned, then you consume...
    then they will turn around and tell you that your not eating ENOUGH...
    god I hate this...and know how you feel...
    I almost cried reading your posts...
    diet, to me, is like religion, or politics.. everybody has an opinion and its STRONG... what works for them.. they think everybody should be the same... I try not to ask for advice... but theres days where I am sooo frustrated I am reaching out for some answer...
    some reason, why I cannot enjoy pizza with my family... but still gain, eating salads, without dressing... etc...
    sorry, this became my sob story... !|src=|border=0!
    take care.. please...

  • lemonsong Rookie 39 posts since
    Nov 16, 2004


    Originally posted by FatHobbit:

    This trial yet again shows that if I don’t maintain a minimum of three hours of cardio and 1 hour weight-lifting on a maximum of 800 calories EVERY single day – my body rapidly gains weight in the winter off-season.


    Impossible. At your weight 3 hours of cardio and 1 hour of weight lifting burns about 4000 calories.

    April fools, right?

    [http://This message has been edited by lemonsong (edited Apr-01-2006).|http://This message has been edited by lemonsong (edited Apr-01-2006).]

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