Can 500 calories/day support an active, healthy adult?

My googlefu sucks today - I remember reading 8 months - a year ago about a study they were doing on diabetics where they dis a highly calorie restricted ‘jumpstart’ to a diet of something like 500-800 cal for IIRC 6 weeks then gently scaled up to a more normal 1200 - 1800 regime. From what I read apparently it was to mimic getting a gastric procedure done to see if it was actually the roux en-y or the dietary slam that was beneficial to diabetics [my endo has been pushing me to get one done because ‘it can put 80% of diabetics into remission’ and I keep telling him to get back to me when it works on 95% or better … :dubious::rolleyes:] though I haven’t been able to find any follow up online today because of this thread.

Your could not subsist on only 500 calories a day. Fortunately, most people have lots and lots of stored calories in the form of fat. So even though someone may eat only 500 calories (or zero calories) in a day, their body will get extra calories by burning their fat stores.

It’s like asking if you could drive from New York to Boston if you pour 1/2 gallon of gas into your car. It depends on how much gas is already in your tank. If your tank is empty, then you won’t make it. But if you have 20 gallons already in there, then you’ll be fine.

In terms of your body, you would have to be very careful about what was in that 500 calories. You couldn’t just have 2 sodas and a candy bar. Those 500 calories would need to be filled with the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, etc that your body needs to function. And it’s not sustainable long term. Once your fat stores are burned down, you’ll need to consume a normal amount of calories or else you’ll starve.

It’s true. Horrible tasting in my experience too, but if that is all you have, at least you get a bunch of calories in an easy to prepare setup.

What does the way he walks have to do with anything?

It wasn’t his walking gate I was referring to, it was his ‘penguin-like’ side-to-side swaying that he was describing as a love-handle exercise that provoked my realization that this guy probably didn’t have a firm grasp on what he was talking about.

Dude, calm down. I just didn’t make the connection between the exercise and the “penguin” thing in the second post.

Martin Hyde’s link is a GQ answer even though this is IMHO. Very Low Calorie Diets have been tried for decades and there are many serious published studies using them. Just one example. Fairly effective short term, long term not better but not worse than more moderate approaches (assuming both coupled with a more comprehensive behavioral plan), and reserved for serious obesity in a medically supervised program. Under those conditions, safe.

:confused: Huh? All I did was clear up your confusion. I don’t know why you feel the need to advise me to ‘calm down’. We good, daahling :wink:

I clicked on your link and it went to something about a “central operating system” and power sources. It wasn’t anything related to the OP. :confused:

As far as the diets being safe, does that extend to when the patient is also engaged in a regular workout regimen that includes weight-lifting and cardiovascular exercise?

I guess I didn’t copy and whatever that is is something my 17 year old had on the clipboard. I’ll have to see what it is! Meanwhile here is the cite I meant. Sorry.

As to the second part, I found this much at least. Safe to exercise apparently, but not much gained by adding it on.

Ah, he was watching a promo for a new videogame. Nothing too juicy there.

I guess it depends on the person. There’s lots of variables. Either way, I agree 500 calories a day is fine on a short term basis. I would say, no longer than a month.

I used to be on a diet like that. You get used to it. I felt fine, and had no problems doing what I needed to do. I

Didn’t finish that last post, but to elaborate on my experience with diet:

Yes, I felt fine. Sometimes I would feel like I was high, but in a good way. I rarely got light headed, but occasionally I did, if I didn’t drink enough water. I suffered no real damage to my health, although I am only 23. (Was 21 at the time). The only thing I can think of is that I had low potassium levels at one point. I lost quite a lot of weight. I felt the diet enhanced my mood and concentration.

But yeah, if you dieted like this for more than a few months, I think you would start to suffer health problems, again, the severity depending on the person.

I also did this kind of program. Under close doctor supervision, with bloodwork every month to make sure my iron and other nutrients were ok. Had to have a liquid prescription for potassium because the doctor said any solid potassium would burn through my gut without any solid food to absorb it.

After about 2 weeks of hunger I felt great. I did it for almost 9 months, lost 150 pounds (the program included gradually increasing levels of exercise so that my body did not go into starvation shutdown).

Per meal or per daily supply of two meals?

I have done a few 24 and 48 hour fasts, as part of a diet. Compared to fasting, 500 calories is a feast!

I too did a very low calorie diet under close doctor supervision and lost about 45 pounds in 6 weeks then another 20 over 3 months, which I’ve kept off for about 2 years so far.

I couldn’t disagree more strongly with Loach that there’s no shortcut… there is a shortcut, it’s the ultra low calorie physician supervised diet this thread is all about.

It’s actually better in many ways for people with the right mindset. Losing 150 pounds slowly at 1-1.5 pounds a week would’ve taken Roderick Femm 2-2.5 years. And that’s assuming perfect weight loss, which isn`t realistic for most obese people.

But if you’re motivated enough to stick with the very low calorie diet initially, the rapid weight loss is unbelievably motivating.

And when you’re done, have a much healthier body and a body you’re much more pleased with, you’re actually in this weird state where you’re no longer in the habit of eating in the normal sense of the word.

So instead of gradually changing your bad diet through slow minor lifestyle changes, you start from nothing and develop new habits of eating healthy foods in appropriate proportions.

Obviously you don’t stop seeing a doctor just because you’re eating real food again, so you have lots of support as you develop new habits.

It’s not easy, but it’s definitely a shortcut to a healthy weight that I think anyone who’s really motivated should at least consider.

I must admit; I find these testimonials quite interesting. I really did not believe such a diet could be undertaken in a healthy manner. I was wrong.

In my ballerina days it was not unusual for em to go weeks on 600 calories per day with an extremely high activity level.

Breakfast = black coffee and a teaspoon of metamucil in 10 oz water, cacium supplement

Lunch - 3 stalks celery, add 1 tsp cream cheese or PB if feeling lightheaded, i small apple

Dinner - 2 egg whites (peeled from boiled egg) a small apple, 3 stalks celery, 1 slice cheese 1 carrot, daily vitamin and mineral supplements.

There were small variations but that was the jist of it. I usually ate 1 bite of whatever the family was having for dinner. Toward the end I would just eat once perday,a nd have all my calories in fell, satisfying swoop.

When you are already that close to pure muscle and bone, it can take weeks of this to lose even a pound. And to this day my body can survive on very few calories - I can gain weight on what counts as dieting for most people.