Is this diet/exercise plan unhealty?

A question to any doctors/dieticians:

I’m 6’1.5", and weigh 200 lb. 5 months ago, I weighed 225 lb.
I eat one meal a day, and it’s usually a healty meal. For example, today’s meal consisted of 4 strawberries, 4 chunks of pineapple, and 3/4 cup of cottage cheese. Other days, I eat salads, random fruits and veggies, half-portions of meat, and stay the hell away from carbohydrates. I drink lots of water, am on the fourth floor of a dorm on an extremely hilly campus, try to drink enough milk and orange juice to get calcium/ascorbic acid while not drinking them in lieu of water, stay the hell away from any non-health-foody snacks and go to the gym for ~15 minutes to do misc. weight work 2 or three times a week. The one exception to the one steak dinner (sans fat, which I trim) which I have every Thursday.

As I mentioned, this plan is giving me results at an acceptable pace. But, will any of this bite me in the ass (and not in a fat-removing way) down the road?

Yes, yes, that’s very definitely bad. A sedentary man your height at a healthy weight needs about 2800 calories a day to support his activity level. I suspect that a large part of the weight you’ve lost is not fat, but rather lean tissue. This loss primarily involves muscle and bone, so you now have less muscle (which depresses your metabolism) and weaker bones. No good.

I can honestly say that the best step I ever took towards fat loss was eating a lot more–I was never eating enough calories, and now that I am, I’m seeing slow, steady progress.

Er, then how my pant size shrink enough to give me a mad sag when I walk around without a belt, and I’ve been able to increase the amount of weight that I can exercise with slowly but steadily?

I really don’t feel like I’ve lost muscle/bone and not fat, is what I’m saying.

You are starving yourself. The body does not metabolise adipose (fat) tissue when it’s hungry. It goes for the “good stuff” like muscle and bone, as ultrafilter said. You are losing both adipose AND muscle tissue for the simple reason that you are not taking in enough calories to maintain your body’s needs. When your body realizes it’s not getting enough food, it will stop shedding fat altogether.

What surprises a lot of people when they begin body-building exercises is that they will gain weight while losing inches. What’s happening is they are losing adipose tissue and building muscle tissue, which is heavier than adipose tissue.

You talk about a “mad sag” in your pants? That’s a pretty good indication that you’re losing muscle tissue as that “sag” is usually filled with the biggest muscles in the human body.

If you did not believe this was a problem, you wouldn’t be here asking the question. Yes, it’s a problem. All things in moderation. A healthy diet of 2000=2400 calories a day, split between breakfast, lunch and dinner, combined with reasonable exercise, should give you better and healthier results over time.

What are your health goals? at 6’1 200lbs in decent shape should be great. What does your routine at the gym look like on weights?

What everybody else said in regards to your caloric intake.

Well, this is kinda odd but…

You’re losing between 1 - 1.5 lbs a week, which is a very healthy weight loss schedule. However, the diet you listed sounds like about 400 calories, which is WAY too low.

How much juice/milk are you drinking? If it’s a few glasses of each, you’re probably making up the calories there, but you’re going to be really deficient in a lot of vitamins, I think.

Anyhow - if/when you start eating normally again (and you’ll have to - eventually, you’ll start passing out - trust me) the pounds will fly on at warp speed. You’re better to eat a more balanced diet.

(TW - If you don’t eat enough fat each day, you’re body will start digesting your brain (in a manner of speaking). This is a bad thing.

Well, okay then. I will begin eating more this very day.
Final question: Why isn’t my body crying out for more food? Or does the fact that it isn’t, or that it is and I can’t hear it, imply that I have an eating disorder?

It is possible to be unaware of self-starvation and not have an eating disorder. I had no idea what it felt like until I was really working out and eating right for several months and then had to lay off the latter while my eating habits slid as well. Then I realized that what I had previously considered “normal” felt pretty darn lousy in comparison.

You wont regret it. :smiley:

Just ask if you want some suggestions on a good diet, calorie breakdown and training regimen.

My ideal would be to have a diet where I eat fewer calories in a day than I burn in the course of being awake for the day, and thus have any exercise I do be extra, from a weight loss perspective. I’m getting the impression that this isn’t going to happen.
A big problem is that I’m lazy. I frankly doubt I have the mental fortitude to keep up a decent cardiovascular routine, no matter what benefits. I don’t suppose there is a magic number of calories per day that will keep my body out of starvation mode while making it pay the difference in fat?

Take it easy, though. Best not to startle your body. It hates that. Sneak your food intake up over a couple weeks; don’t just start having Egg McMuffins for breakfast…

The less you eat in a day… the slower your metabolism will become… if it is used to only digest 1 meal per day… when you start to eat more… Your metabolism will not be ready to handle it…

You are not hungry now because your body is used to your routine… just because you aren’t hungry… it odesn’t mean that you don’t need food…

As you weight train… of course you will start to become stronger, you are using muscles that you don’t normally use… but you will get to a plateau, where you will not be able to get stronger anymore… you need to feed your muscles protein…

Your diet is a very drastic measure to lose weight… it will work… but you should not do something like that for a long period of time…

Just develope a healthy diet… and work out… do cardio for at least 20 min… 3 times a week… and you will lose weight…

If you are looking to build muscle… it will not work on your diet…
I don’t know why you are weight training… if it is to get bigger, or to stay lean…

but it is very hard to build muscle and burn fat at the same time…

You don’t have to do cardio to lose weight. It makes it easier, no doubt about it, but it isn’t necessary. There really isn’t a magic number, as it varies from person to person. The commonly suggested number of calories to lose weight is 500 below calories spent. Over the course of a week that is 3500 calories, or 1lb of fat per week burned off. Typically there is minimal muscular loss on this type of diet. If you are looking for a slower weight loss, just eat 100 calories less every day than what you burn and you will lose ~1lb a month.

Your BMR is around 2100 calories per day. That is what your body needs just for functioning. Digestion, heart, lungs, energy for the brain, immune system, bone maintenence, etc. (some sorry spelling errors in there but I am too lazy to look up the correct spelling…lol) I can’t say what you spend calorie wise during the day because I don’t know what type of work you do, and other activities. If you get the time a good way to calculate them is at this webpage: I would eat no less than 500 calories below what you use in a day.

Personally I would work towards keeping that 200lbs and building a strong muscular build with it. That would be my goal though and I cannot expect you to share it. :wink:

It is possible you only lack the mental fortitude you claim not to have because of energy problesm associated with your low caloric intake. It is quite likely that once you start eating more you will have much more energy and can stick to your guns much easier. Good luck!

If you don’t have the mental fortitude to live a healthy lifestyle, then you don’t have the mental fortitude to live. You’ll have plenty of time to be lazy and do nothing when you’re dead.

Ack that was morbid.

I know where you are coming from. I was (probably still am to a lesser extent) lazy and hated the idea of working out or dieting. I’d usally start exercising, go for about 3 months, then get tired and quit. Last year I started again(cardio and weight training), and I’ve been keeping it going for 10 months so far. I’ve lost aprox. 50 lbs in that time.

THe trick is mental(I’ve found). Start slow. Don’t run a mile to begin with if you know you can’t. Try walking a mile. Then maybe run a little of that mile and walk the rest of the way. Slowly work up to running a mile so your body can adjust (say, run 1/8 of a mile this week, next week run 1/4 of a mile). Do it in stages so it doesn’t seem overwhelming. Also, don’t think of having to do it for the rest of your life. Think of the exercise you have to do TODAY (and maybe tomorrow). Don’t think of all the exercise you have to do for the next week or month.

Basically, don’t try to do too much at once (puking after your first run really doesn’t help your mindset for the next one).

Now, I’ve gotten to a point where I feel crappy or paranoid(“Every hour I stay here, I get weaker. Everyone hour Charlie crouches in the jungle, he gets stronger” Something akin to that) when I miss exercising for a day. It’s wierd. I’m more bugged by being hot and sweaty after a workout then the acutal workout, but that passes quickly.

So hopefully that helps with the mental part at least.

Just to be sure: Is 1500 calories (I check out at ~2000 on the counter above) the minimum that I need to eat to avoid entering starvation mode? And, will I be hurting myself by exercising if I am eating 1500 calories a day?

One final question: Is there some easy way to calculate my body fat percentage?

*maybe educate yourself a little more. you say you stay the hell away from carbs… but fruit and vegies ARE carbs, you know?

Don’t be afraid of carbs, just simple sugar carbs.

Your body is crying out for food. I am willing to bet that you feel terrible right now, but don’t realize it because you always feel terrible! If you start eating correctly and drinking plenty water, exercising, in 6 months, you will realize that your headaches, fatigue and poor mental alertness are gone!

Find a fun activity to do instead of thinking of cardio as a task. Biking, walking, tennis…

I hope you restore your body back to normal after these last 5 months of starvation. 5 small meals a day from now on.