Running on a very low calorie diet?

Hi,

What are the views on this? I'm on a very low calorie diet (500 calories per day) and want to run as well. My energy levels are very high at present and I feel I could do it. I know it's not usually advised but I wouldn't be running too hard- three 30 mintue sessions a week. It would only be for a couple of months then I'll be building up to a normal, runner-friendly diet but I really want to gradually build up my running now... Thoughts?

 Thanks!

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Comments

  • If you are on such a restricted diet are you under the care of a health professional?  If so, you should discuss whether exercise should be included with them.

    If you're not then I would ask why you're restricting your intake to 500 calories?  This in itself without exercise is insufficient for anyone and seems not to be a very healthy way of trying to lose weight.  I would have thought it would simply put your body into starvation mode causing it to cling to very calorie you put in.  While you may feel fine now you are unlikely to feel that way for long.

  • 500 calories ? Jesus Christ.

    Go see a doctor and talk this through with him.
  • your body cant function well at a basic level I bet at 500 cals.

    where dya get this notion that it will help you from?

  • I'm just image at 500 calories. I don't think I'd be able to get out of bed on that diet, let alone go out for a run.

    Not that I'm any kind of an expert on calories. But it sounds very very low.

  • Eating that few calories over more than a few days is likely to cause you longer term problems.  As Puffin says, your body will go into starvation mode which means you won't lose as much weight as you think (and possibly won't lose any weight at all).  When you revert to a normal eating pattern your body will still be hanging onto every calorie so you'll put on weight.  If the only reason for the diet is to lose wieght can I suggest you stop immediately.  If there is a medical reason and it is being done under medical supervision then I suggest you ask the doc about running.

  • SianceSiance ✭✭✭

    *sighs* here we go again... It's a stoopid idea.

    Your body needs more than 500 cals without exercise, just for normal function.

    As previous forumites have said, it'll encourage your body to hold on to fat, rather than burn it off and this will continue when you eat normally.

    The reason why when people stop low cal diets they pile the weight back on and more - the body gets used to surviving on so few cals it doesn't just switch back when you eat normally, but continues to store cals for a while.

    Would you put £10 worth of fuel in your car for a long journey? Ridicularse.

    Get professional advice on this, or at the very least a good sports nutrition book. Google Anita Bean and basal metabolic rate.

  • I know this is foolish and inappropriate, but Anita Bean's name always makes me laugh. image Especially for a nutritionist.
  • SianceSiance ✭✭✭

    image yeah me too.

    How childish are we?

  • About as childish as me image <chuckles>
  • She couldn't have picked any other career with a name like that, really.
  • Thanks for the input!

    Just to clear a few things up- I'm on the Cambridge Diet (similar to Lighter Life, which I think is more well known) and have been given the OK by my GP to be on this diet. It is mostly for weight loss, yeah. My BMI is almost 30. I know all the pit falls of such low calorie diets and I'm prepared for them. I just miss exercise. I've talked it over with my cambridge diet counselor who says just listen to your body and exercise as much as I like, as long as I feel I can. My GP doesn't seem as clued in to the particulars of this specific diet but says after a few weeks, cardio exercise should be fine. I was just looking for some perspective from runners as I'm not stupid and want to get enough knowledge from all sides so I can make an informed decision about what to do in regards to my running.

    I'll maybe just have to stick to walking and yoga or something for the next six weeks and by then I should be starting to reintroduce more foods/ carbs and be more equipped to run.

    Thanks again- even if I didn't get the answer I was hoping for!
  • Walking might well be a better idea
  • Lordy - they go even lower than 500 calories :

    "The Cambridge Weight Plan is the basis of a flexible range of weight management programmes aimed at both men and women.

    Cambridge Weight Plan products can be used as the sole source of nutrition for fast, predictable weight loss with nutritional assurance; with conventional food for more gradual weight loss or weight maintenance and nutritional supplementation.

    Our programmes range from 415kcal to 1500+kcal per day; and are all nutritionally balanced to provide you with your Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cambridge_Diet

    Isnt it just easier to cut down a bit and exercise a bit more ? And cheaper I'd wager.



  • Walking is a great idea to get to your desired weight.

    Fucking up your relationship with food is not! (no matter what your CD counsellor says!) 

  • What answer did you want?? you asked for peoples thoughts and that's what you got?
  • Flat Footed- I appreciate peoples thoughts on this matter, I wasn't being sarcastic. Obviously I wanted to get the thumbs up to continue running and dieting, but I'm glad people have given their honest opinions! This diet does provoke some strong reactions.

    Oh and I wouldn't have got into this mess if my relationship with food wasn't already fucked up! I've always been very active and exercise loads but food is clearly my weakness.

    I'll just sacrifice running for a while in the hope of finally getting myself sorted and healthy. I'll keep up the walking though!

    Thanks again, people.
  • Cambridge diet?, what a load of old wank.

    Sure, it'll work in the short run, but IMO its a recipe for disaster in the long run.

    My BMI was 41 when I started losing weight, restricting yourself to 500cals a day IS NOT the right way to go about it.

    If your relationship with food is bad, all this will do is fuck it up even more, I'll wager you will struggle to move about after a couple of weeks on 500cals a day, let alone run.

    I am amazed doctors allow people to do these kinds of diets, but I guess its the "quick fix, I want results now and I don't want to put the effort in" society we live in.

  • SianceSiance ✭✭✭
    The weight went on slowly so that's how it'll come off. Cambridge is reeling gullible people in, like many others in the 'industry'. Cut out the crap, walk lots and you will lose weight. Then you'll have more confidence and ability to run and do other exercise too. And have a healthy relationship with food image

    Peeps on here (generally) see thru these 'diets'. Some have done them, some have nutritional knowledge, and others say it as it is *shrugs*
  • I wasn't really meaning to get into a debate about the merits of this diet! I know how people view such diets. I understand it's not healthy to restrict calories to such an extent however in my mind, I'm just using this as a springboard to a much longer-term and healthy, sustainable weight-loss journey. Plus, obesity is much more dangerous than any diet.

    Everybody is different and for some the preferred traditional slow and steady healthy eating road works just fine. For others, it takes more than that. Some people need drastic changes and time out from conventional food to see just how bad things had got. The strictness helps people learn to adhere to limits. Seeing fast results keeps motivation high and gives hope so you're less likely to give up. Really low calorie diets take a hell of a lot of determination so I'd hardly say it was the easy way out. A lot of people who lose weight quickly pile it back on but that's simply because they go straight back into their old eating habits rather than committing to a long-term maintenance program. So long as you go into these things with your head screwed on, know what to expect and learn how to maintain your results, I can't see why that is gullible or lazy.

    I'm not trying to convert anyone and I didn't really want to get into a debate but I just thought I'd state my case!
  • SianceSiance ✭✭✭

    Whatever works for you, Swirly.

    I just have a problem with the whole concept and the fast 'motivational' weight loss - this is what they sell, and it's sad people have to do it. I don't mean that in a patronising way, some people need the regime of a diet, something to kick-start them etc.

    'Really low calorie diets take a hell of a lot of determination so I'd hardly say it was the easy way out.' 

    That's what I don't get - it's harder to stick to low cal diets than just eating sensibly and moving about more, so why not actually do that?!

    With a little effort and knowledge you really don't need Cambridge or any 'diet' - expend more cals than you take in, be more active, blah blah. I know it's hard but those is the facts. 

    Good luck image

  • Swirly Tops wrote (see)
    I wasn't really meaning to get into a debate about the merits of this diet! I know how people view such diets. I understand it's not healthy to restrict calories to such an extent however in my mind, I'm just using this as a springboard to a much longer-term and healthy, sustainable weight-loss journey. Plus, obesity is much more dangerous than any diet. Everybody is different and for some the preferred traditional slow and steady healthy eating road works just fine. For others, it takes more than that. Some people need drastic changes and time out from conventional food to see just how bad things had got. The strictness helps people learn to adhere to limits. Seeing fast results keeps motivation high and gives hope so you're less likely to give up. Really low calorie diets take a hell of a lot of determination so I'd hardly say it was the easy way out. A lot of people who lose weight quickly pile it back on but that's simply because they go straight back into their old eating habits rather than committing to a long-term maintenance program. So long as you go into these things with your head screwed on, know what to expect and learn how to maintain your results, I can't see why that is gullible or lazy. I'm not trying to convert anyone and I didn't really want to get into a debate but I just thought I'd state my case!

    Fair play, whatever you think will work for you.

    Its just a shame to see someone (IMO needlessly) put themselves through such a terrible and unnessecary ordeal, especially when you are also lining some charlatans pockets.

    I really hope that 12 months down the line you won't be back where you started, albeit with lighter pockets.

  • Another option would be the Purina diet. The stuff is food-grade for humans as well and is high in protein but low in carbs yet contains all the essential substances. My neighbour tried it - she was taking one bowl a day, mixed in with warm milk, as a meal replacement. She said it didn't taste as bad as it sounds. You're supposed to keep this up for three months, but she ended up in hospital after six weeks.
  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    obesity is much more dangerous than any diet

    Actually, no, it isn't. Diets that do not provide adequate nutrition can be fatal, and whilst the diet you refer to is unlikely to kill you, there are significant side-effects that can be detrimental to your health. The risk of gallstones increase the longer you follow the plan, and you are likely to suffer from constipation.

    The diet offers nothing by way of re-educating you about healthy eating which is the only long-term solution. Unless you want to spend your life yo-yoing, which, by the way, is actually worse than being a stable excessive weight insofar as risk factors for cardiovascular disease, etc. goes.  

    Research has also shown that very low calorie diets also offer no long-term advantage over low calorie (~1000kcal) diets in terms of amount of weight lost.

    I know people use these diets as a motivator - you see rapid weight loss and it gives you the incentive to continue. But it can be a hard step to move on to a higher calorie, more 'normal' way of eating - how do you reconcile eating more with continued weight loss? Losing weight is about more than just seeing the numbers drop on the scale - it's also about developing a good working relationship with food. The Cambridge diet doesn't do that.

    Just as an aside, have you read the ingredients in their products? Not your typical tomato soup, is it?

    Whey protein, Tomato powder, Maltodextrin, Inulin, Refined soya oil, Soya protein isolate, Potassium chloride, Monocalcium phosphate, Salt, Hydrolysed maize protein, Flavouring, Citric acid, Compound vitamin and mineral mixture†, Calcium carbonate, Stabiliser: xanthan gum, Dried parsley, Soya lecithin, Sweeteners (acesulfame K, aspartame*), Colours (paprika extract, betacarotene).

    All in all, it's not a healthy approach.

  • I dont think a BMI of 30 is that bad really - heck I was 25 last time i was measured and I'm not crash dieting.

    Portion control (I was amazed at what a serving of rice should be) and more exercise and you'll be sorted - all this silly restricting of calories just isnt good for you.

    Exercise is great as then you're not dipping into the biscuit barrel - it works on two fronts !

    Good luck with it.
  • I actually agree that this diet isn't healthy. Of course it carries risks, that's why you need consent from your doctor before beginning and why you're not able to stay on the diet for any longer than 12 weeks (without a break). In fact, only a few weeks ago, I recall talking to one of my friends about Lighter Life and its ilk and being firmly in the 'against' camp. Things change though and although I don't pretend that this diet is healthy or 100% safe, I'm now more than willing to use it as an effective means to an end.

    I'm aware of the risks and prepared- gallstones are unlikely as I'm young and not quite obese, some hair loss may happen but my hair is crazy thick anyway etc. I'm not taking this lightly and I only intend to stay on CD for 6-8 weeks after which time I am very very determined to follow the maintenance program religiously. I won't jump back into overeating as soon as I've dropped a dress size. I'll reintroduce foods, calories and exercise gradually. I know a lot of people go on diets like these, get all excited at the rapid weight loss and go a bit crazy eating all the foods they've missed as soon as they get to their target weight. I won't let that happen though. No matter how slim I get- I won't become complacent with it. I'll exercise and eat with my head. I know myself and I know this to be true. I'm determined.

    This diet obviously doesn't teach you anything about your attitudes towards food and what's healthy and what's not- it doesn't really teach you anything at all. However, that's not why I am on it. I just want to lose weight fast and then be able to maintain. For a few months before this diet, I got my eating under control. Although I've never eaten unhealthy foods, my portion sizes were all wrong- really really wrong. I managed to sort that though. And although I've always exercised regularly, I increased this even more. I didn't gain a pound whilst doing this (beforehand, my weight was consistently climbing upwards) and even lost a couple but it was just so SLOW. I'm not ashamed to admit that restlessness and impatience played a major factor in my decision to start such an extreme diet. I want to be slim and healthy and although this may seem merely like a 'quick fix for the impatient' (which of course it is, to some extent), I'm in this for the long haul. I just want a big kick start.

    Thank-you everyone for stating your opinion and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it. I will take it on board and won't do any running or excessive cardio until I am eating more 'normally' again. I realise I'm not quite that hardcore and should never have really entertained that idea!
  • My goodness - what a load of waffle!

    Quite simply you've got to your current situation through lack of exercise and not understanding your food requirements.

    Your body will tell you what food it needs - its called an appetite. Denying that appetite is asking for trouble. Eat everything your body is asking for, and plenty of it.....fuel it properly.

    Unfortunately, the appetite starts to malfunction when no exercise is involved in the regular routine as it doesnt really know what it is trying to achieve, other than to pile fat on to keep warm.

    So to think that your solution is to delay exercise still further AND further mess up the relationship between food intake and appetite is just plain bonkers.

    You've come on to a running thread and received unanimous advice from a bunch of fit and healthy people. You prefer to listen to someone who is trying to make money out of you.

    If you want to be fit and healthy do what fit and healthy people do...............

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