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Confidence and other questions

8/17 8:54:27

Question
HI, A few questions here.
Im 19, average height (5.8) and a few months ago I weighed
14.7 stone. I decided to try and shift weight, made radical
diet changes and now Im down to 12 stone and Im still trying
to lose more. I have been told though that I shouldnt have
been so drastic in my changes. Im on about 700 calories a
day
now, and people have said I should eat much more otherwise
my
body will start taking the stuff it needs from bone and
muscle, is this true?

Secondly, confidence is a problem, and its weird like the
wrong way round. When I was very fat, I had a lot of
confidence, and I thought losing weight would boost it, but
now I feel even more self concious about my looks than I did
before and I dont know why. Is this normal?

Thanks
mark.

Answer
Hi Mark,

I'm glad you wrote to me!

It's amazing that you've been able to stick to a 700 calorie diet for months and are still standing! This is such a low calorie diet there is no way to get all the nutrients you need in such a small amount of food. Aiming for a 1600 calorie intake for weight loss would be much more realistic.

It is true that when your body does not get enough nutrition it turns to stored nutrients, and the only place we have calcium stored is in our bones! We have no protein stores, so at some point the body will break down muscle to supply protein for the life needs: Making red blood cells and building a strong immune system.

You won't suffer any long term consequences from going without for just a few months, so you can un-do anything by starting to eat a bit more now! You'll probably be amazed at how much better you feel and with more energy.

Now, to address the problem with confidence: Did you feel self conscious about your looks before, but just try to ignore it on some level? Do you feel like you finally are in tight control by restricting your diet and seeing the success at losing weight? Do you feel like you are almost obsessed with eating and working out and what your body looks like? Believe it or not, there could be some aspects of an eating disorder at work. We hear more about these conditions (like anorexia) with young women, but plenty of men suffer from the same conditions. Consider talking to a counselor at your school or perhaps your family doctor about your concerns. These are all very treatable conditions, especially since you sound like you are uncomfortable with the way you feel and would like to change. There are many experts in the field who know just exactly what to do so you can get back to your normal life--only healthier!

Do let me know how things are going for you in the near future.
Laurie
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