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How to lose 2 pounds a day, nutrient deficiencies, and more

QUESTION: I am 5"5 and weigh 165LB and I want to lose at least 2 pounds a day but I can't exercise every day and can do it maybe 1-2 week for 30 min each time and walk to work 15 min and 15 min back to home. What is my daily intake calories? I eat everything very healthy but I cut a lot my calories so I eat just a little, like only one little biscuit in the morning with two spoons of condenced milk, small lunch and small dinner but healthy food. Some days my calories are less than 1300.What will happen if I do not eat enough? I found online that not eating enough can cause loss of a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. a deficiency (lack of) any of these will result in one or another illness. A severe case of no fruit and vegetables at all will result in a life threatening disease called scurvy, tissue muscles, loosing hair, bad eye sight etc. Please advise. thank you very much

ANSWER: Nurulla,

To lose 2 pounds of fat (this is what you want to lose, right?) one has to create the negative calorie deficit of 7000 Cal a day. If you eat nothing, not even the 1300 Cal you've mentioned, it'd take you about 5.5 days to lose the 2 lbs of fat -- otherwise you would have to run at 10 mph (6 min/mile) 6 hours a day or exercise even longer if you choose a less demanding workout.

During first several days on complete water fast, people can lose 2 lbs a day, but it's mostly water loss, which soon slows down.

Now, about your calorie requirement. For a female your weight, height, and activity level, depending on age, calorie intake can be roughly estimated as the following:

** Lightly exercising (seems to be your case)

20 years - 2031
30 years - 1970
40 years - 1908
50 years - 1847

** Moderately exercising
(30 minutes on most days of the week, for example, walking at least 2 miles, dancing, or doing water aerobics)

20 years - 2343
30 years - 2273
40 years - 2202
50 years - 2132

As to your question about the consequences of eating too little, please keep it in your mind that any reducing diets are nutritionally deficient (follow the links below to read why) but different types of restrictions cause different types of deficiencies and depending on the type, health adverse effects would be also different. You've mentioned scurvy but this is rather unlikely result of a calorie restricted diet and it refers to vitamin C deficiency. It usually takes months of eating only canned, or salty, smoked, dried food, without any fresh plant foods including potatoes, to get scurvy. See the food sources of vitamin C link.

To be deficient in essential fatty acids is much more likely, especially considering several decade of the low fat life style propaganda, which, as it turns out now, was not based on any scientific evidence. Read the 'You might be eating too little good fats' article.

I hesitate considering healthy the way of eating you describe -- unless the 'healthy foods' you write about is something I am not familiar with. You might want to tell me what exactly you eat for dinner and lunch so I'd be able to discuss it with you, or you can read the articles I suggest below.

Are you having enough nutrients?

How much fat do you have?

How many calries should we eat to get all vital nutrients?

Food Sources of Vitamin C

Finally, there's a growing body of evidence that A periodic fasting can be a better solution than permanent calorie restriction:

Weekly fasts

Every other day fasts

Tanya Zilberter

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your reply.

I eat every day in the morning: one biscuit, two table spoons of condenced milk and tea in the morning,
lunch salad at work and evening I eat rice with dry fruits:raisins and and apricots,three chicken drumsticks and salad with cucumbers, bell paper and tomato. I also eat between meals two appls and some other fruits.My mother never fries anything, she grills and uses only olive oil with cooking like rice.

Is shrimp good for me? I read that on wikipedia.org that it has high cholesterol. Also it says"As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, Iodine and protein but low in food energy. A shrimp-based meal is also a significant source of cholesterol, from 122 mg to 251 mg per 100 g of shrimp, depending on the method of preparation.[9] Shrimp consumption, however, is considered healthy for the circulatory system because the lack of significant levels of saturated fat in shrimp mean that the high cholesterol content in shrimp actually improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides". I previously had high cholesterol. There so many things about the same kind of food and it makes me confused. My mother says that whole grain is the best for me and will help me to lose weight. What about ginger, can it help me to lose weight? Please advise. Thank you very much.  

You are welcome.

I think that the best you can do is to choose a complete diet plan because, for example, ginger or shrimp, however good for you, taken  alone cant change a lot in your nutritional status. You need more varieties of foods than I would be ever able to help you with.

And  you do need to exercise more. From your eating preferences, I would advise to try the Mediterranean diet plus a reasonable exercise plan.

Please don't hesitate asking me about the diet and a plan in a separate question.

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