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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Am I eating too few calories - about 500?

    I am pushing myself to eat around 500 calories a day plus I am exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
    I weigh 74 kgs and I am 5 feet 2 inches tall.
    I push myself to exercise 5 minutes more every day or I am not happy.
    I stress out if I do not lose a pound every couple of days.
    I weigh everything and look up the calorie count and I just seem to be consumed by this desire to lose weight.
    Up until a month ago I was binge eating and this seeemed to change gradually.
    I have been feeling very depressed lately.
    Can anyone tell me what is happening?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • The Butterfly Foundation was founded in August 2002 by Claire Vickery who found many ‘gaps’ in the public health system for those experiencing eating disorders. … View Profile

    Hi. Thank you for your question and being brave to ask. There is quite a lot there that we would be happy to discuss with you. We would hate to simplify things through an email. Therefore can we encourage you to either call our toll free support line on 1800 33 4673 or email us direct at where we will be able to give you expert advice and skilled support to answer your question.
    We welcome your call.

    The Butterfly Foundation

  • Julie Markoska

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am a Sydney based Accredited Nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian recognised by the Dietitians Association of Australia.I have a Bachelor of Science majoring in … View Profile

    Hi there, 

    I agree with the Butterfly Foundation's comment that it's impossible to give you a proper answer via email without oversimplifying.  It's important to speak to someone if your feeling down and stressed, a GP would be a good place to start and they can point you in the right direction of what you can do to start feeling better again. 

    From a nutrition perspective, 500 calories is very low and we'd never recommend such a low calorie diet without medical supervision and even then, only in very specific circumstances. Inadequate calories can certainly leave you feeling tired and low; inadequate carbohydrates in particular can leave you feeling down & depressed. There is a very real risk that with only 500 calories worth of food you might not be getting all the nutrients your body needs.

    The binge eating together with your intense focus and stress about losing weight are signs of disordered eating, which might not be an eating disorder per say, but is worth speaking about to a healthcare professional.

    Good luck!

    Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nurtitionist

  • Alysha Coleman

    Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist

    Alysha is the Primary Clinical Psychologist and Director of The Institute for Healthy Living, a clinical psychology practice in Bondi Junction. Alysha has worked with … View Profile

    Julie and The Butterfly Foundation are spot on. I hope you can take the next brave step to reach out and talk to a healthcare professional.

    All the best,


  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Writing as a non-clinical health professional who teaches dietitian students in their pre-clinical years, the advice from my clinical dietitian colleagues is that sustainable weight loss is about 1 kg (1-2 lb) per week. Anything greater than that may not be sustainable.

    I think that the Butterfly Foundation, Julie and Alysha have all offered you great ideas - I hope that you can reach out for the help that you deserve.

    All the best.

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