Micronutrient deficiencies on a low-calorie diet

I tracked my food intake this past Tuesday. It was an oppressively hot day (96 degrees), so I didn't eat much - only 1511 calories! (Under the traditional 4/9/4 formula, I consumed 1580 calories.) While I did get enough fiber (44.9 grams), I was short on Vitamin K (45% of my target). If it hadn't been for my zinc supplement, I would have come up short there, at only 82% of my target. If it hadn't been for my Vitamin B complex supplement, I would have come up short on pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), at just 83% of my target.

Even in summer, I normally eat a few hundred calories more per day, and that makes it easier to meet my vitamin and mineral targets. On a bitterly cold day back in February, I consumed about double the calories that I consumed this past Tuesday.

I realize that I came up way short on Vitamin K because I didn't consume broccoli or Brussel sprouts. The vegetables that I did eat on Tuesday weren't that high in this nutrient.

Because I eat much less food overall in summer compared to winter, the variety I consume is less. Because I eat more vegetables in winter (simply because I'm eating more food overall), it's easier to eat a variety.

My questions:
1. How do people on low-calorie diets get enough vitamins and minerals? While my deficiencies on Tuesday were a one-off, this wouldn't be the case if I were deliberately limiting my calories.
2. How do people who live in places with oppressively hot weather get enough vitamins and minerals? Since I live in the Twin Cities, MN, weather as oppressively hot as Tuesday's weather is rare. Temperatures in the mid-90s or higher are the norm in places like Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Fresno, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, and Yuma. Places like New Orleans, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando aren't nearly as hot but easily make up for it with excessive humidity.

Comments

  • edited June 17

    I have been on caloric restriction for a few months, about 250 cal daily deficit on average. Weight has dropped steadily, it works. I'm nearly at my weight goal so I may shift to less of a deficit. That said, this works for me:
    1) Eat lots of nutrient dense, low calorie foods (broccoli, kale, collards, mushrooms, tomatoes, fruit, etc.) Sometimes I turn the kale or spinach into a green smoothie, or a veggie "quesadilla" (but not real cheese, I'm vegan, lol).
    2) Look at the "Challenges" forum, there are folks posting there hitting 95% and higher "All Targets" goals, you can get some ideas from what they post.
    3) Beans and rice work pretty well for me.
    4) Occasional supplement doesn't hurt.

  • Thanks, Korkey! I'll check the threads in the Challenges forum and ask there.

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