Some people should be on 1200 calories but MOST should not be.
The market is inundated with fitness model or celebrity type diet programs and some of these include 1200 calorie diets. Sadly too many people fall prey to thinking that these one size fits all diets based on a really restrictive number is going to be the answer to their weight loss problems.
There is no ‘one size fits all’.
It is like saying everyone should wear a size 7 shoe. If we all wore a size 7 we would end up with damaged feet, posture issues, pain and much more. The same goes with diets, we need to be more careful with what we are imposing on our bodies because it has the possibility of causing long-term damage.
Your metabolism is not static.
A 1200-calorie diet might lead to weight loss initially but the weight loss will plateau (1). Your metabolism adapts to lower calories. Basically, your body down-regulates metabolic hormones, which means the body becomes very efficient using the few calories you are eating (2). What are you going to do when you are eating very little and not losing fat?
Dieting is dangerous if you do it incorrectly.
Low-calorie diets leave people feeling restricted with them focusing on numbers and not on the nutritional composition of the food. It doesn’t promote the nutritional density of foods, so you could subsist on nutritionally empty foods which ultimately leaves you feeling ravenous. But more than that, if you do not eat enough food your body cannot function and perform at it’s optimal. You end up with deficiencies, illness and mental challenges.
Do you know what your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is?
It is the amount of energy (in the form of calories) that the body needs to function while resting for 24 hours. Or in other words, it is the number of calories your body requires to support vital body functions and can account for 50-80% of your total energy use.
If you must do a calorie counting diet you must know your BMR so you know how much to eat to stay healthy. Chances are, your BMR will be higher than 1200 calories.
So instead of eating 1200 calories, do this:
- Eat the amount appropriate for your body and then create a small deficient for fat loss.
- Focus on adding nutrient-rich foods rather than obsessing on the foods to eliminate.
- Exercise and move more.
- Be patient and be willing to slowly transition into cutting your calories.
Moving in the right direction is progress, no matter how slow it is. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.
If you feel you have slowed down your BMR through dieting there are things you can do to improve it so don’t despair. For a safe and personalised weight loss plan please contact me for a consultation.
Say no to restrictive diets!