1200 is an awful number!
1200 calories that is.
Why do so many people think that they need to restrict their calorie intake to such minuscule amounts of food to lose weight!?!
The body needs a certain amount of calories each day just to carry out the vital functions, if it does not get these calories from diet then it can start to break down it’s own tissues for energy. Tissues being muscle; the heart is a muscle…
What side effects can you expect from a 1200, or less, calorie diet:
- cold intolerance
- irregular menstrual cycle
- irritability (hanger; hungry anger)
- long term damage to metabolic rate
The metabolic rate – this is the bit that you need to pay attention to:
Low calorie diets force your body to take energy from other sources – you are more likely to burn muscle than you are to burn fat as the body needs protein. Burning off muscle reduces your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories) and makes it more difficult to lose weight. Chances are, you will not stick to a low calorie eating plan for long, you’ll go back to your normal eating patterns and all the lost weight is re-gained. The yo-yo-diet is in play.
“Diets” are fads – short term, non-maintainable plans which make you miserable and, let’s be honest, a bit of a bitch!
What you needs is a healthy lifestyle and to really consider what you are feeding your body with. Real food, nothing processed, nothing pre-packed; when you’re looking for a meal or a snack try and put nutrition first, think “Is this the best thing I could be feeding my body with?”. If it’s not, change your choice.
As far as how much you need to eat each day goes, a very basic method of working out your daily calorie needs is:
body weight (kg) x 24 (female) or 25 (male) = the number of calorie your body needs each day just to perform the vital functions (RMR)
Take the RMR and multiply by the following based on how active you are:
- 1.2 not active
- 1.5 moderately active
- 2.0 very active (daily vigorous exercise)
This gives you the number of calories your body needs each day to maintain weight when you are completing your day-to-day life (BMR).
For weight loss: BMR – 500
This is just very general, and a basic way to start looking at weight loss. Apps such as myfitnesspal can be helpful in tracking calories.
If you’re not into counting check out my Calorie Control Made Simple post.