That’s right. I asked if you were eating enough.
With the craze of New Year’s Resolutions and the mad dash to drop those pounds gained over those delicious holiday foods, people tend to take it to the extreme.
I’m talking about the 1200 Calorie Diet.
Or at least that’s what I call it.
It’s when all a person gives themselves is just 1200 Calories for the day, total.
“But, that’s what everything says is right for a woman!”
Wrong. There’s far more depth than just taking that face value. 1,200 calories is what a woman’s body needs, at least, to maintain its proper function. Periods (ovulation), thyroid, metaoblism, etc, are all greatly impacted when you’re restricting your calories.
If you exercise, and burn about 350 calories doing that exercise, then taking the stairs at work, walking several steps a day to and from the washroom, then walking to your car that you’ve parked way on the other side of the lot for a little more exercise in your day… those are all calories burned too.
A lot of them to be exact.
You’ve probably put yourself over 500 active calories for that particular day. Deducting that from 1200, it’s leaving your body with a mere 600 calories to use to keep your body moving. Heart pumping, digestive system working, etc.
After a few days, your body will start to send itself into panic mode (aka: Starvation Mode). It begins to slow “fuel burning” parts of your body: your metabolism. It goes into as much effort as it can to store everything it can.
It’s far from sustainable. And certainly NOT healthy in any way.
Once the body starts receiving more calories, it cannot handle what it now considers an overload. Your metabolism which has slowed, essentially freaks out. The weight lost, is gained back rapidly, and often times even more weight is gained. Water retention (bloat) is common. Thyroid dysfunction is common as well.
Calorie restriction of this manner has also been well documented in being the stemming factor for disordered eating habits.
It takes years of proper eating to “straighten” everything back out, and sometimes not without medication intervention (thyroid medicines).
The path to weight loss isn’t just one road in which we can all walk down. It’s not a one size fits all shoe. Really.
“Okay, so how do I do this and do it right? That stuff all sounds terrifying for the sake of dropping a few pounds.”
To do that, you’re going to have to do a little math. Here’s where you need to calculate what your body specifically is burning for its total daily energy expenditure.
Women BMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in yrs)
Men BMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in yrs)
TDEE= BMR x Activity Factor
One pound is 3,500 calories. A sustainable, and healthy approach to weight loss is to aim for anywhere from one to two pounds a week.
In my own personal instance, my TDEE is around 1900 calories a day. If I wanted to start dropping a few pounds, I would create my deficit from that and aim for around 1500 calories a day.
To gain weight (that’s right, people do that too, although not as common), you’d want to do the opposite. Which would put my target calorie consumption at around 2300ish calories a day.
Taking control of your health and creating a solid weight loss plan that is sustainable is daunting. The nutrition part is almost always the hardest part. If it doesn’t sound right, or sound legit? It probably isn’t. Don’t ever be afraid to do the research to find an educated, degree holding nutritionist or a registered dietician and ask them questions. There isn’t a such thing as a dumb or silly question. And we’re all here to help you.