Should you use a 1200 calorie diet plan

Posted by Ben Simpkins on May 25, 2017

This is a popular range for a lot of diets these day, certain meal replacement shakes set you a target of 1200 calories and multiple magazines have been shown to promote this low intake of calories for a guide to losing (insert random weight) amount of pounds in (insert short time frame) amount of days.

It seems easy right? Just cut back on what you are eating for, lets say 10 days. You restrict everything you are eating for that short space of time and in return you are promised to lose a certain number of lbs before your holiday, wedding, party or what other event you have coming up that you would like to feel slightly more comfortable in your outfit.

All of it sounds good, so should you use a 1200 calorie diet to achieve your results.

In short, no.

If you have set yourself a target that low, you will undoubtedly be consuming less than your basal metabolic rate, the number of calories you need each day to function at rest, this would be an issue for the majority of the population let alone if you were overweight to begin with. With a calorie intake this low you would become malnourished and this could lead to illness.

One of the main issues regarding this type of dieting is that the weight you lose will be from water and muscle mass. The loss of muscle mass will reduce your BMR to an even lower level as your body doesn’t need as many calories any more to function.

Unfortunately because there has been no coaching work towards habitual changes, how to move forward and succeed, the gains from these diet are usually short lived and the weight will begin to come back on within the next couple of weeks. Also because of the lower BMR there is a chance more body fat will be stored than before too.

Let’s just take a moment to put that all together;

  • You create a nutrient deficiency
  • The weight you lose is from water and muscle, NOT fat
  • You lower your Basal Metabolic Rate
  • You will most likely return to a higher body fat percentage than before you started

As tempting as the quick fix is and however cheap they look, it will end up costing you more in the long run as you need to undo the damage that has taken place through following these programmes through the nutrition deficiency and the loss of lean muscle.

Find yourself a coach or programme you trust and commit to making lifelong changes. It will ensure you see the results you want, the foods you eat will be more enjoyable and it will ensure you can maintain your changes for longer than 14 days.

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