If you sharply curtail your food intake and subsist on 1, 200 calories a day, you certainly expect to lose weight. It is discouraging to undertake a strict weight-loss diet and not see results. If this is the case, you may be underestimating your caloric intake or struggling with a metabolic problem. Getting to the bottom of the problem is crucial for weight loss success.
Perhaps the most common reason for not losing weight on a 1, 200 calorie diet is when people underestimate the number of calories they eat on a daily basis. It only takes a few miscalculations to transform a 1, 200 calorie diet into a 1, 800 calorie diet. To ensure that you are indeed eating 1, 200 calories a day, weigh and measure your food portions. Read food labels carefully, as portions are often smaller than common sense would dictate. Keep a journal and record the calories of each morsel of food that you eat, as even a few bites between meals has the potential to sabotage your diet.
People who weigh a substantial amount to begin with often have an easier time losing weight than their slimmer peers. Men also have an advantage, as they tend to burn more calories than women. Younger people generally burn more calories than older people. Use a basal metabolic rate calculator to determine how many calories a day you will need to burn to lose weight. Your BMR can tell you how many calories you burn while at rest. For example, a 50-year-old woman who is five feet tall and weighs 120 pounds will only burn 1, 224 calories a day while at rest. Such a person, when on a 1, 200-calorie diet, would need to burn 500 calories a day exercising to lose a pound each week. If your BMR is low, you are likely to have difficulty losing weight without increasing your activity level. Women shouldn't eat fewer than 1, 200 calories per day as it is very difficult to meet your nutrient needs with fewer calories.