Your 1200 Calorie Diet is Damaging Your Metabolism

Without getting too science-y, I’d like to explain why your extremely low calorie diet is hindering your nutritional success.

I’m going to start with a hypothetical situation: a 23 year old female started college at 130lbs and now weighs 150lbs, in order to lose weight she has decided to skip breakfast, have a small salad for lunch, and a bit of fruit and cottage cheese for dinner. She eats about 1200 calories a day with hopes to lose twenty pounds in a month before spring break.

This hypothetical situation is all to common amongst those trying to shed some extra pounds. The thought that eating a low caloric intake will make you drop weight, is not only wrong but it does just the opposite. When you deprive your body of the nutrients it needs, it goes into starvation mode and begins to store all nutrients consumed because it is unsure of when it will receive nutrients again. So instead of using ingested calories for energy, it stores the nutrients as excess fat.

It doesn’t matter what type of food or macronutrient makeup the food has, when you under eat your body will store any and everything.

Try to avoid metabolic damage by fueling your body in correlation to it’s daily output. In order to understand your bodies needs, I suggest you calculate you basic metabolic rate. Once you have an idea of your bodies needs you can add in factors like activity, exercise, and energy demand to figure out your caloric needs.

Click here to read a post that covers all the basics.

Click here for a step by step guide of how to make a lifestyle change, and begin flexible dieting.


Beyond the science behind it, extremely low calorie deficiencies put intense stress on your body which will also hinder your weight loss results. When forced to function on a low caloric intake, you body will compensate by slowing down and storing any and all energy it receives.

One thought on “Your 1200 Calorie Diet is Damaging Your Metabolism

  1. I have no idea how people could willingly just eat 1000 calories, day in, day out. That’s so few calories, it’d make me so hungry and cranky and low energy. Not worth it at all. Losing weight is freaking hard as can be, especially with so much information out there on the right way or wrong way to lose fat. Foods we can’t eat, exercises we gotta do, it’s enough to drive somebody crazy.

    It ain’t just about eating less and moving more or counting calories and weighing all your food. Sure, that stuff works for a little bit but it only gets you so far and then once you stop that diet you just gain it all back (and usually extra weight!). My wife and I lost right around 115 pounds (between the 2 of us) in just under 3 months ( and it’s all about a life change. Starving yourself, doing cardio till you drop and popping diet pills don’t work and it never will.


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