Someone had asked me about the whole 1200 calorie magic number versus my 2000 calorie business,
So I thought I would post what I had responded to her with so you can see where I am coming from.
“Hey. So I saw where you said you started losing weight when you started eating 2000 calories. Can you explain that to me? On all of those calorie counter apps it says to eat roughly around 1200 calories. So I’m confused. Thanks!”
First of all no one should eat only 1200 calories..period. I myself am a pretty petite girl, I am short and “skinny”. I need 1300 calories a day just for my organs to function properly and keep my alive. And that’s if I don’t move a single muscle. Anyone taller than me or anyone that weighs more than I do will need even more just to keep their body going.
Not only that, but I can promise you that you need more than that number because you aren’t bed ridden and immobile. You get up to go to the bathroom, you use the computer..anything that is not just laying there is burning calories (on top of the calories your body just burns on its own).
Unfortunately, most people eating 1200 calories are exercising on top of eating this little. Not to mention cooking, cleaning, work, school, walking around the house, taking care of kids, absolutely anything they might be doing. This is creating such a dangerous deficit and causing this person’s body to do a lot of damage to itself to fight to stay alive.
Other people who preach the 1200 say to get a net intake of 1200 (something like eating 1500 calories and burning 300). This can also be dangerous, like I said I need 1300 calories dedicated to just being alive. Unless you are 4’8” and 84lbs, you need more than 1200 calories to stay alive!! ESPECIALLY if you are a teenager. There has been so much research that has shown that teens need plenty of calories. The average teenage girl that is sedentary needs 1800 calories. Depending on your activity levels you could honestly need 2500 calories.
Also, when you are eating more, your body knows that it will keep getting fuel so it will deplete your fat stores. When you eat 1200 calories and then work out on top of that, your body will eat away at it’s muscle and vital organs but still retain thatfat, so sure the number on the scale is going down but is that really what you want..? Most people don’t think about the fact that what they really want is to lose fat, not lose weight.
Keep in mind that I also eat 2000 calories of clean foods. Yeah I have “junk” in moderation, but 80% of the time I eat a whole foods plant based diet with the occasional dairy.
Have you ever heard the quote “Eat for the body you want and not the body you have.” Honestly if you eat even 1800, your metabolism will speed up, you will have more energy, making working out easier, your body will naturally go towards a healthy weight for you(not necessarily you “UGW” but the weight that your body likes to be at.)
It’s just something to think about, we are not all the same. 1200 is not a magic number, 2000 is not a magic number. But your body does need fuel. And 1200 is not going to healthily cut it for 90% of people, especially those who are in their teens.
Also keep in mind that losing weight is not my goal, I want to lose fat, get stronger, get more flexible, have more energy, and just be a healthier, happier person in general:)
I hope this helped and answered any questions. Remember I am not a professional, this is just knowledge I have attained through dietician appointments and a whole lot of researching. If there is anything else you would like to know please message me!