If you are not one of the few lucky people who can eat whatever they want and still look and feel healthy, finding the correct diet or the right amount of calories to consume can be a challenge. A quick search on the internet will show you more eating plans and diets than you can count. Whether it’s the vegetarian diet, fruit diet, DASH diet, Mediterranean diet, or some other form of “barely enjoying your meal” diet, finding your specific eating plan can be exhausting. One of the most searched diet is the 1200 calorie diet. This seems like a special number for those interested in losing weight. According to many registered dietitians 1200 calories is the lowest amount of calories needed for the average person to lose weight and not compromise your health. There are many reasons why this should not be your end all be all health plan.
First off, most people aren’t “average”. Age, weight, and exercise ability all play a huge part in a proper eating plan. Calories are needed to give you the energy to function throughout the day and even lose the weight you are self-conscious about. Common sense also tells us that a man who is 6 feet tall needs more calories than your grandmother who is 5 feet tall. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women require 1,800-2,400 calories per day and men need 2,000-3,200. This is a big variance just between sexes. When you add in age, exercise ability and your starting weight, 1,200 calories may not be a smart go-to starting number. A simple plan starts with getting all of the required foods you need from all of the food groups in order to stay and feel healthy. Manage a consistent number of calories for a few weeks, monitor your weight and adjust from there. If you consume too few of calories your body will slow down fearing it’s starving and the weight won’t come off. This usually ends up in a yo-yo diet and you feel worse. Bottom line, use common sense and give your body the fuel it needs and the healthy you will follow.