1,200 Calorie Diets – Is It For You?

November 18, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer


What’s up, guys? Today, I wanna talk
about 1,200 Calorie diets and whether it is or is not for you. Okay, so first, I wanna introduce Ollie and Jellie. Ollie, he’s been around for a long time. He’s six years old. I’ve had him for six years. Jellie is the newest addition. She is a two and 1/2-month old Chihuahua. Baby Chihuahua. So, Ollie and Jellie. And they’re both super, super sweet. I’m just gonna, I wanted to introduce them to you and then they have to go back to the outside while I film. I want to make a video today
about 1,200 Calorie diets because there’s a lot of
misconception about it. The majority misconception is that if you want to shed body fat, you should jump to a 1,200 Calorie diet. And for the most part, I do
not think this is a good idea. For the most part. However, on the other hand, you have the anti-diet,
anti-1,200 Calorie crowd and while I do think that
the majority of individuals don’t need to diet on such low calories, I also wanna make a case for when it actually may be appropriate, when it would behoove certain individuals to bring their calories down lower. So the whole idea with 1,200 Calories, I’m not certain where
this number came from, but it seems to be the number
that everyone clings onto when they talk about dieting. So when you go into fad
diets and crash dieting and you wanna lose 50 pounds in 20 days and whatever extreme goal you have, they always jump to 1,200 Calories or even 800 Calories, 900 Calories. Things that are very
extreme and unsustainable. A lot of what I do with
my coaching clients and with people who come
to me for nutrition help involves actually bringing
up their target calories and I made a video before about this, about how a lot of times, increasing your target calories can help increase your overall adherence because you feel more
satisfied at every meal, you’re getting sufficient sustenance and you don’t feel so deprived. You don’t find yourself sneaking in bites, licks, and tastes of this
and that throughout the day and maybe you’re in denial
about it, maybe you’re not. You also have more energy if
your calories aren’t so low to push your actual
workouts that much more. So if you’re in a gym lifting weights and you’re able to gain
strength in the gym over time while you’re shedding body fat, that is the best scenario to be in as far as improving your body composition. So, most people, including women, can diet just fine on higher
than 1,200 Calories a day. I do have some clients who are dieting on roughly
2,000 Calories a day, and again, please don’t
take these examples as evidence that you should
be using these methods as well, necessarily. It all depends on a number
of different factors, including, but not limited to, your age, your height, your bodyweight, body fat, your dieting history, your activity level, and even your genetics, which is one thing that
people don’t talk about. So all these factors come into play in determining one, what
your maintenance intake is, which is the number of calories it takes to maintain your current bodyweight, and two, what your dieting intake then is. All right, so more of a calorie deficit is not necessarily better. 1,000 Calorie deficit is not
always going to be better than 500 Calorie deficit. However, when might it be appropriate to diet on 1,200 Calories? Probably if you’re a
very small, petite female who is very sedentary throughout the day. I know small and petite is subjective. I know sedentary is somewhat subjective. If in doubt, err on the side of starting your dieting calories out higher. That way, you still have
plenty of wiggle room to cut your intake as you make progress. I’m gonna use myself as an example. I’m 5’2″, 110 pounds. I am 29 years old and I’m actually pretty
sedentary throughout the day with my job, aside from my
workouts and training clients. If I were to diet right now, my dieting calories, because I know my rough
maintenance intake, my dieting calories would
actually be around 1,500 Calories. So even though most people would consider me to be someone who’s small
and petite and sedentary, my dieting calories would still be a lot, a good deal higher than the 1,200 Calories that most people would wanna put me at. Small, to me, means probably
5’2″, 5’1″ in height or shorter and probably 110 pounds or less, probably closer to 100 pounds. So if you’re a shorter female who’s already very light
and you’re sedentary and you wanna shed body fat, then you probably have to
drop your calories lower. My very general equation and I’ll have to film
a whole separate video taking about this, my very general equation for
determining dieting calories is your current bodyweight in pounds times anywhere from eight
to 13 times bodyweight. Now, please keep in mind this is a very, very extremely general bodyweight multiplier. There are some people
who fall above this range for dieting calories,
which would include myself. There are people who
fall below this range. Now, this does not mean that if you wanna see faster results, that you should go for the
lower end of the range. That’s not what it means. The only times I would really go below the 10 times bodyweight multiplier, or even, you know, going back
to actual absolute calories, bring you down to 1,200 Calories or lower is one, if you’re tiny and sedentary and you’ve been in diet
mode for a long time and there is a good reason, a valid reason why you need to shed body fat. Maybe you’re prepping for a show and you need to get those last
few pounds of body fat off. You’ve been dieting for several months and you’ve been gradually
dropping your calories, at which case there comes a point when you’re gonna have to approach the 1,200 Calorie mark at some point. The other time is when you are obese. When you have very high body fat levels and this is something
that I didn’t used to do but there is research that shows, and from my conversations with my friend Dr. Spencer Nadolsky as well, when you have more body fat to lose, so let’s say your body fat is 30, 35%, 40% or more, you can afford to drop
your dieting calories lower to 1,800 Calories, to 1,600, 1,200, so you can be in a steeper calorie deficit and be at less risk of
losing lean body mass. So when people say they
wanna shed body fat, they typically mean they
wanna lose the body fat that they have and hold
on to the muscle mass that they do have as much as possible. So when you have higher body fat, you have a lot of wiggle
room in that case. So to summarize, I don’t think that 1,200
Calories is appropriate for most people. However, there are certain scenarios, there are certain individuals for whom 1,200 Calories is absolutely appropriate so to say that 1,200 Calories
is necessarily dangerous, necessarily harmful and
irresponsible is incorrect.