How long have you been trying to lose weight but not succeeding?
Has it only been a recent endeavor for you? Maybe within the past 6-12 months or so?
Or has it been years? Maybe 5 years or 10 years? Or as long as you can remember?
I had a new client this week tell me that she has perpetually been trying to lose weight for the last 10 years. The last 10 years of her life has been dedicated to eating less to hopefully weight less.
I've had clients say that they have been trying to lose weight since they were a child. They were put on weight loss drugs before they turned 10. Their families put them on diets to get them to lose weight. They were told they needed to lose weight, even before they could fully mature into their bodies.
How sad, really, to be told by your family that you need to lose weight at such a young age and to be put on medications while you're still growing.
The biggest mistake I see people making, as well as diet culture in general making, is spreading the belief following it that you need to eat only 1200 calories to lose weight.
For reference, that's how many calories a 12 year old should be eating, not a full grown man or woman.
So, when we spend YEARS at 1200 calories or less trying to lose weight, our bodies have to make some changes. We are designed to live off a lot more than 1200 calories a day. so when we under feed it to a max of 1200 calories a day, we need to make some changes.
What are those changes? Our bodies become REALLY good, I mean crazy good, at sparing as much energy it can, cycling back our calorie burn and storing as much fat as possible. That's why you're not seeing any weight loss at 1200 calories a day and also why you're seeing a weight gain.
Our metabolisms literally think you're starving. And when we go into starvation mode, we start storing as much energy as we can.
So, what should we do? I know this will be a controversial answer, but start eating more. Focus still on eating nutrient dense foods, but start eating more. Add in about 200 calories every 2-3 weeks until you get to a maintenance, level, typically 1800-2600 depending on who you are.
That could be adding in a snack sometime or increasing to size of one of you meals. Really, that is where you should start.
Once you get to a maintenance level, you really should stay there for 3-4-5-6 months to help your body heal and recognize that you're not trying to starve yourself. Need help with that? Send me a email!
But really, those are the first steps. That's it!
How long have you been dieting? Are you stuck in a rut and only eating 1200 calories? Let's change that. Let me know in the comments your thoughts!