I never lost weight on 1200 calories

I never lost weight on 1200 calories!

Wow, If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this from clients and friends.  Seems like the magic number these days is 1200 calories.  If you are an average to short woman that number becomes your life… and it was mine for years.  I totally understand.  But here is the truth, a 1200 calorie diet is RARELY SUSTAINABLE!  And moreover if you workout a lot and are trying to add a little muscle to your frame eating too little may be the reason you are not losing weight.

Muscle Burns Fat

You must consume enough clean calories to fuel your workouts and build muscle.  If you eat too little you are just spinning your wheels.  Your measurements stay the same because your body breaks down your new muscles for fuel instead of building them up (so they can work for you).

Here is your new plan:

Eat clean foods:  veggies, lean proteins and small amounts of whole-grains or legumes

Add muscle: muscle burns calories to survive, thrive and grow. For every pound of muscle you add you will burn 8 calories more at rest.  10lbs of muscle = 80 calories more

Workout Daily: 5-7 days a week. To get the muscles you have to do the workouts.  The workouts alone can burn from 300-800 calories a day on average.

Do the math:
10lbs of muscle (a good goal for women) + a 500 calorie workout = 580 calories extra per day.

But I want to lose weight!

Yes of course, how could you possibly lose weight eating MORE than the 1200 recommended calories?  The answer is higher quality food + workouts + muscle.  That 1200+580 calorie math equation we just did above equals 1780 calories a day you could eat to stay the same.  To lose weight maybe you eat 1600 calories so you have a little bit of a deficit (to lose weight) but you are still getting enough high-quality fuel to hit your workout hard and stay motivated.

But I heard I have to be at a 500 calorie deficit to lose weight.

While most diet advice will tell you to make sure you are at a 500 calorie deficit per day, I would like to offer a different perspective.

  1. Would you rather eat 1200 calories a day and quit in 2 weeks?
  2. Or would you rather eat 1600+ calories a day and be able to stick with it for life?

To me the answer is super simple.  I’d rather lose weight slightly slower, but be able to not only hit my goals, but also keep up my good habits FOR LIFE.  Yes, this is a life plan, not a diet.

I’ll get off my soapbox now.  I know I wasn’t able to cover every objection and question in this post so feel free to ask questions below.


I’m currently putting together a new CHALLENGE GROUP for April, 2013.  We are going to be doing ChaLean Extreme starting on the 8th.  Watch this video to find out more about the program then sign up below.  I’ll make sure to add you to our chat group for support.  This program has helped me swap 10lbs of fat for 10lbs of muscle…. and I get to eat more!  Love it!

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