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1200 Calories: The Diet Strategy that Halts Fat Loss

Eat less, weigh less. Seems easy enough. Yet, what the myth doesn’t tell you is that eating too little will actually kill any chance you have at losing body fat.

More often than not, we find our clients at SCBC eating TOO LITTLE for their fitness goals.

Does 1200 calories sound familiar?

Somehow, somewhere… “1200 calories” became the gold standard for those wanting to lose weight.

And for those on the highly popular HCG-weight loss program, doctors put their clients on a frighteningly low 500 calories per day plan. It’s as if to say that the lower the calories, the better your results. You might as well just stop eating, right?


The human body is much more complex and much smarter than the eat less, weigh less myth. When the body isn’t getting enough to eat, it goes into starvation mode. Here is where you think the body targets the fat stored in your body to satisfy its need, but instead your body will start to eat your muscle. And we definitely don’t want that.

Eating too few calories is the ultimate dream crusher if you are trying to transform your body.

The negative mental and physical consequences of low calorie diet plans are drastic. Not only do you feel deprived, hungry and fatigued, but it also results in significant metabolic damage and nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to serious health problems.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE… Cutting calories significantly can also result in losing muscle tissue and lead to rebound weight gain faster and easier than if you never dieted in the first place.

Sound fun? Or effective? I think not. Yet… this is STILL the biggest problem we see when clients come to SCBC looking to lose weight and transform their body.

Don’t know how many calories you should eat? Here are some things to keep in mind when your primary goal is weight loss:

Find out your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

(You can google to get a rough estimate of what your BMR).

Resting or basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the baseline calorie amount your body must have in order to function. Think breathing and heart rate. Basically, it’s what you need to survive at rest. Add exercise in and you’re going to need to eat even more.

Next, you need to remember that calorie restriction results in fat STORAGE.

When you deprive your body to the extreme, it will start to adapt by reducing the amount of energy it uses to function.

Then, it will STOP burning fat and start metabolizing (or eating) lean tissues and muscle mass instead.

Bottom line, starving your body will not get you where you want to be.

But, eating the right amount of calories combined with a balanced exercise plan will.

For better weight loss results, your goal should be to take the exact OPPOSITE approach that most people take to losing weight. Strive to eat as many calories as you possibly can while still maintaining enough of a caloric deficit to burn body fat. This might be a bit of trial and error starting out but track your intake every day and you’ll quickly find what calorie range works best for you.

Just remember, start high and reduce only when you need to. Always eat above your BMR and if you’re working out regularly, we recommend staying a few hundred calories over your BMR for best results.

Need some help getting started? SCBC offers various, AFFORDABLE programs that will jump-start your body transformation the right way. Sign up today.

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