Eating 1200 calories and being that active will make it hard for your body to let go of the fat. I am not saying it is not impossible I am saying it will be difficult. There are lots of topic posts by people who say they lose the weight and inches faster when they increased how much calories they eat.
Calculate your TDEE and add a deficient much easier than trying to worry about worrying about what you eat... (I am eating 250 to 400 grams of carbs a day and still losing weight. Because I am unemployed it is cheaper to get food filled with carbs where I live. I live in rural alaska and here protein sources in the stores are very expensive or not even in the stores. I miss eating more protein but can't buy it
it has lots of great information about figuring out your TDEE and how much you should eat
This is a short form for the full document contained here:
The Road Map is simply a tool to find Body Fat%, BMR and TDEE.
All 3 items are important to understanding fat/weight loss.
Once you know these 3 numbers, you'll be able to manipulate nutrition and training to get to your next goal.
1) Body Fat%
Knowing the ratio of body fat to lean mass is crucial in understanding body composition.
The less fat you have, the leaner you'll look.
The more lean muscle you have, the better your definition (tone) will look.
Having ideal body fat is not only healthier for the individual but it also helps you look good naked!
Athletes (6-13% for men, 16-20% for women)
<---Ideal area for Bulking
Fitness (14-17% for men, 21-24% for women)
Acceptable (18-25% for men, 25-31% for women)
Obese (25%+ for men, 32%+ for women)
The shocking part about BF% is most people who PM me numbers don't know how much fat they carry.
It's the most important part of figuring out the rest of your caloric intake.
Bottom Line: Buy a tape measurer or a set of Calipers and learn how to objectively track body fat while cutting/bulking.
The ultimate goal is to lose unwanted fat and maintain or even gain beautiful lean muscle.
Do all 3 BF Calcs and use the average number.
Write it down, you'll use it later!
Basal Metabolic Rate or Resting Metabolic Rate.
This covers all body functions outside of activity.
If you were in a coma and you were fed enough nutrients to keep you alive, Thats BMR.
Think "Baseline Calories" if you did absolutely nothing.
All vital organs are covered when eating BMR.
For those who like math, you'll find several different types of calculations for BMR.
1) Harris-Benedict formula: Overestimates in obese: Avoid this setting!
MEN: BMR = 66 + [13.7 x weight (kg)] + [5 x height (cm)] - [6.76 x age (years)]
WOMEN: BMR = 655 + [9.6 x weight (kg)] + [1.8 x height (cm)] - [4.7 x age (years)]
2) Mifflin-St Jeor: Better estimate for those that are obese, but still inflated.
MEN: BMR = [9.99 x weight (kg)] + [6.25 x height (cm)] - [4.92 x age (years)] + 5
WOMEN: BMR = [9.99 x weight (kg)] + [6.25 x height (cm)] - [4.92 x age (years)] -1613)
3) Katch-McArdle: Best estimate if decent estimate of BF% is known and is especially good in leaner individuals.
BMR = 370 + (21.6 x LBM)Where LBM = [total weight (kg) x (100 - bodyfat %)]/100
If you'd like to calculate on your own, you can get calculated TDEE using this chart:
Multiply BMR x Activity factor = TDEE.
1.2 = Sedentary (Little or no exercise + desk job)
1.3-1.4 = Lightly Active (Little daily activity & light exercise 1-3 days a week)
1.5-1.6 = Moderately Active (Moderately active daily life & Moderate exercise 3-5 days a week)
1.7-1.8 = Very Active (Physically demanding lifestyle & Hard exercise or sports 6-7 days a week)
1.9-2.0 = Extremely Active (Hard daily exercise or sports and physical job)
Or use the formula that chart is based on, if you want to use number of hours of exercise per week instead of guessing which level.
For daily activity not sitting at a desk but always moving around, count the hrs as 1/8 the time (40 hr nurse on feet counts as 5 hrs)
Walking exercise counts as 1/2 time (6 hrs walking is 3 hrs).
Other exercise is straight time (3 hr Insanity is 3 hr).
(Weekly movement hrs * 0.0875) + 1.2 = Activity Factor
Realize that this isn't just about your training but your lifestyle as well.
Example: You work at a desk all day but come home and play with your children for an hour, lift weights 3x a week for an hour and jog 2mi every other day. In this example id use Moderate or possibly Active settings.
Heres a helpful link for figuring your BMR and TDEE:
Enter all pertinent info.
Make GOAL weight the same as CURRENT weight to get todays TDEE.
Bottom Line: Know what your base caloric needs are and stay above them if you are active.
Eating too low for extended periods of time may allow for weight loss, but you could still have high body fat.
Once you know your base "Comatose" calories you can move on to TDEE.
Total Daily Energy Expenditure
This is the total amount of calories you burn in a 24hour period.
You wake up, brush your teeth, lift, run, play, work.....
You get the idea.
One thing I've noticed over the years is people underestimate activity.
They say "I'm sitting at my computer all day long so i'm sedentary!"
I'll ask "Workout routine?"
They say "Oh i run for 3 hours a day and do CrossFit all weekend long!"
If you sit all day and barely walk and dont workout, Sedentary.
If you workout 1-2x a week, Light.
If you workout 3-5x a week, Moderate.
If you workout 5+, active/very active.
Youll find these numbers at the bottom of the BMR page in Fat 2 Fit.
You can also use other calculators around the internet.
Once you have TDEE you can decide what to set MFP calories to.
I recommend -20% for individuals who are Obese and under.
-30% for individuals who are Obese and over.
Bottom Line: Be realistic with activity. If you are a marathon runner trying to take a few pounds off, don't use sedentary settings. First start with the top number that applies to you and stick with it for several weeks. If nutrition is right and activity is right, you should maintain eating TDEE. To lose fat, subtract calories. To gain LBM, add calories. Lift weights, walk, sleep and eat right.
Use your common sense.