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TOPIC: success stories from 1200 calorie dieters wanted

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March 10, 2013 1:54 PM
Yet another thread was created recently to state that 1200 calorie diets are wrong, and the declaration that there are not ANY success stories with pictures from people who have lost weight successfully eating at 1200 calories. I personally have around 200 women on my friend list who are succeeding quite well eating around that range, and have had no problems with it. Surely I am not friends with the ONLY people on here, for whom 1200 is an appropriate calorie level for their particular body and situation.

I certainly am not saying that EVERYONE should be eating at this calorie level, but there definitely are many on here that it is an appropriate calorie level.

I do not wish for this to turn into a debate over calorie levels, but just want to provide an opportunity for those who ARE succeeding at this calorie level, to share their success and pictures.

Personally, my TDEE is only around 1600. I am 49, 5'6" and am fairly sedentary due to injuries and arthritis, so 1200 plus a few moderate bike rides thruout the week, puts me losing about 1 pound a week pretty steady now. I started here at 228 the end of August and I am just under 190 today. I still have 35-40 pounds to go, so I will continue eating at this level until I get closer to goal, then I will start working my way up to maintenance. When I was heavier, my deficit was a bit larger and I was losing 1.5-2 pounds a week, but as I have gotten lighter, it takes fewer calories to move my body around, so therefore I am not losing quite as quickly, as I did not want to lower my cals any further.

I have lost 7 inches off my hips, 6 inches off my waist, and 2.5 inches off my thighs.
I am stronger than I have been in 12 years. I sleep better, my resting HR is lower. My pain level is drastically reduced. My hair is not falling out, nor is my face breaking out. I am not starving, or binging, nor do I have fatigue. In fact, my energy levels are higher than they have been in years. I have not lost much, if any, of my muscle mass. I do not have medical testing to prove this, but I can only go by the way that I look and feel.

Again, this thread is not intended to be inflammatory in nature. I just really think that a lot of people who need to eat at a higher calorie level, cannot understand that there are many people who DO need to eat lower amounts to lose at an appropriate rate. Perhaps seeing a collection of those who ARE succeeding, will help broaden their understanding, and they will see that we AREN'T all 16 yr old girls trying to fit into Double Zero sized jeans, living off Diet Coke and Tic Tacs.

I am having trouble getting my pics to post lately, so as soon as I can figure it out, I will post some pics of my results so far. I am only halfway to goal, so I'm no supermodel, and am not really comfortable with showing pics to people outside my FL just yet, but if it will help to create a more friendly and welcome environment here on the forums, I will make the sacrifice! (I did mention I was 49, right?)

So come on 1200-ers, show us how you are doing!
March 10, 2013 1:57 PM
I know a lady who ate 1200 calories she started out at a size 26W and is now a size 6 she looks amazing. I was eating 1200 calories and I lost 64 pounds with eating that way. incidently Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels all say that 1200-1400 calories is good for women.
March 10, 2013 2:00 PM
I am 43 and eating 1200 calories, I do not add my exercise calories. I started on 2/25/13. I feel better than ever.
March 10, 2013 2:02 PM
I tried to eat 1200 calories, but it was too much, had to stop eating breakfast at 946 :)

If 1200 works, awesome! Better than the 4000 a day that got a lot of us here.
March 10, 2013 2:03 PM
I am eating 1270 calories a day, or less. I have lost 37lbs since Sept. 26th. I have 13 lbs to go to reach my goal. I could not be happier!!!! The best part, I am not going hungry like I did on other diets. And I get to have my wine when I want it!!!!!!!!!
March 10, 2013 2:05 PM
My goal intake is set for 1200 and I never go over that. I joined MFP last Dec. (mid Dec.,) and am down 26lbs and counting; I'm not starving, my hair is not falling out, and I contrary to what a lot of people seem to think here I feel, and am doing fine.
Edited by SadKitty27 On March 10, 2013 2:06 PM
March 10, 2013 2:05 PM
I am eating 1200 calories and eating my exercise calories back (which lately has been about 200 calories or so) and I know I'm not exactly a success story yet but I'm 5'3 and have a mostly sedentary lifestyle other than my 30 minute workout sessions. I don't feel hungry much of the time. I've read about other methods like TDEE and all that, for which I would have to eat about 1800 calories a day and that is just so much food for me. Seriously I think If I ate that much I would become lethargic and wouldn't want to exercise.
I understand if many people just can't eat 1200 calories but it's no reason for them to say that it just does not work EVER. It does work for some people in the long run, and for others it may only work for the first quarter of their journey then they have to reevaluate their intake etc just like everybody else does!
I notice that many of the threads people point out as being 1200 cal "failures" are actually just people who did 1200 cals, lost weight, then waited too long to reevaluate their intake.
The naysayers tend to kind of shrug off the part where these people had initial success at 1200 cals.
March 10, 2013 2:11 PM
I'm eating between 1200 - 1250 and not eating my calories back....I will do this until I begin to stop seeing results and then I might change it up. I am also lifting heavy weights and doing cardio.

I eat 5 times a day, about 100 g of protein and no more than 35 g of fat. I feel amazing!
March 10, 2013 2:11 PM
I'm a relative beginner, but I average aabout 1,100 carefully selected, protein- and nutrition-dense calories a day. I also cannot exercise a lot because of a back and hip problem, but I try to average 300 calories a day now on exercise and have started strength training in addition to walking. I joined at the beginning of the year and have lost almost 23 pounds so far.

So much is said about this on MFP that I consulted the nutritionist I used to work with. She's the one who taught me how to eat correctly and how to exercise better, and working with her, my husband lost 45 pounds that he has kept off for more than two years now. He also totally changed his way of eating.

Anyway, she responded that I'm doing fine, eating well and on a good track.More importantly, she started out her response with the following, which I think are good words for all the more judgmental people of MFP to keep in mind:

"First I must say that if there was one solution to weight loss for everyone- no one would be heavy."
March 10, 2013 2:12 PM
i set mine to 1400 but I net 1200 calories incidently mfp reccomended me at 1200 calories. so it must not be as dangerous as what they think it is. I lost 64 pounds eating 1200 calories, dropped 4 more today. this was from the lady who last year weighed 220 pounds. when I reach my goal only 41 pounds to go I will have a total weight loss of 110 pounds.
March 10, 2013 2:16 PM
I keep my calories between 1200 and 1400--usually closer to 1200, I try not to go under that because you can go into a metabolism crash. I am losing consistently-- since January 4 I have lost 28.8 lbs. But I have a lot of weitight to lose. In response to the thread referred to earlier in the thread, I have changed my goal to (lightly active) 1300 calories.
March 10, 2013 2:17 PM
I'm 55 and lost 50 lbs last year on ~1200 calories--eating nutrient-dense, whole foods and lots of them. It's amazing how much more you can eat when you abandon fake food.

My vitals are perfect, my clothes fit, my TDEE is about 1540, and I do some pilates and take walks, but I will never be an athlete, gym rat, or exercise maven, nor do I want to be.

Don't feed the trolls.
March 10, 2013 2:17 PM
don't hold your breath . . . .
March 10, 2013 2:19 PM
1280 calories a day. 137 lbs since Jan '12.
March 10, 2013 2:19 PM
I'm just under 5ft 3, 35 years old, and have lost 50lbs netting 1200. And I'm still losing at a rate of 1lb per week. I eat back most if not all my exercise calories, and workout 5/6 days a week, mixture of cardio and weights/strength training.

I have added before and current weight pictures to my profile.
March 10, 2013 2:22 PM
I've been doing 1270 for roughly 2 months now and am down 13 lbs. since doing so. That's with a 'sedentary' lifestyle and not much outside exercise.
March 10, 2013 2:23 PM
Ok, OP. I challenge you to show me where anybody said that nobody has had success on 1200 calories a day.
March 10, 2013 2:23 PM

1280 calories a day. 137 lbs since Jan '12.

wow what a success story..............Congrats
March 10, 2013 2:24 PM

can you also provide your height, weight, age, gender, activity level, and duration of your success?

Edited by taso42 On March 10, 2013 2:25 PM
March 10, 2013 2:25 PM


you're it, Taso. I think I had about 1200 cals for dinner last night.
Edited by sleepytexan On March 10, 2013 2:26 PM
March 10, 2013 2:27 PM
I lost 61 pounds with 1200 calories.... I maintained for over a year, before having major health issues at the end if last year that contributed to gaining 20 lbs back. I am now starting back with my 1200 calories to lose it! I
March 10, 2013 2:27 PM
Ive eaten 1200 calories before and lost 12lbs in a month. Going to go back to that since it worked and nothing comes off at 1600. At the time I was not working out due to an injury.
March 10, 2013 2:27 PM
I know a girl that lost 130#s in 12 months on 1200 cals went from 258 to 128, her body now looks like a 1/2 melted candle.
March 10, 2013 2:28 PM
Im at 1300 and im 17 pounds down in 35 days! I go to the gym everyday and im feeling allot better than I was!
March 10, 2013 2:28 PM
I have always been told take the weight you want to be and multiply by 10. I want to be 128 ideal for me is 1280 calories. But going below 1200 can be counter productive because your body thinks it is starving at that point and will slow your metabolism to compensate.

You must TAKE IN 1200.
If your calories burned through exercise is 300, you would not be required to eat more even though it brings your net cals to 900 have already TAKEN IN 1200.

Give or take a couple hundred calories is not going to hurt you.

However....if you are 160 lbs and want to be 120......eating back your calories to bring you back up to TAKING IN 1600 calories is only going to maintain the same weight. 160 X 10 = 1600. You may be thinner but you will maintain about the same weight. Once you reach your goal weight, if you are still working out regularly, you will need to eat those calories back to maintain your weight and keep your energy.

Now this is how I understand it though. The type of foods you eat should also be taken into account. If you are eating a lot of sugars and processed foods it could work against you.

Eating REAL, FRESH, WHOLE foods is you best bet.

"You are what you eat."

"Repeating the same patterns over and over expecting a different result IS the definition of insanity"
Edited by MstngSammy On March 10, 2013 2:37 PM

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