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1200 calorie diet safe?

Hello everyone.

Has anyone tried really low calorie diets? What is your opinion on low calorie diets? Too extreme or still safe?
I mean, my basal metabolic rate (BMR) is way above 1800 calories and 1200 calories per day would be a 600 calories deficit. That is about 33% deficit.
I've heard that too extreme diets such as 1200 calorie diet is can harm your progress when losing weight because your body will switch to starvation mode - because of a sudden lack of energy. Is this true? Should I be doing a low calorie diet and now and then (after few days) I would eat a lot more than my BMR just to let my body know that it doesn't have to starve...
Also, what is in your opinion the most radical yet still healthy calorie deficit? 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent? I was thinking of trying a 1200 calorie diet but I have second thoughts... I do not want to slow down my metabolism or hinder my progress in any other way. And the least I want is that I would gain all the kilos right back after finishing the diet.
My plan is to lose 5 kilos of fat, which is about 45.000 calories (1 gram of fat is 9 kcal). If I would have a 600 calories deficit every day I could lose those 5 kilograms in about 75 days (2 months and a half). I will still be eating a lot of proteins as well as I don't want my muscle mass to go away along with that fat. I was thinking of following a 1200 calorie diet but remove some carbs and add some more proteins. If I divide 1200 calories into 5 meals per day, that would mean about 240 calories per meal. I will also drink a lot of water (2-3 litres per day).
What is your opinion?

Mon. Jul 15, 5:39am

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This is a question that has two camps - yes and no. My answer - its fine. but, in your case, perhaps unnecessary if you dont have a lot to lose. your BMR serves as a good calorie guideline for weightloss. Jillian michaels did a whole book on losing the last 10 pounds and had you use you BMR as your daily calorie target. your BMR is what your body needs just to exist, it doesn't account for movement and exercise. So you wouldn't have just a 600 cal deficit, you'd have 600+ whatever exercise and movement contributed. It may result in faster weightloss, but maybe not sustainable in the long run.

Google Harris Benedict calculation. You take your BMR and multiply that by a number representing how active you are. That number indicates your calorie limit to maintain your current weight. I won't spell out how to do all the calculations but from there you can figure out about how much weight per week you'll lose based on how many calories you take

Monday, July 15, 2013, 8:14 AM

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Why is 1200cal a magic number that everyone posts? I assume its based on some average person. Can you define average and are you the perfect average? Why not start with just reducing the number of calories you currently consume by about 100? Exercise and use that target for a week. If you start to lose, fine. If not, then drop another 100 and try it for a week until you find the correct cal count necessary for healthy wt loss. Everyones proper cal count for healthy wt loss is going to be different depending on genetics, quality of food, lifestyle, etc.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 10:17 AM

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1,200 calories, plus or minus 15% depending on body build, is a normal amount of calories for a 5'4" woman with normal activity. If she eats more than that she will gain weight. If she eats less than that she will lose weight.

Saturday, July 27, 2013, 10:47 PM

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A 1200 calorie diet is normally based on your BMI/BMR. If you calculate a low calorie diet for someone who is 6'1" you will most certainly not get a daily calorie goal of 1200 because it's dangerously low and can impede even simple brain functions for someone that tall. I am 5'1" so a low daily caloric intake works for me. However, with every 10lbs I lose, I up my daily caloric intake because for me to maintain my goal weight I need at least 1500 calories per day. Just keep using your BMI/BMR calculator. 1200 cal/day is not a magical number, it just seems to run common with sites like MyFitnessPal and other similar pages.

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1200 calorie diet safe?

Hi, I'm currently on a 1200 calorie diet and it works for me just fine. If you're not sure though, why not try a medically supervised weight loss? That way, you're sure that whatever your doing is safe! Hope this sheds some light :)

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 8:23 AM

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Problems with 1200 calorie diets

A 1200 calorie diet sounds tempting. I tried it once. I was able to keep up the diet for about three months. I lost a whopping 17 pounds I was so happy. Slowly, I began to eat as I normally did. Then I had a fallout. My body was so starved of food I went kinda crazy and ate everything in sight. I would suggest going on this diet for no more then one week at a time. After a while your metabolism starts slowing down. Your body will think it's starving and as a result your body will save ass many calories as it possibly can. As a result your weight-loss will come to a stand still. Keeping the weight off with this diet is difficult. I suggest you go with a less aggressive diet.

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