How long can you stay on a 1200-1400 calorie diet?



  • GoPerfectHealth
    GoPerfectHealth Posts: 254 Member
    I've been eating between 1200 and 1500 on most days since early January, with occasional exceptions (such as this weekend). During this time, my cholesterol profile improved. I recently had kidney, liver and metabolic panel tests which were completely normal.

    Choose a calorie deficit that is safe and works with your body and your needs.
  • 4leighbee
    4leighbee Posts: 1,275 Member
    My 1200 calories (plus exercise calories on most days) are more quality focused than they were before, so even though I may have been eating many more calories before, a lot of it was useless nutritionally. Not sure how that factors in, except that I don't feel cheated at all with 1200+ calories a day, and I run and/or lift heavy daily. I think even with the reduced calorie intake, I am in a better position to have meaningful workouts with a lower risk of injury than before MFP and the calorie restriction. Yay MFP.
  • goingforahundred
    goingforahundred Posts: 590 Member
    I have been on 1200 calories since Nov.15, 2014. Almost 5 months. I have lost 60 pounds and am feeling great. I had blood work done in early November that came back alarming. Pre-diabetes, low iron, low vit d, low b12, thyroid screwed up. I started this journey the next day and would not change a thing. I had my blood work repeated in February and my A1C was back to normal, my vitamins were back on track and they actually needed to lower my thyroid medication!
    I eat back half of my exercise calories and drink at least 10 cups of water each day. Life is good and getting better and better each day!
  • Smallc10
    Smallc10 Posts: 345 Member
    edited April 2015
    I've been at 1350 now for 2 months. I do give myself breaks some nights, but I never eat at maintenance. I really need to lose the weight as soon as possible so I'm being quite strict.

    For the record I'm 5'6" and 27 F

    I do go over on lifting days by about 200 calories to help fuel my body
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,150 Member
    15 minutes
  • cdogthegreat0702
    cdogthegreat0702 Posts: 12 Member
    Arliah wrote: »
    I was on 1200 calories for year, and it crashed my metabolism and had my doctor call me at 9pm after she saw the lab results, completely panicked. Lesson learned: Don't do it for too long. It will take me quite some time to undo the damage I did by restricting my food intake so severely.
    i was in the same situation! no one warned me about the dangers of eating too little; i can't believe the dangerous amount of buzz the "magic 1200 calorie" diet has gotten.
  • astrose00
    astrose00 Posts: 754 Member
    6 and a half months so far. Lost about 65lbs. Eat high protein and do cardio and weight training 4-5 times a week. No noticeable muscle loss. Started at 240lbs, now 175lbs and wearing size 10 and some 8's. I'm 5'8" and 47 years old. I was at 1200 for 5 months and recently switch to 1450 (although I don't reach that number all the time). I wanted to eat more fruit and nuts so I upped my calories. There are days I still come in at 1200 (mostly on weekends when I wake up later than normal). I don't eat back exercise calories and really "spend" my calories wisely. Candy and sweets are what got me into trouble so I stay away from them and choose fruit and tea to satisfy my sweet tooth. Feeling better than I have in years. Always take the stairs, drink lots of water and training myself to not live to eat. I love cooking and creating less calorie dense meals that I can enjoy and feel satisfied. I think it depends on what you eat. Some folks want desserts or the occasional pizza so 1200 calories won't work under those circumstances, I don't think. I'd be starving if I didn't spread my calories with high protein and lower cal options like egg whites, tofu, chicken breast, greek yogurt, etc. But I also eat whole eggs, cheese, olives, oil, etc.

    Everyone is different. Some can handle it and some can't or won't. I haven't suffered a day since I've started losing weight. In fact, on my vacation I ate some higher cal options and felt like crap. When I get closer to maintenance (around 140-150lbs) I may allow for an occasional night out with friends but I've changed my lifestyle for good.
  • davidm115
    davidm115 Posts: 2 Member
    Hi, i been on 1200 cal for 9 months now lost 77lbs down 42m
  • Lady_Grell
    Lady_Grell Posts: 103 Member
    I didn't know that it could be dangerous to eat just 1200 calories. I've been averaging between 1100-1300, but I'm short and I need to lose probably around 90lbs total. Does that make a difference?
  • LAWoman72
    LAWoman72 Posts: 2,846 Member
    I've been eating 1350-1450/day since Thanksgiving and it seems very do-able to me. I am short - 5'1" - and 47 years old. I'm assuming if I were younger I'd be able to eat a bit more than this and still lose, but I mean I definitely don't feel like I'm starving or anything.
  • tomatoey
    tomatoey Posts: 5,459 Member
    Six hours, because that's just breakfast and lunch.
  • paulandrachelk
    paulandrachelk Posts: 280 Member
    I LIVE on 1340. But I'm old and sedentary. Eat back most of exercise.
  • azulvioleta6
    azulvioleta6 Posts: 4,196 Member
    I did 1200 for about three years. Lately I've been aiming for 1300-1400.

    I don't find it difficult at all. You can certainly get decent nutrition on that many calories.
  • erryereri
    erryereri Posts: 24 Member
    I maybe accidentally have a day where I eat 1200 calories because either I'm oddly not hungry that day, or if my meals have just been very filling. But that's just every few weeks or so.

    I could never purposefully do it consistently.

    Typically I eat from 1500-1800 depending on how hungry I am or how active I've been in terms of both exercise and daily activity stuff.

    I don't know how people can be on 1200 and say it's fine, that sounds absolutely miserable to me. But hey, everyone's different.
  • rianoel
    rianoel Posts: 22 Member
    I eat ~1200. However, that doesn't include exercise calories. I walk 3-5 miles every day and just started adding in a few blogilates videos every other day. I eat back between .5 and all of my exercise calories---just recently cut back to half, because I lost enough to stop losing on eating all of them. Basically, I exercise to eat more. I've been doing it since November. My health is so much better now. I'm also short, otherwise sedentary, and a 35 year old woman. My actual calories eaten is usually around 1330-1400. I don't sweat it if I go over a little, because it prevents binges. My macros need a ton of work, though...that's my next thing to work on, after adding in the blogilates more regularly.
  • CaliforniaRower
    CaliforniaRower Posts: 187 Member
    A few days ago, I decided to go from 1375 cals/day (which MFP suggested would get me 1.5 lbs/wk) down to 1200. I have kept to both numbers quite closely and not eaten my exercise calories. So far, I feel strong and am losing at a speed that I feel I can maintain for at least another month. 6 lbs so far in 3 weeks. I am athletic, so if this 1200 begins to impede my performance, I will go back up to 1375. I read your thread because I have been thinking I could stay on 1375 for the rest of my life, as I am not experiencing hunger - at all! So I think you perhaps can be on 1200 for a long time as long as you check in with your body to see how it is going.
  • mrihel6615
    mrihel6615 Posts: 37 Member
    It really depends.
    I'm extremely short (4'10)
    So eating 1200 calories hasn't been an issue for me.
    I've been doing this for going on 8 months now and I'm down 17+ pounds.
    I haven't had any bad side effects, or anything of that sort.
    But I do give myself cheat days once to twice a week and allow myself to eat pretty much what I want within my calorie limit.
    The lowest I go is 1100 calories, when I'm not exercising at all in the day. But I don't do that very often, it usually just ends up happening.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    edited April 2015
    How long can I do this? Is it too much if I restrict for 20 weeks?
    I have less than 30 Pounds to lose (or max. 30)?

    I am 40 years old, 5' 4", sedentary and started at 179 lbs with a calorie goal of 1330 about 24 weeks ago. My calorie goal is now 1270. I don't know if I will drop any lower. I usually eat between 1300 to 1500 and exercise about 30 minutes a day.
    It doesn't feel too restrictive to me. I have lost 18 lbs not 30 though in this time period.

    If you gave MFP your correct information- or some other calorie calculator- and set a goal of 1 pound a week and it tells you to eat something between 1200 and 1500 then it is probably a reasonable goal for you.
  • HeySwoleSister
    HeySwoleSister Posts: 1,938 Member
    I lost 20 pounds over about 6 months eating at 1300, I have since gone up to 1500 and am still losing, now at about .25-.5 pounds per week, which is appropriate for me as I am approaching maintenance and I'm not even clear how much more I really want to lose. (5'6", 45 years old)
  • harpsdesire
    harpsdesire Posts: 190 Member
    I need to lose about 70 pounds and myfitnesspal has me at just over 1400 (1lb/week level). I'm pretty short and not active (desk job) but still the idea of eating that little for over a year seems... dubious. I'm having trouble managing it so far...