Should a petite woman only eat 1200 calories?

Hello all,
Im 5'2 and 130lbs and this has been something thats been on my mind for some time. I'm thinking about switching my diet to low calories and high in protein. I'm really trying to get rid of lingering fat in time for the summer and it's just been extremely difficult. Will 1200-1300 calories and about 120-130 g of protein help? At this point I feel like I need a really restrictive diet but I have no idea if this low is safe or if I'll see any results. Ive been doing more intense strength training and moderate cardio. Help!!

Replies

  • musicfan68
    musicfan68 Posts: 1,001 Member
    120 grams of protein is overkill- you only need probably 80-90 grams. If you do a really restrictive diet, you are likely to not keep it up and just end up gaining whatever you lose, back.

    Put your stats in MFP if you haven't already and set it to lose .5 lb. You don't have much to lose and if you do it right, it will take some time to lose what little you might need to lose.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,842 Member
    It depends on how much energy you burn. Everyone is different. I have seen some people who are smaller than you say they maintain on a higher number and lose on a higher number but some maintain on a lower number. You have to figure out your maintenance calories and go from there.
  • spyro88
    spyro88 Posts: 464 Member
    edited May 2021
    You don't need that much protein.

    You should eat a maximum of 30% protein in your diet (ideally 40% carbs and 30% fat), and that's if you are overweight and want to try extra protein for satiation.

    A non-overweight person should have around 15% protein, 55% carbs and 30% fat. An adult woman of a healthy weight will usually need about 45g.

    (source: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20180522-we-dont-need-nearly-as-much-protein-as-we-consume)

    I don't think it will be beneficial to do strength training when you're limiting your calories so much. You won't build muscle because you are going to be very hungry, it seems counter-intuitive.

    You'll be wearing out your muscles without providing the calories your body needs to recover and get stronger. If you want to build muscle then you will need at least 1600 calories along with your strength training.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 878 Member
    Hello all,
    Im 5'2 and 130lbs and this has been something thats been on my mind for some time. I'm thinking about switching my diet to low calories and high in protein. I'm really trying to get rid of lingering fat in time for the summer and it's just been extremely difficult. Will 1200-1300 calories and about 120-130 g of protein help? At this point I feel like I need a really restrictive diet but I have no idea if this low is safe or if I'll see any results. Ive been doing more intense strength training and moderate cardio. Help!!
    Hello all,
    Im 5'2 and 130lbs and this has been something thats been on my mind for some time. I'm thinking about switching my diet to low calories and high in protein. I'm really trying to get rid of lingering fat in time for the summer and it's just been extremely difficult. Will 1200-1300 calories and about 120-130 g of protein help? At this point I feel like I need a really restrictive diet but I have no idea if this low is safe or if I'll see any results. Ive been doing more intense strength training and moderate cardio. Help!!

    No, just no. Why would you do a really restrictive diet? I’m only a bit taller than you at 5’ 4” and I can safely eat 1900-2100 calories and lose weight. Okay let’s say I didn’t exercise, I would still lose weight on 1600 calories. Because I’ve built muscle so my bmr is higher so why don’t you look into doing a recomp? Basically build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
  • vanmep
    vanmep Posts: 396 Member
    I’m not sure what your goal weight is, but if you are 5’2” and 130 pounds you are already within the range of a normal BMI so you won’t want to be too restrictive. Don’t forget you can eat back (some of) your exercise calories too.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 7,840 Member
    edited May 2021
    You want to change your body composition then and not necessarily lose weight. Try upping weight training and some HIIT to facilitate more deficit.
  • Jeffit_170
    Jeffit_170 Posts: 148 Member
    @kontehhalima Much of the advice given above is generally fine. However, any answers to your question other than "I need more info" should not be taken too seriously. To give reliable, specific advice, more specific info is needed.
    For example...
    • Switching your diet from what?
    • What are your current macros?
    • For how long?
    • What are your specific goals?
    • What is your training regimen?
    • What is your age?
    • Are there any health considerations?

    ... for starters
  • kontehhalima
    kontehhalima Posts: 44 Member
    Jeffit_170 wrote: »
    @kontehhalima Much of the advice given above is generally fine. However, any answers to your question other than "I need more info" should not be taken too seriously. To give reliable, specific advice, more specific info is needed.
    For example...
    • Switching your diet from what?
    • What are your current macros?
    • For how long?
    • What are your specific goals?
    • What is your training regimen?
    • What is your age?
    • Are there any health considerations?

    ... for starters

    Thank you all for the replies they're soooo helpful. For more context I just turned 23. In terms of previous diet I was fasting during Ramadan and didn't eat any food or drink water till sunset and I worked out during the day. I tried my best to eat no more then 1500 calories but I don't think I was successful because my mother cooks with sooo much oil so I think that ultimately skyrocketed my calories (I try not to pay too much attention to the scale, but it was always fluctuating between 128lbs-130lbs). At the moment my goal is to get more tone and lose extremely stubborn stomach fat. The last time I lost weight I was thinner/smaller at 115 lbs but again still had stomach fat, I ended up gaining weight again but now I'm trying a different approach.

    At the time I lost weight my calories were low and I worked out at home prioritizing cardio and don't think I was eating enough protein. This time I want to build some muscle eat enough protein and get rid of that lingering fat. I just feel pressure to eat low calories. Judging by the comments I think a body recomp is what I need to do, I just hear its really difficult.

    But for the past three days I've been eating about 1500-1600 calories and maximum 115g of protein, 45 mins of strength training and 20-30mins of moderate cardio. I'm planing to keep it this way for the next four weeks and also maybe go for a 20-30min walk on days I'm not working out (I work out 3-4 times a week), does this sound like a solid plan?
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,236 Member
    Don't forget that you need rest/recovery days as well, especially (but not only) for strength training. Muscle grows during recovery 🙂 so be mindful of the frequency of your strength training: you shouldn't train the same muscles daily. So for example do a full body program 3 times a week or alternate upper body and lower body days.