Calories

Does everyone lose weight on 1200 calories if they dont exercise

Replies

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,294 Member
    I would make myself sick if I tried to eat as little as 1200.

    Please give us more info ...it's not as easy as a Yes/no answer.
  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 796 Member
    1200 is usually given as a minimum per day, as anything lower than that runs the risk of being deficient in nutrients including vitamins. Too low a calorie intake also causes harm within the body (ie not enough fuel = lowered muscle mass, lowered oestrogen in women leading to weak bones etc).

    But if you’re incredibly petite and inactive would you need to eat less than 1200 to lose weight? Possibly. For 99% of us, if you aren’t losing weight then the chances are you are eating (unintentionally) more than 1200 cals. The percentage of people with a genuinely slow metabolism is v small, and even some of those have demonstrated their success on MFP in losing weight. Give us a bit more info and I bet the group on here will be able to help you!
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    Does everyone lose weight on 1200 calories if they dont exercise

    For most women, 1200 calories per day without exercise is still an aggressive weight loss calorie target. It is the lowest recommended calorie target without being under medical supervision. It also assumes a sedentary lifestyle. The average BMR for women is around 1400 calories...for men it's around 1800 calories give or take. Your BMR is the calories you burn merely existing...so a woman consuming only 1200 calories is most likely eating under their BMR, which would be well under their TDEE...so yeah...for the most part the vast majority of women will lose weight on 1200 calories per day...it is a very low calorie target.
  • bold_rabbit
    bold_rabbit Posts: 1,198 Member
    Here's a real life example.

    I'm 57, 5'3", about 114 pounds. I'm in maintenance. If I eat less than 1500 calories (before exercise), I will lose weight.

    So, yes, I would lose on 1200 calories, but my stomach and my doctor would be mad at me. 😁

    I think the 1200 calorie number is used because most people underestimate calories even when tracking. However, if one uses MFP carefully (logging all food, drinks, etc, weighing everything in grams, and carefully selecting entries), then you will have a fairly accurate calorie intake number. In this case, I think most people would find 1200 calories to give a greater weight loss than is smart and safe. Of course, very petite people may still need to eat 1200 to lose.
  • melbann
    melbann Posts: 115 Member
    I am 5' 2", 221 lbs and currently eating 1800 calories to lose weight with no exercise. If I add exercise I do not plan to eat my burned calories back. I am still be able to lose weight, it's just slower and overall more sustainable :)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,836 Member
    Many people would lose weight on 1200, but not all - as others have said, those who don't would probably be female, petite, not extremely overweight, older, inactive in daily life, or some combination.

    Many people, including a fair fraction of women, would lose weight unhealthfully fast at an accurate 1200 calories.

    I was one of them at age 59, 5'5", weighing then in the 150-160 pound range. I was lucky, I only got weak and fatigued, and recovered within a few weeks (other than maybe a little hair thinning a few weeks later - that tends to be a delayed effect). In my case, the fast loss was an accident, because MFP underestimates my calorie needs, a rare thing, but it can happen.

    On the other hand, much worse can happen to someone eating as low as 1200 or lower, especially if active:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10761904/under-1200-for-weight-loss/p1

    Why do you ask:

    Are you eating 1200 or less, and not losing? If so, we need details in order to help (like your height, weight, age, etc. . . . and opening your diary would help.

    Are you trying to decide how much to eat? If so, believe MFP's estimate until you have 4-6 weeks of evidence that tells you MFP estimates inaccurately for you. Since MFP can potentially underestimate needs, not just overestimate them, trying to eat vastly less than MFP recommends is a "bet your health" proposition.
  • Bridgie3
    Bridgie3 Posts: 139 Member
    Does everyone lose weight on 1200 calories if they dont exercise

    It's all maths. If you are short enough, skinny enough, then there will be a level of shortness and skinnyness at which 1200 calories is maintenance.

    If you fill in the questions about your height, starting weight, and level of fitness, then the maths will tell you what you will lose.

    You really cannot fight the laws of physics and these issues are worked out. EG how much energy to move x mass y metres. You're just a physical object acting under the laws of physics. :)
  • michellewale1977
    michellewale1977 Posts: 20 Member
    I’m female, 5 feet 1 inch and usually weigh 7 stone 5 pounds but I’ve gained 2 stone since Christmas. I started dieting Monday and plan to exercise 5 days a week for 20-30 minutes. Mfp has given me a 1200 calorie target (extra on workout days). It’s only Thursday but I’ve already lost 3 pounds and haven’t been hungry at all. Met all the nutrition goals too.
  • michellewale1977
    michellewale1977 Posts: 20 Member
    Forgot to add that I’m 44 years old.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,294 Member
    I’m female, 5 feet 1 inch and usually weigh 7 stone 5 pounds but I’ve gained 2 stone since Christmas. I started dieting Monday and plan to exercise 5 days a week for 20-30 minutes. Mfp has given me a 1200 calorie target (extra on workout days). It’s only Thursday but I’ve already lost 3 pounds and haven’t been hungry at all. Met all the nutrition goals too.

    Gaining that much weight in such a short time could be a medical issue. Have you had an appointment with your medical team? I couldn't gain that much in that amount of time if I tried.

    Are you doing binge eating on most days? (Like 10,000 calories a day??)
  • michellewale1977
    michellewale1977 Posts: 20 Member
    edited February 24
    I’m female, 5 feet 1 inch and usually weigh 7 stone 5 pounds but I’ve gained 2 stone since Christmas. I started dieting Monday and plan to exercise 5 days a week for 20-30 minutes. Mfp has given me a 1200 calorie target (extra on workout days). It’s only Thursday but I’ve already lost 3 pounds and haven’t been hungry at all. Met all the nutrition goals too.

    Gaining that much weight in such a short time could be a medical issue. Have you had an appointment with your medical team? I couldn't gain that much in that amount of time if I tried.

    Are you doing binge eating on most days? (Like 10,000 calories a day??)

    It’s not medical but thanks for the concern xoxo. I think I was gaining weight before Christmas thinking about it now. I moved house in October, from a large town out to the countryside, the middle of nowhere. I drive everywhere now so I’m not getting much exercise, before I used to walk to do the grocery shopping and taking my daughter to and from school etc. Plus I’m happier here so I was eating more, unfortunately not the right choices! Think big sharing bags of pretzels, sweets (candy if you’re in the US), tons of cheeses etc. And then Christmas I had all the family here and did nothing but cook and eat all day long! Not good. But I’m on the right track now :)
  • LiveOnceBeHappy
    LiveOnceBeHappy Posts: 261 Member
    5' 2.5", 52 year old female. 170 lbs to 129.0. I've been on 1200 calories since August. Occasional splurges. I get about 5000 steps per day working and living. No other exercise as it's 5 degrees outside, and I don't want to walk outside more. I'm coming up to my goal weight and will gradually increase calories soon to maintain.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,839 Member
    edited February 25
    If I lay in bed all day, I would not lose weight on 1200. My maintenance with being active and having quite a bit to lose is just above that.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,622 Member
    When I worked in Aged Care I knew a lady who maintained her weight on 1100 calories so I suppose she would have lost weight on less than that. ( that was her exact calorie intake as totally tube fed)
    But she was very small, maybe 5 ft tall, about 45kg, and very old and TOTALLY sedentary
  • Strudders67
    Strudders67 Posts: 959 Member
    As above. It depends on the person's height, age and starting weight as well as their activity level.

    When I first came to MFP, after putting in my stats I got allocated 1200 cals. However, I noticed that it didn't matter what rate of loss I selected, I still got 1200 cals. I then played around and changed the setting to 'maintain'. Being a 5'1, 49 year old female, with a sedentary job, who was a little Overweight, MFP calculated that I'd maintain on 1450. To lose half a pound a week would require a 250 cal deficit, which = 1200. To lose a pound a week would require a 500 cal deficit, but as MFP won't go below 1200, I still got allocated 1200. Yes, I lost weight but, as my weight went down, the amount of calories I'd need to maintain that lower weight went down too. My deficit therefore continued getting smaller, so my rate of loss got smaller. Once I reached my goal, MFP calculated my maintenance figure as 1340, so I'd still lose weight if I only ate 1200 cals. (thankfully exercise allows me to eat considerably more than that!)