Eating so few calories per day is the fast road to failure. Sure, you may lose a ton of weight quickly, BUT:
It is incredibly difficult to stick to that low a calorie level for the length of time it takes to get to goal weight. Going on a weight loss program is uncomfortable for a lot of reasons, but it should not be ****. You are torturing yourself needlessly.
It is impossible to get enough nutrients for your body to function properly with so little food. I don't care if you are taking vitamins or whatever -- you are missing so much vital nutrition that you could start seeing symptoms of deficiency syndromes or diseases. Even at 1200 calories, it's important to take a basic multivitamin to cover all the bases.
Even if you do, you will have crashed your metabolism to the point that it may not even be possible to reach goal. If you do, you'll have to essentially stick to that calorie level in order to avoid gaining weight. Your metabolism crashes for two basic reasons -- first, your body thinks there is a famine, and SLOWS DOWN everything in order to use as little fuel as possible. So, it takes fewer calories to run your body than it used to, and that makes it hard to lose/maintain weight. The second reason is that when your body kicks into this "starvation mode" as it's called, it is desperate to preserve fat stores. Also, your brain is missing some of the specific type of fuel it needs. So, to give your brain the right fuel AND to help keep that fat around, it starts burning off your muscle tissue. So, part of the "weight" you're losing is LEAN TISSUE. This not only affects your body composition and size (you'll be larger than if you had lost all your weight in fat), but the less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism. A one-two punch. So, when you start eating more calories, not only will it be easier to gain weight, but that weight will be 100% fat because you won't be replacing that muscle you lost. This means that you will be LARGER at the same weight.
The ONLY way to lose weight, if you really want to be successful, is to find a food plan that you feel comfortable with sticking with the rest of your life. Make sure it has enough calories to support your metabolism and that it's nutritious and well-rounded. You will not lose weight very quickly -- maybe 1% of your body weight per week, at best. But, if you have picked a food plan that you are going to stick with for the rest of your life
, then how quickly you lose the weight doesn't matter. What matters is that you will be sticking with it to goal, and beyond, and will keep the weight off.
I know that feeling of being so desperate to lose weight that you are willing to do all kinds of crazy things. You just wish you could go cold turkey and never eat again -- that would be easier than making choices and restraining ourselves. But, that all-or-nothing attitude is what makes us fat and keeps us fat. Moderation and restraint aren't in our vocabularies -- they are things we have to LEARN, and which may never come naturally. But if you don't make peace with that concept, that slow and steady and healthy and life-long is better than wacky and dangerous and fast, you will continue to bounce from one harmful idea to the next, wrecking your body and getting even fatter.
Please, please, please: Go to www.jimkaras.net
. There's a lot of good info here -- he has a book called Business Plan for the Body that's pretty good -- but I want you to use the Harris-Benedict calculator. This will tell you how many calories your body would need if it were "normal", and how many calories you can eat and lose weight. Then go to www.fitday.com
and set up a plan with your calorie limits and nutrient requirements. You'll want to eat anywhere from 40% to 60% of your total intake from carbohydrates, and evenly divide the rest between fat and protein. You can then track everything you eat every day to make sure you are meeting your food goals. If you think you need help to create a food plan and stick to it, consider a program like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig (my program), or a nutritionist.
Keep in mind that, depending on your previous crash diet attempts and how long you've been doing the current one, you may plateau or gain weight as you increase your calories. Do it slowly. If the calculator says you need to eat, say 1500 per day, then the first week go for 1000, then the second 1200, then up to 1500. Give your body time to heal, and for your metabolism to regain its strength and get back up to normal. This may take very little time, or it could take a month or two. But, eventually, your body will get back up to speed and let you start losing FAT again. You might also want to take up weight training to rebuild some of that lost muscle.