Have you read somewhere that you should be eating 1200 calories a day to lose weight? Why is this amount considered the magic number for weight loss? Your weight loss goal is much more than a magic number. It is a calculation of YOUR height, YOUR age, YOUR weight (BMR) and YOUR activity level. It is a number custom to YOUR body!
BMR is the amount of energy expended while at rest; basically if you laid in bed all day you would burn whatever your BMR calculation is. BMR decreases with age but increases with muscle mass (lift weights ladies!). You can find out what your BMR is here. ( http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/ )
Once you find out your BMR, you can calculate your daily caloric needs based on your activity level. You can do that here. ( http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/ ) This figure is the amount of calories needed to maintain your current weight and activity level.
If you are looking to lose weight you will need to create a caloric deficit, which is done by eliminating calories from your maintenance diet. To start, decrease the amount of calories you consume by as little as possible. I would suggest taking out no more than 500 calories per day. Most women are looking for drastic results so they make the mistake of removing way too many calories from their daily intake. This may initially yield faster results, but you do not realize that you are only starving yourself and causing health and metabolic problems for the future. By eliminating only 500 calories, you are NOT making drastic changes so you are able to incorporate new eating habits into your lifestyle. You are also leaving wiggle room for the dreaded weight loss plateau.
Aim to safely lose 1-2lbs per week. Remember, you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so try your best not to get frustrated because you are not losing it overnight. Being patient will allow your body to have a healthy and steady weight loss journey!