What is the lowest calorie level a woman should eat? I've always thought that 1,200 calories a day would keep a woman from "starving," while helping her lose weight. Is that true?
You're right, 1,200 calories a day is enough to sustain most women but it's not likely to keep anyone satisfied. That's one reason I'm not in favor of 1,200-calorie diets. In The Good Housekeeping Supermarket Diet and the upcoming Good Housekeeping Supermarket Diet Cookbook, I never recommend eating less than 1,500 calories per day. Here's why:
Hunger. Have you ever tried eating just 1,200 calories a day? You'll feel very hungry!
Low energy. If you just sit around all day, 1,200 calories might be enough to keep energy up, but if you attempt to exercise a must for weight loss and weight maintenance you'll run out of steam.
Low nutrition. It's impossible to get the full complement of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need on a 1,200-calorie diet. Spend a month eating that few calories a day and you might put your health at risk even if you take a multi-vitamin/mineral.
Research. Studies show and so do my clients that you can lose weight on 1,500 calories a day. If you exercise, you can lose weight on 1,800 calories per day! So why suffer?