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  1. #1
    Registered User mandyy87's Avatar
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    1200 calorie diet

    my nutritionist put me on a 1200 calorie a day diet. i have been trying extremely hard to follow it. ive been on it for a month now but have not lost much weight. i train twice a week and cardio 6 days a week. i dont understand how i am not losing more weight by now. i dont always measure my food very acurately because i dont have the right tools for that.. but still my estimates cant be off that much where it would be making like an 800 calorie increase every day. some advice would be great... also, anyone else on a 1200 calorie diet, can you post an example of your meal plan for a day? thank you all!!!
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  2. #2
    Registered User NatureGrrrl's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post
    my nutritionist put me on a 1200 calorie a day diet. i have been trying extremely hard to follow it. ive been on it for a month now but have not lost much weight. i train twice a week and cardio 6 days a week. i dont understand how i am not losing more weight by now. i dont always measure my food very acurately because i dont have the right tools for that.. but still my estimates cant be off that much where it would be making like an 800 calorie increase every day. some advice would be great... also, anyone else on a 1200 calorie diet, can you post an example of your meal plan for a day? thank you all!!!
    You look rather fit to me already and you are doing a lot of cardio. I don't understand why she would have you on so little cals. I would starve on that.
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  3. #3
    Registered User reboot42's Avatar
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    1200 sounds way to low-I would get a second opinion, and start eating more.

    "Proper measuring tools" are pretty cheap and easy to find. A food scale, and measuring cups and spoons is all you need.
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  4. #4
    Stronger by the Second robmad's Avatar
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    1200 calories sounds way too low for any human being alive. throw in cardio 6 days a week (which also sounds extreme unless you are training for some athletic event) and weight training and it's no wonder why you cant lose weight. it sounds like you have completely stalled out your metabolism. a car cannot run without gas--- and you are trying to run on empty as well. either way, the result is you go nowhere. i would up those cals and also lower the amount of cardio you are doing and you might see some improvement in your metabolism. did the nutritionist give any reason for putting you sooooo low? is there a med condition?

    just an example from personal experience---after giving birth to my first daughter i went on weight watchers to try and lose those last 10 pounds. i also was doing crazy cardio and weight training. i was not losing anything and was frustrated. i went to a personal trainer who analyzed my diet and told me to add 500 cals a day because i wasnt eating enough to lose weight. what??? i thought he was nuts, but did what he said, and voila---the pounds came off in a matter of weeks. weight watchers had me eating around 1200 cals a day also. there are great articles of information on this site (wish i could give you links, but i dont know exactly) that explain the correlations between eating and losing weight the RIGHT way. do some research and you might want to revisit your diet. a good book to recommend is "the new rules of lifting for women" also known as "lift like a man, look like a goddess" which is highly recommended on this site and has some very basic nutritional info for an active woman. it's really eye-opening.
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  5. #5
    Registered User mandyy87's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by robmad View Post
    1200 calories sounds way too low for any human being alive. throw in cardio 6 days a week (which also sounds extreme unless you are training for some athletic event) and weight training and it's no wonder why you cant lose weight. it sounds like you have completely stalled out your metabolism. a car cannot run without gas--- and you are trying to run on empty as well. either way, the result is you go nowhere. i would up those cals and also lower the amount of cardio you are doing and you might see some improvement in your metabolism. did the nutritionist give any reason for putting you sooooo low? is there a med condition?

    just an example from personal experience---after giving birth to my first daughter i went on weight watchers to try and lose those last 10 pounds. i also was doing crazy cardio and weight training. i was not losing anything and was frustrated. i went to a personal trainer who analyzed my diet and told me to add 500 cals a day because i wasnt eating enough to lose weight. what??? i thought he was nuts, but did what he said, and voila---the pounds came off in a matter of weeks. weight watchers had me eating around 1200 cals a day also. there are great articles of information on this site (wish i could give you links, but i dont know exactly) that explain the correlations between eating and losing weight the RIGHT way. do some research and you might want to revisit your diet. a good book to recommend is "the new rules of lifting for women" also known as "lift like a man, look like a goddess" which is highly recommended on this site and has some very basic nutritional info for an active woman. it's really eye-opening.

    actually yea i have hypothyroid. But she did tell me it was the lowest amount she would recommend someone because below that is obviously unhealthy. but if everyone keeps saying cal in vs cal out i had to have burned wayyy more cals than ive been consuming, even if my metabolism slowed a little. altho my metabolism is slow anyway because of my thryoid. ive only been on meds since the summer so im still trying to get it regulated. i know that 1200 is low .. but to barely lose any weight just doesnt seem right to me. i mean like i said before i probably go over 1200 because i dont measure exactly. i eat 6 times a day. and i never feel hungry. something just seems wrong to me.
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  6. #6
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    Low low cal diets have their place and use, but they aren't really appropriate for BBs unless they are on a strict cut (like for competition). If your goal is to strictly lose weight, and you don't care about body composition 1200 cals/day isn't outside the realm of a realistic calorie limit.

    I can't imagine many situations where 1200 cal/day would be appropriate for someone who is actively trying to build muscle, maybe if the person was 4 feet tall or something, but that is about it.

    I was at 1250 a day for about 11 months. I lost ~100lbs during that time, which was my goal. I was under a doctor's supervision, and had check-ups and blood work done to make sure everything was going ok. During that time I was really not lifting weights at all, and only intermittently doing cardio. At that big of a deficit I really didn't need to be doing much to burn more cals. I did lose A LOT of muscle along with the fat. It's taken me 2 months just to be able to leg press my starting weight.

    Anyway, when I got down near my goal weight and I started lifting more I increased my cals and I'm at 2000 cals/day now. I absolutely can not imagine doing my current work outs at 1250 cals, it wouldn't happen.

    Oh, and eyeballing does not work at all. Chances are you are eating a lot more calories than you think you are.
    Last edited by Adelaide.; 03-07-2010 at 02:14 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Hey! Right, I'm kinda confused about what your goals are. Someone eating 1200cals is obviously aiming to create a major calorie deficit in order to lose weight. As Adelaide pointed out above, this is also going to cause you to lose a heck of a lot of muscle, and you will become very weak. However, in one of your other posts you say this:

    "Hi all!! I am currently working with a trainer twice a week doing full body workouts and doing cardio 6 days a week. I am getting very strong very fast, however I still need to shed some weight. I really want to start taking whey protein and there are so many products out there I dont know where to start. So, any advice on what brands are the best, maybe with the least amount of calories? thanxx"

    You say you are getting very strong very fast. However at such a high activity level and low calories, this is quite hard to believe! And if it is so, then this feeling of improved strength wont last long. Muscle wastage, fatigue, irratability will all start to set in, and you will become very run down.

    Maybe post your current stats, meal plan etc so people can understand a bit better
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  8. #8
    Registered User mandyy87's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bonny_Lassie View Post
    Hey! Right, I'm kinda confused about what your goals are. Someone eating 1200cals is obviously aiming to create a major calorie deficit in order to lose weight. As Adelaide pointed out above, this is also going to cause you to lose a heck of a lot of muscle, and you will become very weak. However, in one of your other posts you say this:

    "Hi all!! I am currently working with a trainer twice a week doing full body workouts and doing cardio 6 days a week. I am getting very strong very fast, however I still need to shed some weight. I really want to start taking whey protein and there are so many products out there I dont know where to start. So, any advice on what brands are the best, maybe with the least amount of calories? thanxx"

    You say you are getting very strong very fast. However at such a high activity level and low calories, this is quite hard to believe! And if it is so, then this feeling of improved strength wont last long. Muscle wastage, fatigue, irratability will all start to set in, and you will become very run down.

    Maybe post your current stats, meal plan etc so people can understand a bit better

    Ok well a month ago i joined personal training institute. if you never heard of it, it basically a small private gym with like 7 trainers and you train with all of them, different ones each time usually. but they all get to know u and you have a chart of ur weights and reps and things like that. also there is a nutritionist there that u can see once a week. so they are supposed to be working together. this is the person that gave me the 1200 calorie diet knowing that i am training twice a week. now im not looking to get big like body builder status. and i KNOW im getting stronger because i can see the muscles coming through even with the extra lbs. and my weights keep getting increased.. my over all goal is to lose about 40 - 50 lbs while building muscle. right now i weigh 185 and im 5'5". here is an example of what i eat:

    meal 1: 5 egg whites w/ peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus
    meal 2: a piece of fruit, usually a pear or apple
    meal 3: 4-5 oz. grilled chicken with ALOT of lemon on it because i hate plain chicken lol..
    grilled vegetables with just some herbs on them
    meal 4: oatmeal w raspberries before training, on a day where im not training, maybe
    just a yogurt
    meal 5: usually a lean quisine meal or something to that effect. i know a lot of ppl are against this beacause of the high sodium, but sometimes i just dont have time between work, class, and trying to go to the gym every day for cardio.. but if i do have time, usually whatever my fam makes, but ill just have a small piece of meat with whatever veggie they have because thats usually what our meals look like... or we make whole wheat pasta and if i have i do not eat very much because i dont want all those carbs at night.

    thanx =]
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  9. #9
    BRB - Gettin' shredded FemmeFatale28's Avatar
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    carbs at night dont matter.
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  10. #10
    Buff bride to be imperfectly_lou's Avatar
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    Hmmmm ok now it makes sense. Is the person working at the gym a nutritionist or a dietician? Because pretty much anyone with a 6 month course can call themselves a nutritionist with very little knowledge whereas a dietician studies for 4 years or more at College.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by imperfectly_lou View Post
    Hmmmm ok now it makes sense. Is the person working at the gym a nutritionist or a dietician? Because pretty much anyone with a 6 month course can call themselves a nutritionist with very little knowledge whereas a dietician studies for 4 years or more at College.
    Yup!^^

    Calories are too low and eyeballing never works. (Until you get to a point where you know numbers, portions inside out...)
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post

    meal 1: 5 egg whites w/ peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus
    meal 2: a piece of fruit, usually a pear or apple
    meal 3: 4-5 oz. grilled chicken with ALOT of lemon on it because i hate plain chicken lol..
    grilled vegetables with just some herbs on them
    meal 4: oatmeal w raspberries before training, on a day where im not training, maybe
    just a yogurt
    meal 5: usually a lean quisine meal or something to that effect. i know a lot of ppl are against this beacause of the high sodium, but sometimes i just dont have time between work, class, and trying to go to the gym every day for cardio.. but if i do have time, usually whatever my fam makes, but ill just have a small piece of meat with whatever veggie they have because thats usually what our meals look like... or we make whole wheat pasta and if i have i do not eat very much because i dont want all those carbs at night.

    thanx =]
    Umm... I might be missing something but does this look like its missing fats? I agree with the nutritionist statement as well, that's why I am going for my RD.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Echo814 View Post
    Umm... I might be missing something but does this look like its missing fats? I agree with the nutritionist statement as well, that's why I am going for my RD.
    Same here! Although it's kind of depressing that 90% of people don't know the difference between the two At the gym where I work, people assume that Im just going to take a quiz online and print out a certificate. UM NO! I'm busting my butt in college to get the REAL deal so they can get REAL results lol!

    Definitely agree with the fats being low (to non existant!!!) If it were me, I'd make those WHOLE eggs, and I'd pair the meals with just fruit, or fruit and oatmeal with something containing protein/fat. It'll keep you feeling more full. You could use the extra cals anyway Olive oil is a great healthy fat! Whole eggs are PERFECTLY healthy. You could even trade the chicken for salmon or something...
    Last edited by vandalgirl59; 03-07-2010 at 01:16 PM.
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  14. #14
    Registered User mandyy87's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by imperfectly_lou View Post
    Hmmmm ok now it makes sense. Is the person working at the gym a nutritionist or a dietician? Because pretty much anyone with a 6 month course can call themselves a nutritionist with very little knowledge whereas a dietician studies for 4 years or more at College.
    honestly i have no idea!! lol... the nutritionist is part of their program. i mainly joined for the trainer so that was just an extra perk.. maybe she doesnt really know what shes talking about then! haha
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by Echo814 View Post
    Umm... I might be missing something but does this look like its missing fats? I agree with the nutritionist statement as well, that's why I am going for my RD.
    i guess it is? lol... what kind of fats should i be eating, i was just trying to eat as clean as i could so I'm not really sure what types of food have the "good fats" that i should be consuming...
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    Totall off subject but OP in your AV picture you have my most favorite pair of shoes on Steve Madden baby They are the best dress shoes I own right now, and I wish I had a black pair
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    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post
    i guess it is? lol... what kind of fats should i be eating, i was just trying to eat as clean as i could so I'm not really sure what types of food have the "good fats" that i should be consuming...
    Vandalgirl had a good list, but you can also go with nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish like salmon, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and grass fed beef. Fat helps regulate hormones, which plays a part in fat loss and also helps you feel more sated. I went low fat under 30 grams and felt like crap upped it to about 50 grams and I am noticing better energy and my skin, hair and nails are healthier.

    Oh and don't worry about consuming carbs at night, its a total myth. The only time your body stores fat is when you eat over what you burn and any macronutrient will store as fat.
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    The best advice I can give you is to go look for a new trainer/nutrition team! Shop around. It's not difficult to become a personal trainer or nutritionist - but to be a GOOD one takes a hell of a lot of knowledge, study, experience etc! x
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    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post
    honestly i have no idea!! lol... the nutritionist is part of their program. i mainly joined for the trainer so that was just an extra perk.. maybe she doesnt really know what shes talking about then! haha
    I don't see enough fats in your diet, I would be hungry. One of my meals is chicken breast/olive oil, whole wheat bread/6g fiber, veg., and a small piece of fruit. It gives me fat, protein, fiber, and fat.

    I would look for another nutritionist. Did your doctor do the full range for your thyroid. Alot of them only do the tsh,sometimes the free t 4. I was having problems with weight too until I told my doc I wanted tsh, ft4, and ft3. Within a month my weight was coming off. There's alot of good advice from the ladies here!
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    Originally Posted by FemmeFatale28 View Post
    Totall off subject but OP in your AV picture you have my most favorite pair of shoes on Steve Madden baby They are the best dress shoes I own right now, and I wish I had a black pair
    hahah thanxx!!! yea i love them... theyre comfy too!!
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    Originally Posted by Echo814 View Post
    Vandalgirl had a good list, but you can also go with nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish like salmon, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and grass fed beef. Fat helps regulate hormones, which plays a part in fat loss and also helps you feel more sated. I went low fat under 30 grams and felt like crap upped it to about 50 grams and I am noticing better energy and my skin, hair and nails are healthier.

    Oh and don't worry about consuming carbs at night, its a total myth. The only time your body stores fat is when you eat over what you burn and any macronutrient will store as fat.
    ohh ok this helps alot thanx!! =]
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    Originally Posted by kaundra View Post
    I don't see enough fats in your diet, I would be hungry. One of my meals is chicken breast/olive oil, whole wheat bread/6g fiber, veg., and a small piece of fruit. It gives me fat, protein, fiber, and fat.

    I would look for another nutritionist. Did your doctor do the full range for your thyroid. Alot of them only do the tsh,sometimes the free t 4. I was having problems with weight too until I told my doc I wanted tsh, ft4, and ft3. Within a month my weight was coming off. There's alot of good advice from the ladies here!
    wow that is a good question!! i actually have no idea what kind of tests my doctor did.. i mean i dont really know what im talking about when it comes to my thryoid anyway.. just that i have a slow one! haha.. im actually going back to him to check my levels in 2 weeks.. i will have to ask him about that.. but lets say he did ONLY check tsh and now im on meds for that... there could still be something wrong with ft4 and ft3? how do those factor in? im just curious because i didnt even know there could be other things wrong with my thryoid.. thanks for your help!!
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    Originally Posted by Bonny_Lassie View Post
    The best advice I can give you is to go look for a new trainer/nutrition team! Shop around. It's not difficult to become a personal trainer or nutritionist - but to be a GOOD one takes a hell of a lot of knowledge, study, experience etc! x
    your absolutely right.. and i can see that first hand because some of the trainers that i work with are clearly more knowledgeable than others! the only problem for me is money. this was really the best thing because i was one flat price to train twice a week and get a nutritionist so i thought having both would be even better.. altho now im seeing the nutritionist isnt helping that much so it didnt really matter lol
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    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post
    wow that is a good question!! i actually have no idea what kind of tests my doctor did.. i mean i dont really know what im talking about when it comes to my thryoid anyway.. just that i have a slow one! haha.. im actually going back to him to check my levels in 2 weeks.. i will have to ask him about that.. but lets say he did ONLY check tsh and now im on meds for that... there could still be something wrong with ft4 and ft3? how do those factor in? im just curious because i didnt even know there could be o
    ther things wrong with my thryoid.. thanks for your help!!
    If the free t4 hormone doesn't convert enough to the ft3 your numbers would be off. The ft3 is the one that burns the most energy. It gets kind of complicated. You should look up hypo. thyroid sometime there is alot of info. Alot of Dr. are lazy about doing extra test but I would insist since it is Your body. Check it out so when you go to him you know what you're talking about.
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    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post
    honestly i have no idea!! lol... the nutritionist is part of their program. i mainly joined for the trainer so that was just an extra perk.. maybe she doesnt really know what shes talking about then! haha

    Well, the nutritionist part is only a perk if said nutritionist actually knows what they are talking about. I'm not saying this to come across as snarky to you directly, so please don't take it that way.

    Here's the short version of the calorie over deficit and why you likely aren't seeing results on such a low calorie intake:
    Too little cals in on a daily basis sends a message to your brain that you are entering starvation mode. There is a difference between reducing cals to lose weight and just plain starving yourself to the point where you'd be in deficit by just sitting on the couch all day. Basically, your brain sends a message to your body to store every.single.little. calorie you are consuming because you're not taking in enough for basic daily functions. So your metabolism goes into a state of 'survival mode' with your cal intake and slows. That's why you likely won't see much change or any fat loss when you're in that big of a deficit. Your body is storing everything it can because it doesn't know where or when it will get the calories it needs again.

    Is that clear as mud?

    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post
    your absolutely right.. and i can see that first hand because some of the trainers that i work with are clearly more knowledgeable than others! the only problem for me is money. this was really the best thing because i was one flat price to train twice a week and get a nutritionist so i thought having both would be even better.. altho now im seeing the nutritionist isnt helping that much so it didnt really matter lol
    Sounds to me like you should drop the trainers/nutritionist, get a basic gym membership and frequent bb.com a little more often. .
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    i think you need to find a new nutrionist because yours is off her rocker. no one should eat that little esp if you work out. its going to push you straight into starvation mode and thats not what you want. talk to your nutrionist again and see if she doesnt understand the fact that you work out and you dont do the normal "female working out" (walking 20 ft and stuffing chocolate down your throat), if she doesnt waiver from the 1200 cal regimen then i'd suggest looking for someone else, shes sabotaging you

    oh and isnt the personal training institute a school? NPTI, they contact me all the time about enrolling, if its the same organization then they are not nutrionists and trainers they are in training... they have a hands on requirement they have to meet, so i wouldnt take anything they say seriously...
    Last edited by inkpoisonedsoul; 03-08-2010 at 08:49 AM.
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    Originally Posted by mandyy87 View Post
    your absolutely right. this was really the best thing because i was one flat price to train twice a week and get a nutritionist so i thought having both would be even better.. altho now im seeing the nutritionist isnt helping that much so it didnt really matter lol
    A prime example of the cliche "You get what you pay for!"
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    Originally Posted by inkpoisonedsoul View Post
    i think you need to find a new nutrionist because yours is off her rocker. no one should eat that little esp if you work out. its going to push you straight into starvation mode and thats not what you want. talk to your nutrionist again and see if she doesnt understand the fact that you work out and you dont do the normal "female working out" (walking 20 ft and stuffing chocolate down your throat), if she doesnt waiver from the 1200 cal regimen then i'd suggest looking for someone else, shes sabotaging you

    oh and isnt the personal training institute a school? NPTI, they contact me all the time about enrolling, if its the same organization then they are not nutrionists and trainers they are in training... they have a hands on requirement they have to meet, so i wouldnt take anything they say seriously...
    no its not a school, i guess its different from what you are talking about. ive worked with a trainer before at New York Sports Club where i belong. but for right now its too expensive so PTI was the way to go for me. but i actually really like the trainers there and im seeing more results with them then the other trainer i had at nysc. i know the muscle is under that fat somewhere !! lol.. thats why if i just lose like 10lbs im sure it would make a huge difference.... but i actually just ordered stevep78s fat destruction meal plan so im gunna follow that and see how it works.. a lot of people on bb.com said it changed there life so im excited to try it!! thank you for the advice!
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    This is the thing. A 1200 calorie diet can be appropriate for some women. It's not something that's totally unheard of, or taboo like everyone makes it out to be. Depending on ones goals, stats, etc...it can be done short term.

    As for the OP, no these calories would not be appropriate for her...she needs more food.
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