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The complications of starting on a low calorie diet

Yesterday I checked in with Monday's nutrition clients. Collectively out of the 10 clients, they lost a total of 8kg last week.

I noticed all of them are eating, on average, around 2000 calories.

You see there is a massive misconception that in order to lose weight you have to drastically cut calories. It is common to start at 1200.

A common behaviour you see with starting at 1200 is also doing everything else.

So now they are most likely eating below their BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which is the amount of calories your body needs to perform basic functions like breathing and digestion and are now adding 10000 steps to their day, smashing themselves in the gym, cutting out this and that.

And then wondering to themselves why it's so hard, why they binge on weekends and can never actually achieve their goal.

What happens when you reach a plateau at 1200 calories? It would be at the detriment of your health if you drop any lower than this. The only way to recalibrate is to build back up.

What I am finding with my clients, after crunching some numbers and giving them calories and macros that suit them and their goals, is they are changing their body composition right from the start eating a shit tonne of food. And they are never hungry which is a massive bonus when losing weight.

After giving them the structure of an individualized meal plan in the first week, I then teach them how to be autonomous and introduce flexibility into this meal plan while still hitting their target. Eating your favorite foods while changing your body composition IS sustainability.

Someone said to me a few weeks back “you’re not afraid of eating that's for sure” and another said “geez a girl can eat’ and that has really stuck with me.

I know what eating good quality food (at the right amounts for me) does to my health, performance, recovery and even mental health. Because the nutrition mindset plays a big part in this body recomposition journey!

So from my own experience and now those of my clients, i'm not afraid of the volume of food and they star starting to adopt the same mentality.

You see, when you give your body nutrient dense whole foods, you are assisting the natural processes of the body and in turn you will experience numerous benefits like balanced hormones, improved sleep, performance and recovery, more energy and clarity. You are FEEDING your muscle mass which in turn improves your fat metabolism.

When the body is in a constant calorie deficit, it becomes stressed. Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are increased. These are our stress hormones that tell the body something is not right, we may need to run or fight soon so we need extra reserves of body fat. Bodily systems down regulate and fat loss can stall.

This is why it is important to connect with your why (an entirely different and long conversation) as to why you want to lose weight, how much you want to lose, how long is it going to take and at what cost?

So, the moral of this story is that if you are wanting to lose weight, start with higher calories and if weight isn't shifting there, then decrease by 150-200 calories. Eating very similar if not the same things each day will fast track this process.

And if you're still stumped, reach out.


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