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1200 Calories a Day... and How Many at Night?

There’s a meme on social media with someone saying you should only have 1200 calories a day. The respondent in the meme says, “OK and how many at night?”

Controlling our calories, counting points and carbs, and limiting foods is one of the easiest and fastest ways to kill your weight loss goals. The word diet further complicates this matter because it implies a temporary activity where once we’re done dieting we can go back to regular eating. It’s a formula for disaster that leaves many of us wondering what diet actually works and how we can lose extra pounds.

There are elements of many diets that are positive and do promote improved health. It usually is not the diet that doesn’t work, but our own commitment and ability to stick with it that does us in. If the diet “works” it is also a matter of maintaining results and incorporating real life eating that seem to cause many to restart a diet. The primary problem with restrictive diets is they set the unrealistic expectation of it being a lifestyle change but one that does not account for living real life. Plus seriously who wants a diet that swears off birthday cake for the rest of your life?

The popularity of diets like Keto is due to the results people have seen. It is life changing and encouraging to see people succeed on a diet. Once in ketosis, people have more energy, sleep better and weight melts off. However, if the person “slips” they fall out of ketosis and it takes up to 4 to 5 days to get back on track in their body. The other challenge is getting the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs so you reach ketosis and control the levels based on your weight goals. Then after the desired weight is achieved, maintaining often leaves former Keto dieters right back where they started. As much as we would like to think our diet is a lifestyle that will actually last the rest of our life, the truth is most don’t. It simply isn’t manageable for most people.

I prefer to not use the word diet at all. When we say diet, it is a temporary state that means sooner or later that diet ends and regular life resumes. Since that is the way most diets end for the majority of us, the word has lost its value in helping us actually improve in a life long way. Instead, I believe its better to use the word eating plan. Whatever word works for you, it needs to be based on the idea you are modifying and enhancing how you eat every day that can accommodate your health goals and needs as well as be sustainable and easy to do.

What I have learned from my experience with low carb dieting is it does certainly work but didn’t last forever. The other thing I noticed with other diets is I didn’t always like what I was told to eat or how much I could have. With Weight Watchers I was hungry all the time. Low fat foods and artificial flavorings and sweeteners are dangerous for your health and leave you eating more than you should as well as introduce toxins to your body.