I’m reaching out to ask for guidance with nutrition. I’m having a very hard time losing weight. I have small kids, so I don’t get enough sleep and I can’t change that, but I’ve been doing a 1,200-calorie diet for 6 months with no results. Can I ask for advice in a very specific diet plan, something that can be written out for me for every meal and snack? I need someone to tell me exactly what to eat. I’ve tried going lower than 1,200 calories to see if weight goes down, but it doesn’t. I do not understand why I’m not losing weight when people around me diet and lose tons of weight in just a few months.
While we can’t give you a specific diet plan, I can offer you some suggestions.
First, it may be that 1,200 calories are too low for you and your body is trying to conserve. Keeping up with little ones burns a lot of energy! Try estimating your calorie needs with an online calculator from a reputable source that includes age, height, weight, gender and activity level.
Second, the quality of what you eat matters more than the caloric value. Choose unprocessed whole grains and produce, lean proteins and dairy, and healthy plant fats for your meals and snacks. Avoid sugary beverages and alcohol.
Also, how and when you eat can affect your body’s response to overall calories. Chew slowly and thoroughly to allow the proper satiety cues to reach your brain. Don’t skip meals or eat late at night.
Don’t forget to utilize your local LA Fitness club’s Kids Klub for less than the cost of an at-home sitter so you can get in a good workout stress-free.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.