Guidelines for Reducing Calories:

A useful guideline for lowering your calorie intake is to reduce your calories by at least 500, but not more than 1000 below your maintenance level. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women or 1800 calories per day for men. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Gradually lower your caloric intake, a sudden drop (such as 500 calories or more) can cause your metabolism to slow.
  • 1000 calories is too much of a deficit for someone trying to lose a small amount of weight
  • If you lower you daily caloric intake less that 1000 below your maintenance level your body will respond as if it is in starvation mode, your metabolism slows to a crawl and it will begin to burn calories as slowly as possible and could cause you to lose very little weight.
  • Drastically dropping calorie levels can also lead to overeating once you go off the diet and cause weight gain.


Overcoming Weigh Loss Plateaus

Weight loss plateaus are typically caused by one of two things (and sometimes, a combination of the two):

  1. A metabolic adaptation to your current diet and exercise regimen
  2. Accumulated changes in your existing exercise and eating routine that are causing you to eat more or burn less calories with exercise, even though you aren’t aware of it.

How to Get Past a Weight Loss Plateau:

  1. Monitor body fat, not just scale weight
  2. Recalculate your calorie requirements
  3. Get meticulous with your diet
  4. Check your exercise routine and activity levels
  5. Change up your cardio exercise and intensity
  6. Add in resistance and weight training
  7. Kick start your metabolism: Eat More
  8. Eat more frequently. 
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