Calories For Weight Loss – 4 Reasons Not To Go Too Low

I talk a lot about inner game. You’ve got to love yourself healthy and lean and find motivation from core values…

…not external factors like magazine cover headlines that tell you you’re not good enough and you better… tighten that tush, pluck those brows, suck in your gut and trim those thighs!

The reality is, some women need to lose weight. For example, a family member’s weight is crushing her spine. She’s hoping to avoid a second surgery. She’s been well over 300 pounds but she’s finally seeing some weight loss after adopting healthier eating habits and increasing her physical activity. Happy Day! I’m so proud of her!

Mindset is crucial. Without it, you’ll never have the discipline (to be a disciple unto yourself) to keep taking the steps towards your goal. One foot, then the next. There ya go. Keep going, woman! No. Matter. What.

Let’s talk a little left-brained nuts-n-bolts shall we? Specifically about calories for weight loss.

It’s time to get intimate.

Do you avoid counting calories like you avoid balancing your check book? Have you been told that calories don’t count? Are numbers just not your thing?

While I’m not a big fan of counting calories either, and you most likely wont need to do it long term, counting calories will require you to get even more intimate with what you’re putting in your body. It will force you to face whether you’re in excess (eating more than you can use) or in a deficit (not eating enough to meet your metabolic needs).


Surprisingly, what I find the most, is that women are not eating enough calories. 900, 1000, 1200 calories is not enough food. Calorie deficits to this extreme = starvation.

Here are 4 reasons not to restrict your calories too low

(take note, Bob Harper)

  • your metabolism will decline significantly – this will require you to repair your metabolism which can take months to a year or more before you will see weight loss and you will most likely see an initial weight gain. (reference)
  • you will lose lean body mass (muscle) – without lean mass you can’t efficiently burn fat.
  • you will become very fatigued – feel like you’re always dragging your feet? Maybe it’s as simple as increasing your fuel intake.
  • you will develop severe cravings – cravings are sacred messages. And believe me, when they are severe, you want to listen.

Without knowing more about you, I can’t say exactly how many calories you need specifically. But, I can tell you that you’ll never gain health – a strong, lean, energized body and a happy heart and alert mind – without giving yourself the optimal amount and type of fuel.

For most women with moderate physical activity, 2000 – 2200 is optimal. You may need to reduce that to around 1600 – 1800 (for a short time) to trigger fat loss. OR, if you’re very active already you may need to increase your calories or adjust your macronutrients.

Keep this in mind: muscles are very hungry. First they need carbohydrates to get strong, then they eat body fat as a snack. Chomp! The stronger your muscles the more body fat you will lose (and the more calories you can consume while still losing fat).


What? I have to be responsible for my own metabolic needs?! 

For those of you feeling gypped that I didn’t deliver the exact calories or metabolic formal for your weight loss, I say this lovingly… grow up. The sooner you can put your big girl panties on and take responsibility for your body, the sooner you will escape the victim paradigm that keeps you feeling “stuck” and loathing your body.

I recommend you use: to track your daily calories for a few months. And although I’m not going into macronutrients in this blog you can track those at my fitness pal as well.

Get intimate with your numbers! Notice if you’re eating enough, not eating enough and where you can make some adjustments. Notice how you feel in relation to your fuel intake. How do you expect to lose weight if you don’t have the energy to move your body?

After you’ve done this for a few months and have a good idea what enough calories looks like you can stop. It’s important to know the those numbers so you know what direction you need to take for both optimal health and weight loss.

Love and Lightness,

Want to discover your unique sugar cravings “trigger?Click here.

Erin HugginsCalories For Weight Loss – 4 Reasons Not To Go Too Low

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