This is a guest post by Connie Trowbridge. Read About the Author below to learn more about her work.

From celebrity trainers, to New York Times best selling authors, many of these so called “experts” advise you to eat 1,200 calories a day.

This is the amount we’re commonly told that we need to eat in order to lose weight. I know it, you know it, and EVERYONE knows it. It’s somehow been mass messaged that this is THE number required for you to get your dream body.

My 9 year old couldn’t survive on that, let alone a grown woman.

Telling women that eating 1,200 calories a day is the magic number to lose weight, is like telling women that a pair of leggings truly is a one size fits all, and ALL women will fit into them!

We know that to be a HUGE LIE!

There is no ONE size fits all calorie requirement.

We are individuals who lead very different lives. How much we eat has to be customized to our personal and unique lifestyles.

I don’t know exactly where this number came from and how it became our go to calorie goal, but I will tell you this…1,200 isn’t even the MINIMUM amount of calories you need to consume before your body goes into starvation mode, and you begin to suffer negative health consequences such as fatigue, irregular menstrual cycles, brain fog, slow metabolism, loss of bone density, constipation, thyroid problems, injury, slow recovery and hair loss just to name a few. The minimum calories needed for your body to survive and thrive, greatly depends on your individual body type, not a mass and general number.

So let’s go over that again, because I really want to cement this…

You need MORE than 1,200 calories a day simply to EXSIST. To keep all of your bodily functions performing as optimally as possible. You need more than 1,200 calories a day to keep your organs working and keep you thriving. You even need more than 1,200 calories when you spend your day performing the best marathon of them all- a Netflix marathon.

And if you’re an athlete, super active, nursing, and so on, your daily calorie requirements (even for weight loss) is closer (if not over) to 2,000 than it is to 1,200.

Don’t be fooled by the 1,200-calorie a day myth. You have to remember that EVERYONE is unique. That everybody is different and that one size does NOT fit all.

Your beautiful body has ALWAYS taken care of you. It has always kept your heart beating, your lungs functioning, and your brain working. Why would you punish your body- which is always strives to take care of you the very best way it can- by starving it? For what? To shed some weight?

There are other ways to go about it that do not include starvation or eating only 1,200 calories a day (same thing).

Weight loss starts with respecting your body, being patient with it, and having compassion for yourself.

When you respect your body you feed it the foods that make it feel good. If eating paleo makes you feel good, you feed your body that. If eating vegan makes you feel good, you feed your body that. If eating gluten free makes you feel good, you feed your body that. When you respect your body you move in a way that you enjoy, in a way that brings you joy and not in a way that makes you suffer.

When you have patience for your body you don’t set impossible standards. You don’t give yourself one week to drop 10 pounds. When you have patience with your body you set realistic and achievable goals. You take this one day at a time, baby step style. When you have patience with your body you know you’ll get where you want to be so you don’t restrict or deprive yourself. You don’t go to the extreme.

When you have compassion for yourself you don’t look in the mirror and say nasty things about your appearance. You don’t wake up and pinch your ab fat. You don’t get on the scale and begin to beat yourself up when that number doesn’t match the number in your head. When you have compassion for yourself, you don’t punish yourself when you take a little detour off the path. When you have compassion for yourself, you take great care of your body, you treat it with love, and you don’t break it down. Instead of focusing on what you perceive to be wrong (cellulite, stretch marks, love handles) you instead focus on what is amazing about your body and the choices you can make to help it be healthier, stronger and more vibrant.

So what does it truly take to lose weight?

It takes tuning into your body and forming a partnership based on self-love and self-care, NOT deprivation and starvation.

About the Author of Why 1,200 Calories Will Never Be Enough

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Connie Trowbridge wants to live in a world that’s filthy with organic farms, mom & pop bookstores, and artsy cafes. As a Master Health Coach and Wellness Writer, she’s a Healthy Living Writer for both The Huffington Post and Young and Raw. When she’s not creating humorous content, you can find her re-reading the collected works of Chelsea Handler and Gabrielle Bernstein, sampling obscene amounts of chocolate without a trace of shame, and optimistically checking out her window to see if UPS has delivered her latest Amazon present. Discover how to live awesome on her Website, Facebook and Instagram.

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