If you want to eat 1200 cals a day to lose weight you don’t need keto. You need an intervention.

One of my clients sent this picture to me. This is the kind of ridiculous nonsense that infuriates me about most people pushing keto without regard for how the body works or to your health and longevity.

Besides the fact that this is starvations level caloric restriction, which will tear into soon, lets look at the glaring problems.

  1. Many of the veggies here are full of anti-nutrients like lectins and oxalates. Spinach, for example, is a potent goitrogen which blocks iodine uptake and causes thyroid dysfunction.
  2. Many of the the fat sources are also high in carbs. If you start with your carbs and build 10g then add 30g of fat from the fats column you will be going higher in the carbs. You will likely end up with 15-20g of carbs per meal.

Some of the correct things.

  1. Protein is right. 20g for women and 25-30g for men. Perfect.
  2. In small print it says if you are hungry eat more fat. Correct. Way more than 30g per meal though. More like 55g minimum.

Thats it for good.

100% absolutely not acceptable. This is 1170 calories per day. This is severe caloric restriction and will destroy your metabolism and thyroid function. You will lose lean muscle mass and bone mass. You will break you body in long lasting ways.

When does starvation ever work? How many of you have ever sustained for life on 1200 calories?
You can’t. Your body won’t let you and unless you continue eating 1200 cals for life you will gain the weight back and fast. Keto is not different in this respect.

The recommended caloric intake for a 2 year old is 1600 calories. The average 2 year old weighs 27lbs. How on earth does anyone think that someone that weighs 5 or more times this weight can survive on 400 calories less.

Your brain takes 500-600 calories per day to function. Your liver takes about the same. So that leaves nothing for your heart, lungs, intestines, muscles etc to function.

If you eat this little calories per day your forcing your body to adapt to survive. Primary goal is to keep the brain alive. If the brain dies the body dies. It gets its calories. Next is the heart, liver and lungs. Everything else is pretty much up for digestion.

Your metabolism will lower as fast as it can by reducing metabolic rate to reduce catabolism. It does this by dropping thyroid output and increasing reverse T3 thyroid hormone which blocks additional active thyroid hormones. This will shut down metabolism as much as it can but you can’t starve the brain or the heart, liver or lungs so you can’t really get a metabolism less than 1200 calories.

At this point the body has to give up certain functions to preserve important body tissue.

  • The first thing to go is typically hair and fingernails. Hair falls out and fingernails get brittle. These are non essentials. They don’t keep you alive. They can go.
  • Body heat reduces to save energy. You are always cold. You can live if you are cold.
  • Next is muscle. Muscle is very calorie intensive and not generally important for survival. You can live with very little lean muscle mass.
  • Next is bone. None density will reduce as you don’t need all that bone to support the reduced muscle.
  • Before you get past this point the hunger sets in. You start getting hungry and craving anything you can to get energy.
  • This is the point where most people break and cheat.
  • If you manage to keep going this is where eating disorders come in. The not eating is more important than the hunger.
  • Lean mass continues to go. You may start to look skeletal.
  • At the end stages your body will start to consume your diaphragm and other organs.
  • The diaphragm is typically first to go which results in fluid building in the lungs and you drown. Some see their kidneys or liver shut down first but typically it is the diaphragm.

This is the only pathway for this level of calories. Wether it is keto or low fat or Weight Watchers or Slim fast 1170 calories will do the exact same thing.

If you want to eat 1170 calories you could 1170 calories of cake and lose weight for a short term. It will work the same exact way. You can eat anything you want at 1170 calories per day and lose the exact same amount of weight and it will end the same way.

  • Bottomed out metabolism
  • Tanked thyroid function
  • Hair loss and brittle nails
  • Hunger
  • Quitting or eating disorder

You cannot win this battle. The thing that infuriates me the most is that keto does not require starving to death. People knew this in 1953.

“There appears, however, to be an even greater advantage to this method of treatment, in contrast to general restriction of the whole dietary pattern; for, when carbohydrate, alone, is restricted, there is no decline in the basal caloric expenditure. When, however, the total caloric intake is restricted, a decline in basal caloric expenditure is to be expected.” – Pennington, 1953

You don’t have to restrict calories. You just have to restrict carbs. Pennington found that people could consume 3,000 cals a day so long as carbs were restricted and still lose weight and not see a drop in metabolic rate.

Here is an indepth article I wrote awhile ago about this.

It was known in 1953 that calorie restriction didn’t work!

Stop starving. Stop ruining your metabolism. Stop wrecking your thyroid function. Stop failing.

Learn how to lose weight sustainably and without starving and wrecking your metabolism and health.

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