Weight Loss Q & A with Dr. K: Eating 1200 Calories a Day and Still Not Losing Weight

Q: I’m 43 and have the 12 weekly depo provera injection.

I have put on 10kg (22 pounds) over 5 years but I just can’t shift it even by eating only 1200 calories a day.

Have you any suggestions please?



Firstly, The depo provera injection MAY be a factor in your weight gain, but equally, it may have nothing to do with it.

Either way, as you’ve suggested, the key is to make changes to your eating.

Cutting back to 1200 calories a day should be helping you lose weight, so it appears to be a mystery why you are not losing weight.

I don’t have enough information from you to know if this is true, but I will give you a common scenario that often accounts for this mystery:

A 43 year old woman, let’s call her Danielle, decides to lose weight. She goes on a 1200 calorie a day diet.

After a week, Danielle weighs herself and she’s only lost 0.5kg (1 pound).

After 10 days, she’s sticking to the diet, but her weight is still only about 0.7kg down (1.5 pounds).

It’s not fun being on a 1200 calorie a day diet, and it doesn’t really seem to be working, so she gives up, confused and frustrated as to why her weight hasn’t budged.

But in this case, there is no real mystery.

– 10 days isn’t long enough to judge whether it is working or not.

– And actually, 0.7kg is actually not bad for 10 days

– Because Danielle is only in her early forties, her expectations of the speed of weight loss are influenced by how fast she could lose weight in her thirties, which makes her think the weight hasn’t shifted, when it is just slower than she expected.

This is compounded by the fact, that Danielle has chosen an unpleasant 1200 calorie a day diet to lose weight, so she doesn’t want to stick with it for very long.

So what’s the solution?

– Make small changes to your eating habits, that are NOT unpleasant, so you don’t feel in a hurry to lose weight.For some examples see here (but actually there are examples throughout this website).

– Keep making more small changes each week

– Make the changes CONSISTENT

– Stick with it for several weeks before evaluating if it works

– Be OK with slower weight loss

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss Q&A
One comment on “Weight Loss Q & A with Dr. K: Eating 1200 Calories a Day and Still Not Losing Weight
  1. Elizabeth Meecham says:

    Going for the long term has been the key for me. I have stopped trying to loose weight and started eating in a more constructive, mindful way. I have had about a year of eating this way. I did not loose weight but I did not gain any. Now I very tentatively find the weight range on the scales is slightly lower, the highest being okish rather than panic I’m putting on weight, and the lowest being – wow – I’ve not seen that on the scale for years. It’s also coincided with sorting some long term emotional issues out which I’m sure has helped. I love the emails, even if I don’t always read them it’s just a little reminder to be mindful about how I eat. The other really big one for me is the ‘only eat it if it’s really good’ – I love good food so am happy to go for this. I find if I take a bite of a biscuit/ chocolate whatever cos I’m tempted, then find as so often it’s a real disappointment, I now throw the rest away cos it’s just not worth eating rubbish that I don’t enjoy. Thank you for your books, emails etc. has definitely made the difference for me.

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