First off, do you know for sure that that's an accurate number? Where did you get it, and have you gotten a "second opinion"?
Also, if that's what you "have to" eat to lose weight, you will still lose weight if you eat 1400, or 1500, just not as quickly. IMO, if you go low enough that it's quite a struggle, it's probably not going to last for long, so slow and steady may win out over a quick start and weak finish.
If you are committed to keeping it that low, you might want to try calorie cycling (higher some days, lower others).
I used this website to calculate my calories and also for cycling. What does it tell you when you put your numbers in? It was very accurate for me...
I completed a 14 week 1200cal/day regiment almost a year ago with great success - 30lbs. I didn't always hit the 1200 cal, and some days I managed 1000 cal depending on what was going on that day. (I travel for work several days a month which I found could be a real calorie saver if I planned it well, or a calorie bust if not.)
The key for me was to find foods I liked that have high nutrient value and bulk, but low calories. I had to learn how to find, and incorporate, high protein foods instead of high carbohydrate foods. (And I never met a carbohydrate I didn't like!) For example breakfast was often fruit and a veggie sausage or a hard boiled egg for protein, rather than the cereal I often have. I would save the carbs for a sandwich at lunch, but skip any fatty additives like mayo, or dressings. I also got really good at adding low fat proteins to big bowls of salad. Tuna, hard boiled eggs, cooked shrimp, low fat cottage cheese, even left over lean steak add a little protein and some fat (which I still needed to eat some of) to the meal and kept me satiated longer than just veggies alone.
Although I typically need to stick to a 3 meal-a-day plan, rather than snaking and grazing on low calorie stuff throughout the that really works for some people, I did find I needed to plan in a mid morning and mid afternoon nutrient boost. Luckily I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I am a salty-crunchy food nut. (Speaking of which, nuts are a great snack - IN MODERATION - but I have a hard time stopping after 5 almonds or 10 peanuts). Oddly, my favorite afternoon snack became soup. The "soup in hand" products have several varieties that come in around 100 - 150 calories. They were warm, savory, quenched a thirst, and otherwise totally satisfying.
There are a number of 1200, or so, calorie plans on the web for free. I down loaded a bunch and took from them what fit into my taste pallet, time and money. I recommend looking into them.
The best thing, bottom line, was the logging of what I ate. I could see what worked, what didn't, what wrecked the daily plan (boy was I shocked by the Carl's Jr. breakfast burrito. Man, 1 burrito and hash browns was practically my whole daily allotment) and what I needed to add to keep the nutrients balanced.
Good luck - its doable. But takes a little practice.
I second the 'tracking your food' thing. Once in a while, you'll have a really good day, calorie-wise, and you'll have the record of the food and portions so you can eat those things again! At the same time, you can see patterns of food that make it more difficult for you to keep the calorie count down.
hi-congratulations on making the commitment to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Last year I did the same and also found it difficult at first to keep the calories down to lose weight. Here are some things that helped me
-Eat breakfast everyday before you get hungry for it. Research has determined the individuals who eat breakfast within an hour after they wake lose more weight and are more successful keeping it off.
-Make healthy food substitutes for foods are no longer part of your program. I substitute eggbeaters for whole eggs for breakfast. (less calories) and scramble them with peppers, onions, mushrooms. The two eggs and veges are only 100 calories so I can also have a yogurt if I want. I use Dannon Diabetic Light and Fit (only 45 calories). It has less calories and carbohydrates than regular yogurt. Also better n peanut butter peanut butter has half the calories and less fat than regular peanut so I can still eat it. These food substitutions help me from feeling deprived which would lead to overeating.
-Definitely, use Fitday to keep track of your calories.
-The calorie tracking will help you with portion sizes, know the calories in the portion sizes you consume and help you make better decisions about what to eat. Sometimes it can be hard to stop eating something I really like. So then I think...
-How much exercise (for me its the elliptical) will it take to burn these calories? Is the food or portion or momentary satisfaction worth it? I if decide yes and eat, I make sure I do the extra time exercising.
- Get support...these boards work great, so does an exercise buddy or a trainer. My two best friends and husband were not willing to go on this healthy lifetstyle journey with me. They still are my best friends and husband but I had to find support elsewhere. It was crucial to me to talk about what I was going through-successes and failures.
-I exercise five days a week. No matter what. I schedule it in first. Yes, other responsibilities have to give. I ask myself when the voice in my head says I have no have no time "Do I want to live a long life? Do I want to be healthy to be able to enjoy it? Do I want to be able to babysit for my grandchildren some day?" The answer is always yes.
-Enlist the help of experts if you can or become one yourself. A nutritionist, personal trainer. It took me a whole year to figure out that my exercise program would be better with the help of a trainer. I had done much research on my own and learned about the nutritionally dense foods, low glycemic foods, worlds healthiest foods and incorporated them into my diet. I learned about how the body digests food (why its important to chew well)and burns calories incorporated weight lifting, strength training and cardio into my exercise regime. Recently, I tried a personal trainer and it was the best! Brought me to a whole new level.
-I always have go to foods at my fingertips. I payed attention to how foods made me feel after I ate them. Am I satisfied? hungry? full? tired? energetic? I feel good after I eat an apple so I always have apples and pears in the house, in the car etc. I know carbohydrates are feel good foods for me. Good carbohydrates though.
No junk processed, sugar are in my diet.
-I keep my goal in mind always-even if I have a piece of pizza. I post it on the fridge, "i can do it" on my bathroom mirror, "I expect to succeed" in my car.
-Other little things I do that contribute. It really was a lifestyle change of habits more than one specific thing that enabled me to cut calories. I couldn't rely on willpower though. Somethings (Twinkies) I just refused to continue to allow in the house. Yes, the family was in an uproar at first, but it's healthier for them too.
-I think about my feelings. Sounds weird I know. But if I'm having a really bad craving I think to myself "how will I feel after I eat this?" if I'm about to make a bad choice. Usually, I feel guilty even though I know I'm not perfect. Sometimes I can distract myself with journaling, calling a friend, a shower, painting my nails, going for a walk or just going to bed. It's just another step in the deterrent process. As you can probably tell, I love to eat.
-I learned about my metabolism. Everyones is different but one thing is the same. The only way to burn more calories is to have more muscle. Strength train while you are trying to lose weight!
Well this is getting really long. I hope something helps you. I understand your struggle. I lost 75lbs last year. You can too! And keep it off!