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Can I jumpstart weightloss by only eating 900 calories a day for a few weeks?

I used to be a very active, slim person weighing in at 105-110lbs at 5’4. Since I started an office job I haven’t had time for exercise and have been eating pretty poorly, I’ve manage to gain about 30lbs in the past year. I am looking to get back at my “fighting weight”. This past year has trashed my body, all my muscle has turned to fat now and being the athlete I was a year ago majority of my body was muscle. I was wondering if I cut down my calorie intake to 900-1000 a day to kick start my weight loss, then after a few weeks slowly easing back into a work out schedule while adding more calories will that help or hurt my situation. Will lowering my calorie intake even help me start to lose weight? Any responses will be appreciated!

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3 Responses to “Can I jumpstart weightloss by only eating 900 calories a day for a few weeks?”

  1. Claire W said :

    have 1200 calories a day and exercise

  2. marbles528 said :

    I’m not a medical expert (who, btw, you should consult before going on any significant dieting endeavor just to make sure you have no underlying issues for a significant weight gain–like a thyroid condition), but I know enough from reading health magazines that restricting caloric intake MAY initially work in the short term for SOME people. But I believe studies have shown there is a strong chance that by suddenly restricting calories, the body will go into “starvation mode”, in which it will essentially slow the metabolism down to conserve as much of the body’s caloric reserves as possible. And when you do go back to somewhat normal eating, any weight you may have lost may come back with a vengeance, or perhaps even more because your body now is in the mode of ‘conserving’ as much fuel as possible in case it suddenly must ‘starve’ again. Doing something like this can make your metabolism go seriously out of whack. I think most nutritionists recommend for females of somewhat average height/body shape to lose weight go on a 1400-1600 calorie BALANCED diet with emphasis on exercise to also increase caloric burn. Try some sites dedicated to women’s health, like (my magazine from them always has guides for healthy eating and weight loss plus exercise). BTW, I’m 5’1″ and know my healthy weight is ~105, so while 30 lbs is a lot to gain in a year, you were probably also underweight to begin with, so starving yourself to get back to 105-110 is a bit premature, not to mention unhealthy and unpleasant 🙂

  3. chef steph said :

    I wouldn’t recommend it. Your body needs 1200 calories a day minimum or your metabolism will slow down for sure. A sedentary person (no exercise) requires 13 calories per pound of body weight to maintain weight. And that’s for doing nothing. So if you weigh about 140 now – that’s 1820 cals. It takes 3500 calories to lose a pound – so for one lb per week, you need a calorie deficit of 500 cals per day = 1320 calories per day and if you exercise, then that’s extra calories burned and you can lose more than one pound per week. Crash diets don’t work. Your body will think it is starving and you’ll mostly likely binge and that will be more damaging than just trying to eat modestly.

    I’ve also heard that cycling calories can help keep your body losing weight. So take the 1320 calories and get a total number of calories for the week that you should eat (9240) and divide that into seven days of different number of calories – like 1000 one day and 1150 another, maybe 1400 one day, and so on so that you have an average of 1320 but your body is “tricked”.

    Once you start losing weight, you need to adjust the number of calories you are taking in, obviously. And I’m sure you know this from being an athlete, but the more muscle you have, the more calories that are burned all the time – even doing nothing. So building your muscles again would be the best thing to do. But building muscle requires fuel so don’t deny your body the necessary fuel for this to happen!

    Good Luck!


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