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I have few doubt about calories. (3 questions)

My measurement : Height 5 feet 11 inches Weight: 75 Kg

Other than at my lower belly, I have not much visible fat in my body. Lets for an example, I limit myself to 1200 calories per day

Do I have to burn > 1200 calories per day to reduce my belly fat? Is it practically possible to loose > 1200 calories per day for about a month or two, shouldn't that can affect my body?

Also, I have started doing

  • Squat (100 at a time - once in a day )
  • Rope jumping (75 at a time - twice a day)
  • Pushup (inner, outer, wide = 30 at a time - once in a day)
  • Regular abs exercise (different type of crunches = 40 - once in a day)
  • Normal routine work (like walking for about 10-15 min, working on computer for about 6-7 hours, normal house work for about 20 min per day)

My diet includes

  • Morning: 1 liter milk (6% fat) with multi grain oats
  • Lunch: some vegetables and pulses (Indian food) - sum up to 300-400 calories
  • Afternoon : Apple
  • Night: 1 Apple, 1 Orange, 2 Banana and 1 nutrilite multivitamin and multimineral tablet

I started doing this for a week and I can see a little progress on my upper belly (seems like a part of six pack - which aren't very strange because I don't have much fat over there)

I have seen people has transformed completely in 30-60 days program. What am I missing in my exercise or in my diet?

Also, is it true that more muscle burns more calorie? Like a car with 1000 horse power engine burn more gas than 200 horse power engine.. Do I have to really hit the gym and to do intense workout?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Basics:
Yes, you do have to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. This doesn't mean you'll have to do sports until you burn up 1200kcal, as your body burns a certain amount every day anyway.
The calories burned this way is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This would be your total energy expenditure for one day if you just lay around doing absolutely nothing.
The amount of calories you're actually burning per day is your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which includes all the walking, getting up, working and sports.
Now, to lose weight you want to stay below your TDEE. For this you can eat less, exercise more, or both. Which you do doesn't matter as it's basically calories in vs. calorie out.

Nutrition:
To answer your question: It is possible to have a deficit of 1200kcal for a month or two, but it's not recommended, as it's not very healthy and/or counter-productive (read up on 'starvation mode'/'metabolic damage').

If you already see progress after a single week, stick to it. In the beginning much of it will be water weight, which is why your progress will probably slow down over time. In general weight loss is a very slow process, but the slower you take it, the more sustainable it is. Granted, there are some amazing 30-60 days transformations, but those are the exception to the rule. For most people, slow weight loss is best, as you're not as likely to yoyo back to eating unhealthy, getting fat again (and repeat the whole cycle).

Sports:
Your sports program could use some improvement. You'd probably fare better with a dedicated bodyweight exercise program, which focusses on progression to get stronger and add a bit of definition.

If you really only want to lose weight, you don't have to do strength training though. If you choose to do only cardio, though, I'd recommend high intensity intervall cardio (HIIT). It's basically a short period of high intensity work with an even shorter period of rest (e.g. 40s work, 20s rest for 12 rounds). This form of cardio won't burn much calories itself but will raise your metabolism for hours after the workout, resulting in more effective fat loss.

More muscle mass does burn more calories, though, even when doing absolutely nothing with it. That's why I'd recommend a strength training program anyway. However, to build build muscle with a strength program you'd need a caloric surplus (and eat different, too), which might put you off. In the long run it's a great foundation for losing weight, though. You'll also look much better (lean, instead of starved/skinny fat).

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