When I’m dieting, I try to stick to 1200 calories a day. I’ll confess, I sometimes go lower. The Fast Diet is a pretty well-respected method for dieting that sees subjects take two 500 calorie days a week, and eat what they like the rest of the time. In a more hardcore version of this, dieters can restrict themselves to 1200 calories on the non-fasting days. This was my inspiration for my calorie counting in the first few weeks of the diet. Hard, yes. Dangerous? I don’t think so. Unprecedented? Not at all! In fact, calorie restriction may actually lead to not just weight loss, but better health all around. (As I keep saying, everyone is different, and none of this information is being presented to you as my weight loss guide for general consumption.)
So, what works best for me? First of all, skipping breakfast. Breakfast is the Holy Grail of dieting. The advice used to be that you should never, ever skip breakfast. Eating first thing was supposed to kickstart your metabolism, and besides, isn’t there that saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper”?