I have lost (assuming the # holds for my weigh-in tomorrow) 130 lbs in about 13 months. This is on an 1800 calorie/day diet with exercise of at least 30 mins (often a lot more)/day. I take an over the counter drug called alli which helps but more to keep me honest with fat portions than almost anything else. The reality is that the alli helped for maybe 1/4 of that loss.
So -- 10 lbs/month -- that's the old 2 lbs./week, which if I am understanding you correctly does not seem fast enough.
There are a few reasons why you want to lose at a rate similar to mine and not any faster:
- You need to get some fat in your diet. Yes, even if you are dieting. Otherwise, for one thing, you'll find yourself with incredibly dry, itchy skin and very dry hair.
- Eating less than 1800 or so calories/day means that heavy exercise can be difficult to sustain. I have found I am sometimes a tad dizzy after a lot of exercise, it is because my blood sugar has dropped due to the workout. This is fine and normal and I am in no danger, but I cannot imagine what it would be if I ate 1/3 less what I currently do.
- 1200 calories/day means the chances of you being able to socialize and go out to dinner are virtually zero. You need to have support and socializing, even while you diet. Yes, you eat less. I am not disputing that and am not suggesting that you go out every night. But I am saying that eating so little can be incredibly isolating. There is an emotional component to this, too, let's not kid ourselves. You are looking at a lot of isolation if you restrict calories that much.
- You need to eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters are a lot more likely to lose than people who skip it, or only have coffee.
- Skin resilience is not great at a 2 lb./week loss rate. What is it at a twice as fast rate? I don't want to know. What do I mean by skin resilience? I mean that as I've been losing fat and gaining muscle, my skin has not kept up with the rest of me. I already have a good 10 lbs. or so of redundant skin on my abdomen and more on my thighs, triceps and neck. Twice that would be twice as bad.
- Losing 2 lbs/week for 100 lbs. means, of course, 50 weeks, or almost a year. 5 lbs/week is 20 weeks (assuming you could sustain such a pace for so long) and that's over 4 months anyway. This is a haul either way. Why do it in a way that beats you up all the time? You could, I suppose, but it would be extremely hard on you.
- The assumption that you'd be able to sustain such a rate is not realistic. I have had 5 lb loss weeks and I have had 2 lb gain weeks but overall my rate is, like I've said, about 2 lbs/week. It does slow down over time, no matter what your best intentions are (some of this has to do with losing weight as you get less bang for your cardio buck, because you are hauling around less weight).
- With reference to the above point, what will you do if it does slow down? At an intake rate of 1200 calories/day, you have nowhere to go. Any lower, really, and you'll be in starvation mode if you aren't already with such a caloric intake. Starvation mode means your body holds onto every calorie, and it requires a lot more hard work on your part to lose. Hence you can make things harder on yourself.
- Further to that point, what will you do, really, if it slows down to 2 lbs/week which is still a very fast rate? Will you beat yourself up? Quit? Push yourself to exhaustion? That is not getting healthy. That is an eating disorder dressed in getting healthy clothing. You do not want to go down that road.
- The real issue with weight loss is less the loss (although it is, of course, important). Rather, it is with maintenance. Sustaining what you've done. Only some 5% of all people who lose weight (and it's less for those of us who have to lose such substantial amounts) keep it off after 5 years. If you keep it as a diet, versus a lifestyle change, you can be setting yourself up for maintenance failure. Lifestyle change means exploring why you overate in the first place, learning how to cook for yourself better, and learning how to handle potential overeating situations. A diet is something you get to the end of, and can't wait to do so. A lifestyle change sustains you for the rest of your days because your entire paradigm shifts.
PS Try www.sparkpeople.com
They have a good nutrition tracker, articles on weight loss and info on exercising. I do not own Spark and make no profit from mentioning them. They have worked for me for over a year. Weight watchers is another great place to go, either online or in person. I wish you all the luck in the world. This is not an easy journey at all.