A pervasive thought in the workout world is the idea that the more you cut, the more ripped you'll look. And it makes logical sense. After all, on a cut, you reduce your caloric intake. What most people don't realize (and I'm talking mostly to the girls out there) is that cutting too much can have deleterious effects. Going too low means your body just doesn't have enough to do what you want it to do.
How Low is Too Low?
For both male and females, 1200-1400 calories per day is far too low. Even 1500 is pushing it, depending on your general size. There are many lifters out there that consider 2,000 and even 3,000 calories per day to be a cut.
A good way to check if your calorie count is good for you is to pay attention to if you begin to plateau in your weight loss but feel extremely hungry most of the time. In this case, cutting would make you question your sanity and, while a challenge, you should never feel like you're going to whither away into nothingness. This is a sign that you've gone too low to sustain your current activity levels.
Gain to Lose
If you've plateaued but are at a pretty low daily calorie count, add 100 calories and see what happens. This is usually a good way to help you get back to losing. And I know this might make your mind recoil in horror as you imagine reversing your hard-earned progress, but the truth of the matter is if you cut too far, you'll lose your progress anyway. At least if you add more, you won't lose your muscle gains.
And 100 calories is not a lot to add. One pound is 3500 calories. 100 calories is only 0.029% of that.
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.