The “1200” Fitness Lie

The “1200” Fitness Lie

:Scott Kratochvil



What is the 1200: Fitness lie? It is eat less and exercise more. It is eat 1200 calories and exercise 5-6 times a week. I am going to talk about 3 types of clients that contact us. Why this lie is still told and also the health issues and problems we help clients with that have believed this lie.

I hear this all the time and (pardon my french) but it pisses me off but even more so it makes me very sad. I hear of someone starting a new workout routine and that they have lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks and I ask what did they do. (Even though I already know the answer) They started following this “online fitness guru” or a routine out from a supposed “Fitness Magazine” or started at “So and SO” place. The plan is to exercise 5+ times a week and eat 1200 calories.

This is a big dirty 1200 fitness lie.

Yes, you will see results from starting a new workout routine especially if you haven’t worked out in a while.

Yes, you will see results from eating 1200 calories. (Even though it is very short term)

But at what cost?

Why does this make me sad?


It pisses me off and makes me sad because I know people are being lied to and taken advantage of. People that are trying to get healthier, stronger, lose weight, improve their lives and are paying to do that with time and money. It pissed me off because people are being ripped off. It makes me sad because people start these and see the scale move and are being lied to that they are getting healthier. Scale weight and loss of scale weight should never be the main objective. Losing Fat Should Be The Main Objective. I am going to say that again Losing Fat Should Be The Main Objective! Good people walk into a facility and are told to workout 5+ times a week and eat 1200 calories to drop scale weight. This makes them think they are getting healthier and improving, when the truth 99% of the time is that they are not getting healthier, they are actually running their body into the ground and losing muscle and destroying their metabolism. The scale doesn’t care if the weight loss is a 1lb of muscle or a 1lb of fat, the scale just displays the loss.

Being in the fitness industry as a trainer, teacher or manager for 15+ years I have worked with 1000s of clients. They are the most important thing to me! Their results are the most important thing to me! Their health is the most important thing to me! I know how much time, money, sweat and tears many clients go through to change their life for the better. Many of our clients come from a past of failed diets, failed workout routines and failed results.


When clients walk through our doors looking for help with weight loss (or any goal) there are normally just 3 types. Type 1 people that eat too much, type 2 people that eat to little or type 3 which are in a cycle of eat to little then eat too much. People that eat too much normally lose weight a lot faster because we just need to adjust calories into a deficit and adjust the proper portions of carbs, protein and fat. The sad thing is this type of client is only about 10%, the other 90% are the ones that have the biggest problem with losing weight. The reason why is because they have believed the biggest lie in the fitness industry and it is to eat less and exercise more and either are stuck in that 1200 calorie lie or cycle that 1200 with then overeating.


The sad and disappointing thing about this lie, is it is told for marketing and profit. (Not your health or results)


Every week I either hear of someone, see advertising, see advise from online “coaches” or other training facilities and magazines that are advertising 20 lbs of weight loss in 4 week. If you do any research you will learn (and most people already know this) that you should lose 1-2 lbs a week. People want faster results or some magical way and still go against the science and fall for this marketing trick and hope that it can be true. The reason why you shouldn’t lose more than the 2 lbs a week is because 99.99% of the time you are losing muscle and putting your organs, muscle and health at risk by starving yourself. The marketing and hype still gets people to spend their hard earned money and time and that is why the Big Lie is still around.  There are certain diet strategies you can incorporate to lose fat faster but if you don’t know how to eat right after the weight will all come back and you will be starting over again. These strategies are very restrictive and hard to stick with for an extended period of time and aren’t something you can do the rest of your life, so you are in the cycle of Yo-Yo dieting and never reaching your true long lasting goals. This again is part of the marketing you get some results…you are excited but then you gain it all back. You go back and start the same diet plan over again because you did see some results the first time breifly, even though they weren’t lasting.  You spend your time and money to only have too start over and spend your time and money again and again. This is the profit and marketing that keeps the Big Lie going.


In our last blog post it was a letter from a client (Link Here so you can read later) this client like many others are going to the doctor office to get tests done and hoping they have a disease that explains why they can’t lose weight. 99.99% of the time the problem really is people believe the 1200 calorie lie and not a health issue….thank goodness!! (It is so hard and painful when someone you just met has a breakdown and starts crying and hoping they have a disease to explain why they can lose weight) Majority of these people have never failed at their diet, their diet failed them. The fitness industry has failed them. People looking to just make money have failed them. The great thing about this client is that she was using a popular food tracking app and she had the last 2 years of daily food logs. The problem was that this food app set her up on this big lie and it had her eating 1300 calories a day. Problem number 1 was that the calorie number of 1300 was way to low for her and 2 all she was trying to do was eat 1300 calories. If you eat 4 and half snickers bars that is about 1300 calories, I hope we all can agree that if you ate that you wouldn’t lose weight or be healthy. This is where people start getting frustrated, angry, depressed and start yo-yo dieting. You see most people when they first start this diet lie they normally do lose some weight the first couple of weeks, this is the trap that keeps the lie going. What happens though is that their body is being starved so they aren’t losing fat but start to lose the healthy part of their body (muscle, organs, structural fat). When your body is being starved it sends out hormones to store fat and then it is left to cannibalize itself to survive. This starts the yo-yo because after a couple more weeks of not seeing results or something in life comes up and you get thrown off your diet you start eating bad food choices again. Now your body is already in fat storing mode and then your start eating foods that trigger a fat storing response. So now you are behind the proverbial 8 ball. You have lost muscle, unhealthier and your body is saying store fat and you gain everything you lost back (plus some). Then a few months later you go back to the big lie because it worked for a cpl weeks to take off some weight, not knowing you are just going back into the same diet that keeps making you unhealthy every time you do. So again these clients didn’t fail their diets, the diets failed them. They were set up to fail from the beginning.

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Why does this happen and why do these clients have a harder time losing weight?

These diets cause many things to happen and start a chain of events that can cause metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, high cortisol levels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar levels and more. A part of the big lie is that you think your body burns fat from diet and exercise,when in reality, it is your hormones that tell your body to store energy or use stored energy. If your hormones are saying store energy it will either store it as fat or replace energy in the muscles. When you are starving yourself with a low calorie diet your body is being told to store energy as fat. If you are eating certain foods they have a chemical reaction to tell your body to store the energy as fat. So you might see some weight loss at first but it is short lived and the weight comes back on and faster and more than ever. This is the diet cycle that is causing the obesity epidemic that we are currently in.

When you are starving your body it is not unlike a car. If your car has low oil, a light will go on to alert you, if you do nothing about it you will blow your engine. If your gas light goes on and you don’t fill your tank your car will run out and stop. If a computer chip short circuits your car might not start or run right. The same types of things happen when you continually starve yourself, over eat unhealthy foods or a combination of both. Your blood pressure goes up, your cholesterol goes up, you blood sugar goes up. Your hormones cortisol and insulin are all over the board and raise in higher levels which cause fat gain and other health issues. Many clients that have done these diets have some sort of metabolic syndrome which has your body in a constant fight and flight mode that are keeping your body on hormonal alert and possible high insulin levels or insulin resistance (which causes your body to keep releasing insulin and storing fat)

We see a slower process in fat loss with these clients because not only are we going through mind blocks, reeducation of how to eat, fear of gaining weight and addressing these issues, we need to also get their bodies functioning properly again. This process is sometimes quick but for many it is slower until we get their body working correctly again. The struggle to deprogram the big lie and teach the proper nutrition and correct energy balance is a process that can take time. We don’t like to give clients another diet that they won’t be able to stick with but teach them to make a life style change and how to make better choices. We teach them the ins and outs of calories/ energy, nutritional value and proper balancing of carbs, protein and fats. Many are shocked when we tell them that they can eat carbs or fats. There are studies that show that it doesn’t matter if you do a low fat or low carb diet to lose weight that you will lose the same in 1 year and both also show that when you reintroduce the thing you eliminated that the weight comes back and a fast rate. In all my years I have never met someone that has been able to cut out fats or carbs for any extended period of time because it is not practical or realistic to think you can. You need to find the proper balance of calories, carbs, proteins and fats and also have the understanding and knowledge of why you are doing certain things for certain results. This is what we teach and educate our clients with. This is why our clients lose fat and keep it off for life. Once our clients get this knowledge and apply it and get their bodies working properly, results then happen and happen fast! The best part they keep the weight off, they are finally free of the fear of food. Fear is just a lack of understanding, it is the fear of the unknown. Like I mentioned above there are diet strategies to cause faster fat loss. Once clients learn how to eat for health and healthy fat loss we do add some diet strategies for short amounts of time to cause faster fat loss and stop the regaining of weight. We get out clients off the Yo-Yo Big Lie

If you have tried and failed before, we want you to know you can have success. You deserve success. It is your body and it was made to be strong and healthy! We can show you the path, you just need to walk down it with us. As the client in the article above quoted us as saying “trust the process”!!


It is simple to learn but it won’t be easy at first. It is a process but it is so worth it!!!

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A Clients Letter:

I was always in pretty good shape, was in the military and worked in the fitness industry on/off in the past. 13 years ago we had a life changing event in our family that brought on depression, emotional eating, and becoming a full time care giver and mom to a 5 year old and a 3 year old. After our 3rd child was born, I gained A LOT more weight than I should have, and 10 years later I was still 50 lbs overweight. 10 month ago we were blessed with our 4th child, and I was weighed down once again with WAY too much weight. It was different this time though, because everything hurt. I couldn’t get off the floor and could barely lift new born child. I was retaining so much water in my legs and feet that I could barely walk and my stomach still looked 6 months pregnant. I hit rock bottom.

I was too embarrassed to come into the gym to work out because I thought people would judge me, because I was SO out of shape. I felt so much shame. So I started walking on my treadmill and doing exercise videos at home. My weight did not budge! One night, completely frustrated, I decided to e-mail Scott and ask him what tests he thought I should have done with my doctor, because something MUST be wrong with me if I can’t lose weight! Scott emailed me back with the nicest e-mail anyone has ever written me. He was compassionate, understanding, gentle and truthful. He convinced me in the e-mail to come in and try a one -on -one session with him. He knew how afraid I was, so we picked a time when no one else would be there.


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My first session was hard, but it felt GREAT! I had forgot how well my body reacted to a good hard workout! I had worked with many other trainers before, but something was different this time. My body responded almost instantly! Plus, I felt like I belonged. I felt understood, And something in me said, “This is IT, you will finally meet your goals here!” My energy went through the roof over the next few weeks as I trained with Scott 2-3 times a week. On week 3, Thanksgiving day, Scott told me to come in at my normal time. I could not believe he took clients on a holiday, and I had a houseful of guests coming for Thanksgiving dinner, but I was committed and went in. I could not believe the atmosphere, the music, the energy! EVERYONE was there, training with smiles! I wanted to cry ( and I am pretty sure that i did cry) because it was that moment that I felt part of something, part of a FAMILY, a family that looked out for me and encouraged me to not give up! That day, we ended my workout with a quick session with Barb, one of the trainers. She taught me how to do a Turkish get-up. BOOM! Goal #1 met! I could get off the floor! I will never forget that day!

Scott and Barb not only trained me but they taught me how to eat again. In the past I was queen of quick fix diets: cabbage soup diet, Atkins diet, weight watchers, low calorie, low fat, low carb….etc, etc, The first thing Scott had me do was start eating food! He said I was starving my body. I was afraid I would gain weight. He would always respond with , “Trust the system”. Okay. I did. And I am SO glad I did! Scott not only taught me how to eat to nourish my body and lose weight, but to control pain in my joints and swelling in my legs!

After about a month, Scott convinced me that I was ready to join the Saturday morning kettlebell class. I was hooked and now my weekends are always started with that class. It is not only a great workout but the class is fun! I laugh so much in class! How awesome is that?! Now I take several classes a week and just love all the different style options but also that every class is different and challenging. I always leave a class exhausted but also exuberated! Each I class I learn something new or do something I haven;t been able to do before! 

It has been 5 months since I sent that e-mail to Scott. In those 5 months I have lost 4 sizes, lost 26lbs of fat and gained 15 lbs of muscle. I can not only get off the floor but I can do a 60 minute kettlebell class, without missing a beat. I have gained confidence, stamina, energy, and a new fitness family with some amazing new friends! It is lifechanging!

If I could say something to someone thinking of coming to join the Protégé Pride I would say, ” Do yourself a favor, just come in for 1 week of free training”, that’s all. Because once you come in and experience the best of the best, you will know, like I did, that this place is different, it feels different and it feels right. You WILL meet your goals here, and you will not do it alone because when you join Protege Fitness you join a fitness family in a no-judgement zone!

I have not met all my goals yet, but I have no doubt in the next year I will. And I will love every single step of the way, every single workout, every single entry into my food journal, because I have made the lifestyle change and it feels GREAT!


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Detox and Fasting: Fat loss cure or myth?

I get asked all the time from people about if they should try this new “detox”, “cleanse” or “fasting” diet. I have lots of mixed feelings when I am asked this questions because I know the person asking me is struggling to lose weight or just not feeling very healthy. They are willing to try anything and believe anything because so many other diets have failed them and they don’t know what to do. Detox, cleanse and fasting are different things but sometimes get lumped together in the same program or general idea.

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Let start with fasting. Fasting has been done through out history and for many reasons from health, healing, religious and spiritual beliefs. Many people that are asking me about fasting they are looking it at for weight loss and that is why I want to talk about this. If you fast for religious and spiritual beliefs that is awesome! If you are doing it for health or healing reasons that is great also. (There is a small % of the population that need to do this and it is because of a major health issue.)  Now lets touch base on the reason people ask me about fasting…weight loss. There are many fasting diet programs out their and new ones come along all the time but do they work?? The most simple answer is yes it causes weight loss. But is it healthy? The simple answer is no. Yes you have weight loss but it is not fat loss and that goes against everything I try to teach people. In a fast you are starving yourself so the scale weight you lose is muscle mass. Also extended fast can cause health issues also from fatigue, heart palpatations, headache, dizzyness are major ones. Some of the common ones are just sugar water diets that put you in a severe calorie deficit and also nutrition deficit. Now one thing I do myself on occasion is intermittent fasting and I will right an article on this shortly. Intermittent fasting is for 12-16 hours only and does have many health benefits but again I do not do it for fat loss but health reasons.


Every year i have a client or someone I know that has several office co workers all to do a fast together. I advise the people that ask me about it not to do and why and also to let me know how everyone did. I get the same report every time…. day 1 everyone was down a cpl of pounds…after the 3rd day some are down as much as 7-10 lbs everyone stops and can’t make it past day 4 or 5. (If you are living your normal life style you need calories for energy, you need nutrition to function properly) within 3 days after the fast everyone gained all the weight back and some gained extra. Fasting for fat loss doesn’t work.

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Now on to detoxing. You hear about detoxing diets all the time but do they work? Now there are some medical protocols for major health and medical reasons and you should be supervised by a doctor when doing these. 99% of the people that ask about detoxing though or that I know have done them have done them for weight loss or general health. The truth is our bodies naturally detox and if it didn’t we all would not have lasted this long. Most of the detox books and diets out there are just trying to make money of you. Some of these detox plans are more like fasting so I won;t get into them. The others are normally $100s -$1000s of dollars and aren’t worth the cost. Now if you have tried a detox and felt better during it, lost eight because of it or got some other benefit from it I think that is awesome! The reason I don’t think they are worth the money or time is because many of the benefits you got are more because you changed your eating habits and actually gave your body some nutrition that it needed. I have talked with many people and clients that have tried detoxes in the past with some having some positive effects during it but all of them have the same exact aftermath….they are right back to when they started. Many people try a detox because they are again trying to get healthier, feel better or lose weight……you don;t need to spend $100s-$1000s of dollars to do this. You can do this by learning to eat correctly and fuel you body correctly. I am going to give a cpl extreme examples if you are eating one meal a day and it is fast food but then you go to a detox plan and start putting nutrition into your body several times a day…yes you are going to feel better. Also during these detox plans many people stop eating all the other junk most people eat daily from high sugar foods, fast food, processed foods…..if you just stopped eating those things and start eating real food you will get the same results without spending the money for the detox.

The same goes with many of the elimination diets and 30 day challenges that you see out there. Many are founded with great goals and good principles in mind and can sometimes jump start you down the path of chagning habits and getting your body working better but many fail again with really teaching you the improtance of correct balance of nutrition. When we work with clients we teach you many of these principles but we add in the education to feed and fuel your body correctly as well. When you work with your diet from all angles from correct nutrition, energy balance, importance of macro and micro nutrition your body thrives!! We educate you on these principles to get our clients amazing results in fast loss and a healthy strong body!

Now with that being said there are things you can add to your daily routine that add health benefits that get your body working better and more efficiently from herbs,vitamins, minerals and specific foods that help with your bodies natural processes. You can get your liver, kidneys, intestinal track, organs and more to work better. When Barb was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis she didn’t do a fast or detox she had to go on a very specific natural food diet to correct pain and inflammation, she had to learn to eat to heal herself. Learning to eat real food for real results is the only way, otherwise you will just fall back into your old habits of eating and go right back where you started. Feel free to reach out to us if you are struggling with your goals, we are here to help.


If we work with foods that naturally get your body to work properly and have additional health benefits and then add in correct macro and micro nutrition with real foods you can start feeling better and getting the results that you have struggled with.

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