My wonderful friend with the dietetics degree was so nice to take time out of her super busy (read 4 children and a bustling daycare) to do all the calculations for me to know how many calories my body really requires. Here is much of her email to me.
She used the equation called the Harris-Benedict Equation. She believes that it is an accurate measure of BMR (basal metabolic rate or the amount of energy that is required just to exist.) and takes activity level into account.
She calculated my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure or actual number of Kcals used to maintain current size and and current activity level.) to be 2358 Kcals. In order to lose weight at current activity level (I choose the moderate activity 3-5 times per week), she said I can safely reduce my TDEE by 15 - 20%. This would = 1885 - 2005 Kcals per day. There is another recommendation of cutting 500 Kcals off of your TDEE in order to lose weight, which puts you at 1858 Kcals.
She recommend that I plan to eat 1800 - 1850 Kcals per day and see if that gets my weight loss moving again. Of course, eat clean, aim for 25% protein, 25% fat, and 40% carbs.
This sounds like a LOT of calories to eat. But I am willing to try it. Obviously 1200 calories wasn't helping the weight loss so it won't hurt (much) to try this for a couple of weeks. On the plus side, I will be unable to weigh in at WW for the next two Saturdays. This saturday I will be administering a CGC test for the local dog club and next Saturday I will be on my first mini adventure vacation with a girlfriend up north. I call this a plus because I know that if I saw a big gain on the scale this week, I may chicken out of trying this for a more than a few days let alone a couple of weeks. This way, I'll weigh in on the 21st and should get a real look at whether this new calorie level is working or not.