You often hear that you have to cut way back on calories to lose weight… “calories in, calories out.” But our bodies are much more complicated than that and you can’t reduce weight loss down to simple arithmetic.
You need to think of food as a language that’s speaking to your body.
Here’s a greatly simplified summary of what happens when you go on a low calorie diet:
Our current abundance of food is something that’s very rare in human history. There were long periods of famine in the past. And your body has ways to deal with famine… it slows down metabolism to conserve energy. So when you restrict your food, your body hears, “Food shortage! Slow down and conserve!” That’s why when many people "go on a diet", they initially lose weight and then plateau. And when they start eating normal amounts of food again the body hears, “Food is here! Pack on the pounds to prepare for the next famine!”
So if you’re looking to lose some weight (and I mean body fat… you don’t want to lose muscle), you need to eat real, nutritious food and not starve yourself. Tell your body that everything is great and there’s no famine. Get some exercise and you’ll start changing that body fat into muscle.