ok, I've heard this question often and I don't know how to answer it.
I am not planning on this type of diet for myself, so don't bother with the judgemental answers, I'm just trying to learn more about low-calorie diets. from what I understand, people always say "eat below 1200 calories: fresh fruit and veg, whole grains, lean meats, etc"
but if I were to eat poptarts, pizza, soda, potato chips, etc, but STAY BELOW 1200 calories, and considering I already go to the gym about 2 hours a day and burn at least 400-500 calories, wouldn't I still lose weight?
low-calorie diets don't make any sense, because I could eat 1200 calories worth of birthday cake everyday for the rest of my life, I wouldn't lose weight, would I?
Answer on Calorie question. Does it matter what I eat, as long as it's below 1200 calories?
Provided all systems are functioning normally... YES. "Calories in" less than "Calories out" will give you weight loss. Even if it was 1000 calories of birthday cake every day.
HOWEVER... with chronic poor nutrition, the system can change and stop functioning "normally." Cortisol levels rise, thyroid hormone levels can get wonky, metabolic rates change, frequency and consistency of bowel movements changes, testosterone levels can fall, etc. (not to mention the lack of energy, etc. associated with poor nutrition.)
So ideally, to lose weight in a healthy way, one will reduce caloric intake moderately AND eat a well rounded diet.