If you are trying to lose weight, you may be tempted to reduce the amount of calories you eat to below 1000 a day. Logically you might think that the less you eat, the quicker the weight will come off. However, it does not actually work like this. In this article we will examine why it is a mistake to cut your calorie intake too much.
Although you will lose weight quickly at first on a low calorie diet, this weight loss will not last. When you drastically restrict the amount of calories you eat, your body thinks that food is scarce and goes into what is known as ëstarvation modeí. In a throwback to our hunter-gatherer past when food was frequently scarce, your body will attempt to get you through the perceived famine by slowing your metabolic rate- the rate at which you burn calories. This means that your body is eventually able to maintain its daily functions on the small amount of calories you are eating, so you will stop losing weight. You will also experience food cravings as your body will be urging you to eat more and break the ëfamineí. Unfortunately when you do start eating normally again your body will then attempt to build fat reserves back up to counteract the next ëfamineí so your higher calorie intake will be stored as fat.
When you lose weight very quickly, your body will burn muscle for fuel rather than fat stores. This means that you will be losing muscle mass, not fat. Unfortunately, if weight is put back on later, it is then stored as fat! If you eat a very restricted diet over a long period of time, the body will start to break down muscle tissue in the vital organs to obtain fuel, which could eventually lead to organ failure.
Eating under 1000 calories a day over a prolonged period also means that you are at risk of becoming deficient in one or more of the key nutrients your body needs to survive and function. In an attempt to obtain these missing nutrients your body will cause you to start craving certain foods. Once you start eating them, you will probably find it difficult to stop. On the other hand, if you don't give in to these cravings you run the risk of becoming malnourished and permanently damaging your health.
It really is a bad idea to cut your calorie intake below 1000 calories a day. It is almost impossible to maintain this for long and if you do you are at risk of developing serious health complications. You will probably end up gaining back any weight you lose and more besides. It is far better to eat healthily, take more exercise and decide that you will lose the weight slowly. Not only will your weight loss be more effective, you will feel much healthier too.
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