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Written by Chloe Harris.

People usually associate weight loss with cutting down calories. While it is true that decreasing your caloric intake results in reduced weight, we can only take this logic that far. Self-imposed dietary restrictions don’t always yield good results. And regularly starving yourself can put your health and general well-being at risk.

David Taylor, a health and fitness coach at Monkeyfoodz, says “The recommended weight loss rate for healthy adults is at 0.5 to 1.0 kilograms per week. For every 1-1.5 kilograms lost, you may reduce your calorie intake by 500-700. However, you must seek a nutrition expert before putting yourself on an 800-calorie diet.”

Fasting Vs Undereating

Fasting and undereating are two of the most interchanged words in the world of weight loss.

Fasting is short-term avoidance of any food or beverage, which usually lasts for only several hours. This term has earned an unpleasant reputation in the past decade as it was used to promote various fad diet plans (e.g. detox diets). But fasting is usually safe because the human body is designed to handle short-term abstinence, just like when we sleep. During our busiest days, we also skip meals for 4 to 8 hours, sometimes 12. Undereating, on the other hand, is not eating anything or eating a lot less than the minimum caloric requirement every day for weeks to months. This is not a safe weight loss strategy, and it can lead to many health issues.

What Happens If You Maintain A “Very Low-Calorie Diet” For A Long Time?

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Maintaining a very low-calorie diet may be recommended in some instances, but you must be supervised by a medical professional. Every person’s dietary requirement may vary based on age, gender, muscle mass, current health and lifestyle. But the standard general rule says we should consume around 2,000 calories/per day for women and 2,500 calories/day for men to maintain your current weight.

However, studies have shown that reducing calorie intake by 500-1000 per day is a safe way to lose weight. You just need to make sure that your intake doesn’t drop below 1,200 calories/day for women and 1,500 calories/day for men. Overdoing this can cause a series of biochemical reactions that will stall all your weight loss efforts.
Consistently eating below your calorie minimum can result in the following issues:

Nutrient Deficiency.

Significantly reducing your calorie intake often means decreasing the variety of your food, which increases the risk of nutrient deficiency. If nutrients are not replenished, you can acquire more serious health problems, such as:
● Iodine deficiency may enlarge the thyroid gland, increase heart rate, and cause weight gain.
● Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of cancer.
● Vitamin C deficiency may weaken immune function and delay wound healing.

As this health problem progress, your natural reaction would be to eat more to repair the damage.

Weakening of the Vital Organs.

Insufficient sustenance deprives your vital organs of the nutrients it needs to function properly and repair themselves. When blood glucose level is low, the body will automatically use adipose and muscle tissues to make energy. Even the tissues that support vital organs (e.g. liver and kidneys) will be used.

As vital organs weaken, you may experience lethargy, confusion, and depression, which you might try to resolve through eating.

Slower Metabolism.

Your body will adjust to a very low-calorie intake by slowing metabolism to ensure you have enough fuel until the next meal. This means that once you decide to eat normally again, you will have to wait for metabolism to go back to its previous rate.

In terms of weight loss, anything “too little” can be harmful. To achieve your ideal weight, you must practice solid patience and discipline. A nutrition expert and a certified fitness coach can work together to create a plan for you. Complement this plan with
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Written by Chloe Harris.

Chloe Harris is an Australian writer and a Business Administration student living in Sydney. She has extensive knowledge of financial data and project management topics. Chloe has a passion for photography and when she’s not studying or writing, you’ll find her outdoors chasing the perfect shot.