Why Low Calorie Diets Are Dangerous
If you are starting a new diet and you want to drop a few extra pounds, it’s natural to start to reduce calories in order to lose weight, this will mainly come from reducing the ‘bad’ processed foods, alcohol and starch in many cases since excess sugar or carbs can lead to weight gain.
The problem with many calorie controlled diets is that they are unsustainable and often rely on will power which isn’t a long term option, usually leading to ‘binges’ which means the weight comes pilling back on, plus a little extra.
When reducing calories, you also reduce your metabolic rate and over long periods of time this can cause ‘metabolic damage’. The real problem here is that when a normal amount of calories are consumed after the diet ceases, the weight will come back on since the metabolism is now lower as a result.
The other issue is that many diets lead to loss in lean muscle tissue which is a big factor in daily calorie burn since 1 pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day, so it’s essential to preserve these tissues through eating adequate protein and doing some resistance work to stimulate muscle tissue growth.
So what is deemed as too low for men?
Anything lower than 1000 calories is going to be low in our opinion and it’s often the case with diet programmes that are based on shakes like SlimFast and soups such as ‘The Cabbage Diet’.
We recommend eating from all the major food groups for maximum health and energy in the very first instance of a diet, focusing on being consistent and developing healthy lifestyle habits first. From there, it makes sense to adjust your macronutrient intake depending on your activity level for that day, especially in the form of carbohydrates since these provide energy for the body.
If you are currently following a plan which is on the low end of the calorie spectrum, be sure to temporarily increase calories from healthy sources at least once per week to ensure your metabolism remains healthy and you continue to see improvements in your results, also having a ‘cheat meal’ can really help with the motivation since it gives you something to look forward to!
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