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Many dieters think the lower the calories and the greater the exercise, the faster the pounds will shed.
This is not usually the case. It is easy to make the mistake of eating too few calories while working on weight loss.
This can leave you feeling frustrated, irritable, fatigued, and let down by your efforts.
Let’s review how you can keep yourself out of the very low calorie zone, while continuing to be successful with weight loss.
What Is Too Low Calorie?
- For women: less than 1200 calories
- For men: less than 1600 calories
However, this can vary based on the size of a person.
Why Does Weight Loss Slow?
As soon as you cut the calories too low the body thinks it is starving. So, the metabolism begins to slow. The body wants to conserve its energy.
Once the body has exhausted its supply of available carbohydrates, the body starts to breakdown fat and muscle for fuel. This is dangerous and exhausting for many reasons.
In addition, if you do lose some muscle mass while dieting incorrectly this can slow your body’s ability to burn calories. Muscle burns more calories than fat. So, it is always good to try to improve your ratio of muscle mass to fat mass.
Everyone’s body is different, so it is hard to predict what will happen when someone begins a very low calorie diet. But, in my own experience, eight times out of ten, those who eat too few calories have none or very little weight loss. Once we add back more protein and a few healthy carbohydrates to a healthy calorie level, the patient once again sees weight loss.
What’s a Good Calorie Deficit?
We have to find the perfect calorie balance in order to lose weight effectively.
Many experts say the magic balance is only a 200 calorie deficit. This is just enough to cause small amounts of weight loss, and not enough of a deficit for the brain to notice.
If you want to speed up your weight loss, you can create a 500 calorie deficit with your food intake. As always, it is best to seek the advice of your local dietitian to determine what calorie level is best for you.
One thing we do know is that very low calorie diets are not successful in the long run.
The Solution? Flexible Dieting
Flexible Dieting Guide
Flexible dieting is a great solution because it teaches you how to eat more moderately in a way that produces slow and steady weight loss for the long term.
People feel satisfied and they are permitted to eat their favorite foods as long as it fits their prescribed macronutrient amounts and TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).
It gives your body the energy it needs to function and keeps your metabolism humming, allowing fat loss to occur.
Learn more about flexible dieting here.