The Hidden Dangers Of Calorie Restriction

Calorie restriction is the process of cutting out or limiting the number of calories you consume in a period of time. Virtually all diets use some form of calorie restriction, even if the term is never explicitly used, because eating fewer calories is the surest way to lose weight. But there are some hidden dangers of calorie restriction that you should be aware of before beginning a new diet.

Your body needs a significant number of calories every day to function. According to Healthline, there are three main ways your body uses calories. One is to cover your basic bodily functions like running your heart, brain, and lungs. This is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR). The next is to help you digest and metabolize foods. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). And finally, your body needs a certain number of calories to power you through physical activity. This can be everything from a hard workout at the gym to walking your dog to vacuuming your house.

The exact number of calories needed to function will vary from person to person depending on their individual lifestyle and health condition. However, it is important to know that everyone needs to consume a certain amount of calories every day just to survive. So even if you sit on the couch all day and don't work out, you still need to eat.

Cutting out calories to lose weight can cause more harm than good

If your weight is causing you discomfort or contributing to health issues, it may be necessary for you to restrict some calories in order to lose weight. The safest way to do this is to talk to your doctor and to work with other health care providers like a nutritionist and a personal trainer (via Healthgrades). This will also help you create a lifestyle that you're most likely to stick with long term.

Calorie restriction without the help of a medical professional can cause many issues. If you don't eat enough for your body to function, your metabolism will slow down as your body responds by entering "starvation mode" (via Verywell Fit). This means your body will try to conserve the food you are eating and your weight loss progress will slow down significantly. Because calories are turned into energy, you will feel sluggish and tired during the day when restricting calories. This may also affect your weight loss goals because you will not be as active during the day.

Finally, calorie restriction can cause a number of health issues including nutrient deficiencies, lowered immune health, weak bones, and even infertility (via Healthline). Always speak with a health care professional before cutting calories from your diet.