Doctors Notes: Myth – eating less will help me lose weight

Myth – eating less will help me lose weight.


Believe it or not, a weight-loss program that overly restricts calories will set you up for failure, as will a skipped meals and consuming too few calories. There is a point at which cutting calories will work against weight loss because it leads to an increased appetite and low satiety as your body prevents starvation. You will find it hard to implement your healthy eating goals when you’re feeling hungry and dissatisfied. Several things can happen if you regularly attempt to reduce a daily calorie intake below 1,000 calories for more than a week or two, and understanding just a few of the things that can happen may encourage people to eat healthy and attempt to lose weight in a manner that provides not only effective results, but long-lasting ones as well.

Yo-Yo Effect

For those who decrease their calorie intake to 1000 calories or less, decreases their chances for long-term weight loss. Those who engage in crash diets often will see a 2 to 5 pound drop in weight during the first few days, but this weight loss is due to mostly loss of water weight, as the body uses stores of extra glycogen, which sops up excess fluids in the body. Following this rapid loss of initial weight, crash dieters often see not only the weight return, but more of it.

Decreased Metabolism

Yo- yo dieting or crash diets that severely restrict calorie intake can cause a decreased metabolism, or slow down the rate at which the body burns fat. This effect is created because the body fears that it is being starved, and will hang onto every excess calorie that it can. The body will automatically slow down the rate at which it consumes energy, resulting in a slower metabolism, which results in fewer pounds lost.

Nutrition Deficiency

Low calorie intake also restricts the amount of vitamins and minerals, carbs, fats, sugars and proteins the body needs for healthy, optimal function. Such deficiencies may result in anemia caused by a lack or iron or vitamin B12, as well as deficiency of sodium and potassium, elements vital for chemical reactions in the body that drive normal function of body organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and digestive system.

Organ Damage

Long-term low calorie intake may severely damage vital organs like the kidneys, liver and heart because the body will start to literally burn through muscle tissue if not enough calories provide energy for metabolism. Bones may become brittle, and the kidneys or liver may start to fail. For some, heart damage, irregularities and even heart attack or stroke may occur.