Common sense indicates the less we eat, the fewer calories we consume, the less we weigh, right? Absolutely not. Eating too few calories can prevent you from losing weight.
Not consuming enough calories can slow down your metabolism and lead your body to store any food that comes your way in order to survive. “When you don’t eat enough, your body goes into survival mode and starts breaking down muscle to release the glucose stored inside. Losing muscle mass can wreak havoc on your weight-loss goals because muscle burns calories 24/7, even if you are at rest.”
Without muscle’s existence, it cannot do its duty in boosting the metabolism, and you will ultimately burn less calories. Therefore, when you limit your food intake, you limit your ability to reach your weight loss goals. Instead, we can ultimately boost the metabolism by increasing muscle mass.
If you short your body of the nutrients it needs, it will make your body operate less optimally. I commonly see patients restricting food groups in their diet, especially carbohydrates, fruits, and fats, when trying to reduce their weight. However, limiting certain foods can ultimately decrease essential vitamin levels. For example, “it can be difficult to get enough vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods such as nuts and oils, on a low-calorie diet. Vitamin E is an immune-booster and antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage — the kind of damage that can cause cancer and chronic diseases.
In fact, when you do begin to include the food you love once more, you will most likely gain all the weight back that you lost when you restricted your intake. If you can’t imagine following that specific diet for the rest of your life with no further support, the weight loss will not be maintainable. You will work so hard to find that the results are only temporary. Remember: no successful program is a diet; it’s a lifestyle.
So the big question is, how do you know when too much cutting back on calories is just too much? Seek the expertise of one our registered dietitians here at Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition! Call today! 609-738-3143
Michele Wroblewski, RDN
Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC
1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3
Allentown, NJ 08501