How Calorie Restriction Won’t Help You Lose Weight

calorie restriction

In terms of losing weight, calorie restriction does not always mean slimmer waistlines. This piece is built upon a story that includes experts from the field. The conventional wisdom on nutrition has always advised cutting down on calories and working out more when you’re trying to lose weight. 

In the sense of theory, this is sensible to burn more calories than you consume, and weight loss is going to fall off.

However, there’s usually a major disadvantage that occurs when you’re too obsessed with a strict diet, as Dr. Danny Shouhed, a surgeon who is board-certified and the founding medical director for the Bariatric Surgery and Metabolic Weight Loss Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center located in Santa Monica, California, points out.

“Patients take part in”these “crash diets that are restricting their intake of calories to the point where your body enters the state of starvation, which is the aspect that is ineffective,” he says.

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By the term “starvation mode,” Shouhed refers to an evolutionary process that evolved “thousands of years ago when we were hunters and gatherers without refrigerators.” In the past, it was not uncommon to have our ancestors eat the first day only to be unable to locate food for a few more days.

What is Actually a Calorie Restriction?

Calorie restriction means reducing the average daily caloric intake to a level that is usual or normal without malnutrition or deprivation of vital nutrients. When you are in the context of an intermittent diet the person either does take a complete absence from food or drastically restricts intake during specific times of the week, day, or even a month. The result of a fasting lifestyle could result in calorie restriction since it is less time available for regular meals.

To deal with the uncertainty of food availability, The human body has adjusted to reduce its metabolic rate basal in times of fasting. The basal metabolic rate, also known as BMR is the number of calories that the body requires to sustain life-sustaining functions, like breathing.

“It’s similar to the way bears hibernate during winter, and the way a crocodile is able to swim for up to 60 minutes without gills and requires no oxygen,” Shouhed explains. “The crocodile is able to reduce the heartbeat from 60 beats per minute to 5 beats per minute to conserve energy while swimming.” If your body is in “starvation mode,” it’s trying to preserve as many calories and energy as it can in order to function every day.

A Drive to Equilibrium

calorie restriction

Every person has a set limit or weight limit within which the brain would like to keep the body. The range of weight varies from person to person and is determined by genetics and the environment. It is the body’s natural wire to survive in the sense that, as diets are concerned, it is a type of hunger.

Certain research results suggest that calorie restrictions could be beneficial for human health however further research is required before we can understand the long-term consequences. There is no evidence in humans about the relationship between the restriction of calories and longevity.

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The body’s incessant drive to equilibrium as well as the varying metabolism of basal makes it difficult to lose weight, even though you’ve cut back on your calories. Naturally, when you eventually stop adhering to the strict diet the body will remain in a state of starvation for a while (how duration will depend on the individual and situation).

“Unfortunately after you’ve entered the state of starvation for a specific period of time, the initial set point for your basal metabolic rate, which is located within the hypothalamus (a brain structure that regulates metabolic functions) has been altered indefinitely. This means that the set-point, also known as your BMR, achieves a new equilibrium,” Shouhed explains.

Re-Gaining Weight After a Diet

For instance, if you had 1200 calories to fuel your body every day Your body may be able to work with 800 calories following an interval of restriction on calories. When you start taking in more calories than this the body must determine the best way to use the extra calories.

This is the reason why so many people get back into shape after a weight loss, and could end up being heavier than they did before starting the diet. “From the perspective of math it’s likely that you’re going to end up being higher than when you began,” Shouhed says.

This can be controlled through a range of hormones, including ghrelin, the hunger hormone your body produces to inform your brain that it’s time for food – and leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety that aids your brain in determining the moment you’re satisfied.

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In normal conditions, the hormones are in balance so that the body attempts to stay in equilibrium, which is at its natural equilibrium level. However, when these hormones are altered by extreme dieting and exercise, it could throw the entire system out of balance and make it difficult to maintain weight loss when you lose it.

The reason why a lot of people “fail” at losing weight is not willpower, but all to do with the method the body uses to maintain its health.

There’s not enough evidence to suggest any kind of calorie restriction and fasting-style diet. There is a lot to be known about their safety and effectiveness, particularly for older people.

It’s possible to experiment with these eating habits. It is important to ensure that whatever you decide to do offers you a safe quantity of nutrients. Discuss with your doctor the advantages and potential risks before making major changes to your eating habits.

The contestants lost huge amounts of weight, but within a year of the conclusion of the show, the majority of them had gained back the majority, or all, of the weight they had lost. Some even exceeded their initial weights due to that rebound.

The researchers looked into what caused this and found that the intense fitness and diet regimens pushed the contestants into starvation mode and decreased their BMR. They also found that their metabolic rate didn’t recover to levels that were previously experienced even after they had regained the weight that they lost.

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A follow-up study by the same team explored the reasons the reason for this. Researchers discovered that the body is constantly trying to keep its equilibrium through calorie restriction.

The results were depressing for anyone looking to shed some weight However, they also confirmed those who have tried every diet available and then regained their weight realized: unless you adhere to the strict calorie restriction for an entire lifetime Diets aren’t effective over the long run and can have negative long-term effects from insufficiently eating.

Other effects of extreme Calorie Restriction

Additionally, it alters the way your metabolism functions. “Severe calorie restriction often leads to some degree of malnutrition, which includes micronutrient deficiencies,” says Candace Pumper, a staff dietitian at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. Micronutrient deficiency could cause various symptoms, including:

  • Cramps.
  • Dehydration.
  • Headaches.
  • Insufficiency of the immune system.
  • Fainting.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Unable to control the body temperature.
  • Muscle fatigue.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Reduced bone density.
  • Electrolyte imbalances.
  • Other health problems that can last a long time include death in extreme instances.

Physical and athletic performance could also be affected when you don’t consume enough calories. For some, the calorie restriction can cause the loss of hair. In extreme instances, women may experience irregularities in the menstrual cycle or even a complete absence of menstrual flow.

Calorie Restriction Can Affect Mental Health

calorie restriction

Insomnia, diminished vigor and mental fatigue mood swings, mental fog, and other symptoms can also manifest when you’re not eating. They can also be a result of backlash to diets that occur when the mere notion of eating a ” forbidden” food can cause eating too much, which then escalates into a cycle of deprivation and deprivation, followed by overeating and guilt.

Calorie restriction can also lead to a loss of confidence and self-confidence. Certain foods as “good” or “bad” can lead to difficult decision-making at every mealtime. When you focus your attention on external factors like calories or food guidelines and rules, you decrease your capacity to listen to the body and brain and are unable to recognize signals such as fullness, hunger, and satisfaction.

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In the end, you’re more susceptible to external signals that tell you when or what to eat, including advertisements, food options, and the time of the day. It is more likely that you consume food for emotional reasons or simply because food is available even when you’re not hungry.

Although you can certainly lose weight by not eating however it’s not the ideal method for sustainable weight loss.

How Does Work?

After years of study and discovery, scientists are still unable to understand the reason why restricting calories extends life span and slows down the development of age-related diseases in lab animals. Does this result stem from eating fewer calories and eating within a specific period of time? Does the result depend on the nutrition mix in your diet?

Numerous studies have focused on what happens in our bodies when the intake of calories is limited. In lab animals, caloric restriction alters various processes that have been thought to regulate the speed of aging. This includes inflammation as well as sugar metabolism, maintaining protein structures, the ability to provide energy for cell processes, as well as modifications to DNA. Another aspect that is affected by calorie restriction is oxidative stress. It results in the creation of harmful products of oxygen metabolism that can cause tissue and cell damage.

Making sure that you get sufficient sleep and exercise is essential. Being active is crucial to keep your lungs and heart and muscles healthy. It will also help maintain your weight. It is essential to rest the muscles you have worked on after exercise and also to maintain the immune system to be healthy as well as normal brain function. various other aspects of general health.

How many Calories Should Consume Every Single Day?

calorie restriction

How many calories should you consume every day? It “depends on a variety of variables, including the rate of your metabolic basal rate and your level of physical activity. Syn suggests “seeing your physician or a registered dietitian assist you to identify and establish achievable goals for your calorie restriction and physical exercise and physical activity to shed pounds effectively and efficiently.”

A reduction in the range of 500 calories a day is a good way to achieve lasting and healthy weight loss. Cutting down on sugary drinks, eating most of the foods that are minimally processed like vegetables and fruits, as well as eating meals cooked at home can help you to reach the calorie limit without counting.

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This guideline is exactly what guidelines from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest for people who want to shed weight. They suggest that women consume between 1,200 and 1500 calories per day, while men should consume between 1,500 and 1,800 calories per day. However, there are some variations between people. “This information is intended for educational use only,” Pumper says. 

“It’s not intended to be a substitute for expert medical advice or treatment for nutrition,” which is why it’s always advised to speak with Dietitians to receive personalized advice tailored to your particular situation.

Calorie restriction for weight loss

Finding the ideal balance in the middle between reducing your calorie restriction sufficiently to lead to weight loss and not entering into the starvation state in which the body is trying to keep weight off by slowing its metabolism rate is an extremely complex calculation. Losing weight by eating less is one option, however, exercising is also a part of the overall equation.

Shouhed suggests that you shouldn’t depend on exercising to perform the heavy lifting needed to shed weight since the greatest benefits come from a better diet. But, exercising can be beneficial in a variety of ways, not the least of which is helping you keep your muscles in place while dropping weight. 

However, if you do calorie restriction in a way that is too drastic and you don’t exercise enough, your body might start burning muscle for fuel to meet essential needs. This can reduce your metabolism further because lean muscle burns up more calories in rest than fat.

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In order to help maintain muscle mass when you shed weight, it is recommended by Shouhed to ensure that you’re eating sufficient protein. “You still require calories and carbs. However, when you’re increasing your intake of protein and calorie restriction, you’ll feel fuller for longer.” This will assist you to stick to a diet that helps in calorie restriction while making sure that you aren’t feeling hungry and reducing the macronutrients your body requires.

The basic premise behind calorie restriction, according to the Calorie Restriction Society website is “to consume fewer calories without consuming fewer minerals, vitamins, and other essential elements of a balanced diet and thus live the goal of living longer and healthier.”

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