Top 5 reasons to avoid extreme low calorie diets

The negative effects of extreme low calorie dieting are often not only physical but also mental. Not only do you stand the chance of decreasing your lean body mass (anything except fat), decreasing your metabolism and potentially ruining hormone function. You could also alter your psychological behaviour towards food habits, leading to food seeking, binging, purging, and starving,

If your not aware of these issues they can soon add up to you moving less, not burning as many calories and eventually eating more food, leading to major relapse once the diet is over.

1 Extreme dieting can increase the risk of muscle loss

When your body is being starved it's clever and looks at ways to conserve energy. Muscle is very metabolically active (it burns a lot of calories) and is seen by the body as extra weight it's got to carry around. Therefor it will look to dispose of this as a easy way to burn less calories. Dieting without any resistance work can cause a lot of your losses to come from muscle. The greater the deficit and the lower the protein intake the higher the chance are you will lose lean body mass, therefore slowing down your metabolism.

2 Extreme dieting can slow do your metabolic rate

Your basal metabolic rate is what calories you burn at rest. When you lose a lot of weight quickly you will burn less simply because you have a smaller body. A huge calorie restriction can cause metabolic adaptations to your biological processes in order to conserve energy (as the body thinks it's dying) this creates a bigger decrease in the metabolism as normal known as “adaptive thermogenesis” This makes is very difficult for people to lose weight at all during this phase.

3 Extreme dieting decreases your energy, work capacity and performance

Very small numbers of people cope well with heavy calorie deficits but for the majority of people being able to move more, move well and keep it up just doesn't happen. Low calories diets are not conducive to a active lifestyle. Without enough fuel you will fatigue quicker and any potential results will be compromised.

4 Extreme dieting can lead to increased hunger and cravings

Cravings and slight hunger is to be seen as normal during a deficit but when taken to the extreme you can become ravenous, fixated with food and also see changes to your psycho-social behaviour. You become totally food focused and are in a constant mental battle which can result in disordered eating patterns from the overwhelming feeling of deprivation.

5 Extreme dieting increases the chance of weight regain

A sustainable, enjoyable approach with flexible structure ahs been proven to work. Extreme rigid dieters have been reported to have all the issues we have mentioned above and thus increase their chances of regaining weight. Everyone is capable of losing weight, but as this process slows (which is quicker the more extreme you are) people have a tendency to give up. Add to this the issues we have mentioned to the binge they put themselves through and you can soon see why people regain more weight than before. This pattern of yo-yo dieting can go on for years. Not only is it unhealthy but with each viscous cycle your metabolism becomes less and less efficient, you may actually get fatter by eating less food than before

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