Low-calorie diets actually lower your metabolism
I bet you didn’t see that one coming, but it’s the truth. According to healthline, low-calorie diets actually decreases the number of calories your body burns by up to 23%.
Ever wondered why people tend to regain their weight (and sometimes more) when they come off a calorie restricted diet? It’s due to the fact that you slowed down your metabolism, intentionally or not.
It goes without saying that I do not recommend these types of diets. Especially if you lift weights and are trying to build lean muscle mass, as these types of diets can also lead to muscle loss.
Low-calorie diets can cause fatigue
If you’ve ever been on a low-calorie diet or have fasted, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. When you severely restrict your clients, many people experience flu-like symptoms in the initial days, but experience prolonged fatigue throughout.
This is the exact reason why many bodybuilders and competitors become very weak in the gym in their last few weeks before a competition, because their diet is so restricted.
You need proper fuel so that you can keep your energy levels up and also have great workouts. If you’re living off grapefruit, it goes without saying that you aren’t going to have the proper fuel to get through the days which can also lead to increased irritability (hanger, anyone?).
Low-calorie diets cause hormone and infertility issues for women
If you’re a woman and have severely restricted your calories, there’s a high chance you’ve experienced amenorrhea (or missed periods). This is yet another issue common amongst competitors as they are often on restricted diets for long periods of time.
If you stay on restricted diets, you can actually cause infertility problems due to imbalanced hormones. In short, ovulation relies on increased levels of estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH).
What does this have to do with your diet? Well, studies show that these LH levels are related to your calorie consumption which means if you aren’t following a proper nutrition plan, your body is not getting what it needs and functioning properly.
If you still don’t believe me, research has proven that fertility is greatly reduced in women who eat 22-42% fewer calories than their maintenance level. Even if you don’t plan on having kids, it’s important to keep your hormones balanced.
Hormone imbalances can also cause other problems like acne, missed periods, fatigue, and more.
I could go on and on about more reasons why you should not follow low-calorie diets, but I think you get the point. Basically, if your goal is to lose fat and get that shredded six pack…
Restricting your calories is not the best way to go about it. Instead, I highly recommend to get a coach who does not prescribe you a cookie-cutter plan and instead works with you 1:1.