Throughout the year, we often see low-calorie diets advertised as the answer to all our weight loss problems.
Almost everybody has been on a diet at some point in their lives, whether this is an attempt to lose weight, a requirement due to an allergy, or simply a new lifestyle habit.
However, some diets aren’t always the best options. We often hear about low-calorie diets, but what is the problem with these diets and why are we so often advised against following them?
What is a low-calorie diet?
A low-calorie diet is a diet which advises you to eat a limited number of calories. This is different to a diet which calculates the number of calories your body needs per day.
A low-calorie diet will often prescribe a set amount of calories per day for every user, regardless of their weight, sex or age.
What are the problems with low-calorie diets?
Many people don’t need to be following a low-calorie diet for very long before realizing that it can cause a multitude of problems. Apart from feeling tired and faint, you could also experience other health problems as a result.
Low-calorie diets can also slow down your metabolism, having the opposite of the desired effect for those who are trying to shift some extra pounds.
Rather than shedding the extra weight, your body will try hard to maintain it, believing that it could be at the point of being starved.
Which side effects are common as a result of a low-calorie diet?
Those on a low-calorie diet have often reported experiencing tiredness and fatigue. Following a low-calorie diet for a prolonged period of time (6 weeks or longer) could result in chronic fatigue which takes even longer to cure.
Other common problems which can occur are diarrhea and constipation. This is often related to both the low level of calorie intake, and the type of food that you are consuming.
People on low-calorie diets often eat a lot of the same foods in order to get as much as possible from their limited calorie allowance.
Fruits and vegetables are often the go-to foods, and while these are very beneficial for you, they should be eaten as part of a balanced diet and alongside other foods.
Too much fruit, for example, can cause stomach pains and diarrhea.
Those on low-calorie diets may often reach for more protein products. Again, protein should be eaten as part of a balanced diet, since too much dairy could result in prolonged constipation.
Always eat a well balanced diet of protein, fruits and vegetables in order to maintain a healthy weight and appearance.
Find out your basal metabolic rate in order to find how many calories per day you should be getting.
A personal trainer or your doctor can help you out here.
Marc Ouellette is a Certified In-Home Personal Trainer, Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and Owner of Personal Training Alliance.
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