Why eating too few calories is not good for you. Yes, if weight loss is your goal then you do need to be in a calorie deficit. However, consistently not eating enough calories will have negative effects on your body. Your body needs a certain number of calories to keep you breathing and your blood pumping. The number of calories that your body needs to perform these functions is called BMR basal metabolic rate. You can find out what your BMR is by using an online calculator or doing the math yourself. You need to eat a certain amount of food every day to meet your BMR. If you are barely eating enough calories to meet your BMR then your body will slow down its metabolism because your body thinks there is a shortage of food. Your body’s only objective is survival, it really doesn’t care about your weight loss goals, it wants to keep you alive. If you drastically restrict food for a long period of time, then your body will do what it does best and go into survival mode by holding onto every ounce of stored body fat. Of course, there are times where your weight becomes a life or death situation and a doctor recommends some type of restrictive eating plan. Even if they do, it is only for a short amount of time and you are closely monitored. For most people, tactics like this should be avoided.
There is a better approach and that is to increase your metabolism and then reduce it by a couple hundred calories. You can increase your metabolism by eating more quality food, like whole nutritious minimally processed foods and start a strength training exercise routine. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories that your body needs to consume to maintain the muscle. This doesn’t mean you have to put on massive muscles, lean muscle will be perfectly fine. For example, say you are a female and you are eating 1500 calories right now of mainly processed foods. You slowly start increasing to 2000 calories of whole nutritious minimally processed foods and you start a strength training exercise routine. Once you hit 2000 calories a day and you feel satisfied after you eat, meaning you aren’t hungry, but you’re not stuffed. Then you can deduct 200 calories from your diet. You will be a lot happier eating 1800 calories a day of quality food over eating 1300 calories or fewer of highly processed foods.