I met people who went on Low Calorie Diet and Crash Diets last year in the behest of some foolhardy advice from so called pundits of nutrition who without addressing plausible side effects have literally killed them.
Low calorie diet seems to be the order of the day and to team it up with fat phobia, instant gratification (half baked nutritionists want this), size zero and all this might tempt you to attempt a low calorie diet which seems like the quickest, surest way to lose weight. It certainly isn’t easy, but it will get results.
However, many negative side effects come along with restricting your calorie intake below 1,200. Some side effects are minor and will pass with a good meal, but some are more serious and can land you in the hospital. Do not attempt a low-calorie diet unless you are under the strict supervision of a qualified nutritionist who has an enough experience in performance nutrition (one secret tip- never get advice from a nutritionist who has no clue about the science of exercise). The approach for a fitness enthusiast is very different from a sedentary, couch potato.
Men are like trucks and women are like Mercedes Benz, they are equal but not the same (quote from Paul Chek). You need X amount of calories to carry out vital functions. If you do not feed your body in the right earnest it will start breaking down its own tissues for energy. Simple math (multiply your body weight in pounds x 12 if your not very active and 15 if your are active) for the calories you need per day.
A diet plan below 1200 calories per day will get your body into starvation mode. Symptoms like weakness, fatigue, cold, intolerance, irregular menstrual periods, dizziness; constipation and swelling of the hands and feet, hair loss, anemia are common.
Going on a severe calorie restricted diet causes even gallstones. Gout, painful inflammation of the joints caused by high uric acid in the blood, can start with low caloric diets. You also run the risk of malnutrition disorders and electrolyte imbalances. When you cut corners with the body it takes energy from other sources. You will melt muscle now instead of fat, coz your body needs proteins.
Now your metabolic rate will drop drastically and you will find it extremely difficult to lose weight (rather fat) from now. How long can you be on low Caloric diet, eventually you will start eating normally and all the weight will come back.
All the imbalances you created with your so called intelligence will dent your electrolyte balance and leach calcium from your bones, potentially weakening them and leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis. (One more reason for me to conduct a dexa scans to check bone health). Now you also end up screwing your musculo-skeletal system and to put you back on track it will be a long grind again. Sometimes the effects are irreversible. Good luck.
What do you need to do
The human body is very simple; do not complicate it too much. Eat healthy (whole and natural foods), eat right for your activity level, balanced diet, move enough in a day, drink at least 8 glasses of water, eat 3 glycemically balanced meals and 3 small healthy snacks to keep your body and mind in sync. Your brain needs fuel not alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and sugar. KISS (KEEP IT SIMPLE…..)