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For losing weight severe calorie restriction is bad.

What happens if you cut your food intake BELOW your RMR? Your body fights back. It actually DECREASES its metabolic rate. If you are eating an insufficient amount of food to meet your RMR, you will not be eating enough to maintain your body's functions properly. You can do this for a day or even two days without consequences. But chronic restriction of calories below the RMR is not unusual among dieters. This type of severe restriction can go on for an extended period of time (weeks or months), but NOT WITHOUT PAYING A PRICE. That price may be your health.

When you restrict calories too severely, your body is forced to make tradeoffs. Your body will struggle to preserve the highest priority bodily functions. Brain and heart function will be a very high priority whereas reproductive function and bone will be sacrificed.

You think you are restricting calories but if your restriction is too severe, your body will do everything it can to conserve calories. A familiar example of restricting calories too severely is the athlete or ballerina or model that is always trying to cut weight. But many people practice severe calorie restriction, not just models or athletes. Here is what happens to a female who restricts calories too severely for an extended period:

  • She experiences fatigue and becomes listless
  • She may sleep more
  • She finds it more difficult to exercise or work
  • She damages her immune system which means she gets sick more often and for longer
  • She skips her menstrual periods for months or even years because her endocrine system is thrown into disarray
  • She loses her reproductive capacity (she will be unable to conceive or carry a baby)
  • If she is dieting while pregnant, she may damage her baby's development
  • She loses muscle tissue as her body breaks down muscle in its desperate search for calories
  • She loses heart muscle in addition to skeletal muscle
  • Her bones become thinner and she may experience broken bones if she falls
  • Her hair becomes brittle and may start to fall out
  • Her eyes become dull
  • She develops skin problems
  • She has bad breath because she is burning ketones
  • She starts to experience mood changes
  • She develops psychological changes that can develop into dementia, anorexia or bulimia
  • She can eventually starve to death

There has to be a better way, and there is. Severe calorie restriction is totally unnecessary and counterproductive.