Why Cutting Calories Won't Help You Lose Weight

Starvation Mode?

Shouhed says starvation mode evolved “thousands of years ago when we used to be hunters and gatherers and didn't have refrigerators.” Our forefathers would feast one day and then go hungry for days.

Seeking Balance

The brain wants to keep everyone at a certain weight. Genes and environment determine this range. Dieting is famine to the body, which is wired for survival.

Post-Diet Weight Gain

After calorie restriction, your body may function on 800 calories instead of 1,200. If you consume more than that, your body must find out how to use the extra calories.

Extreme Calorie Reduction Effects

“Severe calorie restriction often results in some degree of malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiency,” says Columbus-based staff dietitian Candace Pumper.

Extreme Calorie Reduction Effects

Micronutrient deficiency symptoms include: Cramps. Dehydration. Headaches. Irritability. Immunosuppression.

Extreme Calorie Reduction Effects

Fainting. Hormonal imbalance. Poor temperature regulation. Muscular tiredness. Nausea.

Extreme Calorie Reduction Effects

Vomiting. Constipation. Bone loss. Electrolyte imbalances. Various chronic illnesses, including death.


Calorie Restrictions May Impact Mental Health

Sleepiness, mental tiredness, mood swings, brain fog, and other psychological symptoms can also result from not eating.

Calorie Restrictions May Impact Mental Health

Diet backlash—when merely the concept of a "forbidden" item causes overeating—can lead to a cycle of restriction, deprivation, overeating, and guilt.

What Works?

Pumper argues that "gradual vs quick weight reduction is related with higher drops in fat mass and body fat percentage as well as significant preservation of RMR"

Calorie Needs?

See your doctor or a certified dietitian to help you calculate and set realistic goals for calorie consumption and physical exercise to lose weight safely and effectively.

Calorie-Restricted Weight Loss

Finding the right caloric deficit to lose weight without starving can be tricky. Eastburn also notes its uniqueness

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