So, you’ve decided to lose weight and you know that by restricting your caloric intake, you’ll start dropping pounds quickly. It may be tempting to eat next to nothing to lose weight as quickly as possible, but I would caution you against such tactics. Time and again, people who decide to engage in such drastic reduction find it to be an unsustainable long-term weight loss technique. To put it simply: Too much restriction can bring your progress to a grinding halt.
Wondering how many calories you need to be successful?
There are several factors that go into determining how many calories you should be eating to ensure that you lose weight without starving yourself. The exact number is going to vary person-to-person based on height, weight, and activity level. Even with the variance allowed from one individual to the next, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adult males eat no fewer than 1800 calories a day, and that adult females eat no fewer than 1200. The best thing for many people to do is have a conversation with their doctor about the caloric intake that is required to maintain proper health. For many people, an intake lower than these recommended levels is likely to have adverse effects and should not be attempted without being monitored by your doctor.
Itching for more details about what happens if you go too low?
Going too low on caloric intake each day will negatively affect your ability to lose weight as well as your overall health. Extremely low calorie intake will reduce the total amount of food you can eat in one sitting and is likely to prevent you from having the ability to receive all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy. It’s likely that your internal leptin levels will be reduced as well. Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite, and low levels often lead to increased hunger and instances of overeating. Cortisol levels are likely to be raised as well when you go too low with your caloric intake. Another hormone, heightened cortisol levels often mean an increase in stress felt within the body.
Here’s how you can reach your goal without going too low with your daily calorie intake.
You want to shoot for one to two pounds of weight loss per week. This has been proven, time and again, to be the most effective rate at which to lose weight. This means reducing your caloric intake by 500 to 1000 calories per day. While this reduction may initially place some individuals below the recommended 1200 or 1800 minimum, the math quickly changes when exercise is introduced. The calories that are burned off during exercise translate quickly into a higher overall caloric allowance for the day. Combining reduced intake with regular output will ensure that you lose weight without severely limiting the amount of food you’re allowing yourself to eat. Doing things this way will work towards preventing your metabolism from slowing, will keep your hormone levels regulated to healthy levels, and keep your weight loss moving at a steady rate.