Nutrition

Why You Shouldn’t Drop Your Calories Too Low

Why is it that everyone wants weight loss results fast? They want results to be like a person on an episode of stars in their eyes. Walk in to the cloud and SHAZAM you are a changed person.

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It is not as simple as that, however people want to feel as though they are doing as much as possible to transform their image. The most popular way of doing it is crash dieting. Before you venture off and try to dramatically lose weight, take a read of why you definitely shouldn’t crash diet.

First of all everyone is so focussed on image that they forget about the most important thing…..looking after their body.

Many people will sacrifice good health for a drop on the scales. They will drastically reduce their calorie intake with the view that the results will come quicker. You might have tried the cabbage soup diet, a juice diet, or just dropped your calorie intake to 500 calories per day. These diets are extremely low on calories which can be damaging for your health, body function, and mind.

You will be grumpy, dopey, and sleepy; Happy is how you want to be. The self belief that body image makes you happy is a big problem for us all. We aspire to look a certain way yet when you get there, you don’t feel happy at all. Instead you feel like taking a nap, eating sweet tasting foods, or feel you need to lose more weight. The reasons for these feelings are because you are low on energy and image doesn’t bring happiness. Your body is running on empty. Without a certain amount of calories per day then your body can not function properly let alone give you energy to move.

How many calories your body needs

Most people think of calories or energy in terms of activity levels through movement. Your body needs energy for various cognitive and metabolic functions first.

Brain

The brain is your own super computer. It is far more advanced and efficient, and possesses more raw computational power than the most impressive supercomputers that have ever been built. These super computers are huge and yet they still can’t function as well as a 1kg brain. All of this power requires energy, just like your smartphone needs electricity.

The average human brain requires around 400 calories per day to function on all cylinders.

Severe energy imbalances can slow down our brain metabolism, meaning we get dumber when energy levels are low. We start to forget things and our thinking is foggy. It is extremely hard to be creative or have ideas, which can prevent you from having an efficient day. We also get lethargic, anxious, and snappy which over time can lead to depression or a high temperament.

Metabolic functions

Heart

The average adult heart weighs approximately 0.312kg. With the human heart requiring 600 calories per kg of heart weight. That brings the daily requirement to around 200 calories for heart function.

Kidneys

Our kidneys need around 400 calories per kg of kidney weight. With the average adult kidneys weighing a total of 0.33kg, that brings the daily requirement to around 132 calories for kidney function.

Liver

The average adult liver weighs approximately 1.56kg. The human liver requires 300 calories per kg of liver weight. That brings the daily requirement to around 468 calories for liver function.

For these four vital organs to function properly you require around 1200 calories per day. As you can probably tell, just keeping your insides healthy and functioning each day requires a good amount of energy.

Our bodies are intelligent machines however they find controlling energy balance difficult when people are strictly controlling their energy intake. When energy intake goes down for too long, the body slows down your overall metabolism to adjust accordingly. This tends to happen when you start to consume 1200 calories or less per day. If you slow down your metabolism for too long then it can be tricky to get it back up again meaning that long term weight loss or control can be difficult.

Also remember that this calculation is for organ functions. Any activity or movement that you do throughout the day will also require energy. If you lead an active lifestyle then plenty more calories are needed. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle then not as many extra calories are needed.

Overall thoughts…

Overall, my advice to you is to treat your body well. Give it the energy that it needs and you will feel amazing. If you feel amazing then you will have energy to make important decisions, hit the gym, and choose to eat well. It is best to think of the bigger picture of good long term health and weight. If you are looking to lose weight quickly then understand the effects dropping your calorie intake too low has.

The best way to lose weight is to make minor changes through additional exercise, clean eating, and to focus on gradual changes over a longer time period.

If you have any questions then drop them in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer them.

 

 

6 comments on “Why You Shouldn’t Drop Your Calories Too Low

  1. Such an awesome post! When I was younger everyone was encouraging me to eat less and less- trainers, teachers, etc. I was never very heavy but for a dancer I wasn’t stick thin! I did eat less and worked out a ton and honestly only dropped a few pounds! We do need food for energy! That’s so important to teach especially to young girls!

  2. This is really important. People are quick to cut calories but don’t always think about it.

  3. So important! I agree that people are so worried about body image and comparing themselves to others… while in the process of harming their bodies! Social media plays a big part in that and it’s sad to see how many people question their abilities daily.

  4. Enlightening post and I completely agree with you. We are seriously not well informed when it comes to our calorie requirement.

  5. Moin shaikh

    Really informative article on calories. bookmarked the page.

  6. randmcooks

    I agree! Balance in all things – especially your calorie intake! It’s never a good idea to go to the extreme!

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