A low-calorie diet is an easy diet to understand and follow. The simple objective of consuming less calories then you burn is an easy concept. All you need is a journal to record the calories you’ve consumed and a calculator. However, this is also an easy-fail diet. It is notorious for turning a motivated person into a someone who wants to give up. No person is perfect, and the occasional slip up is practically inevitable. And what does this diet do when the slip up occurs? It packs the weight right back on. Of course that is going to unmotivated someone!
Sure, a low-calorie diet is going to work at first. But when someone restricts the calories too much, the body will turn on it’s starvation mode and hoard the calories that are actually consumed. This is a survival instinct. So instead of burning the calories, it starts burning off lean muscle. Then, when a person is done with the diet or even binges for a day, those sudden extra calories are held onto, because the body is preparing for another extreme calorie reduction. Thus, a weight gain and an unmotivated person.
There are other potential problems with low-calorie diets as well. Just because you are losing weight doesn’t mean that you are getting all the proper nutrients and vitamins. A 300 calorie serving of ice cream isn’t going to give much by way of nutrition as, say, a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. It is difficult to consume the nutrients and vitamins without consuming the calories. Also, with the lack of nutrients, you can easily feel extremely tired, nauseous, and constipated. It is hard to get a lot of energy when you are so limiting the calories and other energy building nutrients.
One more important problem to take into consideration is the increased risk of gallstones. People who lose 9-22 lbs in the course of 2 years are 44 percent more likely to form gallstones then those who did not lose weight. Also, the sudden weight loss and commonly skipped meals associated with low-calorie diets can decrease the functioning of the gallbladder, thus increasing the risk of gallstones.
With all this said, it is still possible to succeed on a low-calorie diet, even for a little while, though the amount of required calories is probably higher then anticipated. Which is good, because then you get to eat more food! But make the calories count! Calories from nutrient-rich food is better then empty calories from junk food. A 5ft 5in woman who is 25 years old, weighs 150lbs, and is moderately active should be eating around 2210 calories a day. Whereas, a 5ft 1in woman who is 35 years old and weighs 125 lbs should be eating about 2048 calories. Subtract 500 calories a day to lose about 1-2 lbs a week. There are plenty of online calorie calculators, two being on www.shapefit.com and www.freedieting.com.
As always, consult with your doctor or physician before starting a diet.