As with most things in life, when we want to lose weight we want results NOW.
And sometimes this leads us to take drastic steps to try and attain our weight loss goals. Especially with so many fad diets and products that promise the world to you.
One of these drastic steps is eating too little.
We think to ourselves that eating less will make us lose weight, so eating even less than that will make me lose weight faster! Right? WRONG!
You need a modest caloric deficit to lose weight effectively and successfully over a period of time.
This is one of those cases where less is definitely more.
Let me explain in these 3 points why eating too little can actually backfire in your face and cause weight gain and sabotage your weight loss journey!
Eating Too Little Sends Your Body Into Fat Storage Mode
Your body is all about keeping you alive. When you use a moderate caloric deficit (approx. 500 calories) you are successfully able to lose weight.
This is because your body is still getting enough fuel to stay alive and operate with no problems.
Then due to the modest caloric deficit your body allows you to burn fat stores as fuel and thus you lose weight.
On the other hand, if you drop your caloric intake down too low and eat too little your body will say to itself:
“I am not getting enough food to operate normally, I am getting starved! The best thing I can do is hold on to as much fat as I can, use my muscles as energy and anything that comes in too that isn’t immediately used for fuel I should store.”
To put it plainly your body goes into survival mode. This NEGATIVELY EFFECTS WEIGHT LOSS.
This is because your body can no longer lose any weight because you are not feeding it enough to enable it to release fat to be used as fuel because you are underfeeding yourself.
Your body WILL hold onto fat if it is not getting fed enough, it is as simple as that.
Take a step back and eat a healthy caloric deficit!
Eating Too Little Increases Cortisol and Stalls Weight Loss
This once again falls back to the first point, eating too little increases the stress (cortisol is released) on your body because it is not getting enough by any means.
Putting your body into a stressed-out mode and thus you lose no weight and in some cases even gain weight.
Cortisol is one of our biggest enemies as women not only for weight loss but for a host of other reasons such as:
- Intestinal problems, such as constipation, bloating or diarrhea
- Anxiety or depression
- Weight gain
- Increased blood pressure
- Low libido, erectile dysfunction or problems with regular ovulation or menstrual periods
- Difficulty recovering from exercise
- Poor sleep
In order for us to successfully lose weight and burn fat, we need to have as little cortisol as possible.
Eating Too Little Causes Muscle Loss
As we covered in our article “Myth Busted – Does Lifting Weights Make Women Look Bulky?” weight lifting for women is of paramount importance and one of the best things you can be doing as a woman to lose weight.
The more muscle you have the more calories you burn while working out and lifting weight. This means more successful weight loss.
However, by eating too little you once again force your body to use not only store its fat for a rainy day but burn muscle as energy!
Fewer muscles mean less weight loss, there is no way around that. Instead, ensure you are getting enough protein and calories daily to lose weight healthily.
If you don’t you will find yourself gaining even more weight once you adjust your calories back because your muscles have been used for energy and thus cannot burn the same amount of calories that they could have.
A bigger muscle requires more energy, this means more weight loss!
I trust you found this article very helpful and eye-opening, so stop eating too little today and lose weight the right way!
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