Although cutting back on calories while dieting is an important part of any healthy weight loss program that can be expected to work, this should be done only in moderation, as there are a certain number of calories that are required by the body in order to function.
Cutting Calories While Dieting Trends
Recently, one of the latest trends in dieting has involved various types of fast. These involve opting out of eating altogether for certain spans of time. These types of moderate to extreme diets should be considered very carefully before they are started, as they could risk a dieter’s health.
Also known as intermittent fasting, that type of cutting calories while dieting can be quite moderate – that is, reducing the number of hours per day in which you can eat to 8, while the remaining 16 hours (including when you sleep) permits the consumption of only water. For some people, the gentler style of fasting can be beneficial to weight loss and may even improve a number of health factors. That said, for individuals with certain medical conditions – common to rare – fasting can be dangerous and can trigger or worsen symptoms.
Always Speak with Your Doctor Before Major Eating Habit Changes
Naturally, the first step that you should be taking before you start a diet program of any form is to speak with your doctor. That way, you can be comfortable in knowing that your diet will not cause you any health risks such as interactions with medications or conditions that you have.
It may seem quite normal to alter your calories while dieting. That said, it’s important to note that while you’re cutting back on calories, you’re also changing the nutrition levels your body is used to receiving. If you regularly cut back on higher calorie foods in the hopes of staying under a daily total, you may be inadvertently removing nutrients your body requires for healthy function.
Speaking with your doctor, as inconvenient as it may seem, can help to prepare you to avoid such common mistakes. Your physician may also recommend that you speak with a dietician who can provide you with further guidance in making smart choices. This way, you’ll develop a better understanding with your food. This can also support your efforts to create a healthier relationship with what you eat.
How is Slashing Calories While Dieting by Fasting Not Always Dangerous?
Not all fasts are the same. Intermittent fasting is often discussed as though it were a single eating style. However, it is actually a category within which there are a large number of strategies. Each one has its own potential benefits, drawbacks and risks.
When you read the marketing and descriptive materials for a fasting style weight loss program, it may appear to be quite drastic, but its explanations can also suggest that the right one could be quite safe and effective.
The trick is to find programs that do indeed fall into that category of both working to reduce fat levels and to be safe while doing it, because some are better than others.
At the same time, it is a very good idea to understand that your body does have a minimum requirement for calories, and if your fasting program does not allow you to consume that number within an adequate period of time, then it should be considered to be completely out of the question.
Keeping Your Calorie Minimums in Mind, Too
The number of calories while dieting your body needs – at a bare minimum – depends on a number of factors, including your age, whether you are male or female, and how active your lifestyle is, as well as a number of health condition related factors. Ask your doctor how many calories you require on a daily basis as your minimum goal for health and never eat fewer than that.
An active woman, for instance, will typically need approximately 1,200 to 1,400 calories every day just to be able to maintain your vital body functions and to stop your metabolism from slipping into starvation mode, which will only slow it down and make it much harder for you to lose weight. Moreover, if you eat too few calories every day, your body will start to burn muscle tissue instead of burning fat when it needs energy. This will mean that your calorie burning will slow down even further, as muscles are natural calorie burners.
Consuming the right calories while dieting is always recommended. Remember, you’re making this effort not just to reach your weight goal but to maintain it over the long term. You’re not going to want to go to extremes that could be harmful for the rest of your life. Instead, establish the calorie and fasting habits you intend to maintain for many years to come.
Further Reading: What Constitutes a Truly Healthy Weight?