We’ve all heard it before. If you want to lose weight, it’s all about calories in versus calories out. A seeming adage in the fitness world, however, when it comes to fitness and health, it can be much more complex than that.
Unfortunately, many people who are on a weight loss venture do not see it that way. Often, people’s first approach to weight loss is to slash their calories to attain results. Slashing calories, however, can lead to the very thing that they don’t want: a weight loss rut.
Here are some common effects of under eating:
Your Weight Won’t Budge
After an extended amount of time without a healthy and adequate amount of calories, the brain takes measures to ensure that your body maintains nutrients. Essentially, it releases cortisol, a stress-related hormone, which works to save extra calories, which in turn leads to weight gain.
You’re Constantly Tired
In addition the the weight gain, cortisol itself can also directly impact the amount of sleep that one gets. Fatigue also increases sugar and carb cravings, as it’s easily accessible energy.
However, there is another connection between a severe calorie deficit and fatigue. The calories that you consume equal energy. By depriving yourself of this fuel source, you are also depriving yourself of the energy sufficient to perform well in the gym and help heal the muscles that you are working.
This one is for the ladies. If you are in a severe calorie deficit, it can affect your monthly cycle. Granted, there can be many reasons as to why irregular periods may be occurring. However, a lack of proper nutrition can lead to unbalanced hormones.
In an article she wrote for Health, Cynthia Sass MPH, RD, stated that
“This imbalance can trigger a depletion of bone density, which ups the risk of fractures and osteoporosis…Unfortunately I’ve seen women suffer from serious bone fractures, including broken hips, early in life, due to long-term under-eating, and simply popping a calcium supplement isn’t enough.”
When it comes to weight loss, it is important to keep your health in mind. Too often, we go into it with just the aesthetics in mind, with the will to do whatever it takes to get to our goal. If we do not take care of ourselves, our weight loss journeys can have negative impacts on our overall health. It is important to remember that weight loss happens at a steady pace, and often the number on the scale does not always reflect the progress that has been made.