The low calorie diet is a quick and easy way to shed unwanted pounds by simply eating less. Unfortunately, skinnier doesn’t always mean healthier.
The Premise: A low calorie diet is exactly what it sounds like, which is calorie restriction in order to lose weight. It’s a basic concept: burn fat by eliminating more calories than you consume, and what easier way to tip this scale – pun intended – than to simply eat less? Before you rush out to buy a calorie counter notebook and a bunch of celery, though, there are some things you ought to know.
The Diet: People who are on a low calorie diet typically restrict their calories to between 1100 and 1800 calories per day, depending on their initial weight. This is different from a very low calorie diet, which only allows for 800 calories maximum per day. The low calorie diet can be followed in 3 different ways: 1) eat less, 2) eat lower-calorie foods, or 3) do both. In order to keep track of your consumed calories, you will need a calorie counter, which can be found online for free.
What to get excited over:
The low calorie diet allows for fast weight loss, especially in those who are obese. With a little discipline, the plan is easy to follow, and doesn’t necessarily require someone to give up foods they enjoy, just eat less of them. Also, for those who don’t have much extra time to exercise or constantly prepare healthy meals, a low calorie diet requires neither (although, of course, it’s always preferable to diet with more nutritious food when possible).
Things to Consider:
Cutting calorie intake will slow the metabolism, making it more difficult to burn calories through exercise. The slowed metabolism, coupled with quick weight loss, means that the weight will come back quickly, should the low calorie diet ever stop. Since the low calorie diet is based on how much you eat rather than what you eat, it doesn’t necessarily promote a healthy lifestyle, only a hungry one. Finally, skimping on food may cause nausea, fatigue, and other negative and uncomfortable side effects.
Verdict: Not recommended! The point of all diets is to cause more calories to be burned than consumed, which is how weight is lost. The low calorie diet, while a simple way to accomplish this, is almost too simple. It comes with a host of potential negative side effects and does nothing to promote a real healthful lifestyle. Eating less is important only if you’re already eating too much. Otherwise, eating healthily and exercising is achievable through different, more focused diet and health plans. If you absolutely must drop a certain number of pounds in a matter of weeks to fit in your bridesmaid dress, you might consider a low calorie diet for that period of time. Otherwise, make a commitment to long-term health with a different diet plan.