Unraveling the 1500-Calorie Myth: The Hidden Pitfalls of Extreme Caloric Restriction

Are you stuck in the cycle of believing that consuming 1500 calories or less each day is the key to shedding those unwanted pounds? You’re not alone; many people fall into the trap of thinking extreme calorie restriction is the only way to lose weight.

Counting every calorie can be a stressful endeavour, leaving you hungry, low on energy, stressed and constantly in a bad mood. Despite all your efforts, the scale refuses to make a slight move. Even worse, if you deviate even a little bit, you find yourself gaining some weight.The frustration is real as you struggle to maintain this unsustainable lifestyle.

 Contrary to popular belief, the 1500-calorie approach may not be the key to shedding pounds. Your body interprets the low calorie intake as a signal of scarcity, triggering a survival mode that slows down your metabolism. Rather than burning calories efficiently and losing pounds , your body conserves energy, by reducing energy expenditure: 

  • By lowering your RMR ( resting metabolic rate) is the number of calories the body needs to maintain basic physiological functions while at rest, 
  • By decreasing NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) , decreasing the energy expenditure while walking and doing your normal daily activities. 
  • … and by creating an impact in hormones related to metabolism, such as thyroid hormones and leptin. 

Also, as the body’s primary goal is survival, it tends to prioritise the preservation of energy stores (fat). And as a result, it becomes more efficient at storing fat and less willing to expend energy. So you find your weight stubbornly sticking around, despite all the effort made. This is why you are struggling to lose weight and change your body composition, so your body is fighting to build muscle mass despite how much you are working out and eating less than anyone around you.

Break free from the 1500-calorie trap by understanding the role of Thermogenesis in metabolism. Instead of drastic calorie restrictions, focus on balancing your food, incorporate periodic re-feeds, or “cheat meals” to prevent metabolic adaptation. And engage yourself in activities that boost your metabolism like strength training. This way you can lose weight without the need for extreme dietary measures. Say goodbye to the stress of calorie counting and hello to a sustainable and effective approach to achieving your weight loss goals.

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