The craze to lose belly fat and stay slim is not just limited to females; males are striving to chop off unwanted fat from their body's too. It is a common myth that one should eat no more than 500 calories per day to lose body fat. And you’ll also read about eating only 500 calories a day in numerous articles too.
But where 2000 calories for females and 2500 calories for men are the recommended normal, 500 calories is way too low for healthy functioning and is synonymous to starving yourself. While cutting out 500 calories from your total intake to lose a pound in a week is still better, here are the 8 reasons only consuming 500 calories a day can be dangerous.
- Eating 500 calories a day doesn't burn fats
Eating less doesn't help burn body fat in a proper manner. Doing so may worsen the case as it creates the need for your body to slow down its normal rate of activity. Contrary to what people believe, the body’s reserves of stored fat remain unharmed. Instead, your body started to burn muscle tissue. Only when there’s no other source of energy left then your body will start burning fats.
- Low-calorie diet's temporary benefits and long-term drawbacks
Getting in a low-calorie diet might sound a good idea and yes, only eating 500 calories a day will begin to make you look slimmer. However, you'll need to continue starving yourself to maintain a said look. You can't live your life while feeling hungry all the time. That's why there will come a day when you'll come off your low-calorie diet and start eating again. This will provide a shock to your body and you might become heavier than before.
- Extremely risky for pregnant women
A 500 calorie intake diet plan is extremely harmful to pregnant women. Such women require a lot of calories from proteins and healthy fats to carry another life in their womb as well as to keep themselves healthy. Pregnant women who don’t eat the recommended amount of food are more likely to birth children with physical and mental defects.
- Deficiency diseases kick in
Low-calorie diets cause nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, intolerance to cold, menstrual irregularities, and hair loss. Lack of fibre in such diets can also initiate constipation. The efficiency of the immune system decreases and makes your body vulnerable to various ailments.
- Relying on liquids causes hyponatremia
Too much reliance on liquids (during a 500 calorie diet) such as shakes, juices and taking fewer proteins can cause hyponatremia, or low blood sodium, which can cause clumsiness, fatigue, confusion, coma and even death.
- Heart and brain damage
Food keeps us alive. If you take low-calorie food, brace yourself for a lot of health issues. More serious potential consequences of eating no more than 500 calories per day include heart arrhythmia, stroke, and brain hemorrhage.
Gallstones are the most common side effect of eating less. When you quickly lose a lot of weight, your liver starts to secrete extra cholesterol. With too much cholesterol in the bile, gallstones start to form.
- Muscle loss
As mentioned above, eating only 500 calories a day ends up decreasing your muscle mass as muscle tissue begins to be used by the body as a source of energy.
If there is a need for you to go on a low-calorie daily diet, you should only do so after consulting your doctor. While eating 500 calories won't help you lose weight in a normal manner, knowing how much calories you should consume can help you stay healthy. Instead of only eating 500 calories, you should cut out 500 calories from your overall diet to lose a pound of weight in a week.