So the saying goes that if you don’t eat enough, your body goes into “starvation mode” and you don’t burn fat. Is this correct?
Short answer is…sorry to tell you but yes! Our bodies need an adequate amount of nutrients to do just about everything. You need a certain amount of calories (this varies person to person) just to maintain normal body function. Your heart, brain, muscles, and other tissues need fuel to do what they do.
While calories in vs. calories out is, in fact, a legitimate concept and you can literally waste away if you STOP eating, going down to a very low calorie diet (usually below 1200 for women and 1500 for men) causes your body to use what you’re eating for SURVIVAL. In this process, the fat that is stored on your body is kept for reserves and your body will likely turn to muscle for the energy that it needs. The loss of muscle slows down your metabolism even more since there’s less that needs the energy.
Have you ever seen someone who is overweight, hardly eats much at all, but yet they’re still overweight? This is why. They’re NOT EATING ENOUGH. Once calories are raised, your body realizes that there’s plenty to eat and stops holding onto reserves. Repeated bouts of this pattern slows the metabolism even more.
The only time a very low calorie diet is recommended is when it’s under the supervision of a physician who would usually prescribe this kind of diet in cases where a patient has a significant amount of weight to lose. The diet consists of specially formulated liquid shakes and bars and it’s meant only to kick start weight loss. Because of the risks and the body’s response this is safe only under the supervision of a physician.
A “diet” rich in micro and macronutrients is the best way to lose body fat as it goes with the body’s normal way of functioning.
If you need help figuring this out, I’d be super happy to! Let me know here.