Updated: Feb 26, 2020
The FACTS: Your body is amazing! If you reduce the amount of Calories you eat, your body will respond by reducing the number of Calories it "burns" or uses to keep you alive and functioning. When your body is trying to function with reduced or restricted Calories it CAN NOT, i repeat, CAN NOT function at its best. Calorie restriction (aka starvation- intentional or not) will result in the following.
Decreased Mental Edge: When Calories are reduced you will not be able to think as clearly! That head ache, growling stomach and constant food thoughts are your amazing body's way of calling, texting, and emailing you to feed it!
Slowed Metabolism: When you don't eat enough your body switches to starvation mode. Slowing down the rate it is using Calories and causing you to feel sluggish. Your body will also start to break down your muscles to extract some energy. When you resume eating your body will likely panic and go through a period of excessive hunger and desire to "binge", because it is preparing for a potential starvation episode in the near future. Repeated episodes of Dieting with restriction result in more deposited stores of fat as your body prepares for the next diet incidence.
Increased Gastrointestinal Upset: Reduced intake can lead to stomach pain( those digestive enzymes need something other than your stomach lining to munch on!) and increased risk of gallstones and constipation.
Decreased Bone Mass: Women only continue depositing Calcium to build bone density up until the age of 30. Decreased intake in the teens and twenties prevents the crucial stock piling of Calcium to build strong bones. After the age of 30 restricting Calories means you will be busting into that stock pile of Calcium from your younger years resulting in thinning bones and increased risk for Osteoporosis.
The FAD: Weight Loss-Diets and Diets Cutting out entire categories of foods and Fasting or Intermittent Fasting: All result in slowing metabolism and the above risks by reducing the amount of food you eat out of intention to lose weight or difficulty making selections to adhere to a strict diet. " I can't eat that ... I'm eating_________(insert fad diet here)".
Nutrition Science does not support the notion that fasting or Calorie restriction will decrease the risk of Cancer or prolong life as rumored on the internet.
*People that claim fasting has helped them are likely benefiting from a short term experience of a few days in which they rediscovered their hunger cues. Spacing their meals at specific intervals meets their individual activity level.
Honoring your body and its needs is a main component of Intuitive Eating.
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