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Do low-calorie diets work?

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Do low-calorie diets work?

Fuelling Your Body

BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY

Sunday, February 03, 2019

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BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY

 

Does a low calorie diet actually do what it is touted to do or is it a bad health trend that simply slows your metabolism?

This is a question worth sinking our teeth into. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only way to lose extra body fat is to create a negative calorie balance. That is, to expend more calories than you ingest. Simply put, increase your activity beyond your intake.

As simple as this sounds, it can be complicated.

Other than which types of foods to eat, and when to eat, there is still another important decision to make: How low should your calorie intake be?

The first advise is to seek the guidance of your medical professional. But there are generally accepted safe levels of calorie restriction.

 

What is a safe level of restriction?

The actual number will vary based on activity, gender, age, and more. The consensus is that a weight-loss diet which results in an average body weight reduction of about four pounds per month is considered safe. That may be a reduction of 400-500 calories per day, assuming you were already maintaining a steady weight.

With proper monitoring this can be increased, but without it is not recommended.

 

Is a low-calorie diet healthy?

That depends on how low calorie and how long you sustain that restriction. Many crash diets consistently suppress caloric intake to severity, directing participants to intake less than 800 or 500 calories per day for weeks or months. This is not sustainable and can result in:

• muscle loss

• heart muscle loss and heart failure

• persistent metabolic adaptation (resulting in weight management difficulties and easy weight gain)

• regaining weight

• eating disorders

• mental issues, depression, memory problems, apathy, sleeplessness

• listlessness

• weakened immune system

 

These are all possible, serious and damaging effects with low-calorie diets. However, choosing a diet which takes each participant’s unique condition into account is important. It may cost more in the short run, but it will be an invaluable tool for long-term wellness.

Sustained low-calorie diets are and have always been fads as they put sustained weight management, metabolic health and wellness at risk. But is there ever a time and place for a low-calorie diet?

 

Is a low-calorie diet ever useful?

Regardless of physical condition, overweight or ideal weight, restricting your caloric intake by 15 per cent to 25 per cent provides notable short- to long-term health benefits.

In mammals this calorie reduction has been shown to:

• reduce the signs of aging

• regulate metabolism

• reduce cell stress

• increase weight management and reduce weight-related health risks

• reduce the risk of cancer

• lessen chances of dementia

There are potential benefits of not over indulging and occasionally restricting your caloric intake. However, this should be cleared with your doctor or managed by professionals.

Various forms of fasting can help. ITK, for example, has a phased fasting and an autophagy wave programme specifically designed to take advantage of the potential benefits.

A sustained low-calorie diet may indeed be a metabolism risking fad, but a balanced cycle of calorie restriction is particularly healthy and recommended.

 

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863-5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org

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