There are many different perspectives on weight loss. Starvation, crash or severe calorie restriction diets can actually cause weight gain by slowing metabolism, reducing calorie burning, and increasing fat storage.
Starvation, crash or severe calorie restriction diets with rapid weight loss, can cause the following:
- Prolonged hunger
- Reduced sex drive
- Decrease Muscle Tone
- Gallbladder disease
- Constipation, due to lack of food-intake
- Dehydration, due to lack of fluid-intake
- Lowered metabolism, if food intake is inadequate to the level of exercise, causing future attempts at weight loss to become more difficult
- Risk of developing an Eating Disorder, for example Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa
- Subsequent weight re-gain
Food is the fuel for our body’s fire. Eating food provides us with the essential macro (fats, protein, carbohydrates), micro (mostly vitamins and minerals) nutrients and water needed to support all body and organ functions.
Carbohydrates: are metabolized to provide energy.
Proteins: provide amino acids, which are required for cell construction, especially for the construction of muscle cells.
Essential fatty acids (fats): are required for brain function; including memory, problem solving, and critical thinking, as well as cell membrane construction.
Minerals: are generally trace elements, salts, or ions such as copper and iron. Some of these minerals are essential to human metabolism. Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions needed to maintain life. Metabolism is divided into two categories: Catabolism breaks down organic matter and Anabolism uses energy to construct components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.
Vitamins: are organic compounds essential to the body. They usually act as coenzymes or cofactors for various proteins in the body.
Water: is an essential nutrient and is the solvent in which all the chemical reactions of life take place.
When reducing calories, intake of essential nutrients may also be reduced. If a diet fails to meet minimum nutritional requirements, this deficiency can threaten physical fitness, general health, and emotional well being. If a person does not feel well enough to be active, weight loss will be unlikely.
Without food or without the right types of food our body and our mind will not be able to function properly. When considering different plans of weight loss, decipher if the plan will provide you with the essentials your body needs to be healthy.
Written by Dr. Denise Grobe, Naturopathic physician at Center for True Harmony Wellness & Medicine.