Not Eating Enough For Too Long
"Eating too little for too long" is a mistake registered dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, author of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook, sees with clients. Aside from constantly making you feel hungry and irritable, Rachel and Lauren both agreed and explained that this can send signals to your body to conserve calories which lowers your metabolism, making weight loss nearly impossible.
While Lauren explained that a moderate calorie deficit will help you lose weight, Leslie warned, "Never eat below your resting metabolic rate (the calories your body burns at rest) for a long period of time." Lauren said that the "average female has a resting metabolic rate of 1,000 to 1,400 calories per day." If women follow strict diets and drastically cut down on calories and fuel below their RMR, it puts their bodies into a state of starvation, Lauren explained.
While weight loss can be quick when severely cutting calories, it doesn't last and your metabolism slows down. You can lose muscle and many women just regain the weight after. Leslie has had patients who have eaten so little for so long, that they could be eating fewer than 1,000 calories per day and not lose weight, which is very frustrating!
Rachel added that not eating enough could also result in depriving your body of important nutrients. "Eating well-balanced meals and snacks, with an emphasis on protein, healthy fats, and fiber, helps keep my clients satisfied and their energy levels up — no calorie counting required." Leslie said to meet with a registered dietitian to get a good calorie recommendation before you cut out too much food. In general, it is advised not to go below 1,200 calories a day for women.