What happens if you eat too little?

Slim body is promoted everywhere. That's why it's hard to be surprised that almost everybody wants to be slim and fit. We sometimes go on diet without any further thoughts, just because our colleague is on a diet, or they showed big body changes on TV, or because we saw some miraculous diet in a magazine. The diet called “EL” is still the most popular. “EL” meaning “eat less”. Is such strategy a good choice?

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The EL diet is based on two assumptions: eat less and move more. It allows eating majority of products but in smaller portions than until present. You can usually hear the following statement: eat half of what you've eaten until now. Efficiency is mostly based on bigger physical activity.

There is a lot of truth in these two assumptions. By lowering the amount of eaten calories and by increasing the energy expenditure with physical activity, we make our calorific balance negative, which usually causes slimming. Although, the better expression would be losing weight.

From what I can observe, such diet often leads to the yo-yo effect.

After losing a few kilos, majority of people return to their previous amount of food and quickly gain weight again.

The EL strategy may be effective in some cases, especially when the calorific balance is not excessively negative.

In reality, the EL diet is usually deficient and low-calorific.

What happens when we start to exercise during diet with too low amount of calories?

After some time, not at once, we start to lack energy. The workouts are weaker. We are drowsy, slow, we train inefficiently. The body is not able to recover properly. That's the reason why day after day, training after training, we feel much worse.

We do not provide enough calories, sufficient amount of proteins, fat and carbohydrates. Weight losses, which we see are usually the losses of muscles. It makes the basal metabolism get lower.

It means that it's much more difficult to get slimmer and much easier to gain weight. Fat burning is slowed or even totally stopped. No effects and bad mood cause that the motivation is weaker.

It usually means the end of diet and return to the old habits and amount of food. Unfortunately, it's easy to gain excess weight then, because we have less muscles and lower basal metabolism. The body starts to save the supplied energy.

EL also has another flaw – it neither teaches how to eat better, or changes nutrition habits. It does not teach how to choose better. Therefore, it's easy to go back to the starting point.

It's not about eating less. It's about eating the right things.

When we provide proper amount of calories, we care about the proper supply of macro nutrients, but also of vitamins and minerals, we overeat more rarely and we have more energy.

A lot of energy means that we can train efficiently and recover effectively. The workouts on which we are able to work at 100% make us closer to achieving goals. Metabolism is at high speed and the body is able to sustain the constant, balances level of burning body fat.

To sum up, the EL diet is rarely a good choice, and it is not the best one for everybody. Starving often leads to the vicious circle of diets and yo-yo effect. In nutrition, health and fitness it's not about eating as little as possible, but about eating properly and enjoy life with energy and vitality.