The 500 calorie diet - warning
1/9/2010 9:15:06 AM -
You may be extremely frustrated if you've tried every diet under the sun and have yet to see results. It's possible you are considering trying the 500 calorie diet like many other people have. But, before you do this, you should take a few things into consideration as you may see adverse results. Despite the low calories one consumes on the 500 calorie diet , it delivers one of the worst results.
Any diet where you consume less than 1,200 calories a day is considered an extremely low calorie diet. It's not something you want to do long term. Most people will go on a 500 calorie diet in conjunction as part of another long term diet they are on to lose fat faster and accelerate their weight loss once it has started to slow down. It's a way to kick the weight loss back into gear. The reason people don't stay on it for long is because of negative consequences if not done correctly. This includes health risks as well as actually making you weigh more than before you even started.
The goal of any diet is simple. Burn more calories than you eat. However, your body can go into shock if it doesn't get enough calories and enter what is known as 'starvation mode.' In 'starvation mode' your body isn't getting the energy it needs from calories and will turn to other sources such as muscle mass which slows down your metabolism - something you don't want when dieting. To shed pounds, you'll need to build muscle to burn calories, not destroy it.
The amount of calories a person should be consuming in one day varies from person to person. Factors affecting this number include gender, height, body type, how active the person is, lifestyle and overall health. If you are still convinced you'd like to go on an extremely low calorie diet, you should talk with a nutritionist or dietician before proceeding to determine if it's something that's right for you.
If you are overweight and consume more than 2,000 calories a day normally, suddenly cutting down to only 500 will probably kick your body into starvation mode quickly. Your body will try to conserve energy, your muscle mass will be burned away and you'll be slowing down your metabolism when in fact if you are trying to lose weight you should be trying to speed up metabolism. It's much healthier to slowly cut down the amount of calories you consume and get your body used to it slowly.
Another factor to consider with a 500 calorie diet is once you go off it and go back to eating the way you were prior, it's possible your body will pack on weight quickly and in the end, you'll end up weighing more than you did before you even started the diet.
Rather than forcing yourself to stick to 500 calories, reduce the amount of calories you normally eat by 500. This will result in normal, healthy weight loss that is easier to keep off while still keeping your metabolism high. If you're not sure how many calories to eat, you can use the 'body mass calculator.' This tool will tell you the number of calories you should be eating to stay at your current weight without exercising more than you already do. Once you know this number, take away 500 calories and consume that amount.
You are putting yourself at a risk if you're only eating 500 calories a day and it should not be done unless you talk to a professional first. If you gradually lower the amount of calories you consume, it may be safer to go on a 500 calorie diet for a few days to speed up weight loss. But, you shouldn't stay on it for more than just a few days. Otherwise, you are at a high risk for entering 'starvation mode.'