11 Low-Calorie Diet Secrets Nobody Will Tell You

Low-Calorie Diet Secrets Nobody Will Tell You
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

The secret to successful weight loss* is spending more calories than you consume through food. To accomplish this, it’s necessary to be physically active regularly and make some diet tweaks. Low-calorie diets are incredibly popular nowadays, but unfortunately, most people don’t know everything they entail. Let’s change that; scroll down to read 11 secrets about low-calorie diets that nobody will tell you.

1. More Stress

Stress is a major risk factor for numerous health issue and low-calorie diet might increase* it. A team of researchers at the UCLA carried out a study which showed that restricting calories increased the total output of cortisol while monitoring calories enhanced* perceived stress. Scientists concluded their work, published in the Psychosomatic Medicine, confirming that low-calorie diet leads to increased cortisol levels i.e. more stress.

2. Nutrient Deficiencies

Low-calorie diets don’t only limit the total amount of calories you consume, but they also prevent sufficient intake of much-needed nutrients. A study from the Nutrition Journal found that micronutrient deficiency is common in individuals adhering to low-calorie diets. The deficiency wasn’t corrected by protein-rich formula diet; micronutrient levels remained low. Also, yet another research confirmed that most popular diets today such as Dash or Atkins, lead to nutrient deficiencies that pave the way towards multiple health problems.

Nutrient Deficiencies Info

3. Gallstones

One of the most common serious adverse effects of low-calorie diets is gallstones. In obese individuals, the risk of developing gallstones is increased due to a higher cholesterol saturation of gallbladder bile. During weight reduction* with low-calorie diets the incidence of gallstones elevates, but the underlying mechanism that leads to their formation is poorly understood. A scientist from Italy discovered that during rapid weight loss* with low-calorie diets, high fat consumption prevents the formation of gallstones by maintaining a proper gallbladder emptying.

4. Nausea

Although low-calorie diets contribute to rapid weight loss*, they’re associated with numerous side effects including nausea. It’s important to bear in mind that if you’re not losing weight but still feeling nauseous, the underlying problem is something else, not the diet. In these instances, it’s recommended to consult your doctor.

Nausea Feeling

5. Blurry Vision

When you’re on a low-calorie diet and experience blurry vision, it could be down to hypoglycemia i.e. abnormal blood glucose. The body relies on glucose to function because it provides energy for the working cells. When blood glucose levels fall too low, your body shows signs that something’s not right, and blurry vision is one of the most common symptoms.

6. Better Sex Life

Low sex drive and lack of mood are strongly linked to overweight and obesity. However, a study from the JAMA Internal Medicine showed that reduced* calorie intake leads to an improved* overall quality of life, weight loss*, as well as increased sexual drive and better relationship. These findings debunked the well-known myth that low-calorie diets are related to poor mood and lack of interest in sex.

7. Headache

It’s not uncommon for people to get headaches when making some dietary changes, especially when restricting calories. Just like with fatigue, headache is caused by abnormal levels of blood sugar due to the lack of glucose in the bloodstream.

Get Headaches

8. Constipation

Low-calorie diets revolve around eating a limited amount of food, particularly carbs. As a result, you consume the insufficient amount of fiber which is essential for healthy digestion. Other reasons of constipation with low-calorie diets include dehydration and physical inactivity due to nausea and fatigue. The International Journal of Obesity published a study which showed that adding fiber to low-calorie diets reduces* hunger and alleviates constipation.

9. Menstrual Problems

Everything you do impacts the menstrual cycle and diet is no exception. Restriction of calories and rapid weight loss* force the body into the starvation mode which also includes menstrual issues. Hormonal imbalances that occur lead to irregular menstrual periods, lighter or heavier periods than usual and it’s not uncommon for menstruation to “skip” the month entirely.

10. It’s not a Good Idea If You Want to Build Muscle

People who want to tone their body and build muscle while losing weight will benefit more if they skip low-calorie diet. A study whose findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Bulgaria showed that the fewer calories consumed, the greater the muscle loss. Numerous factors could play a role including rapid weight loss* as well as larger water loss and glycogen (a natural form of sugar in the body).

Want to Build Muscle

11. Prevents Periodontal Disease

While low-calorie diets lead to weight loss* but bring a multitude of health issues, they also have the potential to prevent or manage chronic inflammatory disorders including periodontal disease according to one study. Also, yet another research confirmed that calorie restriction resulted in significant reduction* of periodontal disease-related inflammation.

Conclusion

Low-calorie diets promise rapid weight loss* through a drastic reduction* in consumed calories. Besides the potential risk to regain those pounds little was known about other aspects of this diet. That’s why the primary purpose of this article was to tell you what others won’t about low calorie eating patterns.

References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9665682
  • http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2517920

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.