Just like the risk of health problems is increased by consuming excessive calories, low calorie intake too can lead to the same outcome. Reducing your calorie intake can aid you in avoiding obesity as it promotes weight loss. However, when people restrict their calories for too long and by too much, their body may not have the energy it needs for normal functioning. It is best to seek the assistance of a doctor for determining that you are consuming the right amount of calories. If individuals don’t have the ideal calorie intake, they can suffer from the following problems:
- Nutritional Deprivation
When you subject yourself to prolonged low-calorie intake, your body becomes deprived of essential nutrients such as potassium, iron and even some vitamins. Deficiencies of major nutrients can cause fatigue and also give rise to several disorders such as scurvy, anemia, kwashiorkor and beriberi in children. Anemia typically occurs when people suffer from a deficiency in Vitamin B-12, folate and iron. Nutritional deficiencies are also responsible for unhealthy skin, general weakness and cognitive malfunction. The key to good health is to consume enough calories for obtaining the nutrients needed by the body.
- Weight Loss and Slower Metabolism
People usually follow a low-calorie diet for achieving some weight-loss goals, but this can pose a lot of health risks in the long run and also cause problems in the weight loss process. Muscle loss occurs because of severe caloric restriction as the body uses up the stored fat and tissue for generating energy. In addition, the metabolism may also slow down because of prolonged calorie restriction as the body attempts to conserve energy. This reduces the possibility of losing any more weight.
When the body doesn’t get sufficient nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates, it is suffering from malnutrition. This is bound to happen when a low-calorie intake is followed for long periods. Unhealthy weight loss, fatigue and dizziness are some common symptoms of malnutrition. Various mental and physical disorders can occur if malnutrition is left untreated. Furthermore, irregular pulse rate can also happen due to malnutrition, which can weaken the heart muscles and give rise to other heart problems. Malnutrition is also a common occurrence in people with eating disorders like anorexia.
- Other Health Side Effects
Your immunity can be jeopardized when you consume too little calories because of the reduced levels of proteins in the body. Numerous mild and serious diseases and infections such as bacterial diseases and flue can attack the body when immunity is impaired. Thyroid malfunction can also occur because of severe restriction of calorie intake. Calorie deficiencies in the body are also responsible for causing muscular weakness, headaches, depression, impaired concentration and colds.
It is essential for people to consume at least 1200 calories in a day, according to expert nutritionists and doctors. This number can be adjusted according to the size and height of the individual, but consuming anything lower for a long time can give rise to the aforementioned health problems.