If you’re thinking about trying to lose weight, you may have seen many people claiming the benefits of extremely low calorie options.
It can certainly be appealing to cut your calories in half or more in order to see quick results. The question is, does a 900 calorie a day diet work? Furthermore, is it healthy and sustainable?
Today, we’re here to tell you everything that you need to know about following low calorie diets and whether it’s an option that you should be considering.
Is 900 Calories A Day Healthy?
The short answer is no, 900 calories a day is not healthy.
It all comes down to the calorie equation.
We all know that we need calories in order to survive. The calories that we consume give us the energy to go about our daily lives.
We put the calories into our body, and then we burn them simply by existing. You could sit on your couch all day watching Grey’s Anatomy and still burn calories.
Here’s the thing. For most adults, 900 calories is less than you need to meet your calorie requirements for that day of sitting on the couch watching TV.
In fact, eating anything less than 1300 calories a day for a sustained period of time can actually hurt your body. It simply isn’t worth it.
Disadvantages Of Eating 900 Calories A Day Or Less
When it comes to low calorie diets, there are often more drawbacks than advantages. If you’re still considering a 900 calorie or lower diet, here are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind.
You’re More Likely to Fall Off the Wagon
If you are doing a 900 calorie diet in order to lose weight, it’s important to keep in mind that it may actually be harder for you to do so on a calorie intake this low.
You are likely to feel groggy and it may be a lot harder for you to resist the food temptations around you because you are so hungry.
It may seem counterintuitive, but for this reason among many, it’s often a good idea to eat a larger amount of calories instead.
You Can Slow Your Metabolism
Eating a very low amount of calories can cause havoc on your body and metabolism too. If you aren’t eating enough, your body is focused on doing everything that it can in order to keep you alive.
When you follow low calorie diets, it puts your body into survival mode and this means that your muscles begin to slowly break down in order to sustain you.
Muscle burns more calories than fat, so you may find that your diet is actually stalling your weight loss after a while.
It Can Mess With Your Body
You may also find that following a 900 calorie diet can cause your body to do all sorts of things you didn’t expect. You may get gastrointestinal issues, it can mess with your hormones and the menstrual cycle, it can cause acne.
It can even mess with your mind. Many people that follow low calorie diets find that they struggle with their concentration, which means that work and school may become more difficult as a result.
It Can Cause Fertility Issues
If you’re hoping to have a baby some time in the future, it may be a good idea to avoid low calorie diets.
As we previously mentioned, if you aren’t eating enough it can have an adverse effect on your hormones.
In particular, when you aren’t getting the energy that you need you may find that your body struggles to ovulate, which is necessary for reproduction.
Low calorie diets can often result in amenorrhea (the absence of a menstrual cycle) or oligomenorrhea (menstrual cycles that are not regular). This can make achieving a pregnancy quite difficult.
Likewise, a man’s fertility can also be affected by low calorie diets.
Losing Weight Sustainably
So, if following a very low calorie diet isn’t recommended, what can you do if you are trying to lose weight?
Well, one thing to do is to work out how many calories your body needs in order to effectively lose weight.
The general guidelines suggest that men need 2,500 calories a day and women should have 2,000 calories a day. Of course, this is a generalization.
In reality, the right calorie intake for you can depend on a lot of different factors including your height, weight and gender.
You may find it helpful to look online for a calorie calculator. In order to use them, you typically need to input your weight, height, activity levels, weight loss/gain goals and gender.
Then, the calculator will give you a recommended number of calories a day depending on whether you intend to lose, gain or maintain your weight.
When you find out how many calories you need, the next thing to do is to download a calorie tracking app or find some way of tracking your calories.
You can typically log all of your meals in these apps which will help you to stay on target.
Then it’s all about trying to ensure that you are eating the right foods to fuel your body.
It’s okay to have something more indulgent every now and again like a takeaway, but as a whole it’s best to eat a healthy balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Make sure that you’re getting plenty of fruit and veg, lean protein and other nutritious foods.
Following a 900 calorie diet is not the healthiest option, nor is it often the best option to gain results.
With that being said, there are plenty of ways to follow a healthy lifestyle and lose weight without cutting your calories so drastically.
Often it’s simply about making the right changes to your lifestyle and eating the right foods.
So long as you do it in a healthy manner, sustainable weight loss is just around the corner.