Introduction

ln order to have enough calories to work in all the nutritious foods your body needs, you shouldn’t drop your daily intake below 1200 calories—otherwise, it’s just too hard to meet your nutrient needs. If you can’t cut many calories from your diet without dropping below a daily intake of 1200 calories, then you’ll want to step up your activity level. This may take you longer to reach your goal but your weight loss will be more sustainable.

These are the following reasons why it’s important not to reduce too many calories.

1) It can be hard to meet your nutrient needs

When you cut back on your calorie intake, every calorie needs to be nutrient-packed in order for you to meet your body’s needs. Your daily needs for vitamins, minerals, carbs, protein and healthy fats must be met, and that can be hard to do if you don’t have enough calories to work with.

2) You may get too hungry

You shouldn’t suffer unendurable hunger while you’re trying to lose weight, but that often happens if you don’t eat enough calories. When you get overly hungry, everything looks tempting and you’re more likely to cheat.

3) Your physical energy can suffer

It’s important that you provide your muscles with the fuel they need. When you cut your calories too much, you might not have the energy to work out—which is important for your overall health, and helps you meet your weight loss goal.

4) Your mental energy can suffer

When you don’t take in enough calories, your brain might not get the fuel it needs, leaving you feeling tired and unfocused. That can lead to sugar cravings and unwanted calories. Or, you might lean too heavily on caffeine to keep you going, which could disrupt your sleep at night.

5) You risk losing muscle mass

Your body needs the right amount of protein to support a number of important body functions, which includes building and maintaining your muscle mass. When you don’t take in enough calories, the protein you eat might get burned for fuel, rather than being used to perform more important functions in your body. As a result, you risk losing muscle mass.

6) You won’t establish long-term healthy eating habits

Healthy eating and exercise habits that you establish while you’re losing weight are the very same habits that will help you maintain your healthy weight once you’ve reached your goal. Cutting calories drastically is difficult and restrictive, and it’s not an eating pattern you can—or should—continue for very long.

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