Low – Calorie Dieting equals starvation to your body. Did you know that the World Health Organization established that “starvation begins at fewer than 2100 calories per day”. In the United States, on any given day, half of all women eat less than 1500 calories. This is quite simply not enough food to keep the calorie furnace going.
I’ve seen all kinds of “meal plans” by both vegan and non-vegan authors alike, that are based on a dangerously low 1200 calories a day!
Even worse, is that many people who go on calorie counting or point counting programs are not so concerned about the quality of what they are eating, and truly begin to under-nourish their bodies. We can all see by the popularity of those “100 calorie” packs, that many people feel that as long as their calories are below a certain level, it’s ok to eat a processed pack of junk.
But you are doing very serious damage to your body long term, if you deprive your body of adequate caloric intake. Some of the proven damage created by low calorie, long term dieting:
1. Gallstones. Caused by long term diets under 900 calories per day. 25% of all very low calorie dieters will have their gallbladders removed.
2. Increased risk of diabetes.
3. Thyroid suppression.
4. Decreased libido.
5. Increased depression.
6. Binge eating.
7. For people that started low calorie dieting as teenagers, their fat cells double in size AND increase in number.
It is important to be conscious of nutrient density. Since our soils are already depleted of critical minerals to begin with, even of we eat a super nutrient dense diet, it is still likely that we will begin deficient in some nutrients.
Then, if you don’t consume enough calories, and the foods you do eat are devitalized processed foods like pastas, breads, and frozen foods, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of weight struggles, and nutrition deficiencies that will lead towards disease later in life. The beauty of eating a raw, living foods, plant based diet is that everything you are eating is nutrient dense, and you will be able to eat calorie amounts ABOVE the starvation line and drop all excess weight.
A “calorie is a calorie” is an outdated myth that has been debunked by legitimate science. Eating 100 calories worth of avocado is very different than eating a 100 calorie processed protein bar. The avocado will provide nutrition, protein and healthy fats and be easily digested, and the processed bar — which contains hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and artificial sweeteners — will set off alarming reactions in the body which will be immediately attempting to detox the assault of chemicals you have just swallowed.
That’s not to say that calories don’t matter at all, because at some point, if you are taking in more calories than your body is utilizing, even if it is “healthy” food, your weight will not budge. So, for a 50 year old sedentary woman, eating 3000 calories a day of fruit smoothies will most likely not result in weight loss, and may even cause weight gain. But far worse for that woman would be to deprive herself of calories, restrict herself to 1200 calories and eat frozen diet meals, snack packs and yogurt. In the second scenario, she may lose weight for a while, but will not keep it off without extreme exercising or further calorie deprivation. It’s one reason that such a tiny percentage of people who lose weight ever maintain that weight loss.
Feed your body real, whole, plant based food that is as close to its natural state as possible, eat when you are hungry, don’t deprive yourself, get plenty of exercise, sunshine and sleep, and watch your health soar and the weight come off effortlessly! It may take a little while to adjust to eating for true hunger, and knowing how much volume of food is appropriate for you. But be patient and kind with your body, and be prepared to be amazed at its ability to heal!