Can Eating Too Few Calories Stall Your Metabolism?

You might want to lose weight quickly if you are obese and take care of your health. So, you could be tempted to make significant dietary adjustments to lower your calorie intake. But you might be surprised to learn that eating too few calories might work against you and undermine your attempts to lose weight.

While attempting to lose weight, it might seem logical to stop eating, yet this has the opposite effect.

Calories and their effect on health

Consuming fewer calories than you burn off each day, or having a calorie deficit, is the most efficient approach to losing weight. Your body, however, can enter famine mode if your calorie intake falls too low. Since it believes it won't receive anything, your body will start to store fat. Your body will reach a point when it is essentially at a halt.

Your metabolism slows to a crawl when you enter starvation mode, burning calories as slowly as possible to preserve your body's energy supplies. For this reason, persons who drastically reduce their caloric intake run the risk of hitting a weight loss wall.

An unhealthy diet spiral that starts with eating too few calories might develop. You may feel discouraged that your efforts are in vain when you reduce your caloric intake to the point where your metabolism stops and you stop losing weight. One starts eating more and gain excess weight.

Cutting calories and eating too little is quite problematic to maintain. Usually, the person will take the opposite course and will become too hungry and enter a binge-eating mode. You give up. You are getting discouraged because you are not losing weight.

Eating too few calories not only undermines weight loss goals but is harmful to your health. Your chance of developing the following conditions increases when your body enters starvation mode −

  • Abnormalities in heart rhythms

  • Lowering of blood pressure and reduced heart rate

  • Loss of hair

  • Gallstones development

  • Deficiency in potassium

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Problems in concentration

  • Depression

  • Anemia

  • Brittle nails

  • Lack of menstrual periods in females

  • Brittle bones

  • Joint swelling

  • Soft hair growing on the entire body

Understanding the role of calories

Keep in mind that you are not at war with calories. They are essential to living a strong and healthy life. Just to maintain appropriate function, your body requires a specific number of calories. It is why fad diets that require you to drastically reduce your calorie intake make you feel weak, tired, and ready to give up.

Choose a sensible food and activity plan that enables you to lose 0.5 to 2.0 pounds each week rather than going for a fad diet. There is proof that individuals who lose weight at this rate—by choosing healthier foods, consuming fewer portions, and engaging in physical activity—also stand the best chance of keeping it off. Create a strategy to start some new, manageable healthy behaviors. It will help one to stick to the regime.

What are the signs that your calorie intake is less?

Some signs that people demonstrate when their calorie intake is low are as follows.

  • When you consistently undereat, you may develop an obsession with food and persistent thoughts about your upcoming meals and snacks. This could show up in habits like obsessively browsing restaurant menus online, stalking food-related social media profiles, or binge-watching cookery programs.

  • Long periods without eating might cause blood sugar levels to fall. Your capacity for concentration, social grace, and mental focus decreases if you don't consume anything to elevate blood sugar and it stays low. Here comes the grumpiness, which is simply cured by eating. Insufficient calorie intake results in fatigue and exhaustion because the body is not receiving enough energy. These signals are frequently our body's natural way of informing us of our true needs.

  • Nothing is worse than being exhausted but unable to fall asleep. It is yet another typical outcome of dietary restriction, and studies on it date back to the aforementioned starving trial. Also, it has been repeatedly discovered that re- establishing a healthy diet and continuing to consume enough energy may also lead to the return of typical sleep-wake rhythms.

  • The digestive tract may transport food through your system more slowly to preserve energy if your body routinely does not obtain enough calories to meet your demands. It can consequently lead to constipation. Similar to how eating too few calories might make you constipated, eating too little fiber often does the same.

How much calorie intake is considered low?

It is not advisable to take less than 1,200 calories for women or 1,500 for men per day. According to doctors, this may result in dietary deficits, a slowed metabolism, and hormonal imbalances.

The number of calories you should strive to consume may then be a mystery to you. Because everyone is unique, utilizing a weight-loss calculator makes sense. Also, you must discuss your low-calorie plans with your doctor if you already have a health condition, like diabetes.

What is healthy calorie intake?

Even though you might want results quickly, it is advised to limit your weight loss to only 1 to 2 pounds every week. It entails reducing your calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day as long as it puts you above the 1,200 or 1,500 requirements. If you are sedentary, you might also need to include extra physical activity in your day. On most days of the week, try to engage in exercises for at least 30 minutes.


As you lose weight, your goal should be to burn fat and do so permanently. You might lose weight quickly if you take shortcuts like consuming only 1,000 calories a day, but eventually, your losses will slow down and frequently cease. You'll also lose lean muscle, which will harm you over time by slowing down your metabolism and jeopardizing your health.

Keep track of your daily calorie intake to ensure you're getting enough fuel and nutrients to get through the day without overindulging and preventing weight reduction.