How can cutting too many calories prevent me from losing weight?

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
It may seem counterintuitive, but cutting too many calories from your diet can be bad for your waistline. Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound of fat, you would need to cut 3,500 calories out of your diet each week to lose 1 pound a week. In order to do this, you’d have to cut 500 calories a day to lose 1 pound a week.

The problem with severely restricting diets, however, is that they jolt your body into “starvation mode,” preventing your body from burning unwanted fat. This mechanism, which is thought to have evolved as a defense against starvation, helps the body make the most of the calories it gets from food and drink; the body, in order to keep functioning, then looks to get some of it calories from lean muscle. This results in muscle loss. Less muscle means a slower metabolic rate -- and in this case, stalled weight loss.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

Continue Learning about Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Losing weight quickly is OK as long as you do it safely, not through a crash diet. You can lose three or more pounds a week by burning more calories than you eat. If you burn an extra 500 calories per day through eating less and i...

ncreasing your physical activity, you can lose about one to two pounds of fat per week. Dietitians recommend a daily minimum of 1,200 calories per day (a 200-pound person might need 1,400 calories). Anything less makes you lose muscle as well as fat, which slows your metabolism. Instead, minimize your intake of starches, added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and animal fat from dairy and meats. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, soy products, egg whites, skinless poultry breasts, shellfish and fish, nonfat dairy foods and meat that is 95 percent lean. Drink lots of water, don't skip meals, and eat only from a plate while seated at a table.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.