The low calorie diet theory is simple to understand. Calories that are consumed on a daily basis work as fuel for our body. A low caloric intake provides less fuel than necessary and allows the body to burn stored fats resulting in fat reduction.
Studies have found many physiological benefits of low calorie diets including burning calories during sleep. In general sleep restores energy levels and produces favorable effects on body fat distribution, so getting enough sleep allows the body to burn calories in the form of energy that are used while sleeping. The number of calories burnt is dependent on several factors including individual activity levels, weight, age, sex, metabolism, and number of sleep hours. Each person burn calories at different rates. The longer a person sleeps the more calories are burned.
A low calorie diet can play a vital role in improving weight related medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Research has proven that the combination of a low calorie diet and increased physical activity reduces abdominal fat and is concomitant in reduction of waist circumference resulting in an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness.
When considering rapid weight loss, a very low calorie diet can produce faster results. However, a low calorie diet is not suitable for everyone and is certainly not recommended for breastfeeding and pregnant women or teens, except in specialized treatment programs. Some experts have also raised concerns about low calorie diet health risks and whether or not a very low caloric intake is safe.
There are also increased risks of cardiovascular disease in both young and older adults following low calorie diets. Other side effects include diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, nausea which can occur during the first 5 to 15 weeks of starting a low calorie diet program. According to experts very low calorie diets are best suited for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30.
Professional advice by a doctor or dietician is recommended before making any changes to your daily calorie intake. Over time, the long-term weight loss of a very low calorie diet is not different from that of a low calorie diet.