A calorie deficit means, your body is getting fewer calories than you are using/spending.
Those calories must therefore be picked up elsewhere in the body (primarily fat tissue). This means that it is physically impossible to consume to few calories to stop a weight loss phase.
“It’s a bit like saying that the car can continue driving, even though the tank is empty”
But why do people still experience hitting a plateau despite the feeling of sticking to a low daily calorie target?
A study was made on a group of people who claimed to eat 1200 calories per day, without seeing any progress on weight loss. Their exercise and calorie intake was closely tracked over 14 days.
The results were: Participants overreported their exercise by up to 51% and underreported food intake by up to 47%!
It is a very well-known phenomenon that people misjudge activity levels and food intake. This is often due to, eating of habit, hidden sources of calories, inaccurate trackers for exercise and food etc.
Consuming very few calories does NOT necessarily mean that it’s a good idea.
Larger reductions in body weight over a short period of time are associated with greater loss of muscle mass and strength. It also increases the risk of malnutrition.
The body's need for calories/energy initiates several mechanisms, in an attempt to increase intake and store energy.
For example. You might experience greater hunger, cravings and fatigue due to a prolonged diet / calorie deficit. (That’s were diet breaks can be very useful if done correctly / at the right time)
My point with this blog post is: Don’t blindly trust your trackers and fitbits. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember. Weight loss doesn’t have to a shitty experience if you’re smart about it. And remember. Good things takes time. Don’t rush it! The goal is to slowly drop the fat and maintain a good healthy body composition that you are happy with.