An image showed up in my Facebook feed about a woman who’d lost a large amount of weight, and that what she had done was “simply” to cut down her calorie intake to 1300 kcals/day and “not restricting herself on anything.” (I’d say eating so few calories is restrictive, but what do I know?)
Now, as you may know, I’m sceptical to weight loss in general and to dieting in particular, so I did some googling.
My recommendation: don’t google.
One of the first links I found was this, from the Livestrong Foundation (that is, a reputable source) and this quote:
The lowest recommended caloric intake for women and men is 1,200 and 1,500 calories, respectively. According to the National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus, a diet of 500 to 800 calories a day is dangerously too low and should not be done unless its a medically supervised diet.
So it’s really, really dangerous to be on a diet of 500 to 800 calories, but y’know, it’s ok if you’re fat. Let’s ignore the dangers and how that is not enough for the body to survive on. The dangers of starvation is outlined in the next paragraph:
Starving yourself has serious health consequences such as dehydration, constipation, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances that can cause heart arrhythmias and death, according to Health Tree.
But apparently it’s ok to ignore that if you’re on “a medically supervised diet.”
I also found this nugget:
Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees that there is a problem in telling people that eating under 800 calories is starvation, as in people DYING of it, and in the next sentence it’s ok if you’re doing it to lose weight.