Calories have recently become a benchmark of dietary regimes. Whether it is to make the decision to see what to buy to eat or what foods to ingest or even in the advertising campaigns, where you even get to highlight which drinks to have or not.
With these ideas, it begins to gestate in our head that fewer calories are better for our silhouette. With the calculator, we add and subtract between the calories we eat and those we burn during exercise. What is not clear is what happens inside the body with those calories, or what they serve.
The simple fact of existing consumes calories (energy) because for the systems of the body to perform multiple biochemical processes that consume energy. To know the least amount of calories we should eat, we calculate the basal metabolic rate. This minimum depends on age, height, weight, gender and physical activity.
Therefore, eating below the required minimum puts you to suffer all the functions of the body. Thanks to the research done by the University of Minnesota, we now know the consequences of low-calorie intake.
A low-calorie diet experiment proved dangerous
In the years 1944 and 1945, an experiment was carried out where thirty-six volunteers underwent a diet for six months with only 1,600 calories a day with a physical activity of 35 kilometers of walking a week. The result was that the volunteers reported that they felt apathetic, lacking physical energy, without personal and irritable motivations. They began to lick the dishes, to dilute the potatoes with water and to keep food longer in the mouth with the intention of prolonging the process of eating.
Inside apathy, food became the only source of fascination and motivation: they obsessed kitchen recipes, daydreaming about food, devising plans to steal it, drinking water until they felt full, and increasing their smoking or chewing gum habits. Nothing that was not the food interested them: their personal development paused, they were bored, their sexual desire evaporated. Laughing became difficult and interaction with others was complicated, either because they could not follow a conversation or because they did not fight for anything: at any stimulus their reaction was resignation.
According to specialists, the side effects of consuming fewer calories than your daily routine needs are:
3. Cold intolerance.
4. Irregular menstrual periods.
7. Swelling of hands and feet.
9. Risk of malnutrition.
10. Gout (drunk to high uric acid).
After six months they restarted a diet where they increased the number of calories consumed. The physical improvement was evident and almost immediate, however, their cognitive functions decreased. The irritability turned into aggression, mood swings were more pronounced and continued to lick the dishes. It was not until nine months after eating an adequate number of calories that social behavior stabilized that the moods were balanced but never returned to eat the same. They had a feeling of hunger, even if they had only a little appetite.
With this research, we can realize how important it is to nourish our organism and that lack of food causes changes in the physical aspect, but also psychological and emotional changes. Calories provide energy and the best source of energy are carbohydrates, so we must make sure we eat enough to function well, feel calm and grow as people and professionally.
There are many miracle diets and recommendations on the Internet, but not all are ideal for all people. Therefore, if you are looking to lose weight or increase volume, perform an exercise, among other goals, it is advisable to consult a nutrition specialist who shares a diet based on our routine, sports goals, desires to go down of weight or achieve the ideal weight.