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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Aiuto

How Eating TOO FEW CALORIES Can Cause Weight Gain, Bloating, And Acne

Let’s cut to the chase: 1200 calories isn’t enough for your body to function on.

In reality, 1200 calories is actually the minimum number of calories a 2-year-old needs per day!

So if you’re thinking: “I’m sedentary, so I need less calories” or “Eating more calories means I’ll gain weight”... let me lovingly tell you, you’re wrong.

Eating 1200 calories per day WON’T help you lose weight (long term), and shockingly - it’ll actually SLOW down your

metabolism and make you GAIN weight.

For some reason, 1200 calories is the go-to. 1200 calories per day means 400 calories per meal! That’s without snacks or drinks or sweets.

From my own experience and the work I do with my clients, this super-low caloric goal is nearly impossible to achieve, and creates food obsession (the feeling like you’re always hungry/addicted to food), and is definitely not a great way to feel like your best, healthiest self, let alone be a person who loves their body.

BUT if you feel like you ARE able to eat this small amount of calories everyday, you should know that it’s actually HURTING your body more than it’s HELPING.

Let me explain.

Your body uses calories as energy and there’s a minimum amount of energy/calories that you need every day to do simple bodily functions (breathe, pump your heart, etc.)

For MOST people the minimum number of calories/energy needed to do these basic functions is… you guessed it, 1200! That’s 1200 calories JUST to be able to do the bare-minimum! So if you’re doing more than just sitting and breathing all day, you biologically NEED more energy, and therefore more food/calories to do it!

So if you’re eating too few calories your body PANICS and goes straight to survival-starvation mode. This puts a TON of stress on your body, because it’s literally just trying to keep you ALIVE.

If you’ve ever STARTED to restrict calories and quickly started losing weight, and then all of a sudden hit a “plateau” and couldn’t lose anymore weight… that’s because your body was trying to PROTECT you by hoarding those few calories to use as fuel.

Your body thinks you don’t have access to food, so it will tell your metabolism to slow down to conserve energy, it’ll stop burning calories because it thinks it will run out of fuel, and it stores whatever calories it does get as fat (which is probably not your goal if you’re tracking/restricting calories in the first place).

Another problem with calorie restriction is that the more you restrict, the more your body will shut down non-essential functions: digestion, liver detox, menstrual cycle, etc. Digesting food and getting ready to “reproduce” is definitely not essential when your body thinks it can barely keep you alive off of the FEW calories you’re feeding it. So, if you all of a sudden started experiencing extreme bloating, constipation, lost your period, started breaking out all the time… too few calories could be the cause.

If you’re wondering why you’re HUNGRY all.of.the.time, again remember your body is in ‘survival-starvation mode’.

Not only does food restriction lead to obsession, creating a never-ending cycle of thinking about food, restricting food, and then binge-eating food, it’s also causing your body to basically BEG you to eat more.

When you feel like you’re ALWAYS hungry, it’s basically your body telling your brain to be hyper aware that it needs more calories. Even if you eat a low-calorie snack, or drink some water - your body will NOT be fooled. Being hungry all the time is just another signal from your body to you that you’re not eating enough.

You’re probably wondering: “Ok, if 1200 calories isn’t enough, how much is ENOUGH?”

This is a question that comes up for my clients a LOT, and the answer is: it depends.

Our bodies are all designed so differently. Your height, age, ethnicity, genetics, physical activity, stage of your menstrual cycle can all contribute to how much your body needs to eat. Some days when you do a tough strength training class, you might need to eat more. On days leading up to getting your period, your body has ANOTHER thing to put energy towards (creating your uterine lining), so you probably need more calories.

Your body doesn’t lie - it’s designed to keep you alive and give you all of the signals you need to keep it running smoothly. HOWEVER, I know with diet culture messages telling you to suppress your hunger with water, fruit, or whatever it may be -- you’ve un-learned how to trust your body and it’s hunger cues.

This is why I love helping my clients learn to trust their bodies again. After working together, my clients are finally able to recognize their hunger cues and STOP obsessing over food choices, relying on calorie tracking apps, and following strict diet plans to tell them how to eat.

My clients gain back their food freedom and feel WAY more confident in their skin, but they also report having less digestive problems (like bloating and constipation), clearer and more vibrant skin (less acne, no more dark under-eye circles), and more energy to put into things they LOVE to do (time with family, pursuing their passion, thriving in their career).

Contrary to what diet culture wants to sell you, turns out 1200 calories MIGHT just be the thing holding you back from looking and feeling your best AND living your healthiest and happiest life!

I want to help YOU quit cutting out calories, and start trusting your body again so you can focus your energy on the important things in your life (your family, your passions, your career, etc.)!

That’s why for a limited time I’m offering a FREE 30-minute assessment call, where we can see if you’re eating too few calories, and what you can start doing THIS WEEK to start accessing your food and body freedom.

If you’re sick of feeling ‘addicted’ to food and hungry all the time, and you’re ready to stop obsessing over calories and start accessing your food and body freedom, book your FREE call here!

Be Well,


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