Only 500 kcal a day – that’s where fast weight loss is guaranteed, right?? You do need a calorie deficit for weight loss, but how extreme can a diet be? We reveal what happens when you eat just 500 calories a day.
What is the minimum number of calories the body needs?
The question of calories is a very individual one. Because everyone has different caloric needs based on body weight, muscle mass, fat mass, age, and activity level, general recommendations that apply to everyone and anyone are impossible to make. However, there are rough guidelines and handy calorie calculators. For example, an adult woman who weighs 65 kilograms, has a sedentary job and does little exercise, has on average a daily calorie requirement of just under 2000 kcal (= kilocalories).
A calorie deficit of between 250 and 500 kcal is recommended as the standard for losing weight on a diet. The example woman with 65 kilograms of body weight should not consume less than 1500 calories per day. Scientists justify such a minimum of the daily energy admission with the fact that on the one hand the danger of a nutrient deficiency exists and it on the other hand a upper limit for daily fat loss gives. This is the so-called energy transfer rate. Diets that work with extreme calorie deficits can even be dangerous, as you will learn below.
Only 500 calories a day: This is what happens
Fat stores cannot be emptied beyond this due to the maximum energy transfer rate. If the calorie intake is reduced in the context of a restrictive diet, z.B. in crash diets or zero diets, now lowered even further, this unfortunately does not result in further fat reduction. On the contrary: Extreme calorie deficits do not accelerate fat loss, but undesirably the Muscle loss. A 65-kilo woman with a calorie requirement of 2000 kcal daily should therefore consume at least 1500 calories through nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, whole grains, fruits and nuts.
Due to the important tasks, the essential fatty acids have in the body, z.B. in the immune system and the formation of hormones, low-fat diets can lead to deficiency symptoms. However, even for physically active people who consume too little Carbohydrates and thereby provide their body with too little energy and fiber, can cause serious problems Symptoms emerge. Likewise, especially athletes:inside, but also those who are dieting, should ensure adequate Protein intake Pay attention in their diet, because only in this way muscle mass and immune cells (antibodies) can be formed.
How much are 500 calories actually?
To give you an idea of how much 500 calories in the form of food actually are, we would have here a few examples with in each case approx. 500 kcal for you: