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The Dangers of Diets that Restrict Calories

Is the low-calorie diet worth it? We don’t think so. Here are a few of the many side effects that come with following a diet that restricts calories.

When it comes to losing weight, many people are drawn to the idea of counting calories and consuming as few as possible in a day. Severely restricting calories can indeed lead to weight loss, but it comes with an abundance of health-related drawbacks. A very low-calorie diet might as well be considered a regimen of starvation, and in the long-run, your body isn't going to react well to it.

Particularly, a very low-calorie diet, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, is a regimen that replaces all meals with prepared formulas, usually as liquid shakes and does not let followers exceed 800 calories per day. This specific diet is used to promote rapid weight loss in those living with obesity, but it can cause many health risks.To fuel a healthy body, men are encouraged to consume an average of 2,500 calories per day, and women need around 2,200, though your own activity level, age, and body size could change this amount considerably. Following a very low-calorie diet slashes those daily amounts by two-thirds, which can do quite a number on your body. Plus, you're not taking advantage of the delicious, natural, and God-provided sustenance that's loaded with beneficial vitamins and nutrients.

Is the very low-calorie diet worth it? We don't think so. Here are a few of the many side effects that come with following a diet that severely restricts calories:

1. Fatigue
Because you're not fueling your body the way God intended you to, you'll likely experience more fatigue and weakness if you don't consume enough calories in the day. Dizziness, especially when you stand up after sitting for long periods of time, can occur, as well.

"The rapid reduction of fiber can cause constipation."

2. Constipation
Many low-calorie diets restrict fiber consumption, so your bowels may not function properly. The rapid reduction of fiber often causes constipation, which can lead to harsh discomfort in the gut.

3. Diarrhea
On the other hand, you may experience diarrhea. Because a proper balance of fluids and nutrients across the bowel wall induces normal digestion, it's no secret why you may have diarrhea while following a low-calorie diet.

4. Nausea
Nausea is an early sign of hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar. When you're eating way less than you normally would, your body doesn't get enough glucose, which can often cause a dip in your blood sugar levels.

Following a low-calorie diet may lead to nausea.Following a low-calorie diet may lead to nausea.

5. Gallstones
Rapid weight loss and low levels of good cholesterol both increase your chance of developing gallstones, the hard, crystal-like stones that form in the gallbladder and keep the body from digesting foods properly.

Live Your Life Naturally
When you're constantly counting calories, it becomes a chore more than anything else. You get so obsessed over the thought of overstepping your calories for the day that it consumes your mind. This thinking isn't bad for only physical health; it's also dangerous for your mental well-being. Why count calories when you can lose weight without thinking about it?

By following a primarily raw, plant-based eating regimen like the Hallelujah Diet, you can forget about counting calories. Instead, you'll fuel your body with an abundance of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and organic grains from God's garden – sustenance that can help you lose weight naturally. What's best is most produce is low in calories to begin with, so there's no sense in worrying about restricting yourself from eating a nice hearty portion of fruits and vegetables. Following a plant-based diet and practicing other healthy habits such as exercising regularly, limiting stress and prioritizing sleep can help you lead a healthier lifestyle that prompts you to lose weight the natural way.

What are you waiting for? Join us on the path to better health today!


  1. Carolyn B, Calhoun November 7, 2017

    Thanks for the helpful information. I have been fooled into believing that if you drastically reduce calorie intake that will help. Nonsense use good wisdom..healthy portions of fruits and fresh vegetables is much smarter.

  2. Jennifer October 29, 2019

    Counting calories can be exhausting. I never realized the negative side effects of a very low calorie diet. Thank you for the information.

  3. Helpful information when choosing to “diet”!

  4. I can see where following a of is a regimen that replaces all meals with prepared formulas, usually as liquid shakes and does not let followers exceed 800 calories per day is a bad idea. That kind of a diet doesn’t promote good health. Even people who do lose weight on this kind of a diet, ofter gain it back quickly because they have not learned or developed the habit of eating the right kind of food in the proper amount.

  5. It is sad and shocking to me when a person who wants to lose weight doesn’t want to eat a nutrient dense food because she says it is high in calories. I wish people would realize how important it is to nourish the body with healthy food and when they make that as a priority, often weight loss follows. Most people who follow the Hallelujah Diet find it is easy to loss weight.

    • Melody Hord October 29, 2021

      Many people have difficulty keeping excess weight off. Personally, I have fought it since a teen, and it can get exhausting. Some people have very strong hunger signals. Some people have insulin issues. Some people have a slow metabolism. People can GAIN weight on the Hallelujah Diet if they choose too much vegenaise or too much sweet fruit or bread, etc.. I have had to find all sorts of ways to keep a balanced diet. Not eating excess carbs is what seems to help me the most. Carbs are very important and provide energy. However, if overeaten, they can create an insulin surge that creates excessive hunger. Nuts and nut butters help reign in my hunger about as good as anything.

  6. Even though a very strict, drastically reduced-calorie diet may help a person lose weight quickly, but at what cost? As the article states, these types of “diets” may not provide all the nutrients that your body really needs to help maintain your energy levels. It is also very likely that once a person uses this type of method to lose weight, they are very likely to gain weight just as soon as they go back to a normal diet. Making healthy choices and choosing to do more raw, plant-based foods is a better option for not only losing weight, but also for maintaining the weight loss once you reach your goal.

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