What Happens When You Consume Less Than 1000 Calories A Day?

April 17th, 2018 5 min read

Last Updated: August 12th, 2018

What Happens When You Consume Less Than 1000 Calories A Day?

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Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. —Thomas Carlyle

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In order for us to survive we all need to eat. When we eat, our body is able to function normally. And when our body is able to function normally then we are able to achieve our goals (and reach for the stars)


We all love to eat don't we? For some people, eating makes them feel happier. And for others --- they simply just need to eat in order to get through their day.

And because eating is so important to all of us it is very important to watch what you eat as well as how much you eat. Otherwise you may develop health conditions, bad eating habits and even diseases that will affect how you live your life.

Read: 15 Amazing Things Happening To Your Body When Losing Weight

Lets look at some of the key consequences that occur when living a diet with a calorie count of less than 1000 per day, because we need to be reminded to eat and eat well!

Malnutrition / Lack of Nutrients

What is malnutrition and how does it occur?

When you consume less than 1000 calories a day, you'll be suffering from malnutrition which occurs from insufficient nutrients that your body is having. If you are suffering from malnutrition, it can be because of a bad diet that you are following, problems absorbing nutrients, or some perhaps some medical conditions that should be checked with a doctor.

General symptoms of malnutrition include weight loss (the unhealthy weight loss, mind you), fatigue and dizziness. So if you need more nutrients, you should consider almonds and read the health benefits of almonds, the most important superfood in your weight loss diet.

Malnutrition cute dog


Gallstones can be a serious side effect of low calorie diets. When you lose weight too quickly, your liver starts to release extra cholesterol, which can lead to excessive cholesterol in the bile, therefore leading to these gallstones.

The thing with gallstones is that they actually also have a high chance of occurring from being overweight or obese (especially in women).

So if you do not want to develop gallstones, scientists recommend to lose weight at a slow pace, making it less likely that you will develop it (1). Now with that said, you definitely need to read these 14 Eating Mistakes That Make You Gain Weight.


When your body hasn't consumed food for a long time, it begins to transition into what is commonly known as starvation mode, a state where your body begins breaking down stored body fat---eventually breaking down other body tissues for energy.

Related: 12 Superfoods Every Man Needs in His Diet To Get Healthier


What can also happen is when your blood sugar drops, causing fatigue, which then causes your energy levels to drop immensely.

This happens because your body and brain needs calories in order to work properly. When your calorie intake is too low, your focus becomes affected. You won't develop fatigue if you followed the whole30 diet.

Related: 6 habits to set yourself up for weight-loss success — for life



And if you're consuming less than 1000 calories a day you probably aren't getting enough calories that your system needs as well as sodium and carbohydrates. What happens then? You guessed it: Nausea.

And at a certain point its possible you start to develop visual impairment because of your weakened state. You should be calling a doctor immediately if that happens.



Another side effect of unsafe, rapid weight loss is frequent headaches. Remember how we mentioned that low blood sugar causes fatigue? Well, headaches is also a cause of a low blood sugar because of the lack of glucose in the bloodstream.

If you are experiencing headaches it's best to drink a lot of water before and after meals and exercises. Try to consume more calories if you are still experiencing headaches.


Since low calorie diets involve eating a small amount of food (especially fewer carbs), you won't be likely to be consuming anywhere near the recommended daily value of fiber in your diet.

And so if you are having constipation while you're on these diets, it's time to look for a fiber supplement or substitute a fruit or vegetable that have a much greater content of fiber in them.

Read: https://healthfulinspired.com/reasons-why-watermelons-are-great-for-weight-loss-06-08-2018/

Muscle Loss

A study reported by WebMD demonstrated that in two groups, one on a low calorie and the other on a very low calorie diet, muscle loss was higher in those who consumed fewer calories.

In both groups, a massive percentage of muscle loss was recorded---more in the VLCD group.

Why is that? Because their bodies began looking for more ways of acquiring energy, eating out the muscle tissues instead of its normal food source (glucose) in the blood.

Weight Loss Recommendations

If you want to lose weight and you're regularly exercising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you to reduce your current energy intake by somewhere inbetween 500 to 1000 calories a day. This often leads to a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Many adults will lose weight safely following 1200 to 1600 calorie meal plans, as suggested by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. You may need more than 1600 calories a day depending on how frequent you exercise as well as how long and hard you exercise, however.

Harvard Health Publications suggests men eat a minimum of 1500 calories a day and women to eat at least 1200 calories daily unless stated otherwise by their doctors. If you are a man or woman following those numbers you will likely lose weight safely.

To maintain your body weight, you would often need to maintain 1600 to 2400 calories a day if your are a woman and 2000 to 3000 calories a day for men, according to the publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010."

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