Can I live on 300 calories a day to lose weight?
Hi there and thank you for your great question :)
Basically you can live of ANY calories per day. From 0 to XXX. The only question there is, what are you doing to yourself and to your body!
And that can have catastrophic consequences!
A good friend of mine was almost 300lbs and she was only 5f 4 tall... At the age of 34 she suffered from all possible medical conditions like diabetes, sleep apnoe etc. When her boy friend popped the question if she wants to marry him, she not only said yes but also made the decision to lose weight for the wedding.
And this is, where the disaster started!
She knew about me being a fitness pro and a nutritionist. When she told me that she is wanting to lose weight for her wedding of course I offered my help for free but she declined by saying it's all good with a big smile on her face.
We still did a body composition analysis and her body fat % came back as 46% and visceral fat at level 15.
What she did not tell me was that she put herself on a 500cal diet. Rather soon she started to drop a lot of weight and four weeks later we did another scan. She had dropped nearly 35lbs! BUT her body fat % was up to 52% and her visceral fat level was now 17... I convinced her to do a Dexa Scan - not that I didn't trust my scales (I had paid a shit load of money for them and the software and they have always been very accurate - like when I did a comparison of my composition as per the scales to a Dexa scan I did then, the scales were off by only 0.2%!).
The Dexa scan confirmed the numbers and I asked the operator to talk to her about it. However, that was all unsuccessful because all she was focusing on was her weight but nothing else.
Only a week later or so she collapsed - while doing nothing at home, just being on the lounge and watching TV... Hospital admission and straight up to the Intensive Care Unit. Induced Coma for a week and why? Because everything was so out of whack that she had not only severe dysrhythmias but also a swelling to her brain which put so much pressure on her brain that this caused the collaps.
For a few days it was not really clear how this is going to end. Not necessarily dying but the doctors were concerned about a brain damage due to the swelling.
A week later they let her wake up, it took her another 6 six weeks to leave the hospital and the letter by the hospital for her GP stated clearly that everything what happened was purely based on her excessive weight loss and starving herself nearly to death because of 500cal...
Now, from a nutritionist point of view - I was not very surprised about what happened to her. But of course it's always different when this a good friend of yours is the affected one.
Now, back to your question - I did not share this story to scare you but you need to understand that our organism NEEDS food to function. Otherwise it is going to shut down and 300cal are not enough!
Best way to be on the safe side is, to know your numbers!
Means, only if you know how many calories your body needs to maintain(!!) its weight, then you know how much to eat to either maintain the weight, lose a bit or gain a bit. If you don't know the numbers then it's like driving a car without a fuel gauge. How much fuel is left? How far can I get? When do I need to refuel? What fuel do I need? So, if anyone tells you, you don't need to know your numbers, then just run far, far away from this person!
Only when you know your numbers, you can, for example, lose weight safely, effectively and you won't bounce back up! And I am sure, you know a lot of people who lost weight and then put it all back on again! Two reasons - not knowing the numbers and not knowing what to it!
Hope that helps and you got value out of it. If so, please help me spread the message and share and upvote it. Any further questions, just send me DM here after following me here, ok?
Have a great day
PS: On a side note (and I am not being rude now) but just don't do what Srinath Seshadri recommended in his article. Just don't, really! This is his personal experience and I appreciate it. BUT everybody is different, has a different metabolism, different circumstances etc. etc. etc. so just because it worked for him, does not mean, it works for anyone else. Otherwise obesity wouldn't be such a problem now!