Can low calories cause weight plateau?


Low calorie intake can indeed cause a weight loss plateau. This occurs because the body adapts to a prolonged calorie deficit by slowing down its metabolism, which makes it harder to continue losing weight. Sal Di Stefano from the explains that when calorie intake is too low for an extended period, the body reduces its energy expenditure by burning fewer calories and even losing muscle mass to balance the deficit. This adaptation can result in a weight plateau 1.

Adam Schafer also emphasizes that increasing calorie intake strategically can help overcome this plateau. By boosting calories slightly and combining this with strength training to build muscle, metabolism can be enhanced, which may resume weight loss progress 2 3.

Low Calories and Weight Loss

Sal explains how too low of calories can cause a plateau in weight loss, as the body adapts its metabolism and burns fewer calories. This can lead to muscle loss and decreased energy. Building muscle can help speed up the metabolism and break through the plateau.

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Dr. Mark Hyman adds that reducing calories alone is often unsustainable due to increased hunger and metabolic slowdown. He highlights that focusing on the quality of calories and addressing other factors like hormones and metabolism can be more effective for long-term weight management 4.