The Problem With Under Eating to Lose Weight

NOT OVER-EATING, but under-eating has honestly got to be the single biggest limiting factor you come across, particularly when it comes to fat loss or fat gain in women.

I’m not sure how or why- but somewhere throughout the years it’s become the ‘norm’ for highly active women to consume sub 1000 calories a day, sometimes even less.

The problem is that under eating destroys the health of your metabolism. If you’re active and healthy 1000 calories a day should NOT be norm- unless you’re engaged in a temporary extreme deficit for contest prep or some other event…..

I have had a ton of potential clients come to me wanting to lose fat or be lean and the first thing I think when I review their current dietary intake is “WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE FOOD??”

It’s not uncommon for me to look at the dietary intake of a potential client and see an intake well below their RMR or BMR. And what’s worse they’ve likely been doing this for months, even years, and as a result, are achieving a look OPPOSITE what they are after- displaying high levels of body fat and low levels of muscular density.

I just can’t emphasize this enough- your body is not stupid. It’s actually brilliant. You might think you’re being clever embarking on a diet that involves fast and extreme caloric deprivation but trust me that type of practice is not going to illicit the reaction you want from your body.

Avoid under eating


Related: Top 10 Fat Burners For Women


Don’t be fooled by the initial results

Initially you might get some satisfaction in the immediate weight loss those types of methods produce but your body will adjust and prevent any further weight loss or fat loss from occurring. And if you just continue to under-eat or you stay in an extreme caloric deficit for a long period of time one of the adjustments your body makes is to slow your metabolism. A slowed metabolism halts fat loss in its tracks.

When potential clients come to me with this problem, the only thing I can really do is to slowly increase their calories throughout the course of our time together and hope that their metabolism begins to speed up again. Typically this means some initial weight gain which usually makes the client uncomfortable but it’s really the only thing that can be done to fix the damage. Continuing to operate in a huge caloric deficit will only further aggravate the situation.

And there is no time frame on this- every individual is different and it can take some people months and even years to get their body to a point where their metabolism works for, not against them. But once we get to a point where they are eating a healthy amount of calories per day we can then start focusing on losing any unwanted bodyfat in a HEALTHY manner. It’s actually easier for me to diet down someone who is slightly overweight but over-eating versus someone who is a moderate weight but under-eating.


Under-Eating is as Bad as Over-Eating

My point in all this is that under-eating can be just as detrimental to your fitness goals and your health as over-eating. A diet that contains the right balance of macronutrients and calories is vital to the health of your body, your metabolism and your overall potential for an optimal body composition.

Constantly slashing calories is not the answer to fat loss. At some point if you ever hope to get into the body you want, and to have a life of health, you’ve got to stop the cycle of calorie restriction and perpetual under-eating. FOOD IS FUEL. Your body can only do without for so long before it begins to break down and react in negative and detrimental ways.



For proper weight loss and a healthy metabolism you should avoid under-eating. You may have some initial weight loss with under eating but your body will catch on pretty quickly and it will slow your metabolism down to compensate. Instead try a moderate diet with healthy food and fewer simple carbohydrates. For an increased effect try a foot fat burning supplement to help you lose those unwanted pounds without starving yourself.


Eric Hartman