While caloric restriction has shown some positive health benefits like a lessening of cardiovascular problems, there are many more health risks associated with it. Caloric restriction ought to be avoided because of health concerns. There is ongoing research about the benefits and risks of caloric restriction, so a fuller picture will emerge in the future. Caloric restriction is not a diet plan unto itself. It is in fact a feature of several dietary regimens such as the Okinawa Diet and the CRON diet.
1. Mortality Risk
The first reason you should avoid caloric restriction is due to the increased mortality risk. One of the ways that the mortality risk is increased is by you becoming underweight through caloric restriction. This is achieved by consuming much fewer calories than what a body requires to healthily maintain itself. A study has demonstrated that some people with a particularly low body mass index (BMI) of less than 18 raise the risk of mortality through restricting calories. This risk is seen particularly among women and regarding diseases that are caused by non-cancerous and non-cardiovascular sources. Being on a diet that involves caloric restriction makes this lower BMI very possible.
Though an extreme consequence of caloric restriction, starvation is another reason you should avoid it. For it to result in actual starvation, the amount of caloric restriction has to be quite severe already. The only way to balance out starvation from a severe caloric reduction is by the slowing of the metabolism by some other way. There is an even higher risk if the starvation is combined with an eating disorder. Your body may begin to burn off its own lean tissue that is found in collagen and muscle if an eating disorder accompanies the starvation from caloric restriction. In such a situation, your body will have to start using its fat reserves, again increasing the likelihood of starvation. One problematic consequence of this will be muscular atrophy, which segues into a reduced quality of life. Caloric restriction does not have to be severe for it to potentially lead to starvation. If the person practicing even moderate caloric restriction has minimal body fat, even moderate caloric restriction can be hurtful.
3. Binge Eating
Another reason to avoid caloric restriction has to do with binge eating. This is only a potential ordeal in people who already endure a binge-eating disorder. If a person with a binge-eating disorder tries caloric restriction to lose weight, the result can be a precipitation of a severe episode of binge eating. Binge eating is defined as essentially an eating disorder in which you indulge in episodes of uncontrollable eating.