There is a huge misconception that in order to lose weight, you need to eat less calories. While it does make sense that calories in = calories out, it's much more than that. Your body needs food to survive, and to function properly. A ton of women lose their periods and don't know the reason why, but a lot of the time it's linked to under eating. While it's been 'researched' that women need between 1200 to 1800 to maintain a healthy body, new studies are showing that 1200 is way too small to live off of.
Natacha Océane, who is a fitness YouTuber, has shown her journey from under eating to eating twice as many calories as she once was. She admits that her workout routine used to consist of just cardio since she didn't want to get bulky, she was eating 1200-1500 calories, she lost her period and she felt brittle. She is now stronger than ever, full of muscle, and she really credits it to increasing her calories.
In a YouTube video posted last week, Natacha tried cutting her current calories in half to see if anything would change. She normally eats 2500+ calories a day to maintain her busy and active lifestyle, but since there is such a misconception about less calories = more results, she wanted to prove it wrong. In the video, she can be seen giving a detailed description of how she's feeling throughout the entire week plus her meals. Natacha prides herself on her energy, her positive attitude and the way she trains hard. But during this week, her exhaustion was out of this world and she could not lift as much as she usually does. She could hardly get through her workouts.
So she starts off by saying that she's only going to be eating 1500 calories, which is less than half of what she currently eats. She mentions that she'll be using My Fitness Pal to track all of her food, which a lot of people use to track and make sure they don't go over their calories for the day. A turning point on the first day is when she only has one slice of bread and a bowl of red lentil soup for dinner, which she says she would normally have three slices of toast with cheese on it and then probably two bowls of the soup.
Her order at Subway is usually a foot long chicken teriyaki sub, but this time she could only afford to get a 6-inch and she was still hungry after. By the end of the second day, she was even too tired to go to the movies with her boyfriend. The next day while training, she tried doing one of her leg workouts and felt completely exhausted throughout it. She kept having to lower her weights, take breaks, and try not to quit. She even says to the camera while out of breath "Sessions when you're not fueled are harder".
Going out to eat was also super hard, since she had to look at the calories on every food which meant she was restricted to a lot of restaurants. Her safest choice was a health food restaurant, where she picked up a chicken salad and chia seed pudding. While shopping, she couldn't be bothered to try anything on because she was that tired.
By the end of the week, she was so glad to be done doing the video. However, she was also very glad she made it because she remembered why she upped her calories in the first place. She really wanted to make this video to show that food is not something to be scared of, and that you need food and good food to fuel your body correctly.
Natacha states that even though the only thing she remembers is being so tired, that if she did this 'diet' for even longer, it would have consequences. She would notice a decrease in metabolism, harmful effects to your health, and one of the most important, mental health. She was upset that she didn't have enough energy to fuel her training sessions, which she takes very seriously. She mentions a few more pretty harmful that you can catch in her YouTube video.
All in all, she noticed small changes that make a big difference in her everyday life. She usually has a ton of energy, so for her being tired all the time is not normal. This brilliant YouTube video goes to show that you can really harm yourself by not giving your body the food and love it needs. If you're struggling with an eating disorder, or any distorted thoughts towards eating, it's best to talk to your doctor about this topic.
You can see all of Natacha's meals, thoughts, and end conclusion in her YouTube video below.