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You won't lose as much weight if you drastically slash your caloric intake.
Eating too few calories can slow your metabolism, so if your weight loss stalls, it could be due to restricting calories too much. Measure your food, keep a food diary of exactly what you're eating and use a calorie calculator to determine how many calories you're getting. If you find the numbers are lower than recommended, try increasing your calorie intake to the recommended amount to see if your weight loss resumes.
Metabolism and Weight Loss
Your metabolism helps determine how many calories you need to maintain your weight. If your metabolism slows down, your body won't burn as many calories, and it will be harder to lose weight. People who weigh more or have more muscle tend to have higher metabolisms than smaller individuals or those with less muscle, and younger people tend to have higher metabolisms than older people.
Very Low-Calorie Diets
Don't drastically cut your calories to lose weight; this can backfire. If you starve yourself by consuming too few calories, your body will slow your metabolism to conserve what calories you do take in, keeping you from losing weight. Thankfully, your metabolism is likely to at least partially recover from the decreases caused by very low-calorie diets after you return to eating normally, according to a study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in February 1990, but following a less-restricted diet will limit these decreases in your metabolism. A study published in "Obesity" in August 2006 found that people following very low-calorie diets consisting of less than 800 calories per day didn't lose any more weight in the long term than people following more conventional low-calorie diets.
Minimum Recommended Calories
While you need to cut a certain amount of calories to lose weight, you don't want to go below the minimum recommended amount of calories. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends men consume at least 1,800 calories per day and women consume at least 1,200 calories per day. If you want to increase your calorie deficit further, increase the amount you exercise rather than eating fewer than the recommended calories.
Limiting Effects on Metabolism
If you diet without including cardiovascular as well as strength training exercises, about 25 percent of any weight you lose will come from your muscle mass, according to the American Council on Exercise, potentially causing your metabolism to slow down. Adding strength training to your exercise routine will help you maintain your muscle mass and your metabolism during a weight-loss diet, as can making sure to maintain a healthy protein intake, notes a March 2006 "Sports Medicine" article. University of Illinois Extension recommends aiming for a 1 to 2 pound per week weight loss by eating enough protein for your current weight while decreasing your portion sizes and the amount of sweets and carbohydrates other than fruits and vegetables that you eat.