Why Am I Gaining Weight on 800 Calories a Day

Why Am I Gaining Weight on 800 Calories a Day?

Losing weight requires consuming fewer calories than your body burns. Many people resort to extreme calorie restriction, such as an 800-calorie-per-day diet, to achieve rapid weight loss. However, it can be frustrating and perplexing when you find yourself gaining weight despite adhering to such a low-calorie intake. Several factors can contribute to this unexpected weight gain, and it is essential to understand them to make informed decisions about your health and weight loss journey.

1. Slowed Metabolism: When you drastically restrict your calorie intake, your body’s metabolism may slow down as a survival mechanism. This process is known as adaptive thermogenesis. Your body conserves energy and burns calories at a slower rate, making weight loss more challenging.

2. Loss of Lean Muscle Mass: Severely restricting calories can lead to the loss of not only fat but also muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active tissue that helps burn calories even at rest. When you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down further, making it easier to gain weight.

3. Water Retention: Consuming very low calories can disrupt your body’s fluid balance, leading to water retention. Your body retains water to compensate for the lack of nutrients it receives. This can result in temporary weight gain and bloating.

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4. Inadequate Nutrient Intake: While calorie intake directly affects weight loss, it is equally important to consider the quality of the calories you consume. If you are not getting enough essential nutrients, your body may hold onto fat stores as a protective mechanism, leading to weight gain.

5. Inaccurate Calorie Calculation: Sometimes, the calorie counts on food labels or in calorie-tracking apps can be inaccurate. Additionally, portion sizes and cooking methods can affect the actual calorie intake. It is crucial to ensure the accuracy of your calorie calculations to avoid consuming more than you think.


Q: How long does it take for the body to adapt to an 800-calorie diet?
A: The body can adapt to a low-calorie diet within a few days to a couple of weeks. As your metabolism slows down, weight loss may become more challenging.

Q: Can I lose weight on an 800-calorie diet?
A: In the short term, an 800-calorie diet can lead to significant weight loss. However, it is not sustainable in the long run and can have adverse health effects. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before embarking on such a restrictive diet.

Q: What should I do if I’m gaining weight on 800 calories a day?
A: If you’re gaining weight despite consuming only 800 calories a day, it is crucial to reevaluate your approach. Consider increasing your calorie intake slightly to avoid metabolic slowdown and muscle loss. Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods to ensure your body receives adequate nourishment.

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Q: Is exercise necessary on an 800-calorie diet?
A: Exercise is beneficial for overall health, but it can be challenging on such a low-calorie intake. Engaging in light to moderate physical activity, such as walking or yoga, can help maintain muscle mass and support weight loss efforts.

Q: Are there any risks associated with an 800-calorie diet?
A: Extremely low-calorie diets carry several risks, including nutrient deficiencies, gallstones, muscle loss, and a weakened immune system. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any restrictive diet.

In conclusion, gaining weight on an 800-calorie-per-day diet can be attributed to factors such as a slowed metabolism, loss of muscle mass, water retention, inadequate nutrient intake, and inaccurate calorie calculation. Instead of resorting to extreme measures, it is advisable to adopt a more balanced and sustainable approach to weight loss, focusing on a well-rounded diet and regular physical activity. Remember, consulting a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is crucial to ensure your weight loss journey is safe and effective.


  • Laura @ 262.run

    Laura, a fitness aficionado, authors influential health and fitness write ups that's a blend of wellness insights and celebrity fitness highlights. Armed with a sports science degree and certified personal training experience, she provides expertise in workouts, nutrition, and celebrity fitness routines. Her engaging content inspires readers to adopt healthier lifestyles while offering a glimpse into the fitness regimens of celebrities and athletes. Laura's dedication and knowledge make her a go-to source for fitness and entertainment enthusiasts.

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