NUTRITION HOTLINE: Give Your Body Enough Fuel
By Diane Keddy, MS, RD
Reprinted from Eating Disorders Recovery Today
Spring 2008 Volume 6, Number 2
©2008 Gürze Books
Q: My dietitian and doctor have told me that I need 2,000 calories to maintain my weight. Most days I eat less than that. If I eat more, won't I gain weight?
A: When you eat less than your body requires, your body slows your metabolism down to match what you are eating. If you eat 1,200 calories per day, you only burn 1,200 calories per day. If you increase your caloric intake to 2,000 calories per day, you will increase your metabolic rate and your body will be able to function at 100% capacity, instead of at 60% capacity. This means that your hair will grow, you won't be cold, your skin won't be dry, you won't be tired, etc. as your body now has enough fuel to do all of its daily functions instead of just the absolute minimum. You do not store the extra calories you eat, rather your body uses them to function at optimum speed. It is like putting premium gas in your car.