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Running on Empty?

Written by: Linda Terjesen, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I talk to and coach a lot of women on health and fitness. Mainly women who come to me are wanting to lose weight.

Unfortunately, many women don’t have a lot of energy. They are literally running on empty, meaning starving themselves. They may do this via Intermittent Fasting (IF) or with very-low-calorie diets, which can be dangerous.

This all depends, of course. It depends on age, pre-existing conditions, medical supervision, medications used, side effects from medications, etc.

People can lose weight with IF, but there are so many calories one can consume within a certain time period. With IF and low-calorie diets, people typically don’t get enough food variety and nutrients. They may feel satisfied in the moment, but in the long term, it’s not sustainable as the body needs fuel.

Without enough calories and proper nutrition, there’s a deficiency with overall vitamins and minerals. People experience various symptoms, including hunger, fatigue, moodiness, nausea, constipation, cramps, diarrhea, brain fog, including headaches, loss of memory, focus and/or dizziness, dry mouth, lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, and more. The metabolism slows down, and it may reduce fertility. There will likely be muscle loss, weakened bones, lower immunity, liver changes, hormonal complications, and blood sugar stability. If weight loss is rapid, the formation of gallstones is another known issue.

Also, not all calories are equal in nutrients, and it’s important to nourish the body. If weight is lost during severe calorie and nutrient deficiency, we likely gain back weight quickly.

The amount of calories that we need depends on a person’s height, weight, activity level, gender, weight loss goals, and age. I work with my clients to set and change their calories per their needs and goals, and everybody is different. However, my recommendation is to consume at least 1,250 calories daily.

The body responds to extreme calorie restriction by entering into survival mode, thus burning fewer calories overall. So if calories are restricted, and weight loss isn’t occurring, this is likely why. If these symptoms are experienced, and guidance is desired, please reach out for help.

For more information, follow Linda on Facebook, Instagram and visit her website!


Linda Terjesen, Executive Contributor BRAINZ Magazine.

Linda Terjesen is an International sought-after Certified Nutritionist, Health & Fitness Expert dedicated to helping middle-aged women worldwide build consistency, lose belly fat and boost metabolism to feel and look confident for life with a sustainable, real food approach.

After Linda lost her only brother at age 45 to a sudden heart attack, Linda decided to follow her passion for health and fitness and help others live their healthiest life. As a relatable Coach who truly cares about her clients and their success, Linda has served over 100 Clients worldwide, providing a wealth of accountability, support, and education.



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