This is a passage from an article posted on Web MD today. It is a great article to read in full. I also want to respond with and explanation of the Ideal Protein method.
Starvation, fasting, or very low-calorie diets.
Severely slashing calories leads to weight loss but the lost weight includes precious muscle mass and poses health risks — and most people end up regaining all the weight, plus some.
“Rapid weight loss by critical calorie restriction causes water, some fat, and muscle loss, which ultimately decreases metabolism so the body needs fewer calories to survive,” says May, author of Eat What You Love and Love What You Eat. It also causes a shift toward a higher percentage of body fat, which increases the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Don’t cut calories below 1,200 per day; otherwise you will struggle to meet nutrient needs, fuel activity, and satisfy hunger. Keep in mind that when you lose weight quickly, you tend to pack it back on with more fat and less muscle, which lowers your metabolism and calorie needs.
The Ideal Protein method allows for lower calorie consumption. Between 850 and 1000 calories is the usual intake. That’s far less than recommended in this article and less than conventional wisdom has told us. By taking in the right amount of high biological protein, we do keep our lean muscle mass. Since it is muscle that burns calories, we also keep the same metabolic rate, or our metabolism can improve. People who follow the Ideal Protein diet will tell you they don’t lack energy, they have plenty. They also don’t feel hungry, because they are getting the right combination of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. The Ideal Protein Method also has 4 phases, which teach us how to eat for a lifetime, enjoying the foods we love, and keeping our weight loss results for the rest of our lives. I agree, starvation is a terrible idea! Occasional fasting for short periods of time has been shown to have health benefits and improve longevity, but isn’t recommended for weight loss. If you are following the Ideal Protein Diet, and you hear this conventional sounding wisdom in articles, magazines, or from your personal trainer, it can be confusing. But rest assured that you are doing the right thing for your health!