Calorie restriction should be used only as an advanced strategy when long term weight loss is your major goal.
The reason for this is simple: when your restrict your daily calorie intake below what your body requires to function properly, your body will start to burn your muscle in order to slow down your metabolism.
This is a defense mechanism that your organism has to protect you from starvation during food shortages.
For example I am sure you have heard of people getting lost in the wilderness and surviving with very little food for up to two months, or even more.
This ability to slow down your calorie burning is what helps you to survive in a situation where food is seriously restricted for some reason.
Since your body has no way of knowing if you are starving or simply using a low calorie approach, it automatically triggers this survival mechanism when you follow a low calorie diet for a long time.
Using a low calorie approach can be effective when used as an advanced nutrition strategy.
Calorie restriction for 2-3 days, at about 20% below your maintenance level, can cause your body to burn unwanted body fat.
But after these 2-3 days of low calorie eating, you must raise your daily calorie intake so that your body does not trigger the starvation response.
After eating daily maintenance calorie intake for 3-4 days, you can drop your calories once more for another 2-3 days.
This can be repeated for as long as you can stick to eating low calories, but this is not that easy for most people, and this is why it is an advanced strategy and should be used only once you have mastered the basics andfundamentals of proper nutrition.
You can also restrict calories during the day, by using a calorie tapering technique, where you eat more calories in the first half of the day and less in the second half of the day.
This is also very effective, but it is also an advanced nutrition strategy, because for most people it is very difficult to eat a small meal at the end of the day in the beginning of their weight loss program.
But once you reach an advanced level, you will have the knowledge and desire based on your experience, plus your body will adapt to your weight loss approach, and to break through this plateau, advanced strategies are what you will use to reach the next level in creating a lean, healthy body.