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Eating less food than the body demands to maintain weight. Mild undereating is a necessary part of a planned weight-loss regime, but it should not be severe. It is important that undereating results in a lower calorie intake but not a reduction in essential nutrients (especially vitamins and minerals). This usually means reducing the fat content of meals. Once the ideal weight is achieved, the dieter should revert to a well-balanced maintenance diet. Prolonged or severe undereating results not only in weight loss but also potentially dangerous muscle wasting. It may also lead to metabolic and psychological disturbances. See also starvation.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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