Crash Dieting - what this means and what you need to be very aware of...
Its a huge topic and one that I am going to cover very carefully here. Im sure you have started to see lots of diets and downloadable items promising you the weightloss you are after in the lead up to Christmas? I certainly have! These are what would be referred to as crash diets. Crash diets promise weightloss and are therefore very appealing to most people, lets be honest who really wants to work hard for it? Thats really what it comes down to. What would you say if I said to you that you may as well go and burn your money or flush it down the toilet, would you happily go and do that? The answer would probably be no because who actually wants to waste money. The truth here and its not going to be what you want to hear but there really is no quick fix. I can tell you now that some of these diets will work.....for a very limited time. You will probably drop a dress size, you will probably will feel like you have achieved what you set out to do... until you start eating and drinking as you normally would.
So what is the problem here....?
There are several reasons why I said about burning your money or flushing it down the toilet. These ‘diets’ will waste your money. They will have you on very low calories and we all know that we will loose weight when we are not eating enough. This is simple science. This is what is commonly referred to as a calorie deficit. Now calorie deficits when suggested by professionals are handled in a very careful way and monitored closely. A calorie deficit needs to be safe and very carefully calculated according to each person. This takes into account factors such as height, weight, build, goals etc. Simply following a 500-1000 calorie diet is very unsafe. When I calculate plans and calorie intake for people this is obviously different per person and as a general rule of thumb would never exceed a 15% deficit. This is for several reasons. Firstly, its got to be realistic and it has got to cater to your daily needs. If you are under eating significantly not only will you find yourself with little to no energy you will be so miserable and unable to cope with normal everyday activities, this is why people doing these crash diets can never stick to something like that long term. Another huge factor here is that this fast weight loss will not only be eating away at your excess body fat but it will also start eating into your muscle mass. This is why people on fast, crash diets will see such big results on the scales... because you are eating away at muscle as well as fat and we all know muscle weighs more than fat. Is this starting to make sense? This is absolutely the last thing that you want to do considering muscle is your BEST friend! Muscle is what we need to keep a healthy and well functioning metabolism. Muscle is what makes your body efficient and helps to encourage weight loss. The more we eat away at this the slower the metabolism will become and hey presto weight gain will come back with vengeance as soon you start eating and drinking as you usually would.
Now there are also several health implications to consider here and quite honestly this is the main focus of this article. Okay so you wanted to fit into something and you wanted to look your best but did you really want to sabotage your longer term health whilst doing this, or would you have preferred to invest in a longer term, sustainable plan that will see you with results that could last a lifetime? Now that you have completed your crash diet and you have enjoyed all the events you wanted to look good for and quite probably overindulged you have started to see that weight come back. Why has this happened and why is it almost worse than before you started your diet? This is because of what we covered above. Your metabolism is so shot and working so inefficiently you are now storing weight even more so that you did before. This is absolutely not what anyone wants and takes a lot longer to undo this damage. This will also play havoc with your hormones which we definitely do not need to be interfering with!
Every time something seems to good to be true, it probably is. I am not just saying this for the sake of it. I don’t want to see more and more people gaining weight and being unhappy because of the poor advice out there. I googled a few different things today to see what would come up and I have attached a few examples.
The best advice I could give you in the lead up to Christmas is to seek proper advice from a professional if you are looking to make changes to your lifestyle. Do not get sucked in to the diets promising you everything. Not only is it a waste of your hard earned money, it is potentially damaging to your health. Make small changes, if you are going to eat healthier make sure you are still eating enough. Remove the crap from your diet that is making you gain weight and add in some activity. These are the things that are going to work. Find a class that excites you, grab a friend and go for a walk or a jog, make it exciting and schedule it into your week so that you don’t just skip it because you can’t be bothered. It is about the effort you are prepared to bring and consistency is ultimately the key. You do need to eat proper food - shakes are just not going to cut it because it will never be something that is sustainable for life.
So next time you see a diet promising you the earth, remember they are out to get your money and don’t care about your longer term health.
I hope this makes sense and you have found this helpful!