The New Year is looming, and it’s easy to resort to crash diets or a detox to shift that Christmas weight! Crash diets just aren’t the answer though, and you’re more than likely to be setting yourself up for disappointment!
What is a crash diet?
Crash dieting pays no attention to healthy living or a good balance of foods. It just focuses on the drastic reduction of calories! (below 1500 kcal). They will also focus on a very narrow range of foods, seriously restricting what and when you can eat. Some crash diets completely remove foods all together and replace them with shakes and supplements. Though people show some short term results with crash diets, most gain more weight not long after stopping. These short term results don’t come without their costs though. Most crash dieters find they suffer with hunger pains, lack of energy, poor sleep patterns, mood swings, poor skin and hair, bad breath and lack of concentration……….and all this to lose some weight that you will put straight back on!
Why crash diets don’t work?
Drastically reducing calories causes the body to lower its metabolism. Your metabolism can be summed up as the calories your body uses to maintain all it’s functions throughout the day. A slow metabolism means the body will require less calories throughout the day. This means losing weight through calorie restraint becomes even harder. It also means that when the diet is over or you have a “bad day” the body is unable to deal with the extra calories and is more likely to store them as fat! This is made worse by the fact that when feeling starved, the brain makes the urge for calorific foods higher….making those leftover Xmas crisps, biscuits and chocolate almost impossible to say no to! Crash diets also don’t change people’s behavior towards food or their lifestyle. So when the diet is over, it’s very easy to go straight back to poor eating habits and start putting the weight back on!
How much weight should you be losing dieting properly?
A healthy and maintainable rate of weight loss is 2 lbs a week! When hearing claims of people losing 10 lbs a week, this is almost certainly done with massive calorie restrictions, and wont be long till all the weight comes back! Just remember 2 lbs a week is 7 stone 6 lbs over a year…….sounds pretty good for weight that will stay off!
What’s the right way to do it?
A good diet should consist of a healthy balance of foods, a healthy reduction in calories, and an increase in activity. A healthy reduction in calories will be between 300-500 calories a day. This will allow the body to adapt without feeling starved, and will begin to burn fat as a source of fuel. It is also good to eat smaller portions more often throughout the day. This keeps the metabolism high, and also evens out the body’s blood sugar. A steady blood glucose level will stop problems like lack of energy, mood swings, and will make you more likely to burn fat. It’s also essential to avoid quick releasing calorific foods! These are things like sugar, chocolate, white bread, white pasta, crisps, fizzy drinks and highly processed foods. These cause a large rise in blood glucose and stop your body burning fat. A good diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, a mix of proteins, seeds, nuts and slow releasing carbohydrates, and plenty of water. When combined with a productive exercise plan and weight loss should come easily and not become something that is difficult.
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