If you've clicked this post to get tips on how to lose 16 pounds in 3 weeks like Kim Kardashian, or get ripped with the Zac Efron Baywatch body workout, you have come to the right place! It won't be what you WANT to hear, but rather what you NEED to hear.
So let's unpack these intensive diet strategies.
Many fad diets encourage cutting out carbs in order to drop weight fast.
Cutting out carbs results in a drop in your glycogen levels. With glycogen stores dropping, body water also drops. Often when starting a low carb (or no carb!) diet, we see drastic weight loss within a short period of time...but don't get excited! This is mainly due to less glycogen and less water, not really fat loss.
In the short-term, this can lead to muscle fatigue and a decrease in performance. In the long-term, chronic glycogen depletion can cause stress on your liver. Not very ideal after-all.
Very low calorie
Due to major restrictions, celeb diets are often very low calorie. This is dangerous and it likely means that you are under-nourishing. This will not only mean under-nourishing with carbs, protein, fat but also micronutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamins.
Other health risks include gut issues (like constipation) and even more dangerous long-term effects, like heart problems and bone loss. Additionally, research shows that most people who lose weight rapidly like this are likely to gain that weight back, plus more.
Eating such few calories also tends to slow down your metabolic rate. This is to prevent your body from "starving". Due to your body getting so little food, it slows things down so that you no longer burn as many calories per day. This is often worsened as there is also muscle loss.
Severe calorie restrictions also cause a loss of muscle mass. A loss of muscle makes your metabolic rate even slower. If you see a big shift in your weight, it is likely also muscle loss, not just fat loss.
Celeb diets often require you to cut out all processed foods, all sugar and all take-ways and to only fill up on salads, very lean meat and detox drinks. While some of these tips are recommended, they are n
ot ideal as part of a long-term lifestyle. Mentally, this makes feel restricted and can result in binge eating episodes. We need to learn how to eat everything in moderation, and not feeling guilty for that extra slice of pizza or birthday cake. Zac Efron had the following to say about his Baywatch movie prep: "I started to develop insomnia and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time".
So overall, while we might find drastic short-term exciting or inspirational, we should be questioning these fads. Is it really worth taking one step closer to your goal weight, but five steps backwards in your health?
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