Yo-yo dieting and Your Health

Yo-yo dieting and Your Health

Written by: Emma Anius

It’s a new year and by now your new years resolution to lose weight has probably been tossed out the window and replaced with fast food and lounging around on the couch watching TV.  Before you know it, carnival is around the corner and your rushing to get into shape.

Crash dieting, although superficially effective can do severe harm to your body.  Research shows that rapid weight loss can slow down your metabolism, which can lead to rapid weight gain.  It also deprives your body of the essential nutrients, weakens your immune system, increases dehydration, your risk of heart palpitations and cardiac stress.

Most people think if they stay on the crash diet for a little while it won’t be harmful to them but in reality crash diets don’t work in the long run. The large majority of people who go on crash diets gain the weight they lost back and then resort to dieting again. So what you originally thought was a short-term plan turns into a frequent occurrence.

While crash dieting, your metabolism slows down and your body manages to regain what was lost. When you come off the diet and go back to eating regular meals, your body doesn’t need as many calories to gain weight because it doesn’t burn calories as quickly as it did before the diet.

Diets generally don’t allow you to consume the foods necessary for your body to function properly, the nutrients lacking are often sodium and potassium.  Which are both responsible for the body’s nerve and muscle function, an extreme lack of these two nutrients can lead to heart failure. Calcium is also often lacking in crash diets, which could lead to bone loss.

 Without the energy from food your heart, kidneys, brain, and liver gets the energy needed from burning muscle tissue.  They often burn the muscle tissue from the surrounding area, which could lead to organ failure.

Crash diets are very popular because of the “instant” weight loss experienced. The immediate loss gradually slows down and the initial results don’t continue.  Scientists have discovered that most of this initial weight loss is from water, not fat.  The water loss happens because of a breakdown of muscle proteins and stored sugar (glycogen). For every gram of protein or glycogen that is broken down, the body excretes three grams of water.  This could lead to severe dehydration; even if you consume a lot of water throughout your diet it is hard for your body to retain water if you are not eating balanced meals.

Looking after your body and ensuring it gets all the nutrients necessary to function properly is imperative.  If losing weight is your ultimate goal, it can be a gradual process this way you can ensure you will be around long enough to enjoy the benefits.

Losing one to two pounds a week is considered healthy. Losing more than two pounds a week is a serious shock to your body.  Your body uses food for energy. It stores any excess energy as fat; this means if you eat more food than your body needs for daily activities, you’ll gain weight.  To keep the weight off it needs to be a lifestyle change, small changes can make a big difference.

Start a 5-minute exercise program, build your way up over the weeks and try to incorporate healthy eating habits into your regular diet if you want to have a gradual, healthy, successful weight loss experience.

Looking after your body is the key to healthy living.

Note: Emma Anius is a Personal Trainer for Cyan Fitness promoting a ‘healthy life and a better you.’ Email: emma@cyanfitness.com

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