10 Startling Facts and Myths about Quick Weight Loss Diets

January 23, 2014


1. Do not starve yourself!

Based on diuretics, starvation “crash” diets (which work for a few days until metabolism adjusts and slows down) or obsessive exercise regimens, quick weight loss methods are not only unhealthy but ultimately unsuccessful. “Faddish” weight loss plans promising dieters to lose ten pounds in two or three days can be extremely damaging to you health by promoting dehydration, diarrhea, heart palpitations, fainting and even shock in extreme cases.

2. Careful with the Muscle Loss

Low-energy,”crash” diets cause muscle loss as well. Research has found that the most fat anyone can burn in seven days is about two pounds. This means that to lose over two pounds in one week, a dieter will have to stimulate water and muscle reduction by exercising and eating enough non-caloric food.

3. Power reserve mode

When you crash diet, your body perceives this as an indication that you are having difficulty accessing food. Instinctively, the body shifts into “starvation mode” by drastically reducing the rate at which it burns energy. Conservation of energy means those fat stores do not get consumed as quickly as they do when you eat normally.

4. Metabolic Rate Fluctuations

Experiencing muscle loss due to crash dieting further reduces calorie burning simply because muscles use calories to maintain a contracted state. A normal basal metabolic rate consumes daily about 70 percent of calories with the remaining calories burned during physical activities. When dieters engage in strength training and build muscles,those muscles may increase BMR by as much as 15 percent.

5. Slow skin adaptation

Crash dieting may also lead to saggy, puffy skin when weight loss is too quick and extreme. Although skin is capable of retracting up to 20 percent of its original size and shape, rapid weight loss does not give it enough time to adapt to changing sizes of fat deposits. People who have lost 50 or more pounds within several weeks may need to have extra skin surgically removed.

6. Watch for rebounds!

Quick weight loss diets contribute to weight gain “rebound” because dieters do not learn healthy eating habits nor do they continue exercising regularly after dropping pounds.

7. Carefully planned Schedule

Successful dieters who lose weight and keep it off have a few characteristics in common. They consistently eat a diet of high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods, essentially comprised of 25 percent fat, 55 percent carbs and 20 percent protein. They eat breakfast every day. They keep track of their weight and write down everything they eat. They engage in at least one hour of physical activity each day, whether it is walking, swimming, treadmill or aerobics.

8. Choose your foods wisely

Beware of foods proclaiming to be “fat-free” or “low-fat”, especially unhealthy processed foods that contain added sugar, flour, starch and salt to enhance the palatableness of a so-called “diet” food.

9. Meat is great!

Eating meat is NOT unhealthy and will not make it more difficult to drop pounds. In fact, lean meat such as chicken and turkey should always be part of a healthy diet.

10. Sleep is the key

Losing weight, keeping it off and remaining healthy while doing so means eating several small meals each day instead of two or three large ones, exercising and getting plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep makes you want to eat more because your body is craving the quick energy found in sugary, high-fat foods.