Your Low-Calorie Diet May Crash Your Health
Avantika heard of a new diet from her friends and decided to try it out. Having suffered from ovarian cysts and thyroid problems for over two years, she was keen to lose weight. The diet seemed to work great for the first couple of months, however soon after, she began to feel weak and bloated. On visiting the doctor, it was found that her thyroid problems had worsened and she now suffered an iron deficiency.
Like Avantika, many college students and working professionals follow fad diets in an effort to attain that ideal size zero. This is not only unnecessary but also a dangerous trend. Additional pressure from fashion magazines showing skinny models makes the situation worse. Many people forget that these images are heavily edited. A smaller size doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy body. The aims should be to stay fit, not thin.
A crash diet is any extreme diet that curbs your intake of calories in an effort to lose weight. Many crash diets limit you to just 1200 to 1400 calories a day. In an effort to curb hunger, people on crash diets turn to cigarettes, caffeine, or warm water. Crash diets harm your health in more ways than one. Here are the top five reasons you should stop following crash diets and eat healthy, wholesome meals instead.
- Your body thinks it’s starving
When you go on crash diets, your body gets the signal that it is starving. So, in an effort to save fats and nutrients, your metabolism slows down. Initially, it might seem like you weigh a few pounds lighter, but over the course of the diet, you will begin to feel bloated. Moreover, no crash diet provides all the necessary nutrients for you to feel energised through the day.
- Your body is at risk of gallstones
Most crash diets turn your fat intake to zero. While a diet rich in fatty acids is not good, a diet with zero fat intake is even worse. Your gallbladder needs fats to process bile. In the absence of fats, the bile can stagnate and turn into gallstones. Gallstones are painful and often require surgery to be removed. You are also at risk of developing kidney stones.
- Your metabolic rate gets damaged
Two or three weeks into a crash diet will see your metabolism slow down drastically. This happens as your body is trying to conserve as much energy as it can to compensate for the low-calorie intake. Moreover, many body functions slow down and you will find yourself feeling sluggish, sleepy, acidic, and even constipated. If you go back to a normal diet, your metabolism will not pick up the pace immediately, but continue to accumulate fats and burn food very slowly for a long while.
- Your healthy muscles get affected
You might have heard that exercise is a better way to lose weight than crash diets. This is true for in exercise, you burn fat. Whereas in crash diets, your body thinks it is starving and tends to conserve fats and burn muscle mass. An ideal weight loss chart should see you lose around 1 kilo of body weight every 10 days. If you are losing weight much faster than this, then you are burning into healthy muscle volume.
- You subject yourself to depression
When you go on a crash diet, you often miss out on many important vitamins and minerals. An unbalanced diet negatively affects your thyroid and brain activity. This leads to thyroid problems. Thyroid problems will leave you low on energy and even make you feel depressed most of the time. Exercise, on the other hand, releases endorphins which help perk up your mood and keep you feeling fresh and happy.
- You increase your risk of a heart attack
The yo-yo fluctuations in your weight from crash diets can have a long-term detrimental effect on your heart. Research has shown that people who follow different crash diets put themselves at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. As you gain and lose weight quickly, your blood vessels expand and contract unnecessarily. This can put pressure on the heart and lead to palpitations and even a stroke.