By Martin Ebner
You’ve decided that 2018 is going to be the year you get a killer bod. First of all, congratulations. The first step to a slimmer and healthier you is deciding to make a change. Now while you may be contemplating doing a crash diet in an attempt to swiftly lose weight, I highly recommend you proceed with extreme caution.
What’s the point of putting yourself and your body through misery if you can’t sustain the results? Sure you might lose a few pounds in the build-up to your summer beach holiday but I can assure you that as soon as you return to your usual eating habits, your body will quickly restore any weight lost and in many cases a little extra as it attempts to return to a healthy weight.
Develop unhealthy attitudes towards certain foods
It’s inevitable if you’re encouraged to drastically reduce or even cut out certain food groups from your diet that you’re going to develop an unhealthy attitude towards them. Carbohydrates are the most common macronutrient to be excluded from crash diets and are also one of the most satisfying.
Weaken your immune system
Your body requires a steady flow of proper nutrients to function properly and drastically reducing calories can not only weaken your immune system causing a wide variety of health risks, it can negatively affect your hormone levels which can actually slow down your metabolic rate. Not exactly ideal when your goal is to lose weight.
You’ll likely lose the wrong sort of weight
In order to maintain a healthy body composition (muscle to fat ratio) it’s vital to eat a healthy and balanced diet. The problem with most extreme weight loss diets is that they encourage the wrong sort of weight loss. Most carbohydrate restrictive diets rely on the loss of water weight for immediate and noticeable results. While that looks good on the scales, as soon as you return to eating normally, which you inevitably will, you’ll regain this weight rendering it pointless. This can also cause you to feel energy-less, irritable and reduce your ability to concentrate.
It’s also very likely when on a very restrictive diet that you’ll lose a significant amount of muscle weight. This is very bad for 2 reasons: the first is that it will negatively affect the look of your physique. The less muscle tone you have, the more likely your body is to appear flabbier. The second reason is that muscle burns more calories than fat. The less muscle you have, the harder it is to maintain any weight loss results you experience. Any diet with little to no protein, the cabbage soup diet springs to mind will have an unfavourable impact on your body composition and therefore negatively affect your ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Related: How to lose 50 pounds in 1 year
Misery and discomfort
Extreme calorie restrictive diets are horrendous at the best of times and by starving yourself of the foods that you most enjoy, it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to follow the diet as planned which will only lead to more misery and disappointment. The higher the degree of self-control required when dieting the higher the degree of irritability and discomfort you’ll experience.
Be patient and realistic about how much weight you can lose and how fast. The problem with modern society is that we want it all and we want it now hence the popularity of crash diets. Don’t expect to be able to undo weeks, months or even years of poor eating and lifestyle choices in a matter of days. If you go too strict, too fast, you risk not only being miserable due to the highly restrictive diet, you can put your health at risk and damage your body’s ability to maintain a healthy body weight later down the line.
Try a more patient approach to weight loss. The 30-30-40 8-week weight loss plan is a great example of a healthy and sustainable weight loss diet. With a macronutrient split of 30% carbs, 30% protein and 40% fat, you can enjoy a wide variety of healthy and delicious foods whilst experiencing up to 2 pounds weight loss per week. Try it today.
Related: 11 steps to stick to a diet