I am sure you have heard the phrase “crash dieting” or “master cleanse.” This is when people will severely cut calories in order to rapidly lose weight, usually around a specific event such as a vacation or a wedding. The problem with this type of dieting is two-fold.

  1. The results are anything but permanent. It’s a short-term solution.
  2. The short-term solution may have long-term negative health impacts.

Here are a few things to consider before resorting to these measures to fit into a new bathing suit or pair of jeans.

One of the big things people who crash diet do not realize is that while yes, they may be losing weight, it is not the weight they want to be losing. As our body starts being neglected with food sources to provide energy with, it begins to go into survival mode, believing that the body is in a state of starvation, so it will hold on to your fat stores because those are the easiest to turn into quick energy for the body to survive. Meaning that while you are crash dieting your body will not let go of fat readily and will sacrifice muscle instead. So, that 15 pounds you lost can end up being more muscle than fat and can leave you with a higher body fat percentage then you started with at the time of your diet. Don’t get caught up with the number on the scale, it’s not just about losing weight it is about losing the right weight.

Crash dieting doesn’t just affect your waist line, it can also be doing damage to your heart.  The shrinking, growing and tearing around your muscles and capillaries can lead to damaged blood vessels which leave you susceptible to heart disease, heart failure and heart palpitations. Cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, has said that “A crash diet once won’t hurt your heart, but crash dieting repeatedly increases the risk of heart attacks.” The problem lies in the first part of that quote, most people who do a crash diet do not only do it once.

So, what should you be doing? It doesn’t have to be complicated, I am sure you know that you should not eat that piece of cake for breakfast or have a box of Girl Scout cookies at dinner. In America, the number one item that negatively affects your health is consumed is sugary beverages. A great way to start working toward your weight loss goal by cutting out those sodas, certain fruit juices, and no more added sugar to your coffee. This small change is one of the ways to  help you get on a safe path towards your goal weight this swimming season. Also, just changing to proper portions can have a large impact on your weight loss goals, as well as knowing what to eat and when to eat it. If you still are not sure about the best nutrition for you and your weight loss goals, then reach out to your assigned Actualize coach for support and ideas.

Coach Jenny

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