Why Avoid Extreme Diets For Weight Loss
It’s tempting to go on an extreme diet. The promise of fast weight loss convinces many people to sign up, pay the money, and clean out their cupboards. But, the truth is that there are many more drawbacks to extreme diets than benefits. So, why avoid extreme diets for weight loss? These top 4 reasons should give you enough reason.
Short-Term Weight Loss
Anyone who has taken part in an extreme diet can tell you that it was hard and that in order to maintain the results, it was most likely painful. In fact, most people who have been on an extreme diet will tell you that even though they may have lost the weight quickly, they also gained it back quickly. The biggest problem with drastically cutting calories and eliminating various foods is that once you start eating ‘normally’ again, your body starts to go back to the way it was before the extreme diet, which defeats the whole purpose.
Research is clear on this. When researchers at UCLA examined 31 diet studies, they found that people lose about 5 to 10 percent on the diet and then the majority of them gain the weight back. In fact, about two-thirds gain more weight back than they started with.
The bottom line? Losing weight with an extreme diet will most likely be setting you up for weight gain rather than weight loss.
Yes, you may be dropping a few pounds, but the stress you are putting on yourself may be outdoing the benefits of a couple pounds lost. People have enough stress to deal with in their days, and when they add the stress of trying to count calories and follow a strict eating regime, the continuous stress can affect both physical and mental health in a big way.
“The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems…” – Mayo Clinic
Researchers have discovered that cutting calories can trigger an increase in the amount of cortisol that is made. And, cortisol is responsible for overeating, which of course leads to weight gain. So, in reality, the emotional stress you feel is a lose-lose situation for weight loss.
You Get Hungrier
When you lose weight, you would think that your body would require fewer calories and your hunger would subside, but because leptin levels decrease during dieting, that’s not the case. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain when you are satisfied, so when the levels of this hormone decreases, your ability to tell when you have had enough also decreases, and you are left feeling unsatisfied after you finish the quantity of food you are allowed to have on an extreme diet.
Metabolism Slows Down
A lot of weight gain after a diet has more to do with a slower metabolism than it does with self-control. Weight loss causes the body to conserve pounds, because of a natural instinct to survive. After you lose around 10 percent of your body weight, you can start to burn about 400 less calories per day than a person who naturally weighs the same. This means that you have to exercise more and even eat less in order to keep losing weight, which can more emotional stress that ruins your chances of losing the weight.
“When you eat less than you need for basic biological function (about 1,200 calories for most women), your body throws the brakes on your metabolism. It also begins to break down precious, calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy.” – Prevention