Are you using starvation diets just to lose weight? If you are, you will find yourself struggling with some of these bad diet habits listed below. You end up having what you’re trying to avoid–weight gain.
Here are 10 common bad diet habits of quick weight loss dieters:
1. You never make a commitment to a lifetime of fitness and health. You are too concerned with pounds on the weigh scale. Those who have succeeded at transforming their bodies from fat to lean have health and fitness practices that they do on most days. It becomes a sustainable lifestyle.
2. Starvation diets rule again and again. The less food you eat, the more weight you’ll lose, right? Sorry, but it just doesn’t work this way in the long-run. If your idea of the perfect diet plan for weight loss is popping crackers and diuretics, you’re headed for disaster.
Starvation slows the fat-burning process. Your body relies on the nutrients in whole, natural foods for fuel. When you starve yourself, it senses the downward shift in your caloric intake and kicks into starvation mode. When this happens, your metabolism will slow down and your body will hold on to stored fat in order to conserve energy.
Muscle mass needs more energy to function than fat. Basically, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn. If you continue to starve yourself, your body will feed on your muscle tissue and make it even harder for you to lose weight.
Obviously, if you starve yourself long enough, you’ll have no choice but to lose weight. But the weight loss won’t be healthy, and it will show in your appearance. You’ll become emaciated and your body will start to look like an old bag of bones.
The weight lost from starvation diets almost always comes back. Starvation slows your metabolism down. And it can take months for it to return to normal. As soon as you start eating again, you’ll likely gain all of the weight you lost back, and more. In the end, you’ll wind up bigger than you were before you started starving.
3. Chronic starvation dieters end up with damaged health. If you are eating 900 calories a day, that is not enough food to even support your basal metabolic rate.
When you go without food, you don’t get any of the essential nutrients needed for good health. This can result in fatigue, kidney failure, heart failure, gallstones, ulcers, hair loss, muscle weakness and osteoporosis. This is just a short list of the physical problems a starvation diet can cause. We haven’t even touched on the mental stuff.
It’s not uncommon for extremely calorie-restrictive dieters to struggle with depression, anger, indifference, memory loss, poor concentration, hallucinations and mood swings. Starvation can also increase your chances of suffering with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.
In essence, your health will be a mess if you try to lose weight by starving. The worst part about it is that some of the health issues that arise from starvation diets can cause irreversible damage to your body and require long-term hospitalization or lifelong medical care.
If you plan to turn starvation dieting into a lifestyle, you’ll end up in a body bag way before your time. No amount of skinny is worth your life. Don’t let the desperation to lose weight push you to go on a starvation diet.
4. You experience weight loss and weight regain many times.
According to a Medicinenet.com article, “Weight Cycling…Facts About “Yo-Yo” Dieting,”
“Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight. When weight cycling is the result of dieting, it is often called “yo-yo” dieting. A weight cycle can range from small weight losses and gains (5-10 lbs. per cycle) to large changes in weight (50 lbs. or more per cycle).”
“Some research links weight cycling with certain health risks. To avoid potential risks, most experts recommend that obese adults adopt healthy eating and regular physical activity habits to achieve and maintain a healthier weight for life. Non-obese adults should try to maintain their weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity.”
“Some studies suggest that weight cycling may increase the risk for certain health problems. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gallbladder disease.”
5. Starvation dieters are not concerned with burning body fat. You MUST change your body’s composition. You must increase muscle mass to become a “fat-burning machine.” This keeps the weight off your body for good. You don’t need to be a body builder but you need to replace the fat (to an acceptable body fat percentage) on your body with muscle mass. This will give you the lean, healthy body you need.
You must do more than cardio exercise to change your body’s composition. “Cardio only” will not lean out your body. Too much cardio will waste away your muscle mass.
Make a commitment to full-body strength training. Among other things, it builds muscle mass, speeds up your metabolism (the body has to work harder to maintain muscle) and helps improve your bone density. And, you’ll look great.
6. There are many lies about fat loss and weight loss out there—and many people believe them.Why? Businesses are trying to make money off of you and they’ll lie, tell half-truths or present unproven facts to get it. You have to make a choice to believe or not believe those lies.
Fad dieters are always looking for the next pill, diet or fat blocker to change their bodies. The dream never comes true. Doctors, dieticians, and fitness experts agree that the best way to burn fat and lose weight is to eat higher quality calories, exercise regularly and increase your daily activity. Don’t look for shortcuts.
7. Starvation dieters lose water weight. Burn body fat and lose weight.
If you lose 20 pounds in 10 days using severe calorie restriction with no exercise (you probably won’t have the energy to exercise), just about all of that weight loss will be due to lost muscle mass and water weight.
The problem is further compounded if you gained weight without exercise. The composition of this weight gain is mainly fat and water retention. I have seen individuals with up to 70% body fat.
One big cause of water retention is too much salt consumption (sodium). If you eat many processed foods and not many whole, natural foods, your sodium consumption is too high—and you will take on more water weight.
So, you find yourself regaining this weight quickly when you begin to eat the carbohydrates, proteins and fats that your body needs. Why? Because you will also replenish water stores in your body’s cells.
8. Veteran starvation dieters are frequent users. The typical dieter tries a new plan four times a year. “We have this mentality that a diet is something to go on and then get off as quickly as possible,” says FITNESS advisory board member Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Weight Management Center. “But lasting weight loss requires making lifestyle changes that will work long-term.”
9. Quick weight loss veterans deal with slowed metabolism, a weaker immune system, hormonal imbalances, loss of lean mass, increased body fat, decreased energy levels and disrupted sleep patterns. Is that worth it?
10. Your confidence takes a hit with each weight loss and weight regain episode. “The more times you go through the gain-lose-gain cycle, the less convinced you become that you can break free from the constant ups and downs,” says Keri Gans, RD, a dietitian in private practice in New York City. “No one wants to diet forever; it’s hard work.”
Stop starving yourself, start eating right and start building your body the right way. Its worth the effort.