Going on a vacation soon, attending your best friends wedding in just 4 weeks, or trying to achieve that perfect summer bod, there are a number of reason people decide to lose weight (and sometimes, it’s under a very strict time frame).
A common choice is to try a fad diet. After hearing the numerous testimonials proving that Sally really did go from a size 12 to a size 4 in x amount of weeks, the truth is, these fads will actually leave you feeling tired, unhealthy, and with weight loss results that are ONLY temporary and NOT permanent.
Most fad diets rely on some form of starvation. For example, they may ask you to cut your calories (eating less than 500 a day). As a result, this will actually deprive your body of the nutrients that it needs to function properly.
Or using the yo-yo method, for example, which is where someone would periodically lose weight, then gain it back, and then lose it again (also referred to as weigh cycling). This confuses the body and is why many of those who are on fad diets will tend to reach a “plateau” point where they are no longer able to lose weigh because when the body goes into starvation mode it essential slows down its natural metabolism in order to preserve calories and fat conservation until enough nutrition is restored.
Instead of losing fat, someone on a fad diet will be loosing their water weight or muscle weight, which is significantly different. The reason for this “false” weigh loss is that the body will start to lose protein and water first in order to save the fat in your body as a last reserve.
A much better option would be to focus on metabolic changes in your body, which can only happen when all of its support systems are running smoothly. The body works better when you make changes slowly rather than in a hurry. This way, it can adjust better. In the beginning, when you first start eating less, it will be difficult and your body will feel hungry. But over time, it will LEARN how to adjust because it will have a new “set point.” Your body will start to feel leaner, stronger, etc., and as a result, your body will fight to want to stay this way, shunning any old habits that were previously unhealthy. Sources listed throughout the article.