I’ve been meaning to make a post on this topic for awhile now. With all of the misinformation in various weightloss communities, the idea that “1200 calories” is somehow the magic number for EVERYONE and of course all of these crazy, restrictive diets.. it was definetely necessary.
The problem with diet programs, and crash diets in general is nearly all of them encourage lower calorie diets for faster weightloss. This idea is pumped into everyone’s heads, so everyone starts to believe this is the way it works..and then, the misinformation is spread.
However what they don’t tell you is the horrible downside to these low-cal diets. They’re not maintainable, they certainly aren’t healthy and the fatloss that does occur (if any) is not kept off easily. These diets also can cause various long term and short term health problems, physical and sometimes mental. These people who endorse these diets don’t ever mention a damn thing like about this, they just want to sell the idea of “quick weightloss” so people will gobble it up and purchase whatever it is they’re selling. It is all about business. They are not concerned with you, your health or your mental well-being. They just want your money. The diet industry has everyone thinking they have to be eating even less than a domesticated dog to see any type of change. Which is completely incorrect.
Before you interject here… “WELL, LEXXA, I followed a diet like that and I have lost weight! You’re full of it!” (‘cause I know someone is going to come at me with this!)
The weightloss noted on the scale is not always fat. In the early stages of a low-cal diet you will typically see a drop in the scale from increased fluid loss. Do not confuse weightloss with fatloss. They are not the same.
Perhaps you will lose fat following one of these diets. It is not IMPOSSIBLE, I am not saying that. Fat loss can occur, but it is not maintainable when you lose weight this way. Quick fixes aren’t the way to go. They’re the cause of what is known as “yo-yo dieters”. You know, the people that lose and gain the same 10 lbs over, and over and over again. I’m sure we all know a few. I certainly do.
Maybe it isn’t fat loss or fluid loss, maybe you’re experiancing muscle waste. Losing your muscle is something you NEVER want to happen.
Various other side effects of these diets include (but are not limited to):
- Frequent headaches
- Muscle waste
- Dry skin/nails
- Hair loss
- Irregularities (consiptation/diarrhea)
- Irritablilty/Mood swings
- Menstrual irregularities
- Problems with nerve and muscle function due to an imbalance in minerals and electrolytes
- Conditions such as osteoporosis, anaemia, gout, gallstones, clinical depression, heart problems, renal failure, and liver disease
If reading those side effects doesn’t open your eyes.. I don’t think anything will.
I can even speak from a personal experience. If you were following me from the beginning, perhaps you are already aware of this. About a year ago I was in dire need of a wake-up call. I was doing a sub 800 calorie diet and exercising very hard. I wasn’t educated on nutrition or weightloss, I just thought it was the way weightloss was done. I figured the lower, more weightloss would occur. I saw the “ABC” diet and figured if other girls are doing it then maybe it would work for me. Boy was I wrong..
I was developing an unhealthy relationship with food. I was becoming obsessive with weightloss and whatever I ate. The lower my intake was, the happier I became. If my net was negative, I would celebrate. I was NOT healthy. My hair was falling out in clumps, I was dizzy constantly, whenever I stood up my head would spend and my vision would blur and it would black out momentarily I wasn’t able to concentrate and I was becoming weaker and weaker. I lost a lot of things, my mind, my hair, my senses.. but one thing I didn’t lose was my excess fat. I eventually came to my senses and reevaluated what I was doing to myself. I was destroying myself mentally and physically and I decided I had to make a change and quickly, before my problem developed into something much worse.
So, in conclusion.. if you want weightloss that is maintainable, healthy and will benefit you mentally and physically in the long run you MUST to reevaluate your choices. Because if you are participating in a low calorie diet (such as the ABC diet, HGC diet etc or just eating too little) you must realize what you are doing now is NOT healthy.
There is no magic method, or top secret way to weightloss.
All that is required to lose weight is eating the right amount of food, a positive mindset, and of course exercise regularly. Get healthy. Change your lifestyle. Nourish your body and treat it right and it will reward you.
Of course, always remember: this journey isn’t just about losing weight. Don’t focus so much on the superficial aspect of becoming healthy. Your progress can be measured in many other ways! Healthier habits, able to run longer/further, lift heavier, increased flexibly lower blood pressure.. etc. and you can also focus on your relationship with your body :) Don’t focus on what you think are flaws and imperfections, instead, embrace them and realize that they are apart of you. It isn’t some cheesy cliche bullshit, its the simple truth. Love yourself, be positive, don’t create a negative self-image and bully yourself. There is enough shit in life to deal with without a person dragging themselves down with negative thoughts.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” - Oscar Wilde