Most doctors and nutritionists agree that the key to losing weight boils down to two main principles: eating less and exercising more. Making permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle can result in slow and steady weight loss - maybe a pound or two a week.
[panel style="panel-primary" title="What is a fast diet?" footer=""]There is no official definition of a fast diet. Most of them severely restrict your calorie intake - 1,200 calories a day is a common guideline, as opposed to a normal intake of 2.000 calories per day. Some people who follow a fast diet can lose more than 6.35 kilograms (14 lbs) in just a few weeks. Fast diets are a short-term solution and not a lifestyle you can maintain for months.[/panel]
When it has to be 'fast'
Sometimes slow and steady is not fast enough. You may find yourself with a really good reason tor wanting to lose weight quickly. Maybe your summer holiday is fast approaching and you want to feel more confident in your bikini. Or what about your wedding? Those photos will be on display for years to come, so you want them to show oft your best possible shape. Maybe you are going to meet up with friends you have not seen for years - a class reunion can be a terrifying prospect if you are three sizes bigger than you were at school. If you are starting a new job you will want to make a good impression. Whatever the reason, sometimes the only way is the quick way!
Most fast diets work by radically restricting your calorie intake. Your body burns calories all day. every day - even while you sleep. The more active you are, the more you burn. When your body burns more calories than you eat. you will lose weight. Simple, right?
A starving body
The truth is that our bodies are more complex than this. It is true that when you use more calories than you consume, your body makes up the difference by using energy it has already stored - usually in the liver and muscles. Although you lose weight quickly at first, most of it is water and muscle. When this happens, your body decides that it is starving - which, in a sense, it is. Its response is to slow down your metabolism. To avoid putting on weight rapidly when you stop your fast diet, you will still need to monitor your calorie intake.
Depending on the diet you choose, you may experience some of these side effects:
- Bad breath - caused by chemicals that your body produces when it breaks down fat. You will want to keep some mints handy
- Constipation - caused by a lack of fibre. Eating dried fruit, plain popcorn or beans can help
- Tiredness and dizziness - caused by lack of energy from carbohydrates
[panel style="panel-primary" title="Good and bad fats" footer=""]Some popular fast diets recommend replacing carbohydrates with protein and fat. Unfortunately, not all fats are created equally. Too much saturated fat can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you are going down this route, choose foods that contain unsaturated rather than saturated fat.[/panel]
by Chris Ching
With a nick name of Chris Smile because of the warm smile on her face all the time :) Believes that by empowering the public to have more information and knowledge in healthcare, we will have a better healthcare environment and experience. View all articles by Chris Ching.