Wedding Crashers: Just Say No To Crash Diets!

Crash DietsWedding attendees are no stranger to the crash dieting secret. From the bride to the bride’s maids – and probably a few groomsmen too – almost everyone is trying to lose a few pesky pounds right before the big event. But if you aren’t careful a night to remember could end up being one you can’t recall.

“People have come to me and said they can’t remember anything that happened to them in the past week,” said Christine Marquette, a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist. “If you don’t get enough glucose it can affect your brain function. Memory loss isn’t as rare as you would think. I see it especially in low-carb and low-calorie diets.”

Marquette has been practicing for more than eight years and says than more than 80 percent of her clients have experimented with some kind of crash diet – which is how she knows crash diets aren’t successful, otherwise she’d be out of business.

“By the time women come to see me they know crash diets don’t work,” she says. “Everybody wants a quick fix, and what keeps these types of diets so popular is the 'not me syndrome’ where people think they won't be one of those people [who suffers ill effects]. But the odds are that they will be.”

Health Risks of Crash Diets

In a 2007 study, Swedish and American scientists studied more than 140,000 women for eight years and found that women who repeatedly lost weight only to put it back on again were two and a half times more likely to develop kidney cancer than women whose weight had remained stable. This is only one of the dangers of yo-yo dieting.

When your diet changes often and drastically, or 'yo-yos' as it is commonly called, your intake of nutrients goes from one extreme to another. From high-protein to low-calorie to low-carb, your body is trying desperately to keep your internal organs at equilibrium, and when you continue to yank on the yo-yo it can cause your liver and kidneys to become strained or even lose function.?“The problem is when people crash diet repeatedly. It really messes with a woman’s system and puts her long-term health at risk,” said Marquette.

If You Must Crash Diet

There is a right way and a wrong way to crash diet. If your mind is set on losing 1-3 pounds in a short amount of time, you might as well be safe about it.

Marquette discourages people from liquid diets and cleanses because those types of crash diets often lead to extreme dehydration and make women more prone to health risks. “If you’re going to crash diet, do one that involves real food and make sure it lasts for no more than a week, preferably less,” she said. “And only if you promise to never do it again.”

Stick to something that doesn’t require you to starve yourself like the cabbage soup diet or an all-salad diet. At least this way your body is still getting nutrients in a natural way.

Keeping the Weight Off

Coming off a crash diet is where much of the damage is done. Crash dieters are typically so starved for food that they will overeat and their body, unsure of when it will receive food again, quickly stores it away as fat for later.

To better recover from a crash diet and increase your chances of keeping off the weight, start slowly, by eating small amounts of food to gradually get back to your normal caloric amounts. Eat lean cuts of meat or low-fat yogurt or non-fat milk in small amounts. By adding these elements back in slowly you can keep the stomach from stretching since it will have decreased in size during the diet.

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