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7 reasons crash diets aren’t good for you

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 - 1:49pm IST | Agency: health.india.com
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What you may initiate as a part of your dieting plan can turn into an obsession fairly quickly. With societal or peer pressure, many people unnecessarily feel the need to lose weight by any means they can think of, mainly crash diets. Because of unawareness of the effects of starving, people turn to crash diets or switch on to ‘extreme skinny mode’ to get into the ideal body shape publicised by the media.

Not just that, several men and women who decide to fast for religious reasons or on auspicious days in festivals like Navrati or Ramadan are doing nothing but subjecting themselves to starvation conditions. Here’s a healthy way of fasting during festive seasons and some expert tips to eat healthy while fasting.

So, how do you that crash diets are causing starvation?
Refusal to eat food despite of feeling extremely hungry is starvation. Hunger is a feeling that your brain signals when the body has exhausted its basic food reserves and needs nutrition on an urgent basis. When the body doesn’t get the required nutrition for a long time, it goes into starvation mode. Read more about reasons to take constant hunger seriously.

Crash diets may require prolonged periods of starvation which in turn can cause serious health issues. In fact, scientists have found that anorexic people (the ones who refuse to eat because of fear of putting on weight) increase their chances of dying by about 18% compared to healthy individuals.

Heart problems: Fasting or starving reduces blood pressure and slows down the heart rate.
Osteoporosis: Studies have shown that depriving your body of the much needed nutrition at an early stage may result in osteoporosis later in life. Read more about risk factors, causes, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.
Muscle wasting: Although it’s one of the last stages of prolonged starvation, muscle loss may result if you subject your body to starvation mode on a regular basis.
Lowered metabolism: When the body does not receive nutrition, it slows down the metabolism drastically to save as much energy as possible. Here are 13 ways to boost metabolism.
Dehydration: Loss of body fluids or dehydration is common when people go on a fast that requires them to ignore thirst. Read more about how dehydration can make you cranky and confused.
Overall weakness and fatigue: Without food or nutrition, your body cannot produce energy to keep you fresh. So you’re bound to feel  tired, exhausted, nauseated and fatigued. Read more about chronic fatigue syndrome
Skin and hair problems: When you starve yourself and go on a crash diet, your skin and hair may get deprived of protein. The hair starts losing luster and becomes thin and brittle. Starving causes the skin to become dry and scaly. Sometimes swelling (edema) may be seen. It also makes the skin to appear tight because of dryness.  

References:
Weisz GM, Albury WR. Osteoporosis in survivors of early life starvation.

David M Garner. The effects of starvation on Behavior: Implications of dieting and eatinf disorders.

Why women should stop staring (http://www.empowher.com)

 


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