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Quick Weight Loss - Not All It's Cracked Up to Be?

Jul 16, 2008
Is quick weight loss a good idea? It all depends on what you would consider 'quick'. Some people follow what used to be called 'crash' or 'fad' diets, eating next to nothing and very few calories for a limited period of time in an attempt to lose weight as quickly as possible. This is seldom a good idea, for several important reasons. First, super quick weight loss necessitates following such a restrictive diet that the dieter is more than likely to feel deprived - indeed, he or she has an excellent reason for feeling this way!

A diet very low in calories is unlikely to provide adequate nutrition, so it leaves you feeling hungry, deprived and resentful and also physically tired. People have different reactions to this; some rebel, while others are convinced that they don't deserve to eat normally and that they'll never be able to, without gaining weight. In other words, crash diets set the stage for future eating disorders. This type of dieting also creates whats known as the 'yo-yo' effect, in which you lose weight quickly, but as soon as you stop dieting you put all of the weight back on very quickly.

Also, very quick weight loss seldom stays off. That's because most people's bodies tend to have two metabolism 'settings', probably left over from those of early humans. When food is plentiful, it is consumed as needed, and the excess is stored in the form of fat. But when food is scarce (like during a restrictive diet) your body is convinced that it's going through a 'famine' time, and metabolism slows down to conserve energy and fat loss comes to an almost complete stop.

If you're after quick weight loss, that's the last thing that you want, of course. And after you start to eat normally again, your body might still think that it's in a famine and needs to hold on to every bit of energy it can. In fact, some chronic dieters succeed in permanently slowing down their metabolism to the point where they end up gaining more weight than they ever lost in the first place. That's because lost muscle weight can sometimes be replaced by an equal volume of fat.

The real key to quick weight loss, therefore, is not cutting calories but increasing activity so that you burn more of them more quickly. Consider the fact that ballet dancers can lose up to five pounds in a single performance - now that's quick weight loss! Of course, most of us will never be active enough to lose weight that quickly, but certainly a daily workout, long or short, can help get you on the road to quick weight loss.

An exercise program coupled with watching what you eat is absolutely optimal in allowing you to lose weight fast. Don't be tempted by gimmicks or pills, though; at best, they are likely to be waste of money, and at worst, they can be downright dangerous.
About the Author
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