Weight loss seems to be on almost everyone’s mind and rightly so, staying fit is an important part of life. However the problem arises when in the quest to attain our target we try to get the best result in the fastest way possible, which can end up harming our body rather than helping it depending on the method we adopt.
Here are some of the methods that you should not resort to.
Dieting 101 – Never ever starve. Starving actually has an opposite effect on your body. It forces the body to lose muscle mass and lower its metabolic rate, not only will your body have an energy deficit due to lack of glucose causing decreased concentration, constipation, irritability and sleep disturbance, you will also be at the risk of putting back on the weight as more fat and less muscle.
2. Diet pills
Diet pills work mainly by altering fat absorption and by suppressing appetite, they are meant for the dangerously overweight and are not to be taken just to lose a few extra pounds. Appetite suppressant are known to have an adverse effect on heart rate and blood pressure while diet pills that hinder fat absorption prohibit the absorption of vital nutrients. They have uncomfortable side effects such as bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain and even liver damage.
Laxatives are drugs that are taken to aid people suffering from constipation. Taking laxatives to lose weight is a growing fad of recent times. It works by forcing food out of the body, so that it cannot be properly absorbed. It also causes fluid loss, which can mislead you to think you’ve lost weight. After only a short time, this leads to dehydration, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting, and eventually causes loss of bowel control.
Not everyone is a candidate for liposuction as it comes with its fair share of risks. Liposuction can cause inflammation, scarring, skin death, fluid imbalance, numbness and contour irregularities (bumpy appearance of skin). If the patient does not lead a healthy lifestyle after the operation there is a risk of fat cells growing bigger and fat depositing around the heart and liver which is harmful to the body.
5. Self induced vomiting
This behaviour is associated with an eating disorder called bulimia nervosa. An individual suffering from this disorder usually induces vomiting after binge eating to avoid any weight gain. Electrolyte imbalance, inflammation of the oesophagus, dehydration, stomach ulcers and gastric reflux are some of the consequences of this disorder that requires medical attention.
Regular exercise is excellent but many have a tendency to follow a strict crash diet and exercise rigorously at the same time. This will only exhaust you. Due to the calorie deficit your body will burn out its resources quickly weakening your immune system and leaving you fatigued; along with insomnia and depression due to a state of stress. Seek the help of a gym trainer for proper guidance and optimum results.
7. ‘Miracle’ diets and Liquid diets
Most ‘Miracle’ diets claim to contain ingredients and foods that can burn fat faster. Note that no one single food or group of foods eaten together or at a certain time of day has any impact on weight loss. These diets claim to help you lose more than 10kgs per month; medically speaking this is not advised as it is too rapid and will result in fluid and muscle loss. Liquid diets or juice fasts also have similar effects as they lack in: Fibre, Calories, proteins and essential nutrients causing side effects such as – constipation, fatigue, dizziness, hair loss and gallstones.
Remember, there is no substitute for a healthy diet and a well planned exercise regime. The target may take a little longer to achieve but it will surely have a positive lasting effect on your body.
Doctor by profession, ardent animal lover by choice; she finds writing to be therapeutic. She loves meeting new people, hopes to travel the world and has karaoking with Oprah on top of her bucket list. @kirtana_ponnuswamy