9 Common UNhealthy Ways to Lose Weight
There are a number of ways to lose weight that can be hazardous to your physical and mental well-being. Here are several of the common Unhealthy ways to lose weight.
No Calorie Diet: Our bodies need fat, plus healthy fats actually help you burn fat. Unfortunately, the zero-calorie trend is one of the most popular, leading people to consume harmful artificial sweeteners in the name of losing weight. Also, diet drinks can actually cause weight gain because your body reacts to the sweetness the same way it would if you had sugar = fat storage!
Drugs and pills: We’re all familiar with this one and we know there’s not a magic pill that will make you skinny. Sadly, some drugs, whether illicit or over-the-counter, are often used as a quick fix for weight-loss. But in the long run they can severely damage your heart and your brain. There are certain supplements that can aid in fat-burning, but they must go along with healthy eating and exercise, and the healthy supplements should be whole-food based.
Fad Diets: The Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed 10 of the nation’s most popular weight-loss programs and found that except for Weight Watchers, none of them show proof that they actually work at helping people lose weight and keep it off. About 45 million Americans diet each year, spending $1 billion to 2 billion each year on weight-loss programs. Yet America remains the most obese country on earth. Not eating a balanced diet will not help you lose weight and can actually inhibit any weight-loss. Even Weight Watchers has recently shifted their entire model because the “calorie counting” methodology is inherently flawed. It is not the AMOUNT of calories you consume, but the QUALITY of the calories that makes the difference.
Skipping Meals: This approach may appear to make sense, but really it’s a harmful and unhealthy way to lose weight. Your metabolism increases after eating, and if you chronically skip meals, your metabolism can slow down and actually lead to weight gain. Starving or skipping meals is extremely ineffective in weight-loss because it puts your body into “survival mode” meaning it is going to store fat because it doesn’t know when it is going to eat next.
Purging: Purposely throwing up is incredibly dangerous to your health. Purging often comes with serious psychological effects on the individual. The act of throwing up is either a symptom of, or leads to bulimia and it can also increase your cravings for unhealthy foods. Purging creates an illusion that the hunger craving has been satisfied by consuming food, but the calories/nutrition are lost by throwing it up.
Laxatives: Excessive use of laxatives in the form of pills, powders, suppositories and teas in order to lose weight is not a new concept. Continuous use will weaken your digestive system and can cause abdomen related complications.
Smoking: Another popular way to suppress hunger. Smoking sends vague signals to the brain which increase the metabolic rate, and consequently kill hunger. Chronic smokers can skip meals and not feel any effect. However, this method causes long term damage as the body becomes weak and more susceptible to cancers and other infections.
Over-Exercising: If your body is already undernourished, over-exercising can be one of the worst things you can do to lose weight. Sticking to a rigorous exercise regime can rarely be considered a bad thing, but extensive amounts of cardio won’t help you drop the remaining weight. Burst training for 20 minutes, 3-5 times per week is an appropriate amount, especially with strength training. Oftentimes the traditional “80s” workout regime of 45+ minutes intense cardio 3+ times a week causes more cortisol to be released (a stress hormone) which again puts the body in “fat storage” mode.
1 day Indulges: Many of the fad diets now-a days either promote a 1 day a week “eat whatever you want” or eat that way before beginning the diet. At first glance it makes no sense, right? At second glance, you see the proponent’s goal is to stimulate the body to begin creating the necessary hormones and steps to detoxify and burn the junk you just binged on. This hypothesis is superficial and falls apart. It is like saying drive your car to empty before each oil change. Conceptually it holds ground, realistically, you are just poisoning your body when you purposely eat garbage for an entire day. AND, it doesn’t do anything for your commitment and will power in shifting your desires for high quality food sources.
Working out and sticking to a healthy diet should complement one another in order to lose weight in a healthy way. Losing weight requires a lifestyle change, especially if you want it to stay off. It’s hard work, eating healthy and exercising. More often than not, 80+ % of your desired, healthy weight loss will come form consistent dietary change rather than burning calories and sweating. The initial 5+ lbs will shed from exercise, after that, it is your diet for the most part.
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