In the first of several guest-posts coming up over the next few week, I am very happy to include this great post on crash-dieting by Angela Shepherd from Love Living Well.
Last week I watched the first in a new series on Channel 4 called Will My Crash Diet Kill Me. It annoyed me so much I felt I had to have a bit of a rant about it! For those of you who didn’t see the programme, three overweight women were put onto well-known very low calorie diets – the Cambridge, the Cabbage Soup and the Maple Syrup – and their weight loss monitored over a period of weeks. The programme appeared to conclude that crash dieting was an effective way to lose weight, which I thought was irresponsible at best and downright dangerous at worst.
Most nutritionists believe that crash dieting is a really unhealthy way to lose weight. Apart from their extremely low calorie content, which leaves people lacking in energy, crash diets tend to exclude important food groups such as carbohydrates, fats and dairy which are all vital to good health. Granted, most people who follow a crash diet will lose weight fairly quickly, but in nearly all cases the weight creeps back on as soon as they come off the diet and return to their previous bad habits; so after a while they’ll probably crash diet again. This so-called ‘yo-yo’ dieting carries serious health risks such as liver problems, muscle loss and compromised immune function, to name but a few. Many yo-yo dieters ultimately end up more overweight than they were in the first place. I thought it was quite telling that Angelica, who was following the Cabbage Soup Diet on the programme, drank a whole bottle of wine on the first day she came off her diet. I’m guessing she could probably lose weight just by giving up the booze for a while!
The best way to slim down is to follow a sensible, healthy eating plan that includes all food groups. A good rate at which to lose weight that stays off is around two pounds a week. Exercising will help you to achieve your goal more quickly. Deep down we all know that weight loss is simply a case of using up more calories than we take in, but many people are always looking for a miracle quick-fix. Guess what? They don’t exist. Even people who have gastric bands fitted often end up putting weight back on after a while. If you are overweight you need to change your eating habits for life. Simples!
What really annoyed me more than anything was the content of the Cambridge Weight Loss plan, which can be as little as 415 calories a day. This is madness! On the programme a lovely girl called Nicola was put onto this regime. It soon became apparent that her diet ‘counsellor’ hadn’t warned her before starting the plan that she’d have no energy to exercise (which Nicola loved to do) and that other possible side effects might include hair loss, nausea, dizziness and feeling cold! I did worry that people would think Herbalife advocated a similar type of diet, so please be assured that Herbalife’s weight loss programmes contain excellent nutrition and you can have one ‘proper’ meal each day, with no food groups excluded. Most people report that they have bags more energy than they ever have, and there’s definitely no flatulence, constipation, nausea, bad breath, dizziness, diarrhoea or bloating!
Will crash dieting kill you? Not in the same way as being run over by a bus. But it is really bad for your health, so don’t do it. Oh, and don’t get me started on ITV’s The Biggest Loser!
To read more about Angela, her views and about her Herbalife business you can look her up / contact her using:
Her website is www.lovelivingwell.co.uk
Facebook page address is here