Dieting The WRONG Way

Since I just had the work out check-in post, I thought this was appropriate to bring up.

With how small the models for wedding dresses are, it’s no surprise there seems to be a ton of pressure on brides to have the “perfect” body.  There is a fairly constant stream of women who feel they need to drop pounds and tone up for the wedding, but it’s not something they would have done otherwise (and some don’t intend to keep it up at all after the wedding).  There’s even an entire market aimed at these women, with “Bridal Boot Camp” videos and the like.  These are the women that are most at risk for doing something that has awful side effects in their desperation to lose weight, but even the people who want to drop some weight in general are sometimes too focused on the immediate goal rather than the long-term.

This article was recently published about a new “trend” in rapid weight loss.  Somewhere along the way, someone decided that since eating too much was the culprit behind unwanted weight (nevermind the lack of exercise), that just not eating would solve the problem.  BUT not eating is bad for you, and we don’t want to do anything bad now do we?  To get around this, the mastermind behind this new “weight loss method” recognized that the body needs a certain amount of calories to function properly.  In order to deliver those calories without the risk of over-eating, the obvious solution was to insert a feeding tube.  That’s right.  A feeding tube.  Now you get your (not enough) 800 calories without having to actually eat anything!

Let’s ignore the complete “yuck” factor of having a feeding tube up your nose for 10 days while you carry around your feeding solution bag in your purse for a minute.  This method relies on severe calorie restriction.  The tube delivers 800 calories per day to you, and you are expected to not eat anything else on your own.  No drinks other than water, no food, no gum even.  Supposedly this method works in such a way that you don’t end up feeling hungry.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you have the willpower to not put absolutely anything else in your mouth for 10 days (which is how long this “treatment” runs) regardless of whether or not you’re hungry, you probably have the willpower to use a healthy weight loss route.  You carry this bag around with you for 10 days, with this tube continually in your nose.  Hey, lady, the reason people keep asking you if you’re sick is because you have a tube up your nose, not because of your rapid weight loss (although that’s probably not helping).

Here’s the problem with crash diets:  Yes, you are going to lose weight, because your body will be starved for energy.  In general, the basal metabolic rate (BMR) for women is around 1200 calories.  This is the number of calories your body will burn just keeping you functioning, and that’s just laying down in bed not moving.  If you don’t supply enough energy to your body to support your basic functions, your body starts to break down whatever it can to release that energy.  In a perfect crash diet world, your body would only break down fat, but your body is too smart for you.  Yes, your body will breakdown some fat to provide itself with the energy necessary to keep you alive, but it also knows that muscle burns more energy than fat (even at rest), so it will break that down too (although supposedly the food tube method somehow avoids this particular effect).  You’ll lose fat, but you’ll also lose muscle, which means your love handles may be gone, but you’re going to sag where your muscles used to be and you will have the strength of a toothpick (and I may have just insulted toothpicks).

Bonus: since your body will have gone into starvation mode, as soon as you start eating more calories than your BMR, it’s going to HOARD them.  I mean full on “I’m not sure when I’ll get to eat again anymore so I better stock up on everything” hoard.  Most crash dieters will very quickly not only end up where they started, but they’ll look larger since fat stores will replace the areas muscle once occupied (and fat takes up more space pound for pound), and some people even end up weighing more than they originally did.

Second bonus: most of the crash diets that involve pills or special solutions you’re suppose to drink all achieve weight loss through the same method – violent diarrhea.  It’s hard to gain weight when you’re constantly expelling it in a disgusting marathon of bathroom time.  Do you really want to effectively spend 2 weeks hanging out on the toilet?

Yes, it is slower, but I implore you to follow safe diet and exercise routines for your weight loss goals.  Make sure whatever diet you’re giving yourself involves at least 1200 net calories for the day (notice it’s net calories: if you’re going to work out, eat more to compensate for it) and you’re getting the protein and other nutrients you need.  Have a well-rounded exercise routine that utilizes a mix of cardio and weight training.  Using both will not only be more effective in burning fat, but will tone your muscles and give you fantastic definition.  It’ll take a while to see the results you want, but they are results that will last and will leave you looking better than any crash diet ever could.

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Posted on April 23, 2012, in Misc. Topics (Wedding), Priorities, To-Do, Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Wow. Just wow. I had never heard of that “diet,” but you’re totally right about the ill effects of crash dieting in general. I read that article and this quote really stood out to me, “”I don’t have all of the time on the planet just to focus an hour and a half a day to exercise so I came to the doctor, I saw the diet, and I said, ‘You know what? Why not? Let me try it. So I decided to go ahead and give it a shot.” Really? You couldn’t find time to exercise (and let’s be honest, if you’re pretty much sedentary even half an hour of exercise is going to produce results) so you let someone stick a feeding tube up your nose? I also looked up how much it costs and found this in the official brochure:
    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
    • $1,499 all inclusive or $149.90 per Day. You probably spend at
    least $20 a day for food and because The K-E Diet TM means you
    only drink water then the price of the Diet is less.

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