By: Somaya Bracy, IATG Contributor March 11, 2016
You’re sitting at a table with your friends, talking about the things friends typically discuss, crushes, embarrassing moments, and the good days that make up for them. Everyone’s chatting away when one of your friends mentions a fruit detox she’s been “striving through,” so she can fit into this beautiful bikini she brought. Then another friend starts to mention a bunch of “cleanses” she’s tried in the past, and which ones were most effective in losing weight. And that’s the goal of these quick fixes. Crash dieting is more dangerous than most realize.
Here are just a couple of the side effects that can happen when you “strive to crash.”
Mood changes: Going on any crash diet affects the amount of nutrition your body receives and the amount that goes into your brain. This can affect your overall mood, making you more cranky. The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) states, “What we eat can determine how we feel, but how we feel can also determine what we eat. Food and the chemicals in our brains interact to keep us going throughout the day. It is important to eat a variety of healthy foods, as they have different effects on our brains. For example, carbohydrates increase serotonin, a brain chemical that has a calming effect. Perhaps that's why people often crave carbohydrate-rich foods when they are under stress”
Slower Metabolism: Due to the lack of nutrients, your body starts to shut down, storing off the little energy your body has left. In the long run, it slows your metabolism, and a slower metabolism causes you to digest your food slower, thus gain weight easier.
Short-term effects: According to a website funded by Stanford University, there is only a five percent chance that the rapid weight loss will be effective long-term.. So with a percentage that small, why take such a risky approach?
Increased Risk for Heart Attack: This is the final, but the most (in my opinion), risk of crash dieting. A group of researchers state that “crash dieting repeatedly increases the risk of heart attacks." Bacon (one of the researchers) adds that long-term calorie-cutting can eventually lead to heart muscle loss. "Yo-yo dieting can also damage your blood vessels. All that shrinking and growing causes micro tears that create a setup for atherosclerosis and other types of heart disease."
So the next time you have a chat with your friends and crash dieting comes up, discuss the risky side effects. They may end up thanking you.
When was the last time you had to have a difficult conversation with a friend about their health habits? What did you learn about yourself? What are some healthy ways to stay fit and lose weight that you’ve tried? Share these tips with a friend who may be considering crash dieting.
Somaya Bracy is a high school student with big dreams and high aspirations. She is an aspiring author and journalist and loves to learn Japanese, Korean and watch anime in her spare time. Her favorite color is blue. She is one of many sisters and a girl constantly on the move.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.