Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gettin' Over the Hump: Starvation Diets

The other day I was having lunch at work and a girl from another department sat across from me. She looked like she was in her 20s and was overweight. As she got up to get something to drink, her plate of food caught my eye. She had a couple spoonfuls of rice, 3 small fried chicken tenders each with big dollops of ketchup and a massive chunk of cream cheese. Initially what grabbed my attention was the unhealthiness of it all, but then I realized how little food there was. It was a meal for a 7-year old child, but not enough to satisfy an adult woman. It was sad. Not only did it lack the kind of nourishment required to power an eight-hour shift on your feet, but she was clearly limiting her calories and going about it the wrong way. 

Starvation diets are when you eat less calories than what your body requires to properly function. As women I feel we've all had those moments where we're desperate to shed a few pounds, especially if there's something important coming up like a holiday in Mexico or your wedding. That was the last time I severely restricted calories and it was because I wasn't happy with the way my dress fit and I knew shedding a few pounds would do the trick. Prior to that I occasionally got into terrible cycles where I yo-yoed. Are you familiar with this scenario (I know I am): 

You start drastically cutting down on calories, skipping meals here and there and bam! Weight comes off. You have this aha, yes moment! Then cravings kick in HARD because you're starving. You think you can manage sneaking in a few bad habits without putting the weight back on. Weight gained back (and then some), game over. You attack a pizza pie and the bag of Oreos because it doesn't matter now and we can always start again tomorrow.

Under-nourishing ourselves may deliver quick results, but it reeks havoc on our bodies ladies and here's why:

When you severely restrict your calories, you train your body to hold onto body fat.

Dieting or calorie restricting kills your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body burns calories.

You will probably gain more weight with diet restriction and here's why

For some, extreme calorie restriction can evolve into eating disorders like anorexia.

If you want to lose weight, you will find long-lasting success and better health by focusing on what you put in because a calorie is not just a calorie.

[photo taken back in 2011 and yes that was my "meal"]
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