Some people get a wake up call about their weight because of a looming social event on the horizon that they wish to look good for. For others it may be for health reasons or just because they are simply sick and tired of being overweight. Many people get fired up with the promises of a diet, take drastic action, and follow the latest weight loss crazes that may be doing the rounds.
Whether it is the 5:2 Diet, the Two-Day diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, 6 Days To OMG, Atkins or anything else, you will probably lose weight quickly by following any of them. These diets will help you shed pounds initially and once the diet and the often gruelling regime is over, you will weigh less for a while.
If you seem to spend your time either being on a diet or thinking about trying a new one, you are not alone. According to the NHS over a third of us are dieting at any given time and many people find that doing this drastically affects their weight throughout the year. If your wardrobe contains clothes of widely varying sizes, that you slim into dresses or trousers as a target, wear them for a while until they become too small again, and then put on your old “fat clothes” you are probably a boomerang dieter.
Like with the boomerang, the weight always does come back and each time it may be that little bit harder to lose again. Each new diet promises to be “the right one” and each time you lose weight believing that this time it will be different and permanent.
The trouble is that weight loss carried out like this is doomed to failure. If you lose weight fast, you will quickly put it back on again. The fact is that you cannot live healthily by following these types of eating programme however convincing they may seem.
Many of these fast weight loss diets come backed with some bizarre explanations and dodgy science about how this particular programme works and how it is totally different from anything that has gone before. For example, Six Weeks to OMG requires you blow up balloons and take a cold shower, Adkins to avoid vegetables and eat a lot of meat. However when it comes down to it, they usually involves periods of semi starvation and a very abnormal relationship with the food you eat.
Fad Diets are Bad for your Health
According to the NHS, crash diets are bad for you and can include the following reasons.
- Putting your body into starvation mode for even a short period of time can lead to long-term health problems and make you unable to function normally during the duration of the diet.
- Cutting out certain foods prevents you from receiving essential nutrients.
- Low carb diets are often high in fat and protein. You might be thinner on the outside but they are dangerous for blood pressure and heart health. They cause a range of side effects including bad breath and gastro intestinal problems.
Source: Independent article on long-term Dangers of Atkins diet
- Detox diets are essentially all about fasting and removing certain foods from your diet. Detoxing is regarded with extreme scepticism by the medical establishment because there is no scientific reason for it to work and it doesn’t.
- Putting your body into “starvation mode” slows the metabolism and makes you lethargic and lacking in energy. One the diet is over weight gain is even faster than before due to the changes to your metabolism.
The big problem with extreme weight loss and boomerang dieting is that once the diet is over, the weight usually comes flooding back.
At the moment, Fasting diets are popular in Britain and seem to offer a way of losing weight rapidly as well as getting fit quickly and easily. However, the dangers of following extreme plans have been recently highlighted by the experiences of Andrew Marr – BBC TV and radio presenter. He followed the advice to take intensive exercise for short periods of time as recommended by Dr Michael Mosley, as part of the 5:2 Diet. This caused him to have a stroke during a short and intensive workout on a rowing machine that has led to some paralysis. Extreme diets and intensive exercise routines can be incredibly dangerous for health and are simply too much for some people.
Many US Dieters Have Given Up Trying!
In the US, dieting statistics have changed and going on a diet seems to have fallen out of fashion. On average only 20% of people said they were dieting, during any given week of 2012 in the USA. This percentage has fallen from 36% when compared to the same survey taken in 1991.
In addition, in the same 2012 survey, people rated levels of attractiveness higher for people who were overweight by 55% more than they did when shown the same sort of images in 1991.
It seems that most people have simply accepted their weight and their body image although most said that they would like to lose on average 20lbs.
This is both good news and bad news. Good news because people are becoming more realistic about their own body image and see being overweight and being attractive as not mutually exclusive.
Bad news because the obesity epidemic is changing the way that we view body shape. Fat has become the norm and with everyone being overweight it doesn’t make you feel so bad if you are a few pounds over yourself. You may be overweight but there are probably a lot of people out there who are fatter than you!
Make no mistake, obesity is a serious danger to health and it is important to maintain a healthy weight. The appearance of an overweight body is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health. Diabetes, heart disease, strokes, back pain and even cancer can all be directly attributed to obesity.
Many of us know this and turn to extreme diets to quickly shift those extra pounds.
The problem is that there is no quick fix solution to weight gain. You need to make changes to your diet and lifestyle that you can live with or else it just doesn’t work.
Celebrity Boomerang Dieters
Open any newspaper or magazine and you will see them. The latest in a list of celebrities who have put on weight or have lost it. Everyone from Renee Zellwegger to Britney Spears, Kelly Osborne, Charlotte Church and Myleene Klass. Their weight goes up and down in a regular cycle. Some celebrities have endorsed diet pills too, whether this is more for financial gain than weight loss we can only speculate!
It should be easy for them – their looks are their income after all and they have the time and money to watch their weight. The fact that they fail so often to maintain their weight loss does not offer much in the way of confidence to the rest of us!
How to Lose Weight without Becoming a Boomerang Dieter?
Ignore the fad diets and look at your own lifestyle. We are all different and we all have our particular food buttons.
Here are some easy suggestions that may help you.
- Try counting your calories for a week to find out what you are actually eating and see how your current diet is adding to your problem.
- Change your diet gradually so that your body can get used to it and find low fat and healthy alternatives to some of your favourite foods.
- Remember that drinks add to calories and fat as well but you may be surprised that you can make easy changes to your diet and remove some of the fattening culprits without too much effort.
- Take up some moderate exercise. Whether it is a zumba class or riding your bike, walking to work or going for a jog, any exercise will help increase your metabolism and burn off fat.
- Many people find that a health supplement or diet pill may help them during this period because boosting your antioxidant levels and vitamins is essential when making dietary changes.
- Weight loss can be difficult so if you feel you need some extra help and support, why not join a slimming club or try to lose weight with some friends.
Don’t Be A Boomerang Dieter
The key to successful and permanent weight loss is not achieved by going flat out for losing all your excess weight in a matter of weeks to get into a dress or a suit. It is only achieved by making permanent changes to your lifestyle that you are happy to live with.
You may find that your perfect weight is not as skinny as you would like it to be, but who cares? If you can maintain it without any effort, look good and feel fit, isn’t better to be a healthy size 12 or 14 permanently, rather than an occasional size 6?