Are you aware that among many diet plans or other methods, many are actually unhealthy ways to lose weight? Do you know if the approach you adopt is the healthy way? How can you make out the unhealthy ways to lose weight from the healthy ones?
Before you choose the preferred way to lose weight, ask yourself – do I really need to lose weight in the first place?
If you think you need to lose weight – then read on. If not, then too there’s no harm learning about losing weight – isn’t it?
I was shocked to know the negative aspects during my research, about the ways to lose weight that I thought were alright. I hope you do not follow these unhealthy ways to lose weight.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn
Why Do We Need to Lose Weight
Interesting question – isn’t it? With life becoming so fast-paced and hectic nowadays, and with most of us leading a sedentary lifestyle, we are faced with the problem of weight gain.
If we do not control the weight that our body gains, we run the risk of harboring many diseases.
This warning is not only for the obese, but even those who lie on the borderline of the normal health index and are at high risk of falling in the obese group.
Those who have an ideal weight and are physically fit also need to follow a healthy lifestyle to maintain their weight and health.
We especially need to lose weight if we have medical conditions like osteoarthritis, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases.
Did you know that for every pound of weight gain, your body exerts an added pressure of four pounds on your knees? This could either wreck your knees or cause difficulty in walking.
This shouldn’t scare you because if you follow the right ways to lose weight, you must be able to maintain your ideal body weight.
However, some people become so obsessed and crazy about shedding weight that they go to any extreme to lessen their body weight. This is bad and can cause more harm than good to you.
“Those who have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~ Edward Stanley
Some Unhealthy Ways to Lose Weight
While finding the healthy ways to lose weight, I came across these unhealthy ways to loose weight and was rather amazed to see the extent to which people go to achieve their objective.
1- Starving by Skipping Meals
To be honest with you, once upon a time I have also tried doing this to lose weight, which I now know isn’t healthy!
There is a major difference between fasting and starving. When you fast it cleanses and detoxifies the body. Moreover, a controlled fast normally lasts for a specific period after which we start eating normal food once again.
Starvation on the other hand means restriction of food for a longer time period. Your body doesn’t get the required calories or nutrients to function well. And you lose weight from all parts of your body, which also includes, fat, muscle, water, and even bone.
When you starve yourself or skip meals with the hope that you will lose weight, you are just pacifying yourself because that never happens. The lost weight springs right back sooner than you can imagine!
Once you eat your meals the metabolism increases, and if you skip meals often, your metabolism slows down that may lead to weight gain.
When you try losing weight by following sever calorie restrictions, starvation, or anorexia, you follow unhealthy and dangerous ways to lose weight.
This can affect you adversely and often leads to the inability to concentrate, fatigue, light-headedness, and often fainting.
If carried on it can lead to loss of muscle mass, hair loss, dry skin, brittle nails, or other problems. Thus, long-term dangers of following this way of losing weight can be life threatening at times.
Also, those who follow this unhealthy way of losing weight usually regain the weight, which often turns out to be more when they started off once they start their normal eating habits.
2- Dieting without Consideration
Perhaps you all may have tried dieting some time or the other or following some diet plan to lose weight. But doesn’t the weight come back after you stop following that diet?
I did try it once by following a diet plan for a week. I sure did lose a few kilos, but it came right back! I didn’t let it get past more than what it was earlier, but realized that such things never work.
There are so many fad diets like Atkins diet, Hoodia diet, Zone diet, which people follow without consultation.
Sometimes people get fed up of one diet and switch to another without completing one, so they never get to know if it really works or not.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), any kind of fad or crash diets for losing weight rapidly is not good. You tend to regain the weight when you stop the diet.
Such diets, according to AHA cause gastrointestinal problems, damage your health, and can lead to malnutrition, especially those that lay stress on eating a particular kind of food and eliminate others.
Let’s face it; our body needs a good balance of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and all the essential minerals. In-fact, our body needs healthy fats, which actually help you burn fat.
However, some people love to follow the no-calorie or zero-calorie diets where they even consume artificial sweeteners just to lose weight. In-fact low-fat foods can increase the risk of heart diseases as mentioned in this article.
Also, you gain weight if you consume diet drinks because your body stores fat and reacts to sweetness just as it would if you had something sweet.
3- Consuming Drugs and Pills without Consultation
Even though we know there are no magic pills for losing weight, yet we take them.
Drugs like cocaine, crack, and methamphetamines (speed) are mostly used to lose weight quickly, which if taken long-term can damage your brain and heart.
Celebrities are often prescribed drugs like Adderall and ADHA Ritalin for weight loss too.
Some supplements help in burning fat, but they must be accompanied with healthy eating and exercise. Moreover, healthy supplements are whole-food based.
Some people use illicit diet drugs that can cause irregular heartbeat, dehydration, and even be a cause of yo-yo diet syndrome.
These diet drugs cause acidity and toxicity in the body. Also, as our brains are affected by such things it can lead to lack of concentration and irritability as well.
The body receives the affects of such drugs only till they are consumed. Often, when such drugs are discontinued, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms and regaining of lost weight.
4- Purging the Food
To purge means to vomit the food from the stomach soon after eating. Sometimes people who eat large amounts of food, as in the eating disorder bulimia nervosa, are known to purge the food from their stomach.
The main concept behind purging is that the person is satisfied by eating the food, but doesn’t absorb the calories, thus will not gain weight.
This method is normally used after eating extremely large meals. However, you lose the essential nutrients from the diet while purging.
Also, the repeated exposure to vomit’s acid can damage the glands in the mouth, your teeth, the stomach and esophagus according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
It can lead to serious problems of the esophagus and stomach like tears, ruptures, and ulcers. Though rare, but chronic purging can lead to cancer or esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Those who practice purging are at a risk for pancreatitis, irregular heartbeats, heart failures, and death from bodily chemical imbalances.
5- Blindly using Laxatives
Laxatives are foods, drugs, supplements, or compounds that loosen the stool or induce bowel movement. These come in the form of pills, powders suppositories, liquids and teas.
Laxatives have been used for weight loss for many years with the belief that these prevent the absorption of consumed foods.
By the time the laxative takes effect, the calories of the food consumed have already made it to the bloodstream. It’s only the water weight that takes place from laxatives.
Problems associated with laxatives taken short-term include dehydration and hemorrhoids. The long-term effects of using laxatives are renal failure, intestinal paralysis, pancreatitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Other possible effects of losing weight quickly with laxatives include kidney and colon problems, heart failures, a weekend immune system, and muscle pain or spasms.
Simply put, using laxatives continually can cause abdomen problems and weaken your digestive system.
6- Choosing to Smoke
You might think why smoking is also included as one of the unhealthy ways of losing weight. Well, that’s because smoking is a popular way to suppress hunger.
Smoking sends unclear signals to the brain that increases the metabolic rate, thus killing hunger. People who smoke excessively can skip meals and not feel anything.
However, using this way to lose weight damages the body because the body becomes weak and there are more chances of catching infections and even cancer.
7- Straining by Over Exercising
If you are already dieting and are undernourished, then over-exercising is one of the unhealthiest ways of losing weight.
Extensive cardio or doing everything in excess is harmful. Little bit of strength training and burst training for a few minutes are good enough.
When you work out, you also need to stick to a healthy diet in order to lose weight in a healthy way.
8- Incorrectly using Saunas and Sweat Suits
Weight lost by using sauna or sweat suits is totally water weight. Such suits are mainly used by athletes who want to reduce weight for competitions only.
However, sometimes they can cause dehydration and increase the temperature of your body, especially if it gets out of control.
Some other ways include the use of electronic belts that produce electronic rays that are harmful for your skin. You don’t achieve the desired results, instead the deep penetration of the rays damage your internal organs.
Even tummy tucks or liposuctions are not very healthy ways to lose weight. They reduce weight, though only for some time.
Overall these unhealthy ways of losing weight are not natural, and anything that is unnatural is unhealthy. You can read more about such unhealthy ways to lose weight here.
You can lose weight by making physical effort and creating a mental discipline, but not by spending money on these methods. So, beware of these unhealthy ways to slim down and practice the healthy ways instead.
“A diet is a plan, generally hopeless, for reducing your weight, which tests your will power but does little for your waistline.” ~ Herbert B. Prochnow
How to Overcome These Unhealthy Ways to Lose Weight
Just as I keep saying so often – it’s all in the mind. If you really wish to lose weight then you can, but not by following the above mentioned unhealthy ways. Instead, try the following:
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Include more of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Limit the intake of fats, sugars, and carbohydrates.
- Reduce your meal size gradually to the least required.
- Drink lots of water and say no to fizzy and unhealthy drinks.
- Exercise daily, pick up some sport, or just walk, as walking has its own benefits. Just 30-40 minutes of brisk walking for five days a week does wonders.
- Always consult a nutritionist or dietician before beginning any exercise or reducing your intake of food.
“Adopting a new healthier lifestyle can involve changing diet to include more fresh fruit and vegetables as well as increasing levels of exercise.” ~ Linford Christie
Remember, if you follow unhealthy ways to lose weight, you weaken the body and deplete it of the required and important nutrients.
Losing weight will not happen overnight. It isn’t meant to be a quick process. To lose weight, focus on eating nutritious and healthy food, and remain dedicated with your exercise routine. But don’t overdo it!
Losing weight takes time and patience, lots of hard work, and a strong will. You should aim at maintaining an appropriate weight – not more – not less.
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ~ La Rochefoucauld
Over to you –
Have you tried any of these ways to lose weight? If so, which ones and what was the experience like. What ways to lose weight would you suggest as the healthy ways? Do you agree or not with any of the unhealthy ways to lose weight as mentioned above? Share in the comments below.
Posted on: July 20th, 2012
Last Updated on: April 3rd, 2013