Howcrash di­et­ing can make you fat

The Jewish Chronicle - - Life / Health - BY RUTH JOSEPH

THE SUM­MER hol­i­days are here and with it the pres­sure to look good on the beach. Sadly some feel that they need i n s t a n t r e s u l t s . The New York Times re­ports that some un­eth­i­cal doc­tors are charg­ing pa­tients nearly £1,000 for 30 days worth of in­jec­tions of hCG (hu­man go­nadotrophin) — a preg­nancy hor­mone. The use of hCG, de­rived from the urine of preg­nant women, is sup­posed to en­able pa­tients to lose a pound a day with­out feel­ing hun­gry. But to do so they need to re­strict their calo­rie in­take to 500 a day (NHS guide­lines for an av­er­age woman are 2000 calo­ries a day and 2500 for a man).

David Katz, di­rec­tor of the Yale Univer­sity Preven­tion Re­search Cen­tre says: “We are so des­per­ate to have good so­lu­tions for weight con­trol that a lot of peo­ple with g o o d com­mon sense lit­er­ally sus­pend it when they con­front weight loss claims.” He adds: “’When you r e s t r i c t calo­ries to that level you are not pro­vid­ing your body with enough es­sen­tial amino acids so it scav­enges it­self. In some in­stances it can cause the body to scav­enge from crit­i­cal places, like the heart.”

This story il­lus­trates the more des­per­ate mea­sures dieters un­der­take in or­der to lose pounds. But is crash di­et­ing ever suc­cess­ful and is it safe?

Ac­cord­ing to Disor­dered Eat­ing , a web­site that deals with­e­at­ing prob­lems, “Crash diet be­hav­iours are not re­stricted to peo­ple with eat­ing dis­or­ders but can be a slip­pery slope to ac­quir­ing an eat­ing dis­or­der.” Al­though re­sults may be seen on the scales, a lot of wa­ter and mus­cle mass as well as fat will be lost.

And even more se­ri­ous con­se­quences could re­sult in im­paired im­mu­nity, elec­trolyte im­bal­ances, re­duced red and white blood cell counts, or­gan fail­ure and os­teo­poro­sis. Then when a di­eter re­turns to “nor­mal eat­ing”, the body will try to re­plen­ish its fat re­serves which could re­sult in a higher per­cent­age of body fat than be­fore.

So how to lose weight and keep it off? A to­tal change in life­style com­bin­ing ex­er­cise and eat­ing healthily is cer­tainly the way for­ward. Ex­er­cise may be daunt­ing if all you do is walk from the car to the shops. But you can be­gin gen­tly with good walk, a swim in a warm pool or tai-chi.

To help the weight loss progress, some di­eti­cians rec­om­mend keep­ing a food di­ary — in this way you will see the dif­fer­ence that odd bis­cuit or slice of cake can make to your calo­rie in­take. Apart from that, look at your fats, sugar and salt in­take.

We all need good fats con­tain­ing valu­able nu­tri­ents like those found in fish oils and good plant oils found in nuts, seeds and av­o­ca­dos. But try cut­ting down on sat­u­rated fats — found in high-fat dairy foods, fatty meats, sausages, wurst, high fat cheeses and par­tic­u­larly in junk food which is usu­ally high fat, salt and of­ten sugar. Sub­sti­tute with fruits and veg­eta­bles. Cre­ate sal­ads with masses of chopped veg­eta­bles tinned beans and seeds. You will be amazed how fill­ing these can be.

En­joy a good break­fast, for ex­am­ple a bowl of por­ridge made with skimmed milk and a ba­nana. Think whole­meal or gra­nary bread rather than white stodgy and be­gin cook­ing the old grains that our fore­fa­thers en­joyed such as brown rice, bar­ley and kasha — won­der­ful in soups and stews.

Still en­joy the oc­ca­sional glass of wine, shmeer of cheese, or a square of dark chocolate. This will keep from feel­ing de­prived. And do not think if you have one day of di­et­ing disas­ter that it is a lost cause. Just put it to the back of your mind and start again with re­newed vigour.

The best way is to en­joy the foods you should eat – revel in slices of melon, en­joy your break­fast, love your grains. eat the skin on a jacket potato. Then the added fi­bre, plus the lower GI rate of the health­ier foods will show last­ing re­sults on the scales, your

waist­line and fit­ness.

Eat­ing in­suf­f­i­cent calo­ries could lead to or­gan fail­ure

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