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Why you should avoid crash diets?

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

How much weight should you lose?

Body mass index (BMI) and how this is an accurate indicator of your ideal weight. You can call into Whelehans to learn how to work out you’re BMI. You can also measure your waist-hip ratio using a tape measure to see if you need to lose weight. You can do this by dividing the measurement of your waist (lower part of your ribs) by that of your hips (at the widest part). This shouldn't be over 0.9 for men or over 0.8 for women.

If you are overweight and want to be a healthier weight, you should set realistic goals. Weight loss of around 0.5 to 1kg (1 to 2lb) per week is about right. Any more than this and you may become de-motivated with too harsh a regime. We have a nutritionist on site with programmes starting from €10 per week.

Problems with Crash Diets

Problem 1 – Loss of muscle.

When you lose weight too fast, you run the risk of not only losing weight, but you will also lose muscle. Losing muscle will affect your ability to lose fat as your body needs strong muscles to enable you to lose weight through exercise.


Problem 2 - Crash dieting slows down your metabolism.

If you lose weight too quickly, you tend to lose a lot of lean body tissue as well as fat. When this happens, your metabolism slows down, which means that your body needs fewer calories to function day to day. That's why the weight piles back on so quickly once you go back to your usual eating habits. Your body has adjusted to a lower calorie intake, so excess calories are stored as fat when you return to your normal diet.


Problem 3- Loss of essential nutrients

By not eating properly, you deprive your body of natural nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, etc. The lack of nutrients damages your immune system and makes you vulnerable infection and illness. You will also feel weak throughout the crash diet period.


Problem 4- loss of essential fluids

When your body takes in fewer calories, it tends to use up more fluids to compensate for the difference. This loss of water in your system could also lead to dehydration, and dehydration may lead to chills, headaches, loss of appetite, and dry mouth/skin.


Problem 5- can affect your mental health

Your mental health can be affected as depriving the body of its needs and desires can cause a low mood and reduced concentration. Crash dieting can make you so focused on weight loss that you are less able to fully participate on other activities.


Problem 6- Crash dieting is not a long-term solution.

Most people that crash diet rebound with a stronger appetite than they had previously simply because their body still wants the higher amount of calories that it was used to before the diet. This leads to quick weight gain because by this point your metabolism is so slow that it can't burn the calories as fast as before. You end up gaining the weight that you lost right back in record time.


Changing your lifestyle

You don't become overweight by eating the occasional chocolate bar or cream cake if you have an otherwise healthy, balanced diet. Becoming overweight and slimming down to a healthy weight (and then maintaining it) is really about lifestyle habits. Successful weight loss is more to do with changing eating habits than counting the calories of everything you eat. Most people find it easier to lose weight by using a two-pronged approach that combines increased physical activity with a lower-calorie diet. To lose weight, you need a balance where more calories are going out (through activity) than are coming in (through eating). To stay at a healthy weight you need to keep the two in balance across the weeks and months. More information on Healthy eating and Exercise can be obtained in Whelehans.


Are you obsessed by your weight?

Ireland has an increasing problem with obesity, and many people would benefit from losing some weight. But it's equally important to emphasise the dangers of becoming obsessed with losing weight. In its extreme form, this can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. People with anorexia starve themselves. Symptoms include an intense fear of gaining weight, lower than normal body weight and the person saying they are fat even when they are very thin. Someone who is bulimic typically eats exceptionally large amounts of food then vomits, and may take laxatives or diuretics to purge him or herself. These problems can be life-threatening, and anyone who is affected needs to seek medical help as these individuals have an altered perception of themselves and food. Read more in my column in the coming weeks on anorexia.


HELP is at hand

Maurice Looby Fitness launch a new comprehensive weight loss programme in association with Whelehans Pharmacy/Nutrition Clinic called HELP – HEATHY EATING & LIFESTYLE PROGRAMME, it started 9th January 2017 (but if you missed the start you can still join) and is outstanding value at €210.


This excellent 6-week package offers a detailed one to one initial consultation with nutritionist including a body analysis and an achievable plan specific to you followed by weekly one to one meetings.   You get a training plan also specific to you and the level you are at and unlimited classes with Maurice Lobby fitness.  There are also additional benefits when you sign up i.e. fitness testing and food intolerance testing at reduced rates. To sign up for HELP with Maurice Lobby Fitness in association with Whelehans Pharmacy call 087 2308001 or apply online at today


New extended Whelehans nutrition service is a friendly, flexible and affordable service offering one to one consultations with follow up programmes and weekly monitoring.   Suitable for men, women and children. Call our Nutritionist Caroline Masters on 086-3994615 or email her at or call Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse Street on 044 9334591.

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