The so-called light or crash diet promises significant weight loss in a very short time. However, the first thing the body “gets rid of” on such a diet is not fat, but the water stored in the body. Stores of carbohydrates and proteins are then utilized, and later stored as fats.
During a radical diet, the body adapts to a reduced energy supply and switches to a hunger metabolism in order to be able to draw on the body’s own reserves for as long as possible, the Consumer Center of South Tyrol said in a press release. “The weight loss shown by the scales after a few days is not related to the desired reduction in fat deposits,” assures Silk Ravener, nutritional expert at the Consumer Center in South Tyrol. “By adjusting to hunger and the loss of muscle mass, the basal metabolic rate also decreases during the diet, which means the body uses less energy at rest than it did before the diet.”
Even after the lightning diet ends, resting energy intake still decreases for a period of time. If you go back to your old eating habits, your body weight will often increase again and the next diet seems inevitable. This ebb and flow of body weight during frequent diets is known as the yo-yo effect.
This effect can be avoided by losing weight slowly and gently. It is recommended that you lose no more than half a pound to a full pound per week. In contrast, more time must be planned before reaching the desired weight. Losing half a pound of body fat per week requires cutting about 3,500 calories per week, or 500 calories per day. This can be done in a healthy way with a healthy low energy diet. Eat low-calorie, high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Fat is used only sparingly, and this also applies to food preparation. Avoid calorie bombs and sugary drinks. In addition, more physical activity is recommended. This supports weight loss and helps maintain muscle mass.
Thanks to slower weight loss, the yo-yo effect can be avoided, and new, healthy behaviors can be practiced with a healthy, reduced-energy diet. If you can incorporate some of these new habits into daily life after the end of the weight loss phase, there is a good chance that the already reduced weight will be maintained.