When selecting which diet is right for you, it's important to look at the big picture. As the percentage of Americans that are overweight seems to rise on an annual basis, the amount of supposed experts that think they can combat this problem rises with their own diet program continue to come out of the woodwork. Their claim is that their quick weight loss diets will help you shed those extra pounds almost effortlessly. However, these rapid weight loss diets are rarely what their founders make them out to be.
For starters, while these methods can help you shed pounds quickly, they rarely have the long-term effects that you would like. More often than not, while you will find that they shed pounds rapidly when you're on the diet, those same pounds can come back with a vengeance once you're off of it. This happens for two primary reasons.
When you try a rapid weight loss diet, many of the pounds that you're losing are water weight. The goal is to get the body to metabolize and burn body fat, though. Most studies suggest that people on rapid weight loss diets tend to lose between two and three pounds of water weight per pound of fat that they lose. Once you're off of that diet, the water weight can come back very quickly.
Secondly, the human body has a way of adjusting its metabolism to battle a drop off in caloric intake. By using a rapid weight loss diet, you're drastically reducing your caloric intake immediately. Once the metabolism has dropped significantly enough, the body will make sure that it doesn't burn off calories as quickly to maintain its weight. At that point, no matter how hard a you try, you're unlikely to continue losing weight because of the reduced metabolism. This is another reason people on rapid weight loss diets tend to lose weight quickly when they first start the program, but gain it (and often more) back weeks later.
While gaining the weight back after a rapid weight loss diet is half the battle, though, the content of the weight that they're losing is equally important. Without proper exercise to go along with the diet, you will soon find out that a significant portion of the weight you're losing is not fat, but muscle. Even in extreme cases, quick weight loss diets will help you shed four to five pounds of fat per week. If you're losing twenty pounds, though, while a considerable amount of that is water weight, you're also losing weight in other areas where you don't want to lose it. Most rapid weight loss diets focus more on cutting into your calorie intake right away than anything else, which means you're not the only one starving... your muscles are, too.
If the potential to gain the weight back and the loss of muscle tone isn't enough to lead to other safer options than a rapid weight loss diet, the potential to develop health concerns should be. The most common medical side effect of a rapid weight loss diet is the likelihood that you will develop gall stones. When you're losing so much weight in such a short period of time, the contractions of the gall bladder tend to shift, meaning that many of the methods used in rapid weight loss diets, such as going longer periods without eating, can have a negative effect.
Another problem that rapid weight loss diets can lead to is loose skin. This is, of course, an obvious side effect. The skin is fully developed around the muscles and the fat that you've stored over time, but it can hang when you've suddenly lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time.
Finally, rapid weight loss diets can even lead to eating disorders. By suggesting you occasionally starve yourself or limit yourself to certain food groups, these quick weight loss diets often begin with a short term use of anorexia. However, quick weight loss diets can also tend to push towards bulimia, often giving you urges to binge and purge.
While rapid weight loss diets certainly tend to serve immediate needs, they're definitely not a long-term solution if you're looking to shed a lot of weight in the long run. Simply put, quick weight loss diets usually just lead to bigger problems down the road.