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8 DANGEROUS ways to lose weight

Last updated on: December 22, 2011 18:24 IST

8 DANGEROUS ways to lose weight

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Payal Banka, Lifemojo.com

Let us look at some of the most popular, but dangerous, ways people adopt to lose weight, and see what is wrong with it.

Many youngsters like to live "dangerously," or "on the edge." It gives them the thrill and the adrenaline rush they require from time to time. However, should one take the same stance when it comes to their weight loss regimen? Should you subject your body to all the popular extremes that we come across? Are these 'ups' and 'downs' really good for your health? We address some of the popular, but dangerous, ways people try to lose weight these days.

LifeMojo is one of the most trusted source of information about good health and wellness. To those who want to manage their health themselves, LifeMojo provides necessary information, tips, tracking tools and support to help them stay informed and motivated.



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Here are 8 ways people adopt to lose weight and the drawbacks

1. Skipping meals, starving, or fasting

When it comes to losing weight, the first thing that comes to mind is the lesser you eat, the more weight you lose. Better still, skip a meal, and the easiest meal to skip is breakfast as most of us are hard up for time during the morning, right?

Well, this approach is completely wrong!

While this does result in some amount of weight loss, it also results in muscle loss and water loss, which could pose big health risks. Apart from this, it sends wrong signals to the system. As a result, skipping meals and fasting will cause the body's metabolism to slow down and it will require lesser calories to survive.

In the long run, it will defeat the very purpose of your weight loss plans.



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2. Medications, potions, diet pills, or supplements

This may seem like the easiest way to lose weight. However, experts say that most diet pills are just filled with caffeine and diuretics that can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. They curb your appetite and make you feel less hungry, and as a result you consume less.

Again your body goes into the energy-deficit mode, leading to calorie conservation. (If at all losing weight was so easy that you swallow a pill, and your weight comes down, then you would not be seeing so many obese people around!)

Apart from this, over-the-counter pills may not suit everyone, and you may encounter other health risks to deal with, which is not worth it at all.



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3. Colon cleansing, cleaning diets, or detoxification

You may be fascinated by the stories of famous Hollywood movie stars who have undergone these techniques and lost loads of weight. Stars like Britney Spears, Megan Fox, or Beyonce may be shown looking svelte after these cleanses and detox, but what these methods manage to achieve is weight loss from loss of water and stool.

You don't achieve fat loss, which is what you should be aiming for.

Experts say that your body has its own efficient detoxifying mechanism in place, and these external detoxifying methods only messes up with the body's system. Even if you manage to lose some weight due to all this, once you get out of that environment, you are likely to gain as much or even more weight!

Drinking plenty of water and taking high-fibre foods will help the body detoxify the system.




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4. Purging, vomiting, or laxatives

These are college campus and fashion industry fads of girls in the pursuit of staying size zero. However, these carry big risks too. Experts say that the acidic stomach contents, when regurgitated frequently, could cause erosion of the lining of the esophagus, mouth, and the teeth and gums, which may also lead to developing cancers.

Apart from this, it causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Purging is extremely dangerous, say experts.



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5. Following someone else's diet chart

These days, the Internet provides all the answers; even a readymade diet chart! However, that diet chart may not necessarily work for you. Every individual is unique and so is his system. Just because your friend or colleague got good result from a diet chart, you can never be sure that you will get the same result.

Therefore, the best way to go about it is to consult a dietician and get a personalised diet chart and follow it diligently.



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7. Extreme exercising

Just as skipping meals or fasting will not lead to the desired weight loss, so does mindless exercising. Punishing your body with extreme exercising will only lead to severe wear and tear, risk of injury, electrolyte imbalance, as well as affecting you psychologically.

The American Academy of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommends a sensible exercise routine, which includes 3 days a week of vigorous intense cardio with strength-training exercises, 8-12 repetitions, twice weekly.

If you do not want to do strength training exercises, then 30 minutes of intense cardio five days a week is what you need to do.




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8. Tobacco

Although this seems somewhat crazy and unbelievable, experts say that some people do resort to taking tobacco products to lose weight. Many people do not feel hungry and they actually lose their appetite when they smoke.

However, tobacco carries bigger risk of developing life-threatening diseases than excess weight. Moreover, there is the risk of gaining a lot of weight when you finally decide to quit.

Sensible eating and sensible exercising should be the mantra for leading a healthy lifestyle. Focus should be turned on health rather than looks or external attributes.

Extremes will lead you into eating disorders which you may find difficult to get out of.



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