How To Lose Weight Safely
Extreme diets. Just the name sounds terrible. If you’ve been doing your research when it comes to health and fitness, you have likely come across a few extreme – otherwise known as ‘fad’ diets from time to time.
The grapefruit diet. The peanut butter diet. The every other day fasting diet. These are just a few of the hundreds of varieties out there.
Can extreme dieting ever be a good thing? Most of the time, the answer is no.
However, under the right circumstance, you can be a little extreme and see results, all without sacrificing your health.
Let’s look at more details on this concept.
The very first thing to note about extreme dieting is that you must have the right expectations.
Basically, if you are hoping to lose 15 kilos on an extreme diet, you need to think again.
If you are hoping to lose 2-4kg’s to get ready for a special event or to simply kick start your weight loss progress, you are in luck because that can be doable.
By adjusting your expectations, you go in already primed for success. If you are hoping to lose a high volume of weight rapidly, you are going in setting yourself up for frustration and failure.
This will only lead to greater discouragement and can put you off dieting – even healthfully, altogether.
The Proper Time Frame
Next, also consider the time frame over which you are planning to use the extreme diet.
In general, extreme diets should never be carried out for more than one week.
Beyond that, you risk experiencing nutritional deficiencies because your calorie intake is so low and your metabolism greatly slowing down because you just aren’t feeding yourself enough food. Both bad news over the long term.
Plus, most people won’t be able to honestly stick to an extreme diet for any longer than about a week as hunger and fatigue will get the best of them.
So make this your time frame for completion and never try and push longer than this without at least a two week break first.
The Protein Intake
The next and possibly most important factor when considering any extreme approach is your protein intake.
Basically, are you taking in enough protein to preserve lean muscle mass?
If not, it’s not the diet for you. One of the biggest risks of diets is muscle mass loss as this will slow your resting metabolic rate down, making it very hard to maintain your weight loss over the long term.
When your calorie intake comes down very low, as it does in extreme diets, if your protein intake is not high enough, you will lose muscle – rest assured.
So for this reason, any extreme diet should provide at least two grams of protein per kg of body weight, if not slightly more.
This will help ensure that you are not risking muscle mass loss. Some people may even choose to take this up to 3 grams per kg if they have a good amount of muscle.
The Nutritional Density
Finally, the last consideration when thinking about using an extreme diet is the nutritional density of the food you are eating.
Is the food going to provide a wealth of nutrients or does the diet have you drinking liquid shakes?
If it’s the latter, that is not the diet for you. As your calorie intake goes down, it becomes more important than ever that you are making sure that you are eating the most nutritional dense foods available.
This allows you to get the most ‘nutritional bang for your buck’ so to speak, and helps you prevent any nutritional deficiencies.
The good news for you is that the most nutritional dense foods you can eat – vegetables – are also very low in calories. So this will work out well in your favour.
By feasting on four to six meals per day consisting of lean protein and plenty of fresh vegetables, you can create a low calorie, extreme diet plan that is relatively safe to use for up to one week.
You might also choose to add a few fruits to your day for additional antioxidants and possibly some healthy fat by way of fish oil (to help you get your essential fatty acids in), but you should refrain from adding too much more than that.
If you use this plan wisely, with the right expectations, you can be a little extreme, see results, and keep your health in check.
So while you definitely should not seek out crash diets and should always aim to allow yourself plenty of time to diet slowly and healthfully, if you do need to lose a few kilos in a hurry and are smart in your approach, it is possible.