Bridal Crash Diets: Just Say No!

Wedding season is here. Now the real hunger games begin.
But brides, think twice before attempting some of the drastic diets making news. Although you may want to shrink to a size 6 from a size 12 in four weeks, starving yourself is a drastic—and sometimes dangerous–way to go, experts say.
Juice cleansings, hormone shots and most shockingly, nasogastric feeding tubes, are among the fads nutritionists say you should avoid.
“I’m speechless,” says Susan Bowerman, R.D., assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, about women who have a feeding tube inserted in their nose down to their stomach to lose weight quickly. “That is very extreme. Those women are trying to get 800 calories per day, which usually is done only under medical supervision.”
Women who submit to diets extremely low in calories run the risk of dehydration, kidney stones and other ailments, experts say.
Bowerman weighs in here on the top fads, and offers advice for a healthy approach to prenuptial dieting:
  • Juice cleanses: Let’s call this what it is—a crash diet. Consumers seeking to lose weight in a hurry consume up to 1,000 calories per day of liquid you-name-it:  water, kale, honey, celery, fruits and other veggies. Some dieters “cleanse” their systems for a few days, some longer. “When you do something drastic like that, calories are very restricted and your diet is not balanced,” Bowerman says. “This is not sustainable and it’s not true fat loss. I’m not a fan.”
  • Low-carb, low-fat diets such as Dukan, Atkins and South Beach: These diets typically are also low-calorie. They work if you can stick with them, Bowerman says, but they’re punishing. “You cut out white pastas, crackers and other starches–virtually 90% of carbs, including fruits and vegetables—so it’s not balanced,” Bowerman adds. “All that protein keeps you feeling full, but I like to see plenty of fruits and vegetables in diet plans.”
  • Hormone injections: Daily injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a pregnancy hormone, are a hoax and do not help you lose weight, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “When you look to quick fixes like this–something that’s not advisable–it usually involves something drastic with very restricted calories,” Bowerman says. “It’s not healthy.”
  • Nasogastric tube: First, yuch. Second, this food-by-nasal-tube provides zero carbohydrates, usually for 10 days. You consume very few calories. You lose muscle mass. Not to mention walking around with a tube in your nose. And it costs about $1,500. “I can’t imagine anyone voluntarily doing this for weight loss,” Bowerman says. “It has a lot of potential for medical problems, like infections. I think it’s very unwise.”
Here’s what Bowerman recommends:
  • Lose weight safely: That means about 2 pounds per week. “If you’re shooting for 5 to 6 pounds per week, you risk losing lean body mass. You can’t build muscle, you’re breaking it down.”
  • Try meal replacements: You don’t have to power through a day eating nothing but salads. Eat a healthy frozen meal (heated, of course), or better yet, a shake with protein powder, milk, fruit or veggies. Make sure you’re getting 25 grams of protein in a meal, equivalent to about half a chicken breast. Oatmeal with protein powder is a good replacement meal, too, Bowerman says.
  • Exercise: “Not just cardiovascular, but strength training too,” Bowerman says. “You’ll tone your muscles and improve your balance.” Not a bad idea if you’re wearing spiky heels at your wedding.
  • Recognize what you can realistically achieve: “Even if you lose weight, your silhouette will remain the same,” Bowerman says. “If you’ve curvy, you’ll still be curvy, but smaller. If you have a boyish figure, you’ll keep it, but smaller.” If you diet correctly, however—eat a balanced meal of fewer calories—you will lose weight from top to bottom.
  • Finally, plan ahead: You usually know well in advance when your wedding is. Take your time so your weight loss will be healthy and long-lasting. Losing weight too quickly “puts additional stress on your body, when you’re already under stress,” Bowerman says. “Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Then you’ll look and feel your best on your wedding day.”
For more information about wedding preparation, check this out.

link:  Bridal Crash Diets: Just Say No

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