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Disastrous Dieting

Photo by Harsh Rokad


Dieting — it’s been an epidemic since before time. Looking slimmer, feeling better and being better; it’s all the rage.  Being fit is important for many people when they think of going home for summer break and seeing their family and old friends, but taking dieting to the extreme can be fatal to your health, says Healthline.

Healthy dieting is important because it is a matter of either hurting or helping your body. Accepting the fact that there is no safe way to lose 20 pounds in a week is the first step–dieting takes time.

Eating healthy and working out is the basic way to diet, however, some people who procrastinate may wish to take an alternative route. There are two popular diets that have become very well known to those who wish to lose weight fast: the Master Cleanse and the Military Diet–both promise to help you lose a noticeable amount of weight in less than a week.

The Master Cleanse diet has been ranked by The LIVESTRONG Foundation as one of the top five most dangerous diets of today. This diet is also known as the Lemon cleanse and the Maple Syrup diet. The Master Cleanse is a 10-day program that was designed by Stanley Burroughs in 1941. The idea of the diet is to detoxify your body and lose a substantial amount of weight quickly.

The Master Cleanse instructions tell dieters to squeeze one lemon into a glass of water, add half a cup of maple syrup and some cayenne pepper and stir. Instructions say to drink a minimum of six to 12 glasses per day for 10 days and not to eat or drink anything else. At the end of each day you are also required to take a laxative.

“When I looked up a fast easy way to lose weight, I came across the Master Cleanse and it seemed like something that could work for me,” said sophomore pre-dentistry major Carly Ramirez. “I needed to lose the weight for summer break before I went home, but this cleanse only worked long enough to help me lose five pounds and make me extremely tired and run-down with very little energy to get through the day.”

Many young adults are looking for fast and easy ways to lose weight and to keep it off long-term, but the reality is there is no proven or healthy way to do that.

There is really no healthy way to lose weight fast and keep it off,” said Melissa Morris, UT Health Science professor. “Most rapid weight loss is due to water, which could lead to dehydration potentially.”

Another diet that has become quite popular in the diet community is the Military Diet. Online, you can find this diet set with strict guidelines of minimal calorie intake for each day and each meal is planned out ahead of time for you.

This diet claims it will help you lose 10 pounds in three days. The diet calls for an intake of less than 1,500 calories a day, only allowing 3 ounces of meat for dinner, strict guidelines on bread and fatty foods and coffee with no cream and no sugar is allowed in the mornings.

According to Morris, even though this diet is strict and a healthier alternative for those who wish to lose weight quickly, it will not last. In order to keep the weight off that you lose, you must commit to dieting afterward. This means a strict workout regimen and a healthy diet.

“I started and completed the Military Diet recently so I could lose some weight for spring break,” said junior marketing major Amanda Dragomer. “After I came back home, I easily gained the weight back that I lost, but it worked for the time I needed it to. It was hard to do, but better than starving myself for a week in an attempt to lose some weight.”

In some instances, diets like the Military Diet can be a smart option in order to lose the body’s water weight in a short period of time, but may be difficult and possibly dangerous to keep up for a longer period of time.

Even though some diets offer quick and easy ways to lose a lot of weight in a little time, keeping your body’s long term health in mind is important.

“There’s no secret or magic pill for safe, effective weight loss,” Morris said. “Some people have success with just tracking their food intake, but making healthy food choices and being active are the best ways to ensure you are losing fat and maintaining lean tissue.”
At the end of the day, students and young adults are more than able to maintain a healthy, long-term diet without putting their bodies at risk if they set their minds to it. Extreme dieting can take a toll on your body, physically and mentally, and can also cause long-term damage. Learning how to diet correctly–even though it is a pain–is worth it.

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