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There can be many reasons why you want to lose weight in the shortest time possible – perhaps you’re getting married (congrats!) or simply going for a beach vacation soon and want to look your best in your new bikini. If you’re thinking about going on a crash diet – don’t.

A crash diet is a “quick fix” where you try to lose weight by reducing your calorie intake drastically. Yes, you may see rapid results, for sure, but there are many side effects that comes with it that you definitely don’t want:

1. Your immune system will weaken

Generally, women need approximately 1,200 calories per day. If you starve your body from getting sufficient nutrients, your hormone levels will dip. One of the hormones that decreases when you starve is leptin, which is integral to keeping your immune system strong. As leptin decreases, your body conserves energy to protect vital organs like the heart, liver, and brain, and in effect reduce your immunity. This means that you may get sick more frequently – definitely not what you want if you’re preparing yourself for a big day.

2. You will feel tired and irritable

tired and sick

Feeling hungry all the time and having to complete the same daily tasks but at lower energy levels are not a good combo. You would almost definitely feel tired and irritable. Crash diets can also cause hormonal imbalance that can lead to mood swings. The emotional impact is just not worth the weight loss. What’s more…

3. Lost weight is regained quickly

Yes, chances are you can’t keep them off. Losing weight through crash diets can cause you to lose weight quickly as you’re losing muscle mass, which lowers your metabolic rate over time. At the same time, because you’re not learning how to eat healthily in a sustainable manner, you’ll go back to a more “normal” eating pattern. This means your body will put on weight very quickly, and what’s worse – because of the lower metabolic rate, you may even gain more weight than you started with before the crash diet. Your body may also bloat due to additional water weight as it gets used to your usual eating pattern again.

Since crash diets are harmful and not a good way to lose weight, what should you do instead?

1. Plan your meals healthily

Instead of simply blindly starving yourself in a bid to reduce the amount of calorie you take in, plan your meals according to the nutrition that you need too. Trim off unhealthy sugars from soft drinks and sweet snacks, and excessive sodium from salty foods and savory snacks. Then, plan healthy foods into your daily meals that fulfill your nutritional needs. For instance, you will need approximately seven servings of protein per day, in order to protect your muscles. You should also have some carbohydrate to give you energy, and iron and calcium to protect your blood and bones. This means that eating three apples every day is not good enough for you. It’s best to speak with a nutritionist if you’re looking to learn how to eat healthily.

2. Have frequent but small meals

small food portions balanced diet

One of the reasons why you feel hungry easily (and therefore overeat) could be because your meals are too spaced out from one another. Assuming you have your lunch at noon and your dinner at 8pm, that’s a good eight hours between the meals – no wonder you’re hungry by 4pm! When your meals are too spaced out, there’s a high chance you’ll either be too generous with your 4pm snacks, or overeat during dinner.

3. Consult a slimming professional

If you really need to see slimming results within a short period of time, the safest and most effective way may be to consult a slimming professional like Marie France Bodyline. With almost 30 years of experience in helping women achieve their slimming goals, Marie France Bodyline conducts one-to-one session with all clients and offer each of them an individually-tailored programme. The personal supervision that they offer to each client also ensures that your results are tracked and you’re supported throughout the slimming journey.

Need an example? Celebrity Fann Wong is one of Marie France Bodyline’s clients and she managed to lose all of the 16kg and 29 inches that she gained during pregnancy within two and half months. She achieved her ideal shape after going through customised treatments at Marie France Bodyline, without the need for intensive physical training and definitely no crash dieting, which would otherwise be detrimental to her own health, and to the milk quality she produces for her child. Read our interview with Fann to see what she said!

This article is brought to you by Marie France Bodyline.