We've all fallen victim to a crash diet at one point or another in our lives. They also pretty much go hand in hand with getting married: a bride wants to lose weight fast so she restricts calories like crazy and winds up losing a lot more than she bargained for (no we're not just talking pounds, ladies). Before you commit to any extreme diet regimen, you owe it to yourself to know the pros but the cons as well.
A metabolic meltdown
There's no ifs, ands or buts about it, extreme crash diets cause your metabolism to basically come to a halt. As New York City certified nutritionist, personal trainer and exercise physiologist, Franci Cohen, explains, when less food comes into your body, as a homeostatic protective mechanism, it signals all systems to slow down to conserve energy. Why? "In case you continue to starve yourself, the body will then have its unburned fat stores to burn for energy." This means once you start eating like a normal person again post-wedding, your body will gain back all the weight plus some lightning fast. Yikes!
Honestly, who wants to feel like a slug on their big day? Well, the chances are high if your body isn't receiving the vitamins and minerals it needs to properly function, warns Los Angeles-based health and wellness expert Sophie Jaffe, founder of The Philosophie. "Nutritional deficiency also weakens your immune system and damages your skin, nails and hair," she says.
A happy wife makes for a happy life. Unfortunately, crash dieting can slow or even curtail the production of certain happy hormones in your body that are responsible for mood elevation and enjoyment, cautions Cohen. Cue the bridezilla! "Moreover, when you're surviving on very little food, it's unlikely that you will engage in social functions that revolve around eating, and this alone can induce feelings of sadness, lonesomeness and depression," she adds.
Extreme diets can wreak havoc on your relationship, which is especially bad right before you're supposed to say "I do." "Think about your fiancé looking at you sad, irritable from lack of food and afraid to go out to dinner for fear you can't eat much and still adhere to your crash diet," says Cohen. "While he loves you dearly, you're giving him a nasty glimpse into your darkest side pre-wedding."
The goal of your wedding day is to make him go weak in the knees, not you! "Even though you may be drinking a ton of water on your diet, your body can still be dehydrated since it's difficult for it to retain liquid if you're not having balanced, wholesome meals," points out Jaffe. Feeling faint, having a horrible headache or worse, passing out at the altar, on your big day would be just awful.