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Avoid Crash Diets: Healthy Weight-Loss Tips

I read a very sad and unfortunate tale of an English bride-to-be's death after crash dieting. After eating only 530 calories a day for 11 weeks, the 34-year-old collapsed. Having weighed 244 pounds at the start of the controversial LighterLife diet, Samantha Clowe had lost 42 pounds when she collapsed and died of heart failure. Her family and fiancé are in my thoughts, and in light of this tragedy, I would like to review five rules for healthy and sustainable weight loss.

  1. To lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than you are expending. Think of it like this: calories coming in need to be fewer than calories going out. It really is pretty simple.
  2. To lose one pound a week you need to be in a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. The best way to do this is to combine eating fewer calories and burning more calories — that means exercise! Cardio is great for burning calories. See these posts for ideas to freshen up your cardio routine.

Learn the other three tips when you continue reading.

  1. You should never eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day. Eating fewer than 1,200 calories slows down your metabolism, since your body thinks a famine is coming. It's not nice to tease your metabolism in this manner. Play nice and eat healthy well-balanced meals loaded with nutrient-rich veggies, fruits, and grains.

  2. The longer it takes for you to drop the pounds, the better chance you have of keeping them off. Remember: slow and steady wins the race. This is why you should really think of losing weight as making a lifestyle change rather than dieting. Once you lose the weight, you want to maintain all the healthy habits that helped you shed those pounds in the first place.
  3. Losing one to two pounds a week is considered healthy. Losing more than two pounds a week is a serious shock to your body. This also means you are not starving yourself or depriving yourself. Fad diets or diets that have you cut out an entire food group leave you feeling less satisfied, which leads you to cheat on your diet and then give up. Remember, you are working toward a lifestyle change and having a healthy relationship with all kinds of food.
Image Source: Getty
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Join The Conversation
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 6 years
lilxmissxmolly when I was on my diet I found that 1200 calories equaled all my snacks throughout the day, like the muffin between meals, a cookie here and there and a big full fat latte. I just cut that out and ate loads of really good veggies (different types of lettuce and spinach) and I was losing a kilo a week. Sipping green tea also helped keep the sweet cravings as bay.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 6 years
Eating so little really puts you in a euphoria though...it's weird. It FEELS good after a couple days. It's pretty scary. I go through anorexia about once a year for a period of time. It's frustrating
Spectra Spectra 6 years
What's sad is that even though she was still around 200 lbs when she died, she did indeed die of starvation. Just goes to prove that losing weight by extreme dieting is a stupid, stupid thing to do. I personally had the most success by eating a diet that was lower in calories than my old diet but also adding in exercise to help increase my calorie deficit.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 6 years
whoa, 1200 calories below maintenance? i guess it's okay if you're way overweight, but if you're trying to drop a few pounds- not healthy!
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
Mth_Grl - I do the same thing. My personal strategy has always been to go by my hunger. If I'm working out more or running longer distances, I feel hungrier and thus eat more. If I'm busy at work and have to go a couple days without working out at all, I find that I'm not nearly as hungry, so I eat a lot less. Personally, I don't see any need to force yourself to eat extra calories, provided that you feel satisfied with the amount your consuming. On the other hand, if you constantly feel hungry and tired, you probably need to eat more.
Zulkey Zulkey 6 years
Crash dieting, fasting make me sad/mad. Sometimes when a friend tells me she plans on embarking on something like this I want to tell her to get real--that it won't help her at all--but that's too rude.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
This is very sad - my heart goes out to the family and fiance.
ella1978 ella1978 6 years
You know what works the best... working your butt off! It's hard work to work out every day, and eat super healthy! For me - I use an online exercise and food diary. It has been the most effective thing for me. It's pretty accurate & much easier than doing all the math yourself. I sort of make a game out of it. I make it my goal to be 1000 calories under my "weight maintenance" number every day. Some times I'm 1200 cals under, sometimes I'm 700. That nets me about 2 pounds a week. It's been working so far & I feel great. There is no magic pill, and it is never easy, and it's hard for people to stay motivated when the weight comes off so slowly. But long term health and happiness is my goal!
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