The dangers of extreme diets


For those of you thinking of losing those extra Thanksgiving pounds by dieting, I can offer you one piece of advice: don’t.

Dieting is one of the most detrimental things you can do to your body. It not only slows down your metabolism, but it can really mess up your emotions, mindset and ability to function like a normal human being.

I learned this the hard way during my two-day stint on what has to be one of the most restricting diets ever. Ironically, it was called the “Seven-Day All-You-Can-Eat Diet”. My roommate agreed to join me in this experiment for moral support and to hopefully lose some weight herself.

Day One

I was allowed to eat all I wanted, as long as it was a fruit and wasn’t a banana.

I knew the diet was going to be bad when I realized it was actually restricting a type of fruit. I mean, normally, I would praise myself for just making the healthy choice of eating any fruit at all.

For breakfast, I ate a wholly unappetizing apple while my boyfriend grappled over the decision of whether he should have eggs and bacon or pancakes.

It was so unbelievably tempting that I immediately ate an orange and a handful of grapes while shooting him dirty looks.

It seemed that no matter how much I ate, I was never full. By noon, my stomach felt like it was being eroded from the inside out from the acidity of the fruit.

Two hours, an apple, some grapes and a plum later, I start to identify fruit as the enemy and began my statistics assignment. The next eight hours consisted of me staring at the walls, at my assignment and complaining with my roommate about how hungry we were, even degrading to a series of hunger groans at one point.

At 10 p.m. I realized that I was nowhere near done my stats assignment and almost had a mental breakdown. Normally statistics would not elicit emotions like that, but I honestly could not control myself. I went to bed that night feeling physically ill, mentally drained and slightly insane.

Day Two

I learned that celery is disgusting if eaten as anything more than a snack. I woke up exhausted, angry and starving and had to eat celery for breakfast because I was only allowed to eat non-starchy vegetables.

My roommate decided this would be a good time to quit the diet, and if I was smart I would have followed her lead. My classes were a blur because I was having such a hard time focusing, and I couldn’t even muster the energy to complete my homework. Let’s just say the rest of the day involved doing nothing but trying to convince myself not to quit the diet altogether.

What happened next was disgusting. At around 8 p.m., I lost the battle against my mind and ate a giant Mexican dinner. Immediately following, my roommate and I consumed massive quantities of junk food. I won’t go into details, but we probably wound up going through about 2,000 calories each.

For those of you who were wondering, it’s safe to say that I didn’t lose weight on this sadistic diet. I actually ended up gaining weight – most likely due to the half a pie I consumed. I learned that dieting not only affects your hunger levels, it affects your ability to focus and control of your emotions.

So if after this Thanksgiving you think that giving the master cleanse, cabbage soup or “Seven Day All-You-Can-Eat” diet a try, all I can say is good luck.

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