Every bride wants to look her absolute best on the wedding day and the pressure of looking good in photographs, getting complements from the guests and fitting into the wedding dress can compel women to take drastic measures to lose weight from going on extreme diets to doing long, grueling hours of cardio in a desperate attempt to shed as many pounds as possible before the big day arrives.
Although, maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in light to moderate physical activity is often recommended to look and feel your absolute best while walking down the aisle, extreme yo-yo dieting to drop a few dress sizes within a short period of time can have several long and short-term effects on your health.
You Can Suffer from Hair Loss
Going on an extreme diet can have an extremely negative impact on your health – and your hair is often the first to sustain the damage. Dermatologists explain how dieting can restrict the hair’s growth cycle and cause it to shed out due to nutrient deficiency.
Almost 10 per cent of our hair is always in the telogen phase where it stops growing and falls out. This means that it is completely normal to lose 50 to 150 hair every day, but extreme diets or stress can put as much as 30 per cent of our hair in the telogen phase, causing excessive hair fall. This cycle isn’t permanent which means that as soon as you stop dieting, your hair starts growing back normally.
Your Skin Can Start Showing Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies
Yo-yo dieting may help you shed extra pounds quickly, but its long-term implications will become visible on your face – and not in a way you’d want. Cutting out food groups from your diet and restricting calorie consumption will result in nutrient deficiencies which directly affect your skin.
These effects will vary depending on which nutrients your body lacks and how long you have been adhering to the diet. A low-protein diet can cause itchy, rough skin whereas vitamin A deficiency can change the color of the skin and cause easy bruising.
Extreme Diets Can Destroy Your Metabolism
Dieting isn’t just bad for your hair and skin, it also destroys your metabolism and gut health thereby weakening your body’s immune system. Research has proven that food restriction results in growth of harmful gut bacteria which can cause problems in the intestinal tract.
A healthy gut with plenty of good bacteria is the basis of a strong immune system and regular bowel movements which is why a diet rich in probiotic foods is essential. Nutritionists suggest that instead of eliminating foods from your diet, incorporate more fresh fruits, vegetables and fermented foods like sauerkraut to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Your Fertility May be Affected
Doctors say that one in every ten infertility cases is caused by weight fluctuation which means that losing weight too quickly can be just as dangerous for your health as becoming overweight. Women need a greater percentage of fat in their body, in comparison to men, because of their hormone production.
If there isn’t a sufficient percentage of fat present in the body, the hormonal balance is disrupted which can delay or permanently damage the ovulation cycle. The impact of dieting on healthy women with normal weight and regular periods, isn’t as drastic as long as they maintain a balanced diet and lose weight slowly.
Situation becomes dangerous when too much weight is being lost or put on in a short period of time – which is often what happens in yo-yo dieting – and can turn on body’s starvation mode whereby it shuts off all the unnecessary operations including reproduction. Women whose body fat percentage falls below normal are unable to produce estrogen, a key hormone for ovulation, which affects their ability to reproduce.
It doesn’t make sense for brides-to-be to crash diet before their big day simply to fit into a smaller wedding dress. Even though they may be able to lose some weight by starving themselves, most of it is due to loss of muscle and water which they quickly gain back once they get back into their normal eating routine.