Afternoons spent at Tuanjiehu Park’s beach, lazy weekends poolside at the Splash Recreation Club, sweltering Beijing temperatures. It’s official – bikini season is here. Most women have, at some point or another, had the word “diet” flash in and out of their minds with every bikini season.
A healthy diet is a lifestyle change to healthy foods, increased exercise, and the occasional indulgence. Gradually, the weight will come off.
Or will it? New research shows that crash diets can be safe – and effective. But crash diets, a short period of low-calorie intake fueled by determination to get into that dress, seem to have all the markings of failure. Is it safe to eat so little? Won’t you gain the weight back after the diet? Professor Susan Roberts of nutrition and psychiatry at Tufts University says that “sensible, healthy crash diets actually do as well for long-term success as slow diets and, for some people, can actually work better.” For those who are frustrated with the snail-paced results of gradual dieting, crash diets can be more effective because results are quick and encourage the dieter to keep up the fight. Also, crash diets can be helpful to those who find it hard to resist the temptation of indulgent foods (chocolates, desserts…you know what I’m talking about). Cutting vices out completely, instead of attempting moderation in a gradual diet, takes heaps of calories out of your daily intake and lowers the chances of overeating.
Obviously, it’s key to choose the right kind of crash diet. Roberts advises never going below 1,200 calories a day for women (1,800 for men). And while exercise is important factor in weight loss, it doesn’t seem enough to rely on your morning workout to excuse overindulging. If you’re always pushing the start of your healthy diet and lifestyle to “tomorrow,” then perhaps it’s time to buckle down. Maybe in dieting, slow and steady doesn’t win the race.