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Diet Tricks That Backfire


Weight-loss shortcuts aren't as effective as you may think. Here are the ones that never work and the strategies you can depend on.

The Trick: Purging After A Big Meal

Why It Doesn't Work: Girls who purge (vomit) usually eat a lot of food beforehand because they think they'll expel the calories by throwing up. In reality, they lose only a small fraction of them and ultimately gain weight.

Why It's Bad For You: Purging causes dehydration, which makes a person feel tired and dizzy. Also, forceful vomiting may tear the esophagus, and stomach acid can erode tooth enamel and cause decay.

The Trick: Counting Every Calorie

Why It Doesn't Work: Watching each tiny calorie can lead to labeling fattening foods "off-limits," which can make a girl feel deprived. This may cause her to crave - then overeat - those very foods, and she'll likely gain weight.

Why It's Bad For You: Girls who are hyperaware of calories label low-calorie foods "good" and high-calories "bad," and tend to feel guilty when they eat "bad" foods. This can develop into an eating disorder.

The Trick: Juice Fasting A Few Days

Why It Doesn't Work: Fasting causes you to lose more muscle weight than fat. For many, this ultimately slows metabolism, since muscle burns more calories than fat - so you'll regain the weight when you start eating again.

Why It's Bad For You: During a juice fast, you're not getting a full range of nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, and fat. As a result, you may feel tired and dazed, and won't be able to concentrate as well.

 

Tactics That Do Work

These Strategies Are Safe And Effective

Sleep 8 to 9 Hours

Sleep helps your body make less of the hunger hormone, so you naturally won't eat as much.

Eat Protein At Each Meal

Protein takes longer to digest than fats and carbs, so fewer calories will keep you full.

Hide Fatty Sugary Food

Just looking at food triggers the appetite, so stash treats like chips and candy out of sight.

Cosmetic Procedures Like Mesotherapy

How It Works

A concoction of medication and vitamins is injected directly into the layer of fat just beneath the skin. Once injected, this concoction `melts' away the fat.

Does It Help?

"Mesotherapy is clinically well established for spot reduction of fat," says expert. It's more to remove inches from trouble areas, rather than to slim the whole body. You may need up to seven treatments to achieve the desired body contour, and this should be combined with exercise and a healthy diet for optimum results.

Side Effects

Bruising, swelling and soreness can last a few days after treatment.

Best For

Those with deep pockets.

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