We are awestruck with the way Shilpa Shetty or Disha Patni look. Hell, we want to look like them. But what we tend to forget is that they don’t just work out but they also eat right and healthy.

Today, with the prevalence of gym culture and higher awareness about healthy eating, we know we can attain those curves and a well-sculpted body. Having said that, it’s no joke to reach that level of perfection as you have to dedicatedly work out on a regular basis. But getting that dream body doesn’t mean you indulge in extreme dieting.

The high cost of going fat to fit in an instant
There is no magical quick fix for fitness and health. In the quest of a toned body, women fall prey to fad diets. They start looking for instant solutions that claim to take them from fat to fit. The claim is not untrue, but little do we realise that transformation from such crash diets comes at a high cost.

Crash diets comprise of low-calorie foods, liquid diets, and a lot of starvation, which can bring your weight crashing down in a matter of a few weeks. Apart from making you feel irritable and tired, these have many serious side effects. And your health can go for a toss. Scroll down to know how:

1. Your metabolic rate drops and you become prone to muscle wear and tear
Extreme dieting increases the rate of muscle breakdown. Muscle breakdown is good but only if it is under control and leaves room for muscle repair (muscle hypertrophy). Lower muscle mass leads to a lower metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn while resting. So, while losing weight entails a high metabolism, crash dieting lowers it further. This is not healthy for the body and can eventually result in weight gain. Also, muscle wear and tear will invite more trouble for you.

2. No food means no nutrients and a weak immune system
A low-calorie diet minimizes your fat consumption. This can restrict the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K. Thus, you tend to lose out on a lot of minerals and vitamins which are essential to your body’s health. Ultimately, weakening your immune system over time and make you prone to deadly diseases.

3. Heart diseases, gut problems, and much more
Hell no! Unhappy and petite is the worst combination you can go for. Crash diets do this to you. Apart from the above menace, crash diets can also trigger heart problems, disturb your bowel habits, and lower your energy levels. No one wants that right?
So clearly, crash diets are not the way forward. They can make your exercise sessions meaningless. Then what’s the solution? Well, a balanced diet is the answer to your question.

But since every individual is different, how would you know what is “balanced” for you?
The first thing that you need to do is chart out your food intake as per your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). To calculate this figure, you need to consider factors such as your activity level, age, height, weight, sex, and basal metabolic rate. Once you know your TDEE, you can follow a diet based on balanced nutrition. Or discuss it with a direction for a more professional approach. Also, it will help you stay away from binge eating that’s actually responsible for weight gain.

Protein is the key to the chiseled body you always desire for

It is no secret that one needs food to survive. The human diet is composed of three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Of these, protein sustains the energy levels of the body for a longer duration.

In other words, proteins have a high thermic effect of food (T.E.F). They break down into amino acids, which act like building blocks and facilitate muscle repair and reconstruction. When you consume protein post-workout, the broken down muscle goes on to grow stronger and better. This helps in your journey to becoming fitter and healthier.

The key to right fitness lies in a regular exercise routine along with a balanced diet and proper sleep. Magic potions and crash diets can scar you for life and overdoing in some extreme cases can also lead to sudden death.

Going slow but steady with a balanced routine is way better to do it. Having said that, there is indeed no gain without pain and anything promising instant results is just a gimmick.

Remember the golden rule – looking healthy is not equivalent to looking thin. If you look petite and you pant while climbing stairs then it is of no use. So, eat right, sleep well and stay healthy forever.