Cabbage Soup ≠ Bikini Body

Summer is fast approaching, which means it will be time to get out the bathing suits and short shorts!

And who doesn’t begin to feel a little insecure after a long winter of bundling up?

Before you start getting ready to bare your “bikini body” on the beach, AFC Urgent Care wants to know:

How do you feel about crash diets? 

For those who have never tried one, a crash diet is when you dramatically cut your calorie intake and restrict the variety of foods you eat for a short period of time, with the goal of losing weight quickly.

By cutting your calorie and nutrient intake abruptly and then allowing your intake to go back to normal, the hope is that instead of a long-term change in your eating habits, you can achieve weight loss with just a few weeks of starvation.

Unfortunately, that’s rarely how it turns out.

During a crash diet, most people will experience the typical symptoms of starvation, including lightheadedness, fatigue, constipation, loss of coordination, irritability and extreme hunger. This is the “crash” part of the diet; your body is trying to conserve as much energy as it can, so its response is to prevent the unnecessary burning of calories. Your body’s starvation response begins within a couple of days of starting your crash diet, after your body burns through its stores of quick energy in the form of glycogen. That’s when your body will begin burning fat and muscle for energy to make up for the deficit. Your metabolism slows to a crawl, and it becomes harder to lose weight as your body clings to every calorie and nutrient you consume.

And here’s the kicker: any weight you lose over the course of your crash diet is highly likely to come back.

According to Darcy Johanssen, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, any weight you drop during a crash diet is likely to be a mix of water weight, fat and muscle, and water and fat will return the fastest. This could have long-term implications for your health, since muscle is harder to replace.

Additionally, there is evidence that your metabolism remains slower for a period of time after your crash diet ends, which could cause you to regain even more weight. Some studies have also shown that repeated crash diets can affect your insulin sensitivity, leading to a greater risk of metabolic disorders or diabetes.

If the word “crash” in the name wasn’t enough to convince you, hopefully these facts are. Crash diets might seem like a good idea over the short term, but they are bad for your long-term health and weight management.

Instead, give our doctors here at AFC Urgent Care in Memphis a visit to discuss building a sustainable plan to manage your weight and keep your body ready for “bikini season” all year long!

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4 Things To Know About Holiday Party Survival

This year, about 50 percent of people in the United States will attend at least one holiday party. For about half of us, our employer will host a party for us. About 20 percent of us will even host our own.

With those numbers, it’s easy to see a lot of potential pitfalls ahead. So don’t let yourself get caught off-guard, read this guide to see how you can be happy and healthy all holiday season long!

1. If you’re watching what you eat, a holiday party can be an exercise in torture. A single piece of brie on toast can be more than 100 calories, and who could possibly eat just one? Nearly 40 percent of Americans say that the most stressful part of the holiday season is gaining weight, and it’s not hard to see why. But you can prevent a lot of the damage to your diet by planning ahead. If you know a party is going to have a lot of calorie-dense foods or that dinner is going to be served late, eat a healthy snack or small meal before you arrive. That way, the heavier amuse-bouches won’t be as tempting. You can also fill your plate up with lighter fare, like shrimp and vegetables. These will fill you up without filling you out, which can take a big holiday stressor off your mind.

2. Going off that point, it can be just as tough to limit your drinks during these parties, whether it’s because you want to have more fun, calm your nerves, or avoid peer pressure. But it can quickly get out of hand and the last thing you want is to have your wild night broadcast over Facebook or be the subject of water cooler gossip. To avoid having too much, volunteer to drive, and after one or two drinks, start drinking cranberry and soda with no alcohol so you have something to hold. And if the party is during the week, make it to work the next day. Your boss can easily find out what you were up to the night before by looking at anything you posted on social media, and you don’t want word to get around about your party animal tendencies.

3. At potluck-style meals, there are a lot of precautions you should consider taking to make the events safe and healthy for everyone. First, include the list of ingredients for any dish you prepare, so anyone with allergies knows immediately whether or not they can eat it. When serving the dishes, make sure there are serving utensils available so people don’t have to touch food with their hands, potentially spreading germs. Make sure hand sanitizer and hand soap are always readily available and encourage everyone to use it. And if you are sick, medications like Theraflu can speed up the recovery process and get you back onto the social scene as soon as possible.

4. Consider the preferences of your host when choosing a host gift. If they choose not to drink alcohol, a bottle of wine is probably not the most appropriate gift. Same goes for any dietary restrictions they may have. If you don’t know the person very well, easy gifts include flowers, a coffee table book, or a gift card in a small amount.

The holidays can be a whirlwind of activity, from preparing to travel, getting shopping done, finishing up end-of-year projects at work and any number of other tasks.

With this list of survival tips, we at AFC/Doctors Express hope to get rid of some of that stress, so you can focus on what’s really important, enjoying your holiday!

 

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