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We hate to hear that we’re ‘fat’, ‘podgy’, ‘overweight’, ‘lard arse’. But let’s all be honest, in a culture where having the fat percentage of a carrot is deemed the norm, it’s hardly surprising that 13 year old girls, who are just beginning to get into the swing of puberty and tend to be a little heavier and chunky due to them not actually yet shooting up in height measure off the BMI chart scale. Surely doctors must know that breast tissue weighs more than fat, and that muscle on a shorter person makes them look larger than they really are.

Be honest. Who knows of anyone who has a body to rival Brad Pitt or Eva Longoria? There aren’t many that can. However in a world that is so aesthetically driven, we who don’t look like we’ve just stepped off the catwalk of a La Perla show are pressured (unhealthily) to fit in to the (tiny) box that these blessed few fit into.

This is where crash dieting comes in. They work, don’t get me wrong, but only in moderation, and only for so long. They are brilliant for a week or so after Christmas, just to get your digestive system cleared out, the high fruit and veg ones are great for boosting the immune system too. But too much of a good thing is bad for you.

We’ve all heard the song about all the bones being connected, well, your internal organs are all connected too, with the blood stream being the motorway connecting them all.

So what happens when we lose weight? It’s basic science. We burn more calories than we consume and over time our bodies shrink in mass. When we crash diet, we shrink in size dramatically and quickly, but on the inside, the organs are still the same size as they were when we began.

Think of it like putting a large fish into a tank that’s too small. Eventually it will suffocate due to not having enough oxygen or space.

The idea of cleanses, detoxes, shift 1 stone in 1 week diets, is that you follow them for only 1 – 2 weeks. They are designed to get the ball rolling and to motivate you to make better choices and to gradually lose weight healthily.

Being underweight is just as bad, and the heart, which is essentially a pump, if too big for the body will send blood pressure soaring. The same works in reverse, if you suddenly find yourself overweight after being very slim, the heart will be smaller and blood pressure will drop.

There are also the effects on your liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, ovaries, testes. They all go through the same thing on one side of the coin or the other. Simply put, if you are losing (or gaining) weight, the only true, tried and tested method of doing so safely while actually doing your body a favour is to do it the long, hard way. Meaning you need to eat well, move more and resort to fad diets only for 2 weeks at the very max.

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