How Diets Change Your Body

Embarking on a weight loss program can be daunting, so many women look for a quick, easy jump start. Some quick weight loss programs work, but they are often too restrictive and hard to maintain, or they eliminate important nutrients our bodies need. Diets for fast weight loss can set you up for failure, pushing you off the wagon to weight loss and leaving you right back where you started.

Here are some of the side effects of quick weight loss plans:

A slower metabolism

When you use a diet that uses a calorie deficit to lose weight, research has shown that you may decrease the number of calories your body burns by up to 23 percent. And unfortunately, this metabolic damage can last. Researchers think a permanently slower metabolism may be one reason more than 80 percent of women regain the weight they lose on diets for fast weight loss. 1

When you eat fewer calories than normal, your body thinks it’s starving, so it tells your metabolism to put on the brakes. This metabolic damage and slowdown can last long after you’ve moved on from the calorie deficit diet, causing you to quickly put the weight back on. 4

Lost muscle

You work so hard in the Curves Circuit to strengthen and tone your body; you don’t want to lose the muscle you’ve gained. But if you try a calorie deficit diet to lose weight, you might sacrifice some of the fruits of your hard work, especially if that diet is low in protein. If you are using a calorie deficit diet for quick weight loss, make sure you’re eating the recommended amount of protein per day. Aim to get about 10 to 35 percent of your calories from protein. 2

Damage to heart health

Repetitively going on and off diets for fast weight loss can take a toll on your heart. These calorie deficit diets can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other conditions affecting the heart. Researchers at Columbia University found that women who had a history of diets for fast weight loss and weight cycling—commonly known as yoyo dieting—had an increased risk for cardiovascular risk factors compared to women who maintained their weight. 3

Unhealthy eating patterns

Restrictive diets for quick weight loss can set you up for cravings and binge eating. When you follow a diet that creates metabolic damage, when you go off the restrictive diet, you will be more likely to regain the weight you lost. This can lead to emotional eating. Over time, this can set you up for an unhealthy relationship with food. 5

Fatigue and irritability

The term “hangry” says it all — our diet really does affect our moods. When our bodies are deprived of the calories we need, we feel tired, sluggish, and irritable. 6


The Secret to Weight Loss—Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The message of this article is not to say that weight loss diet plans don’t work. They do! They just have to be done within the context of a healthy eating plan. When you follow a weight loss eating plan that lowers calories while preserving the nutrients your body needs—all while engaging in a regular full body workout—you will lose weight safely and keep it off. The key is adopting habits that are both effective and sustainable. Here are some tips for healthy weight loss:

  • Eat to increase your metabolism. You can do this by eating small, frequent meals.
  • Take a look at your current calorie intake and calculate the number of calories you should be taking in to start to lose weight. Your Curves Nutrition and Weight Management Coach can help.
  • Eat well. To stay healthy and lose weight, you have to make sure your body is getting the nutrients—in the right proportion—that it needs.

How Curves can help

When embarking on a weight loss program, getting started and staying motivated can be the most challenging parts. At Curves, we have designed the Curves Nutrition and Weight Management Program to help you every step of the way. This program will help you better understand nutrition and weight management, so you can adopt healthy eating habits you will keep for life. And the Curves Circuit will give you the full body workout you need to improve your wellbeing, stay strong and maintain a healthy weight long term.

For more information about Curves, visit



  1. 5 Ways Restricting Calories Can Be Harmful (
  2. Are you getting too much protein? – Mayo Clinic Health System
  3. Yo-Yo Dieting Linked to Heart Disease Risk in Women | Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  4. Metabolic Damage The Truth About Yo Yo Dieting – Pritikin Weight Loss Resort
  5. Weight loss: Gain control of emotional eating – Mayo Clinic
  6. 9 Signs That You’re Not Eating Enough (
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