Starvation Dieting

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Q: As a fat child I starved myself to be thin and went from a size 16 to a size 8. I loved my new life but put on some weight to see if it would make my boobs grow.

Unfortunately, it got out of control and I gained 2 stone.

Now, at the age of 19, I’m fat again and this time the weight won’t come off.

I run 30 miles a week, do loads of toning exercises, go to the gym four times a week and have tried eating less, but nothing works.

I don’t like leaving the house anymore and haven’t been out since Christmas.

Has starving myself in the past made it impossible for me to lose weight now?

A: It sounds as though you’ve had problems getting to grips with your size and shape since childhood. So before you do anything else, I think you should deal with this, especially as it’s got to the point where you’re feeling so miserable you’ve stopped going out.

I recommend you see your GP as soon as possible and explain how unhappy your weight has made you feel over the years, including the present time. Your GP will then be able to refer you to someone who can help you deal with your weight worries by talking things through.

With help, you can learn to feel comfortable with your body and find a weight that’s not only healthy for your height, but one that you’re also able to maintain.

As you’ve already discovered, starving yourself isn’t the best way to get – and keep – a slim, toned and healthy body.

In contrast, a combination of sensible eating and exercising will help you achieve this.

Fortunately, starving yourself in the past shouldn’t have made it impossible for you to get and stay in great shape again. You’ll find more information about the effects of starvation dieting here.

In the meantime, until you’ve seen your GP, I suggest you stop thinking about dieting and losing weight and instead concentrate on eating a healthy, balanced diet that contains a wide range of foods.

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