You decide to go on a diet, trying to shed just a few pounds or a maybe large fraction of your weight. Why do this?
Our bodies evolved to face a natural world with food scarcity and occasional bounty. Our stomachs are large and our bodies can accumulate large amounts of fat that can support us during the lean times, and even to support the growth of a baby to term despite the scarcity of food.
However, if we live in the developed world in the XXI century, there are no times of scarcity. A visit to Costco can supply enough calories to support a small Iron Age village for a couple of months.
What is the result? Unless you have grown up with excellent eating habits and don’t like ice cream or pasta, you may have gained a large amount of fat stored in the body that you will never get to use. In a body that did not evolve to live with so much fat for so long, many health problems will arise: diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, acid reflux, heart disease and more. Moving around will become harder and the knees will hurt, arthritis may follow.
You and your doctor may decide that, if you want to live a few more years or just increase the quality of your life, you need to shed some or a lot of weight. If you are determined and disciplined, you may achieve enough weight loss to take you back to a healthier body just by eating less and exercising more. In the end, it is a matter of how many calories you ingest as compared to how many you use.
There are many reasons why diet may not be enough to lose the weight you need to lose. And, worse, you may have failed at diets many times, recovering lost weight and even getting some extra back. In the end, you may be one of the many Americans that decide to go for bariatric surgery. This is not an easy way out: it is expensive, recovery from surgery and the changes it produces takes time and in the end, you still have to eat much less. A surgically reduced stomach does not ensure weight loss, it only makes it somewhat easier to eat less calories, because your digestive system will tell you (clearly!) when you must stop eating.
Your skin on a “terribly strict” diet
Your skin is the last thing you will think of when you go for a diet that may cut your calorie intake from more than 2,000 Calories per day to 800 or even less. You will have other worries (“should I eat this or not?”).
Unfortunately, it is not just you who will forget about your skin. Your body will forget about your skin. With so few calories, and usually with low availability of vitamins, your skin will be forgotten in favor of heart, kidneys, etc.
Would you be interested to find out what will happen to your skin in the months that follow this huge change in diet? I think you should be interested, because it has long term implications for your skin, nails and hair.
In the best of times, our skin is not a priority in the distribution of nutrition and vitamins, and the time of scarcity, symptoms of deficiency will be felt. If you were not paying attention, your skin will start claiming attention.
You have to maintain a high level of protein intake during your diet, this is paramount to your overall health. Otherwise you may lose too much of your muscle mass, too much of your bone, etc. But of the protein you ingest, little if anything will reach your skin. What are the consequences? Here is the list: itchy and dry skin, aged appearance, reddish areas and hypopigmentation, follicular hyperkeratosis (excessive accumulation of keratin in hair follicles, resulting in rough and elevated papules), cracking of the corners of your mouth (angular chelitis) and more. Your will also notice brittle, slow growing nails. Your hair will become brittle, dull and thin. You may even notice graying, and your hair will grow very slowly.
What is going on? Your skin is starving. Starving of nutrients, vitamins and minerals; the nutrients missing are amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, essential and otherwise, vitamins, everything. Your skin does not get the wherewithal to do its job
What to do?
For your skin: dream cream, collagen serum. ELS (every lipid serum) is vital!
For your hair: Skin Actives hair serum
For your eyebrows and eyelashes: eye brows and eye lashes serum
For your nails: nails serum duo.