Dangerous Weight Loss Methods That Could Destroy Your Metabolism

Metabolism plays an important role in how quickly your body burns calories. Unfortunately, “boosting” your metabolism isn’t as simple as many make it seem. Falling for effective weight loss methods could actually cause you serious harm.

Beware of these dangerous weight loss methods that could ruin your metabolism forever.

Avoiding entire food groups

Paleo diet products on wooden table

Everything is okay in moderation. | iStock.com/Magone

Many people avoid fruit because it has “too much sugar.” Some shun grains and ignore vegetables completely. However, without produce and other plant foods, you’re depriving your body of a nutrient it needs to help you lose weight and maintain its metabolic rate: fiber. According to Healthline, a specific type of fiber, as part of a nutritious diet, proves essential for weight loss and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Don’t cut foods out of your diet unless you’re allergic to them, or know how to replace the nutrients you’ll lose by eating something else instead.

Giving up animal proteins

Cheese plate served with wine, jam, and honey

Do you really want to give up the cheese that goes with your wine? | iStock.com/DmitryLityagin

There’s nothing wrong with a plant-based diet. But if you don’t replace the protein you normally get from meat, fish, and dairy with enough protein from plants, your body won’t respond the way you’re hoping it will. A high-protein diet allows your body to burn more energy, build more muscle, and helps you avoid excess fat storage. It not only helps regulate your metabolism — it also promotes weight loss. Eggs, meat, fish, and cheese are not forbidden foods. Don’t miss out on one of the most important nutrients.

Saying no to fatty foods

Grilled avocados filled with diced tomatoes

There is such thing as “good” and “bad” fats. | iStock.com/StephanieFrey

Fat doesn’t make you fat — but saying no to fat actually could. In fact, losing too much fat, on top of restricting dietary fat, can be extremely risky. You need fat to stay healthy. Without it, your metabolism will slow down significantly to preserve as much of your stored fat as possible. Healthy fats are extremely important, but some saturated fats, like those found in dairy and other animal proteins, are fine in moderate amounts.

Eating ‘diet’ foods

Set of different foods on the old wooden background

“Diet” foods are not nearly as healthy as whole foods. | iStock.com/iprachenko

According to Healthline, it likely takes less energy to “digest” processed junk foods than whole foods high in protein and lower in calories. This means, metabolically, you’re burning fewer calories after eating than you normally would. Diet snack foods, realistically, aren’t any better for you than full-fat or calorie-dense snacks. Relying too much on these foods to lose weight can actually backfire.

Working out too much

Woman relaxing after workout

Working yourself to exhaustion is not recommended. | iStock.com

Working out can increase your metabolism, but overdoing it can decrease the rate at which your body burns calories. Exercising more doesn’t guarantee you’ll lose weight, especially if you don’t also change your eating habits. Even then, depriving yourself of essential nutrition — even unintentionally — can also negatively impact your metabolism. They really do mean it when they say moderation matters.

Going on a juice cleanse

Glasses with fresh vegetable juices

Your body will start to seriously lack nutrients on this cleanse. | iStock.com/monticelllo

No amount of solid food or liquid calories can speed up your metabolism, Livestrong.com warns. Only physical activity can do that. Even worse, if you take a juice cleanse too far, you could end up completely wrecking your metabolism altogether. Your body needs a healthy balance of nutrients from a variety of foods. Are fruits and vegetables healthy? Yes. But drinking too much sugar and shunning protein isn’t.

Restricting calories

loaf of fresh banana bread being sliced

You need calories for energy! | iStock.com

Body fat is an important part of your energy stores — it’s what gives you fuel after you burn through all your carbs. Not eating enough calories can not only result in fat loss, weight loss, and a slow metabolism, but muscle loss, too. This can be extremely dangerous, especially considering your heart is the most important muscle you have.

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