Losing weight can make you gain weight [news]
Going on a crash diet to shed the pounds fast? Think again. Although the pounds will dwindle, so will your metabolic rate and most likely your lean body mass - which in the end is exactly what you don't want. "If you go on, say, a 900-calorie-a-day diet, you will have a hard time getting the nutrients you need," says Rebecca Mohning, a nutritionist. "Without the daily requirement of protein, you will break down your lean muscle mass." "Basically, the body will make sure it gets what it needs to function - and if it doesn't get what it needs from food, it will take what it needs from the muscles," says Virginia nutritionist Danielle Omar, who owns Foodconfidence.com. "It's not that smart when you consider that you are in essence eating away at your own muscle mass." And less lean muscle mass means you burn fewer calories - probably not what you were going for. You will also lower the body's basal metabolic rate (BMR) - the minimum amount of energy you need to keep the basic functions going (such as liver and brain function and breathing; breaking down food requires about 10 percent of the total BMR).