Diets and Supplements

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Information on Diets and Supplements

It is common knowledge that it is unsafe to diet without taking supplementary vitamins. People have died from dieting too rigorously without vitamins, whereas a number of cases have been reported where patients in hospital have sustained near starvation diets for months on end, successfully and with the aid of vitamin supplementation.

During fasting and, indeed, any reduction in calorie intake below the body's natural requirements, the body is forced to live on its own resources. Energy requirements for maintaining normal body functions such as respiration, digestion, absorption and assimilation have to be carried out regardless of where the fuel comes from. This basal metabolism is an essential process which will resume regardless of whether we are asleep or awake. On top of the energy requirements for maintaining the normal body, comes the need for energy to work and play. There are many factors affecting the rate of basal metabolism. The larger the body surface the greater the energy requirement to keep it warm. However, women need less calories to keep warm in comparison to men, because of their higher proportion of body fat. Basal metabolism can also be reduced through starvation, sleep, some diseases and environmental factor, such as cold climate. Our energy requirements will be increased when we exercise, suffered from certain diseases, environmental factor, such as in hot weather and the type of food we consume. The energy requirements for our normal bodies are not the same for everyone. Certain people may need less or more energy to perform the same tasks than others do. But the fact remains that, during starvation or dieting, these energy requirements have to be maintained by the body's own resources, hence weight is lost.

Our body's needs are not simply calorific. Protein, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids and enzymes are also important for our normal daily activity. Whenever we go on a diet, whereby calorie intake is reduced, it is essential that the diet be supplemented with vitamins so that our body will not be depleted of its day-to-day needs, leaving the whole body system more vulnerable to infection and stress.

 

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