Most people think that extreme calorie-cutting diets are the key to keeping your waistline in check.
While the age-old "starvation diet" seems to be a pretty effective fix at first, you might be surprised to know that slashing a lot of calories from your diet can actually wreak havoc on your figure in the long run.
Remember when we introduced you to Madalin Frodsham?
You know, the fitness blogger who debunked the calorie-restriction debacle with her side-by-side Instagram photos?
Well, it turns out she's not the only person out there who's living proof starvation diets don't work.
Sara Puhto recently posted a side-by-side photo on Instagram that shows her body at 119 pounds on a diet of less than 1,000 calories versus her body at about 125 pounds on a diet of 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.
The 20-year-old revealed her extreme calorie-cutting diet left her going to bed with hunger pains. It even caused her to binge-eat anything she could get her hands on, and that would cause more physical pain.
Sara wrote on Instagram, "This mindset was so messed up, I thought I would be happy if I ate less, weighed less and hit my goal weight of 110 pounds. But the less I ate the more unhappy I got with myself..."
"I had no control over how I was eating because my body was constantly in starvation mode or too full to function. I was gaining weight from fat from all the junk food I was binging..."
"...I was so devastated — I didn't understand why eating less wasn't working. I thought I wasn't strong because I couldn't go a few days without binging."
This past January, Sara realized she needed to make a serious lifestyle change and decided to go vegan.
After doing some research, Sara made the shocking discovery that eating fewer than 1,500 calories per day puts your body into starvation mode, which only makes you crave more sugar and junk food.
So, Sara upped her calorie intake, keeping it between 2,000 and 3,000 calories, and she ditched the calorie-counting apps once and for all.
In no time, Sara found that eating more gave her the ability to push herself harder during her workouts, and as a result, she started losing fat and gaining muscle.
Sara now weighs around 125 pounds, and although she's about 15 pounds above her initial goal weight...
...it's not hard to see this inspiring gal looks and feels better than ever.
According to Sara, "I don't let numbers dictate how I feel about myself anymore. I just go on how I feel mentally, and I feel amazing! I finally feel like I have a healthy relationship with food.
If one thing's for sure, it's that Sara's outstanding transformation is yet another real-life example that health can't always be measured by the numbers on the scale.