Crash diet – Why a crash diet is a bad idea


A crash diet is a shortcut to weight loss. You may find many websites on the Internet that assure you of a dramatic weight loss in few days. People fall prey to such crash diets in the desperate hope of losing weight. You may wonder why these crash diets are bad when they give you results.  What many of us fail to realize is that 80%–90% of this lost weight is actually just water that will return to the body each time it re-hydrates.

The simple weight loss mantra is to consume fewer calories than the amount your burn through out the day. Diets that lead to rapid weight loss are very low in calories, and often miss out on providing important nutrients. This may lead to health problems in the long run.

What is a crash diet?

A “crash diet” is a type of diet that aims to produce very rapid weight loss in an extremely short period of time, often in around 3-7 days. A crash diet almost always operates on extreme calorie restriction.

What are the effects of Crash diet?

Here are the effects that crash diet can have on your body and on your health:

  • Metabolism is lowered: Along with loss of muscle, the low calorie diet results in a lowered metabolism. The starvation mode makes your metabolism go into an almost sleep-like state. Eating five to six small meals per day helps in keeping the metabolism up.
    • Fat is stored: While you crash diet, your body goes into starvation mode and it stores your fat and burns your muscle. Your muscle burns calories, so when your fat is stored up, it makes it harder to lose weight. Here is an article that will tell you how to burn fat .
    • Psychological effect: Crash diets have an extremely harsh effect on your overall mental and emotional health. Not only does a crash diet wreak havoc with your mood but it also leads to extreme food cravings. You may end up feeling more irritable or depressed than usual when you are on a crash diet. Crash diet can also set people up for eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia and other mental disorders.
    • Gallstones: Crash diet has been linked to the development of gallstones. With the change involved with the lack of nutrients to your body, your bile slats and cholesterol get out of whack and you end up with the risk of developing gallstones.
    • Threat to vital organs: Vital organs like heart, kidneys, brain and liver depend on your intake of calories from carbs to perform their day-to-day functions. A crash diet eliminates carbs from your food. When these organs are deprived of necessary calorie, they begin to burn muscle tissues to be able to perform their functions.
    • Dehydration: Everyone knows that your body requires lots of water, so when you deprive your body of food, you end up depriving your body of much needed water. Many foods are rich in water content, like fruits, and when they are lacking from your diet, dehydration can set in.
    • Osteoporosis: Long-term crash dieters frequently suffer from osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones in your body to become extremely brittle. This is because fast crash diets severely limit your intake of calcium. As a result, calcium begins to leach out of the bones in your body, leaving them particularly fragile. Many crash dieters suffer broken bones, particularly hips and wrists, as a result of their osteoporosis. Some foods should be avoided for better bone health.
    • Hair loss: Long term crash dieting can result in hair loss. Due to the lack of vitamins and minerals that your body receives through a healthy diet, your hair can become terribly brittle and fall out. Food is rich in vitamins and minerals, and when you keep them away from your body, it effects your hair, nails, and even the color of your skin.

What should I do?

Follow a balanced diet plan which is customized for you. For a balanced eating plan to be successful, you need to:

      • Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits
      • Eat plenty of cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles), preferably wholegrain
      • Include lean meat, fish, poultry or alternatives
      • Include milk, yogurt, cheeses or alternatives
      • Drink plenty of water
      • Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
      • Choose reduced fat varieties of foods where possible
      • Choose foods low in salt
      • Limit your alcohol intake, if you choose to drink
      • Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars

Starving yourself to lose weight is not enjoyable and takes the fun out of eating. Eating should be enjoyable not stressful. The only way to lose weight is to do it slowly, with a balanced diet.

Lose weight the right way and forget about going on a crash diet !

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  1. erin says

    I am 5ft tall and I weigh 136 pounds. I have gained this weight after marriage, could there be any specific reason and I need to go on a diet I can follow with my busy family life.

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