What’s The Problem With Crash Diets?

losing-weightThere are many desperate individuals who go on a crash diet hoping they can lose a lot of weight very quickly.  Maybe in the past they were able to successfully lose weight with this kind of plan.  Perhaps they heard about some new diet that a celebrity used to lose weight quickly.  So what’s the problem with crash diets?  Why do they tend to have bad reputations?

The biggest problem that crash diets have is that any weight loss that is achieved is nearly always temporary.  When you switch to a restricted diet suddenly, your body’s response is to store less water.  So you are less bloated and do lose some weight.  You are thinner, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost fat.  After you finish the diet, any weight that you lost has a tendency to come right back.

You might of course lose some fat as well, depending on what diet you follow and how long you are on it.  However, quite frequently your body will go into starvation mode when you are on one of these diets.  Your body thinks that a famine is taking place, and that it needs to slow the metabolism down and store fat as much as it possibly can to protect against hard times in the future.  When you consume more food, even healthy ones, your famine metabolism might persist.  Then can result in your body gaining some or even all the weight that your lost back.

There is also the psychological effects of going off a crash diet.  This might be due to planning to end the diet or it could be out of desperation when you are right in the middle of dieting.  Either way can result in overeating.  Just this reason by itself can result in individuals following crash diets discovering that several months later they weigh more than before they went on the crash diet.

Also, crash diets can cause some significant health issues.  First of all, diets focusing on fast weight lost usually are quite restrictive in terms of the kinds of foods you are allowed to eat.  Many foods (or even entire food groups) are cut out.  Over the long term, that isn’t something you can do without suffering from the deficiencies that this causes.  Over the short term, it isn’t healthy for your body either.

Many crash diets won’t provide you with all of the nutrients that your body needs to have.  You can take supplements.

However, many supplements do rely on substances that are contained in food in order for them to effectively work.  Nutrient deficiencies can result in cravings.  This makes it more difficult to stay on your diet.  You are also more likely to break your diet by binge eating.  You can also get too much of some nutrients.  This isn’t healthy either.

In summary, crash diets are only a temporary solution at best.  For example, if you are wanting to lose a small amount of weight before attending a specific event, and you aren’t worried about gaining the weight back or even more after going off the diet.  The healthiest option to lose weight is making changes to your eating so that you lose weight slowly. Think about healthy low calorie desserts to help with your weight loss. It shouldn’t completely ban any foods and should allow you to have treats occasionally.  Over the long term, individuals following crash diets are much more likely to add on more weight instead of losing it.

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