“Crash diet”, the name itself has so many things wrong in it that it makes me shake my head! Sadly, the peer pressure in today’s world is too much. To keep up with the fit crowd people are losing money, sleep, and sanity. One thing proving hard to lose is the extra weight.
All crash diets have one thing in common: they are the most restrictive means of weight loss that you can follow. Typically, they involve severely cutting back on calories, leaving only 1,000 or even 500 calories per day. Often times they are paired with other "quick fixes" like juice cleansers, diuretics or diet pills. While the length of time varies from diet to diet, crash diets are meant for quick, short-term weight loss.
So how do crash diets work? Crash diets shock the body, sending it into starvation mode. The severe restriction in calories often appear to be working after only a few days, however, despite the rapid weight loss, the body is not solely burning fat as fuel. First, it utilizes the stored up supply of carbohydrates, in the form of glycogen. As your body utilizes glycogen, you lose water as well; generating what seems like significant weight loss within the first few days of the diet. even though the user of the diet sees some noticeable changes in weight loss there are some serious pitfalls.
- Nutritional deficiency: when you eat in such small amounts you are bound to miss out on important micro-nutrients. What are they? They are your all important vitamins and minerals. Our bodies are not meant to function without them. Also over time you might develop deficiency diseases. The diet designed to improve your health will actually end up harming you.
- Reduced metabolism: metabolism is a term that is used to describe all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism. In case of crash diets the body receives so little energy that the body goes into a shock, a state of emergency if you will. Your body slows down the metabolism so that it can carry out the important functions with such low calories. We often forget that we also need energy for our daily activities such as breathing, moving, excreting etc.
- Fat loss hits a plateau: This is a follow through effect of lower metabolism. Since metabolism slows down with crash diets, at one point fat loss halts. This is because the body will hold on to the fat, as it believes you are going through a famine. Fat is actually needed to maintain good health.
- Emotional downturns: Humans are social beings. Crash diets can actually impact relationships. When we eat lesser than required, we tend to be constantly tired, lethargic and irritated. So, the inevitable will happen. You might be in a crash diet but you will not be the only one suffering.
- Unattractive physique: I know it’s a heart-breaker. You have done so much of dieting to lose weight, look attractive and be with that fit crowd but crash diets leave you looking all pale and skinny. That's not really what we were looking to achieve. People who inspire us to be fit live discipline lives in terms of food choices. But they are anything but underfed.
These were just some of the problems with crash diets. Prolonged crash diets is not a healthy choice and never a healthy option. The answer is eating in moderation. Eat everything within your calorie needs and stay sociable and happy.