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Can a Crash Diet Ever Be Healthy?

When it comes to losing weight, a crash diet is definitely not the best option. Many people prefer to follow crash diets, as they are unaware of the health risks associated with starvation diets, fad diets and other types of crash diet plans. In addition to health problems, you also risk regaining the weight you have lost as soon as you go off a crash diet.

How Do Crash Diets Work?

Most crash diets seem to work after just a few days. These diets tend to shock the body and send it into a starvation mode. Due to this, you tend to lose weight rapidly. However, you are not really losing any body fat. The body starts using carbohydrate glycogen for energy. As a result of the glycogen getting burnt, water from the body is also lost. This is how you happen to lose a lot of weight quickly.

Effects on Health

Crash diet plans include both short and long term health risks. Nutritional deficiency is generally the most common short term risk. The most common long term risk is osteoporosis. The body draws calcium from the bones to make up for lack of calcium in a crash diet. There are many other long term effects including damage to the heart, brain, kidney and other essential organs. Low calorie crash diets reduce the energy supply to vital organs. Without adequate energy to function, the body starts to burn tissues from the brain, kidney, heart, liver and other organs. This can eventually lead to a stroke, kidney or liver failure, and even heart attack.

Emotional Effects of Crash Diets

A crash diet can make you very moody. As the body doesn’t get the necessary nutrients to generate energy, you tend to feel lethargic, tired and irritable. Food cravings are also very common because the body does not get the minerals and vitamins essential for proper functioning. Crash dieting can also lead to eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia and depression. Many crash diet plans claim that certain food combinations can help in weight loss. However, the truth is that no such food combination can increase the metabolism rate to help in losing weight.

The Terrible Yo-Yo Effect

This is definitely the most common and undesired feature of any kind of crash diet. It is the body’s metabolism that causes this effect. A crash diet forces the body to think it is starving. The body responds to this by decreasing the metabolism and burns fewer calories. However, when you begin to eat normally again, you tend to gain weight more easily and it may take months or even years for the body to return to normalcy.

Crash diets can become a continuous cycle of quick weight loss followed by quick weight gain. This makes it important to follow a long term and healthy weight loss program, which includes adequate exercise and healthy meals.

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