What is a Crash Diet?
Crash diet refers to any kind of diet plan that allows you to lose weight fast in a brief period via restrictive food intake. Crash diets essentially involves very low calorie consumption that might lead to starving oneself. The mechanism tends to show rapid results at the beginning; however, it isn’t long before the side effects outweigh the fleeting benefits.
The military diet, juice diet and 7-day detox diet are a few examples of crash diet plans. The controversial Keto diet could make the list, but it doesn’t usually sit well with many people. Each of these crash diets could be tempting if you are looking to lose 2 to 10 pounds in a few days.
Why do people commit to Crash Diets?
Crash diets are obviously no fun, so why do people get invested? For some reason, people from every nation across the globe are obsessed with losing weight fast through minimum effort. Starving oneself for a couple of days sounds a lot more appealing and doable than adopting a healthier lifestyle and getting fit at a normal pace. People are willing to commit to a short-lived harsh crash diet because they get to go back to unhealthy eating habits afterwards – this is strangely relatable to modern relationships.
Human psychology is bizarre – we don’t want to look good all the time for self-satisfaction. Dieting is something that hovers over our consciousness when we want to look perfect on a special occasion just to impress people who do not matter other days. Many individuals go ballistic over losing weight before an important public event, such as a wedding ceremony or a reunion bash. They are expecting to see people they haven’t met in a long time, so the goal is to embody a younger and slimmer version of oneself.
Famous persons in the entertainment industry are used to crash diets, as they often need to lose weight in order to qualify for a role or bag a gig. The transition is temporary, which totally fits their agenda. People who follow these celebs are inclined to try the diets they rave about, even though it isn’t even slightly rational for their lifestyle.
How do Crash diets Work?
The crash diet works on the phenomenon that you burn more than you consume. This implies that your daily physical exertion remains constant while your food intake is cut down. If you are going to eat fewer calories, but also become idler than normal, the crash diet may not work. Restrictive diets, especially those that contain negligible to none carb content, push the body to utilize glycogen reserves in the liver and muscles.
Glycogen is stored in water three times its weight, which is why its breakdown can lead to a loss of 4-5 pounds within days. When you resume to normal meals that are enriched with greater calories, glycogen and water recover rapidly and therefore, the lost weight returns. In order to lose one pound of fat, you need to reduce your calorie intake by roughly 3,500. Given that a person typically consumes no more than 2000-3000 calories in day, it is not physically possible to lose 4-5 pounds of fat in a few days.
The Downside and Side Effects of Crash Diet
Crash diets are not sustainable, which implies that the impressive outcomes are momentary. Moreover, the longer the diet lasts, the more you damage your body. Most crash diets involve the exclusion of essential food groups from our day-to-day meals, which ultimately causes malnutrition. Consuming too much or too little of certain nutrients can lead to serious health issues in the long run. If you are still young (at a growing age), the restrictive diet may contribute to stunted growth and poor brain development.
Poor nutrition can cause hormone imbalance, triggering a wide range of illnesses. Hair thinning, irregular menstrual cycles, and infertility are a few widespread side effects. You may develop thyroid issues later in life and suffer other hormonal deficiencies. Our daily energy needs are based on an average of 2000 calories per day. With crash diets, the intake is reduced to only 500-800 calories per day, which pushes our body into starvation mode.
When the liver receives scarce quantities of food to break down into energy, our metabolic rate is slowed down. Our body gradually adheres to the restrictive diet, which means it gets harder to lose weight with time. When we discontinue the diet and resume to normal meals, we regain the lost weight very quickly. The low calorie intake also drastically lowers energy levels, so we feel weak and fatigued all day. The body and mind become less productive and responsive; as a result, we may become increasingly susceptible to personal injuries.
Most of the trending crash diets deprive the body of essential vitamins and minerals, which are required for proper functioning of the immune system. Consequently, the immune system weakens and we become vulnerable to a range of viral infections and diseases. An unbalanced diet also toys with our blood sugar and cholesterol levels, ultimately affecting the heart. Too much protein and lack of fiber in the diet can cause several gut problems as well. You may experience indigestion, constipation, and painful bowel movement.
Some crash diets reduce water intake as well, thereby causing dehydration and extreme exhaustion. People who regularly follow crash diets may develop eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, or become anemic. High protein and concentrated fruit juice diets may trigger gout as well, which is a very painful form of arthritis. Restrictive diets keep our energy levels low throughout the day and deteriorate our skin health; people on crash diets often experience pale, dry, and itchy skin. Precisely, the only point in favor of crash diets is that they are a quick fix for losing weight; and we all know that quick fixes are poor solutions.
If you want to lose weight effectively and maintain good health, it is best to avoid all sorts of shortcut diets. Do not reduce your daily food intake below a thousand calories, and focus on consuming a balanced diet. Incorporate exercise in your daily routine to improve your metabolic rate and remain energized all day. Losing weight this way might take a little longer, but maintaining fitness shall be a lot easier.
John Adams is a lifestyle blogger who concentrates on health, fitness, and self-development. He encourages readers to fight their fears and overcome obstacles holding them back. He believes that every person can improve the quality of his/her life by incorporating positivity and determination. He loves to share his insight on life experiences, and contributes on various online platforms in the same niche.