Food

Why you should ditch crash diets for good

With a multitude to choose from, crash diets have long been the go to in order to lose weight quickly. However few of us concern ourselves with how they actually impact our health in the long term.

What Are Crash Diets 

Crash diets is a general term that refers to dieting habits that are very restrictive and low in calories in the hopes of losing a significant amount of weight in a very short period of time. You may have heard of the likes of popular fad diets such as:

  • The master cleanse, which promises a loss of 20lbs in a week. Through the consumption of cayenne pepper, lemon juice and other diuretics, to flush your body of “toxins” and make you drop weight 
  • The HGC diet where you drop your calorie intake to just 500 a day. This crash diet has been named as “reckless” by the FDA
  • The juice diet, means consuming only liquid juices for up to a week with no solid foods. Whilst juices are great as an add on to a healthy diet, they do not provide you with an adequate intake of calories

The promises of such significant yet speedy results may be enticing. However the outcome of following these eating patterns may not be as beneficial as they appear. 

 

Do Crash Diets Work 

The daily recommended calorie intake for an average woman is about 2,000 a day and for men 2,500.  Reducing this number drastically to the likes of just 500 calories a day will result in you eating a significantly smaller volume of food. In the short-term you may see results after making changes such as these. 

However the changes you may see are likely not a result of fat loss. But instead the loss of water weight, or even lean muscle mass that has been burnt instead of the food you would normally eat. As crash diets require such a significant drop in the volume of food you eat, they often are not sustainable over long periods of time. This means that in many circumstances you will likely regain the weight you lost back very quickly. 

 

What Impact Do These ‘Quick Fixes’ Have On Our Bodies

Dieting in this way may not only be ineffective for more than a short period of time, but also may cause long lasting health problems. Some crash diets, even being labeled as “dangerous” to your health. 

The low calorie restrictive nature of many of these crash diets means that you simply aren’t consuming enough food in order to get the recommended variety of vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally. This can lead to a number of problems including weakening your immune system’s defences and making you more susceptible to illness. Causing dysfunction with digestion and disrupting your gastric functions. Along with making the quality of your skin, hair and nails poorer. Perhaps even leading you to hair loss if the restrictive diet is prolonged. 

In more serious cases crash dieting can lead to heart problems such as arrhythmia (an irregular heart beat) and long term damage to your metabolic rate. Reducing your muscle mass and making losing weight even harder in the future. 

Crash dieting not only has a negative impact on the body but can also create problems for your mental health.  Eating in this way, especially repeatedly can result in negative relationships being formed around food and eating habits. In some cases it may even be the catalyst to disordered eating. 

Learning to approach weight loss in a more balanced way is the healthiest approach and will most likely yield long term results. Prioritising your physical and mental health. Eating a sustainable amount of calories from the right sources. Along with maintaining a consistent exercise routine will be the avenue from which you gain the most success. Following a meal plan like our 28 day weight loss plan will not only provide you with the healthiest ingredients, but will also save you time cooking and help make the weight loss process all the more easier and enjoyable, check out our full menu here.