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This is a guest post by: Shawn Clark who has a bachelor’s degree in health administration from the University of Houston. By profession, he is a Health and Fitness Advisor. For the past five years, he provided nutrition counseling, fitness training and health advice all over Phoenix, Arizona. He specializes in Men’s Sexual Health, colon health, dietary supplements, weight loss, etc. His articles are well-researched and published on several websites. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for daily inspiration.
Crash diets are all the rage these days. From celebrities to everyday people they all swear these diets will help you lose weight. What they don’t tell you is that weight loss through crash dieting is not only fleeting but also not safe. These diets, like the cabbage soup diet or the alkaline diet, don’t just slash calories: they also limit what you can eat, so you are missing key food groups. This lead to depleting your body of key nutrients, wreaking havoc on your immune system and digestive tract. That is why many of these diets come with a disclaimer saying they should only be done for a short period. If you’ve ever asked yourself: is weight loss through crash diets safe? The answer is no and here are the main reasons why.
Crash Diets are a Temporary Solution to a Permanent Problem
The battle to lose weight is an ongoing struggle for many people, which is why these crash diets are so appealing. They promise rapid weight loss in a short amount of time. What they don’t tell you is the weight your shedding is mostly water and muscle, not fat. Muscle is what your body needs to burn fat, so you’re doing more harm than good. Once you start eating normal meals, you will begin to gain weight, and since you now have less muscle mass you will gain it quicker. This is why so many people are caught in a vicious yo-yo cycle of dieting. Yo-yo dieting can cause heart damage and depression. To shed those extra pounds you must build muscle and maintain a restricted, but healthy amount of calories. To keep them off you must learn to eat sensible, balanced meals. Crash diets will help you slim down, but only for a short amount of time.
Crash Diets Slow Your Metabolism
To lose weight and maintain it your metabolism needs to be quick, not sluggish. When you crash diet, you restrict your calories so much your body thinks it needs to protect itself from starvation. It will slow down your metabolism and store fatter to make sure you don’t starve And this is the exact opposite of what you need to be healthy. A slower metabolism means more rapid weight gain, which can tax your heart and other vital organs, like the liver and thyroid.
Crash Diets Can Physically Harm You
When you set a diet plan like the cabbage soup diet, you are eating only one type of food, limiting the vitamins and minerals your body gets. Even if you take a vitamin supplement, it still is not enough to make up for how many nutrients you lose. Low-carbohydrate diets remove fruits, vegetables and whole grains from your daily meals. This lead to lower your iron, zinc and calcium levels, which can lower bone density, cause anemia and give you pale, sickly looking skin. These types of diets can also cause malnutrition since they lack so many vitamins and do damage to your heart since the up and down weight gain puts stress on your heart. Lack of balanced meals can also lead to problems with your thyroid, insomnia, and emotional distress.
Crash Diets Promote Unhealthy Eating Habits
People who crash diet have a tendency to become obsessed with food and overeat or binge eat. Food becomes the focus of their lives, causing them to develop neurosis and preventing them from learning the proper way to prepare healthy meals. They are so hungry for regular meals that when they do eat they tend to overindulge and cause large weight gain in a short amount of time, which leads to sagging skin and loss of elasticity.
Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to getting slim. As you can see the idea that weight loss through crash diets are safe is wrong. Healthy weight loss comes from healthy eating habits and a good exercise routine. It may take you longer to shed the weight, but when you do it will be safe and permanent.
Wolpert, Stuart. “Dieting Does Not Work, UCLA Researchers Report”. UCLA Newsroom. UCLA. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
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