Why Crash Diets Don't Work

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Let’s say you wanted to be at a certain destination at a certain time. You don’t have to be at this place by any particular time, you just want to. One way to do it would be to pick up the pace, move a little faster.

    Would you get into your car, fire up the engine, and start driving really, really fast? Would you disregard all warnings along the way such as speed limit postings, stop signs, and traffic lights? Would you risk injury to yourself and any other number of unpleasant consequences simply because you are in a hurry?


    A reasonable pace will get you to your destination without any unnecessary risks. If you are this type of person, good for you. If you are the type who is in a hurry because it is all about the result despite the risk involved, then I have a nice diet in my bag made just for you.   

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    What’s the Hurry?
    For the most part, crash diets do not work. They certainly can achieve weight loss in a short time, but they are unhealthy and the weight that is lost is usually regained once you are off the diet.

    The premise of a crash diet is simple enough: Take off as much weight as you can ASAP. Such diets shock the body into starvation mode and pounds are rapidly lost. You do not lose fat though. Instead, you use your stored supply of the carbohydrate glycogen. The burning of glycogen promotes water loss, and it seems as though you are melting away the pounds.

    While on the diet, your body believes it is starving and lowers your metabolism to burn less calories. Once you begin eating again, it is business as usual and then some. The more you have slowed your metabolism while on the crash diet, the greater the amount of weight you will gain when you are eating normally again. 

    A sudden depletion of consumption can lend to a depletion of bone mass as your body is denied the nutrients it needs to help with bone replacement. Teeth can also be affected and begin to decay.

    Crash diets can lead to nutritional imbalances, which in turn can effect hormonal and neurological makeup. Such imbalances can lead to depression.

    A person also can become tired and lethargic and have food cravings because she is not getting the vitamins and minerals she needs. In more extreme cases, crash diets can promote anorexia or bulimia.

    Slow Down
    You can race your way to weight loss and jeopardize your health only to return to the point where you began and have to start all over again. Or you can follow the more logical and lasting approach of gradual reduction. A measured approach that consists of a healthy nutritional diet and a program of exercise will not only secure your goals, but also will maintain the results in the long run.   


    Living life well-fed,

    My Bariatric Life



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Published On: January 20, 2014