Health & Fitness

Crash Diets Are Not an Effective Way to Lose Weight

Crash diets do not work

Using crash diets to lose weight is extremely popular. When researching the topic I found that a lot of diets that are referred to as “crash diets” aren’t necessarily “real crash diets.”

Crash Diets Defined

As used here, crash diets refers to any type of diet that severely restricts caloric intake with the goal of rapid weight loss.

Obviously, severely restricting the amount of calories you can eat also means that crash diets do not provide the proper amount of nutrition your body requires. Therefore, crash diets are not meant to be followed for a long period of time.

Some crash diets involve eating only 500 calories per day. This is an extremely low number of calories for anyone to be eating.

Do Crash Diets Work?

The short answer is yes, crash diets do work.

Nevertheless, before actually starting this type of diet, you should think about your long-term weight loss and health-related goals.

If you’re reading this because you really want to lose weight, then I’m assuming you’d like to not only lose weight however also keep it off. Is that right?

If this is the case with you, then going on a crash diet is not going to be the best way to accomplish your longer-term weight loss and health goals. Why?

Because the very nature of crash diets means that you can only stay on them for a short period of time without harming your health.

And because they are so restrictive, most people feel so deprived of food that when they go off a crash diet they may eat even more than they were eating before going on the diet, thus gaining back all or more of the weight they lost while dieting.

In fact, you may have already had this experience yourself.

Another problem with crash diets is their very description. When you think about the words “crash” and “diet,” what comes to mind? Do those words have a positive meaning to you, as if you are looking forward to going on a “crash diet?”

That’s very doubtful.

The word “crash” doesn’t generally cause positive thoughts, and combined with the word “diet” most people think of a temporary change in eating habits in order to lose weight prior to attending a wedding or some other special event.

People who are desperate to lose weight are also likely to try crash diets in order to get very quick results.

What the term “crash diets” does not imply is the long-term changes necessary in order to lose weight and keep it off permanently. Nor does it imply a healthy way of eating and living.

So, although crash diets do work in the sense of causing weight loss, over the longer-term, which is more important, they do not work.

Craziest Crash Diet?

There’s one called the tapeworm diet. Some people are so desperate to lose weight that they’ll actually allow a tapeworm to grow inside their bodies. The tapeworm eats up to half of the food the person consumes, so the person loses weight.

We DO NOT recommend that anyone use this as a method to lose weight.

Crash Diets – Psychological and Physical Side Effects

Furthermore, there are serious psychological and physical side effects that can result from crash diets. See the video below for examples of what can happen.

Crash Diets Health Risks

Remember that crash diets are not meant to be followed for long periods of time. This is because there are real potential health risks associated with following an extremely restrictive eating program.

Some of the potential problems caused by crash diets are:

Gaining weight after the crash diet and in many cases individuals gain even more weight than they originally lost.
Potential for osteoporosis caused by weakening of bones due to insufficient nutrients.
Heart palpitations.
Cardiac stress.
Weakened immune system.
Malnutrition
Dizziness
Lethargy
Decreased brain and cognitive function.
Cessation of menstruation in women following crash diets for long periods of time.
Potential hair loss.
Depression
Anxiety
Anger
Headaches

Tips for Going on a Crash Diet

DON’T! You don’t need to go on a crash diet, period!

You don’t need to diet. There is a much easier, healthier, and long-term way to lose weight. It’s called watching what you eat and exercising more.

If you really care about your health and if you want to achieve lasting and healthy weight loss, crash diets are not for you. They are potentially dangerous. Even if you don’t suffer any negative side effects, the results achieved from crash diets are temporary.

Sarah Wilkins

About the Author

Born in Australia, Sarah currently lives in the USA with her husband.