A well-toned physique is built 20% in the gym and 80% in the kitchen by following a healthy and disciplined diet. In addition to these, hard work and patience are key.
Sadly, some people tend to forget that the goal is not just to lose weight, but to lose weight safely i.e slowly. With each passing day, more and more people are looking for a short cut to achieve their fitness goals which in turn is pushing them to resort to a ‘crash diet’
What is a crash diet?
A crash diet is a method to lose weight really fast in a short period of time, by reducing the daily calorie intake to as low as 700 calories a day.
An average man needs approximately 2500 calories per day and an average woman needs 2000 calories per day. However, crash diets miserably reduce the calorie intake required for the body in order to function healthily and results in people harming their health and in some cases, their hearts.
Cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City, and author of the forthcoming ‘Doctor of the Heart: A Life in Medicine,’ opposes crash diets and detox plans. He says these very low-calorie regimens are based on the false theory that the body needs help eliminating waste.
Some of the infamous crash diets are mentioned below:
The Master Cleanse Diet.
The Master Cleanse Diet, also called the Lemonade diet, is a liquid-only diet consisting of three things: a lemonade-like beverage, salt-water drink, and herbal laxative tea.
The Cabbage Soup Diet.
The Cabbage Soup Diet is an extremely low-fat, high-fibre diet that lasts seven days.
The Idiot Proof Diet.
The Idiot Proof Diet is an online diet based on the theory of shifting calorie types to lose weight. This diet teaches you how to eat in order to “trick” your metabolism into burning more calories each and every day.
The 3 Day Diet.
The 3 Day Diet is a very low-calorie diet that uses simple foods that are low cost and easy to find and prepare.
The Hollywood Diet.
The Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet is a “special blend of all natural fruits and fruit juices along with antioxidants and essential oils”. It is advertised as a product that will cleanse, detoxify, and rejuvenate your body, while making you lose weight.
There’s no doubt that these crash diets sound extremely effective and easy to do but we tend to forget that a good body is always worth having and nothing worth having comes easy. These crash diets bring along with them dangerous side effects and severe consequences. Some of them are:
1. Slow metabolism: Crash diets require us to starve and starvation mode conserves energy by slowing down our metabolism. Your body learns to survive with minimum energy. In the long run, it becomes extremely difficult to lose weight due to low metabolism and sometimes, people tend to bloat up twice their size post their crash diet days.
2. Lack of essential nutrients: During a crash diet, the calorie intake is heavily reduced which deprives the body of the vital energy needed to function. This results in weakness, fatigue, and a lethargic behavior.
3. Weakens the immune system: Crash diets reduce calorie intake which can really weaken the immune system. Getting insufficient calories a day can starve our body of much-needed nutrients and one significant hormone, leptin, decreases in times of starvation. Leptin has been found to be a key hormone in immunity 1 by regulating your basal metabolic rate A decrease in leptin also initiates an inflammatory response throughout the body. Inflammation is majorly responsible for many of our health issues like heart disease, asthma, allergies, etc.
4. Mood swings: Moods are determined by neurotransmitters that are in turn dependent on amino acids. Crash diets deprive our body of amino acids which leads to mood swings, depression, and irritability.
5. Gallstone formation: Gallstones are formed when the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough, which is the case when eating a very low-fat diet. During rapid weight loss, the liver secretes extra cholesterol into the bile, and that can increase the risk of gallstone formation.
6. Fatty Liver Disease: A crash diet subjects our body to starvation which can trigger the Fatty Liver Disease since think liver thinks a famine is happening and accumulates more fat assuming that we are not eating enough.
7. Dehydration: A crash diet depends heavily on our bodies’ water weight because only after the water weight is lost, the stored fats and muscle tissue degeneration take place. This might lead to acute dehydration.
8. Heart Disease: The sudden low-calorie diet, followed by the inability to regain lost fats required for energy forces your heart to go into ‘panic mode’. This overdrive makes the heart exert more pressure. The excessive strain can end up in a heart attack.
*One last thing to keep in mind is that dieting is not about eating less, it’s about eating right. So eat right, exercise regularly, keep patience and let your body do things at its own pace.
Share your views on your crash dieting in the comments section below! *