Crash dieting is often seen as an easy way to lose weight fast. You don’t have to avoid all your favorite junk foods for very long, you don’t have to work very hard, and you usually notice a marked difference at the end of the “diet.”
However, crash dieting does possess some dangers. Below are a few things that will help you to decide whether or not you want to embark on a crash diet.
Pros of Crash diets:
1. Quick Results
People typically look to crash diets to help them lose a small (or sometimes large) amount of weight in a short amount of time.
For example, proponents of a popular injection diet report losing between 10 and 35 pounds in a month.
This is helpful if you have an event coming up in a couple weeks that you need to lose weight for. Perhaps you bought a new outfit for it awhile back, but it no longer fits.
2. Less Time
Crash diets do not typically last longer than a week. During the time allotted for the diet, you will need to follow strict guidelines. However, it will be over soon enough. This can help you make it through the harder moments of the diet. It also means that you can still eat all of the things that you love once the diet is over, especially if you were only trying to lose the weight for a specific event.
3. Good Food
There are some crash diets that help you get back to the basics of nutrition. For example, some of the diets call for raw foods only or other foods that are good for you. While some can certainly exclude necessary nutrients, you might want to look for crash diets with foods that are high in nutrients.
4. Helping Hand
Some of today’s hottest fad diets are really just crash diets in disguise. However, many of them are coupled with weight loss supplements – like injections, pills, or drinks – that make the process much easier.
Cons of crash diets:
1. Mood Swings
Simply put, avoiding food for too long will make you cranky. When you are consciously avoiding food, it becomes something that is always on your mind. Anything else that gets in the way is often seen as an interruption, making you more likely to resent it.
Avoid ridiculous mood swings and irritability by eating when you are hungry. Instead of stopping at the vending machine, pack a diet-approved snack to carry with you in your bag.
Trying crash diets may also make you more likely to develop an eating disorder. Once you try one of these diets for a few days, you may like the feeling of quick weight loss and seek it out in a very dangerous way. If you feel that this accurately describes the way that you feel, consider talking with your doctor or a nutritionist to get you back on track.
2. Losing Water
During a crash diet, you may experience a noticeable decrease on the scale. However, this is all mostly due to the water weight you are losing.
When you embark on a crash diet, you lose weight quickly because your body is going into starvation mode. When it goes into starvation mode, it gets rid of water. Once you start eating normally again, you will most likely gain all of this back.
3. Missing Out
Trying a crash diet means that you are missing out on many of the nutrients that your body needs to function. Although a diet may be fine to help you avoid becoming overweight, you need to seek out a diet that provides all of the vitamins that your body needs. When you miss out on essential nutrients, you can experience a variety of illnesses, both physical and mental.
The effects of a crash diet may be worse than the solitary benefit of losing a few pounds quickly. For example, you may experience severe hair loss, dry patches on your skin, and difficulties with bowel movements.
If you are worried about missing out on certain vitamins and nutrients, speak with your doctor or nutritionist to get supplement recommendations or ways to stay healthy while dieting.
4. Slowing Down
Another negative effect of trying a crash diet is that it can potentially throw your metabolism all out of whack. When you eat smaller amounts of food, your metabolism will begin slowing down. This will make long-term weight loss more difficult.
Before embarking on any weight loss plan, you should do plenty of research, consult a doctor, and make sure your nutritional needs are met.
Take the time to analyze the benefits and risks of a crash diet; will it help you reach your temporary weight loss goals?