Why Crash Diets Are A Horrible Approach To Weight Loss
In our struggle to lose weight, it is quite common to come across diets and methods that promise to reduce a few kilos in only a week or less. Largely, crash diets, rely on consuming a certain type of food for a number of days, such as having a glass of warm lemon water to detox or a banana diet for three days.
The logic behind losing weight is quite simple, you're not devouring enough calories, and losing water weight and muscle mass. Thus, the weighing scale shows a number less than what you started with, which probably bestows a sense of achievement.
Nonetheless, this strategy does more harm than good to your body. The satisfaction of losing kilos rapidly is short-lived, while the harmful effects of crash diets endure.
1. Lack Of A Balanced Diet
Since you're not eating all food groups, your body is majorly deprived of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats (yes, you need them!). This might result in the deficiency of a particular nutrient, especially, if you keep repeating these crash diets. Your body is also not consuming enough calories per day, which leads to feeling tired easily.
2. Metabolism Becomes Slower
When your body doesn't receive enough food, it slows down the metabolism, which means that calories are burned at a slower rate as your body wants to utilise its resources slowly. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to achieve. Once you start eating normally, you'll end up gaining weight due to slow metabolism.
3. Increased Lethargy and Tiredness
You might feel lighter initially, but as you continue, your body would get tired easily while doing everyday tasks. Your body needs food to function, and since you're depriving it of the calories required, you'll end up feeling exhausted.
4. Intense Cravings And Irritability
Crash diets can not only affect your physical well-being, they can also have harsh psychological impacts. As your body is deprived of all the essential nutrients (and food, of course), you tend to become more irritable and your craving for junk food increases tenfold, thus, you end up eating heaps of calories.
5. Loss Of Muscle Mass Instead Of Fat
A few days into the crash diet, you may be all happy about the weight loss visible on the scale. But the sad reality is, all the weight that you have lost, it's your muscle mass and not fat! Since your body isn't getting enough protein, it starts shedding muscle.
6. Takes A Toll On Your Heart
A crash diet may be an easy fix to lose those 5 kilos, but it may end up harming your heart. Crash diets are known to cause shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and in the long run, they may even lead to heart attacks.
7. The Yo-Yo Effect
As your body goes into starvation, it tries to conserve as much energy as possible. Eventually, you hit a weight loss plateau due to the slowed metabolism. This plateau is often followed by a period of weight gain.
8. Damaging To Emotional Health
Losing weight rapidly through a crash diet can trigger severe hormonal imbalances which can push you towards depression, stress, and anxiety. These problems can also pave the way to permanent eating disorders.
Weight loss is a taxing process, both physically and mentally. There are no shortcuts to achieve an ideal weight. The best and the healthiest way to shed kilos is a combination of diet and exercise.
Just remember to not be too harsh on yourself. Be patient, and stick to a diet plan and exercise regime. It will take time, but it will be less harmful and more fruitful than crash dieting.