Why crash diets are bad for you

A crash diet is not the recommended method for losing weight (or fat) for an extended period of time. In fact, those partaking in a crash diet often put the weight back on in a very short period of time. This is due in part to not being able to sustain the requirements of the diet for more than a few days or weeks at a time, and also by the nature of the diet – the weight lost can often be water weight, which fluctuates daily in any case.

Crash diets heavily restrict the intake of calories, and usually includes no great amount of nutrition. Because of this, it becomes harder for your body to work optimally, and makes it harder for your body to process the food you do eat. With your body in this state, returning to a “regular” diet afterwards is a recipe for disaster – if you put on weight before, and then feed your body in the same way when it can’t process what you are eating, you are clearly heading for trouble!

Unfortunately, this is often seen as a sign of the crash diet causing weight loss, and the regular diet causing weight gain – and many people try going back to the crash diet to lose the weight again. As the crash diet is unsustainable, they revert to the normal diet and regain the weight. This kind of yo-yo dieting can go on indefinitely, and each cycle results in a degradation in the ability of the body to process real food.

The only way to lose weight safely and long term is by making sensible changes to your lifestyle – there is no quick fix, and crash dieting is at best ineffective, and at worst dangerous. If your true goal is to lose fat and get in shape, then losing mostly water weight through a crash diet will not help you – it will only hinder you in the long term.

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