Crash diet ; the good , the bad and the ugly.

With the world obesity level at an all-time high one can conveniently say that are obesity crisis needs a quick fix. But for all that we know weight loss is an extremely complex and frustrating process. Dietitians always keep dancing on the edge of calories, nutrition and psychology to formulate a diet plan and calling it ‘the one’. But a single diet plan doesn’t work for all and a few diet plan work for none. In this post let us take a look on crash diet ; it’s good it’s bad and it’s ugly.

Crash diet, as defined by Merriam Webster, refers to “a way of losing alot of weight very quickly by limiting how much one eats.” Those following this diet program lower their calorie intake drastically. An average man needs 2400 calories per day where as an average woman needs 2000 calories per day to function soundly. But according to the norms of crash diet, calorie intake should steep to as low as 1000-1200 calorie per day for men and women. This means cutting half of your calorie intake. So you can easily take a guess on the nature of this diet regime. It is extremely restrictive and comes with an array of associated risks.

Still crash diet has been in the market for a very long time and hasn’t lost much of it’s market share. The reason is the innate human desire to attain results quickly. Clients don’t want to wait for 3 months to just lose 10 pounds. Usually it is some high school reunion or prom or a wedding lined up in two weeks or even less and they wish to shed those extra pounds as quick as flash, not caring much about the way they lose that weight. So these crash diet regimen keeps sustaining in the market with different names such as Atkins diet, Ketogenic diet, Paleo diet , south beach diet etc.

Apart from seeing faster results through rapid weight loss, another commonly sighted reason for crash diets to remain so popular is it’s marketing. The developers spend huge sums of money for frequent celebrity endorsement. This diet programs are promoted by most of your favourite Hollywood stars. Developers try their best to keep crash diets in streamline and maintaining it’s popularity among users. You often see a new fad diet plan published in top fashion magazines, weekly.

“Crash diets tend to appeal more to people’s vanity than to their desire to stay healthy.”

Confusion about nutrition is the very reason crash diet exist. If we all knew how to eat in the first place, there would be no need for diet books. “Alot of people may feel out of control and not know what it is they’re supposed to do,” says Robyn A Osborn, RD, PhD a dietician and educational psychologist in Indianapolis, Ind, “Some of the fad diets that are very regimented I think make people feel more comfortable because it takes the guesswork out.”

Fast weight loss isn’t Good weight loss

Dieticians around the globe consider half a pound to two pounds per week safe and sustainable. Any plan that exceeds this limits comes jam packed with a number of red flags. While crash diet may live upto your expectations of shedding as high as 10 pounds a week but that’s just going to be fluid. Cutting back on carbs causes your body to purge stored water. But as soon as you start eating carbs again, the water weight comes back. Around two third of dieters gain more than they initially dropped.

Extreme calorie deprivation slowers body’s metabolic rate as body goes into starvation mode to help conserve energy. Your body will hang onto more fat. This calorie restrictive diet cause your body to break down muscle mass for energy and fuel. Your muscle tone suffers seriously in long run.

Short term solutions

If you still feel like giving crash diet a shot, go ahead. Try it for yourself, says Dorfman, but only for the short term, to jumpstart weight loss and get yourself on the way to a healthier lifestyle. Just remember these handful of tips :

1. Pick an eating plan that includes all of the key macronutrients — fats, carbohydrates, protein — or work with a professional to pick a plan tailored to your needs.

2. Don’t cut your calories in an extreme way. Make gradual transitions. Begin with reducing 500 calories and then progress your way through.

3. Eat high protein diet and participate in regular strength training while crash dieting to preserve lean muscle mass and rev up your metabolism.

4. Keep a close watch on your water intake. You don’t wanna dehydrate your body as you would already be losing a lot of flulid .

5. Lastly, look out for your mental health. Weight loss means, you getting a new slimmer body. If someone does that on a rush, they might not have enough time to settle in their new body shape and weight. It can lead to things like body dysmorphia , anorexia or bulimia.

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