7 Reasons Why a Crash Diet is a Bad Idea ...

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Looking to lose weight fast? How about a crash diet? Crash diets promise quick weight loss with a drastic change in your eating habits. Sounds great, right? Think again! Nutritionists and other health professionals repeatedly warn us against the dangers of crash diets. Here are 7 reasons why a crash diet is a no good, very bad, horrible idea!

1. The Aspect

The Aspect

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The difference between a crash diet and a healthy weight loss program is that while a well-rounded, sustainable diet focuses on a nutritious varied diet, crash diets focus on exclusively on dramatically decreasing calorie consumption or promising to add a wonder food to your diet that will magically burn fat for you. A crash diet is any plan that incorporates less than 1,200 calories a day. Some crash diet programs include extreme exercise routines, while others claim exercise is not needed to achieve results. The key is balance between healthy eating and conceivable exercise on a regular basis.

2. The Significance

The Significance

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When you begin a crash diet, you may experience a quick loss of pounds within the first week or two of following the plan. While this revs you up and makes the diet appear to be working, be cautioned that another reason might be responsible for why you are losing weight so quickly. It’s not because you’re losing fat, but because you are using up your body's store of glycogen and water. Sadly, neither of these losses are permanent. The only long-term weight loss solution is to lose fat, but most crash diet regimens don’t promote long-term fat loss.

3. The Health Impact

The Health Impact

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Crash dieting has an awful effect on your health. When you constantly put your body through the stress of losing and gaining weight you increase the risk of heart attacks and the development of atherosclerosis. Yo-yo dieting through the years can cause an increase in cholesterol and is thought to weaken the immune system. Another thing to consider — crash dieting slows your metabolism to the point that, instead of losing pounds you end up gaining them! This is because during a crash diet you consume so few calories your body hangs onto them for dear life when you eat thinking that you are starving to death! These are just a few of many detrimental health issues that may arise from crash dieting.

4. The Psychological Impact

The Psychological Impact

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A great deal of successful dieting and weight loss lies in how positive your outlook is. If you tend to yo-yo diet a lot, this type of eating pattern can make you irritable, weak, and much less able to resist inevitable food cravings. Then when you give in to these cravings by eating too much, or eating the “forbidden foods” of the particular diet you’re on, you feel more unhappy with yourself and more than likely attempt to “make-up” for it by increasing the strictness of your diet to break the cycle. Frequent crash dieters are at a risk for mental disorders such as depression and eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

5. The Controversy

The Controversy

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A lot of recent research studies have undercut the idea that crash diets are a bad idea. These studies indicate that crash diets may work if they include a strict calorie limit personalized per your weight. There seems to be so much discord in this area that in my opinion, you should stay away from it entirely. Stick to a diet or healthy eating plan that doesn’t count calories, it just balances out the major food groups and exercise. This is your best bet in the long run!

6. The Willpower

The Willpower

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Ask yourself why you always seem to fall prey to a crash diet fad. You may come up with many answers, vulnerability, discontentment, and desire to eat better - among many others. And while all of these ring true, there’s one core reason and here it is- you lack the willpower and self-control to stick to a healthy eating schedule. As hard as that may be to admit, it’s necessary to come to grips with this fact before you can make any changes. In order to get out of the rut of fad dieting, you have to figure out what causes it in the first place. Once you determine the leading factors, in this case, self-control, you can begin to work on that issue until you conquer it!

7. The Self-image

The Self-image

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Why do women go on diets in the first place? Because we want to lose weight in order to look better! There may be other reasons that are health related, but the main reason anyone diets is to look better. Crash dieting is NOT the way to achieve this! Crash diets usually only last a few weeks, then you’re back to the same way of eating as usual. This does nothing but slow your metabolism and possibly cause you to gain weight (as mentioned in #3) and utterly destroys your self-image. Eat well, and your body will thank you for it. So will your self-image! You will be a happy, healthy woman!

When you step back and take a look at the bigger picture, you may discover that your eating habits and exercising patterns do nothing to help you out. Now that you realize this fact, you can start to do something about it. Check out books on healthy eating and join a gym. If you are paying for it, you will be more likely to go on a regular basis instead of in spurts, which will start a chain reaction. You will trade in your old habits for new, good ones! What a deal!

Top Photo Credit: Deborah Harroun