In today’s world, we all prefer to get our things done as quickly as possible and when it comes to weight loss also we need results at the earliest! What all diet plans, small exercises, DIY drinks we have tried to get rid of that excess fat instantly.
Crash dieting is one such diet plan followed by people who wish to see quick results in their weight loss journey. This diet can be felt tempting in many ways, offering a quick and relatively easy ‘fix’ to our weight loss woes.
The diet plan often promises rapid weight loss results, but the major question is if crash diets are sustainable or indeed damaging to health in the long term.
What is a crash diet?
Crash dieting or yo-yo dieting is a very low-calorie diet. Popular crash diets include the juice diet, the 7-day detox diet, the military diet and the infamous keto diet. It is basically any type of weight loss diet undertaken on a short-term basis to exclude some or all major food groups to achieve rapid weight loss results.
Is it a sustainable solution?
Crash diets are often hugely tempting as they offer a quick-fix solution to a long-term problem, they often promise rapid weight loss. But, such tight restrictions on food and calorie intake aren’t sustainable.
Crash diets can be simple to follow, they often only require you to reduce your calorie intake. But they are nutritionally unbalanced and can lead to long-term physical and mental health issues. This diet plan includes several side effects and few of them are listed down:
Increase in appetite
Hormone leptin which keeps the stomach full is decreased during dieting. This leads to an increase in appetite as the body tries to restore the lost energy. In this process, you end up consuming more than what is required. Hence, this short term weight-loss leads to excess weight gain in the future.
According to experts, calories help in running and maintaining the body. With lesser calorie intake, the body forces the muscle to break down to consume energy. Because fat is regained more easily than muscle after weight loss, this can lead to more loss of muscle over time.
High metabolism is key to losing weight, but crash dieting can actually make a person’s metabolic rate lower. Muscle breakdown is much greater with extreme dieting, rather than a steady prolonged approach.
Less muscle reduces the person’s metabolic rate, which is the number of calories burned while resting and can ultimately result in weight gain over a period.
Trigger heart problems
Even though crash dieting can have some positive outcomes, for example, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, it can also have some potentially harmful effects on the heart as a result of an increase in heart fat level.
Health experts say that this diet plan can also trigger the release of corticosterone from the brain, which predisposes a person to higher stress levels, irritability and risk of depression. One may also experience poor concentration and disturbed sleep which can lead to fatigue.
Related: Overweight in adults linked to COVID-19 mortality; Study