Why Crash Diets Fail
Crash diets are tempting due to their promise of fast results, but these rarely last for the long term. The results you see from them are misleading and are usually quickly reversed. The best diet plan is one that stresses realistic long term expectations.
The diet is metabolically unsound
Most diets today focus on calorie-restriction, but our bodies end up rejecting this idea. When calories are cut drastically, the body goes into starvation mode and works to protect its set “fat point” by slowing down the metabolism to try and store fat, rather than burning it.
The diet results in water weight loss
Crash diets often result in a lower weight showing up on the scale, but not necessarily fat loss. This weight loss is due to water loss, which can quickly be gained back. These diets can be harmful, as protein and water are the first nutrients the body loses, which causes people to feel weak and tired.
The diet cuts out the good fats
Not only do crash diets cut out bad fats, but they also cut the good fats out that provide essential fatty acids. When cutting fat, it is important to eat less bad fat while maintaining good fat. Without essential fatty acids, our proper fat-burning metabolism may suffer. Many crash dieters end up eating more and regaining more fat once they stop the diet; since the body had been running on the fat it once had, it tries to get it back.
The diet causes blood sugar drops
Crash diets don’t take into account how insulin, carbohydrates and fat storage affect one another. By cutting calories, blood sugar is likely to drop, causing the body to be hungry and want to binge on carbs. The carb binge ultimately triggers the hormone insulin, which promotes fat storage. This can cause hunger to lead to fat storage, rather than fat burning.
The diet causes weight loss too fast
The main reason it’s hard for so many people to stick to diets is because our bodies naturally resist change. Once a person becomes obese, the body adjusts to support carrying extra weight. When dieting, the body initially feels hungry, but then realizes it feels better without the extra weight and has more energy. Now the body must fight to stay this way and starts to work harder to maintain its healthier weight. This is why it is best to lose weight gradually, at a slower pace, rather than crash dieting for quick weight loss. Gradual weight loss will give the body time to adjust, and will keep it from over-working and becoming stressed.