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If you’re thinking of losing weight, you may be tempted to try some quick solutions, which are usually temporary. You may look in the mirror and feel disappointed by your current figure. So, you consider not eating and end up starving yourself while trying to lose extra pounds.
Here’s where people try crash dieting as a way of losing weight. However, this weight-loss tactic comes with a few health difficulties that you must consider first and you may not be able to reach your weight-loss goals safely and effectively. So let’s ask the question – are crash diets bad for you?
1. They Weaken Your Immune System
Crash dieting basically means depriving yourself of food and sticking to a very low-calorie diet, leading to a lack of essential nutrients, minerals, and other materials that your immune system needs to function properly.
This can weaken your immune system and make getting ill far more likely. For instance, cutting out all fatty foods from your diet will limit your intake of fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, E, and K, which can prove very problematic.
Your body needs these nutrients and vitamins to help protect you from future illnesses and other health-related issues. So, depriving your body of these can be problematic and cause side effects.
2. Long-Term Poor Health
Most crash diets are nutritionally unbalanced. Thus, following them can cause long-term health problems. They are also frequently challenging to stick to in the long run and often make you feel unwell.
They’re unsustainable too as they leave you feeling hungry and you may end up binging on unhealthy food to make up for it.
On the contrary, balanced nutrition helps to control the intake of certain nutrients and other supplements to ensure that your body receives all the nourishment that it needs for optimal health and to maintain a healthy weight.
3. Can Trigger Heart Issues
Although crash dieting has some positive outcomes like lowering your cholesterol, blood sugar, and even blood pressure, it also has some potentially harmful effects, especially on the heart.
Crash dieting can cause increased heart fat levels, which leads to other heart issues if not addressed quickly.
Therefore, if you have any heart problems, you should check with your doctor before embarking on a crash diet.
4. Can Make You Irritable
If you don’t want to be grumpy all holiday, then it’s probably best that you avoid crash diets.
Fad diets can sometimes lead to the secretion of corticosterone, which predisposes you to heightened stress levels, irritability, and a possible risk of depression.
In extreme cases, you may also experience disturbed sleep, poor concentration, and fatigue.
5. Can Damage Skin and Hair Quality
Usually, when you start crash dieting, you limit the number of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs for optimal function. This, in turn, can sometimes negatively impact your physical appearance.
This lack of nourishment can reflect on your hair, making it lose its lustre and start falling out. This shows a lack of essential minerals and vitamins that your body needs.
Similarly, your skin may also be left feeling dry and scaly, and in severe cases, you may even start experiencing acne breakouts.
6. Can Cause Ketone Production
Crash diets typically include very few carbohydrates. Consequently, your body can start to break down the fatty acids in storage to produce ketones to use as a fuel source instead.
Sure, a crash diet can result in rapid weight loss. But some of the damaging effects that result from it include excess ketone production, which may cause nausea, liver and kidney problems, and bad breath.
7. Can Cause Dehydration
Ever wondered why some diets lead to spontaneous weight loss? Well, it’s because such diets make you lose a lot of water weight. This makes these diets not ideal solutions for long-term weight loss. In fact, you run the risk of dehydration by following diets like these, which can result in headaches and dizziness.
Crash dieting may sound like a quick fix to your weight problems. In reality, it will only end up bringing more problems knocking on your door. A healthy diet and lifestyle, perhaps complemented with medication for weight loss, is the best way to get slimmer and be able to sustain it long-term.
So, consider all the health risks that crash dieting comes with the next time that you find yourself tempted to lose several pounds in the shortest period to fit in a dress. The best solution is to practice moderation, be patient, be physically active and follow the NHS exercise guidelines.
To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more check out my comprehensive Weight Loss section.