The Dangers Of Crash Dieting

Most of us know about crash diets. These are diets designed to make us lose lots of weight in record time. While this may sound attractive if you are trying to get your body ready for that dress really quickly, this kind of diet is actually really dangerous. The reality is that, while such diets certainly have results in terms of weight loss, this benefit does not outweigh the many risks and dangers to your overall health. Let’s take a look at some of the dangers associated with crash dieting.

Nutritional Deficiency

While we all live by the mantra of ‘calories in, energy out’, meaning that the fewer calories we eat, the more we will lose weight, it is important to remember that our bodies do actually need food. Food is full of vitamins, minerals and various other elements essential to our survival. When you crash diet, your body is no longer able to get all these nutritional elements and this is can lead to nutritional deficiency.

“If long term deficiencies persist, a number of things can occur, including leaching minerals from your bones, leading to osteoporosis and fractures or the leaching of iron from the blood, leading to anemia. In addition, low calorie diets can lead to a deficiency in particular nutrients such as sodium and potassium. These electrolytes are used in nerve and muscle function, and play an important role in regulating heart beats.”

As such, crash dieting significantly increases your chances of suffering a heart attack. Being overweight also increases the risk of a heart attack. If you can imagine an already weakened heart that is then deprived of sodium and potassium is placed under so much stress, it is easy to see that the risk of having a heart attack is magnified several times. Therefore, this type of dieting should be avoided at all costs.

Eating Disorders

Let’s say that you managed to stick to your crash diet, and that you supplement your restrictive calorie intake with all the necessary supplements so that you don’t experience any nutritional deficiency. Unfortunately, you are not home free because there is the risk of developing significant psychological issues, including anorexia and bulimia.

“Another troubling factor of crash dieting is that it can cause serious eating problems and a variety of disorders like anorexia and bulimia.”

For some people, the results are simply never enough. They notice how they can lose a significant amount of weight in a relatively easy way, and decide to keep that up for a little while longer. This little while longer may never stop, however. In fact, the calorie restriction tends to become increasingly severe, until some people literally survive on a carrot stick per day. Eating disorders are dangerous disorders with the potential to be deadly.

A Sluggish Metabolism

A hidden danger of these diets is that they slow down your metabolism. This means that, in the long run, they are actually counter productive. After all, a slow metabolism means that you don’t lose weight anymore, unless you further restrict your calorie intake. This is a risk of crash dieting that few people are aware of.

“You are doing the exact opposite of what you set out to do. You may not be gaining weight, but you aren’t burning fat and calories either. When you eat normally again, you will most probably gain some weight since your metabolism is already slow.”

The biggest problem with a slower metabolism is that it leads to the yoyo effect. This is where you lose weight, but then put it straight back on after you stop following that diet. In most cases, the weight you put back on is more than the weight you have lost in the first place, meaning you’re actually heavier overall. And this vicious cycle repeats itself as you grow heavier and heavier.