We belong to a generation that believes in everything ‘instant’ – be it their coffee, meals, or even weight loss. While it does take incessant episodes of binge eating or repeated unhealthy habits to pile on all that weight, almost everyone wants to shed this flab instantly. That’s where crash diets come into the picture. With size-zero models flaunting their hot bods on glossy magazine covers, there’s an inherent pressure on looking a certain way, which is why these diets are increasingly becoming the go-to option for those who want to lose weight in a jiffy! As the name suggests, these diets do nothing but bring your health crashing down, so it’s better to steer clear of them. Here’s the catch - one may experience short-term weight loss when you go on a crash diet, but the results are extremely short-lived.
Negative effects of crash diets
While it can be extremely tempting to go on that diet, it is certainly not a great idea! There can be several negative effects on the mind and body, which are at times even difficult to reverse.
First of all, a high metabolism is the secret to weight loss, but crash dieting can bring down your metabolic rate. When you indulge in extreme dieting, there’s greater muscle breakdown that leads to a decrease in your metabolic rate. At that point, you may lose a few pounds, but you are going to put on all of it or more in the long run!
That’s not all, when you deprive yourself of essential minerals and vitamins, there’s a high risk of damaging your immune system. When you have a weak immune system, you tend to fall ill more easily. It could also lead to some serious illnesses in the long run, so it’s best not to go on that crash diet.
Besides, when you put your body through a low-carbohydrate diet, your body starts to break down fatty acids to produce ketones. This is the principle on which keto diet works! You could shed a few pounds here and there, but it’s also got some damaging effects, including nausea, bad breath, and liver or kidney problems.
Have you ever wondered why juicing, or a few other diets lead to quick weight loss? It’s because you lose all the water weight, which isn’t really effective for long-term weight loss. Glycogen stores, which are stores of energy that bind water, deplete faster than the fat cells releasing the water. When you start eating again, the body replenishes all the glycogen and water lost, and that’s how you gain weight again!
At times, crash dieting can have certain positive effects, such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and even blood sugar. But if anyone has a heart issue, they should refrain from going on a crash diet, since it can have grave effects on their heart health. Furthermore, it can also lead to tummy issues, such as irregular or inconsistent bowel movements.
An alternative to crash diets
Instead of falling for these crash diets, it is better to be more realistic and give yourself some time for weight loss. It all boils down to consistency and long-term health goals, so it’s best to follow certain health tips over a period of time, instead of rushing it!
To begin with, portion sizes have become humungous today! Instead of eating all at once, it is better to scale back your portions and calories. Try and use smaller plates instead of large ones, and don’t jump on to eating your favourite snacks and desserts in one go. Have everything, but in moderation – this health tip will help you in the long run!
While portion control is essential, another very important health tip is to consume different varieties of foods for proper nutrition. For healthy women, it is significant to consume lean protein, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, good fats like omega-3 from fish, and mono-saturated fats from avocados, nuts and olive oil. Besides, try to cut down on saturated and trans fats from your diet, since these trigger serious lifestyle diseases!
There are also certain natural products that help in weight loss, including green tea extract, soluble fibre, and herbs such as turmeric and cayenne pepper. Try and include them in your diet, and say hello to good health!
Diet must also be complemented with regular exercise. For healthy women or even men, 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week is important to stay fit and in good shape. Try to also incorporate strength training exercises for all major muscle groups, at least two times a week.
While it is very inviting to go on that crash diet and experience instant weight loss, remember the effect will be only temporary. You might lose weight, but you will lose your health as well. Practice a consistent diet and exercise regime for a healthy lifestyle, and opt for natural products instead of processed ones. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry!