With over 60% of Americans classified as overweight by their body mass index, many people are considering the pros and cons of a crash diet. The idea of losing a lot of weight to achieve a better overall target seems like a great idea. A few days of sacrifice equates to a lower BMI and a happier doctor, right? That might not necessarily be the case.
The Pros of a Crash Diet
1. Weight loss is immediate.
Many diets fail because people don’t see encouraging results right away. When it takes a full month to lose up to 8 pounds on a “regular” diet, that’s a long time for some bad eating choices to be avoided. The crash diet gives someone 8+ pounds of weight loss immediately and that provides instant gratification.
2. It is relatively affordable.
Most crash diets involve eating little or nothing. This means there aren’t complicated grocery patterns involved, delivery schedules that require compensation, or dieting advisors that wish to be paid. People can just take on their hunger cravings head-on, win, and have a lower number on the scale because of it.
3. It instantly lowers calorie levels.
Lower calories are a key to better health. The crash diet immediately lowers a person’s caloric intake so that the body consumes its own resources instead of the food resources that have contributed to fat. This means thinner waist lines, more energy, and better overall self-esteem.
4. It is over quickly.
Most crash diets are a 2-7 day proposition at most. There are some fasting diets, like the juice fast, that offer a 30 day alternative for big weight loss needs. Most people can lose the right amount of weight with just a couple days of effort and then adjust their habits accordingly so the weight stays off.
5. It’s a fast way to start a low-calorie lifetime diet.
Certain medical conditions require caloric restriction. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and similar conditions may force lifestyle changes that include individual eating habits. A crash diet can help that change get started on the right foot so that success in health can overcome the grief that occurs when habits are forced to change.
The Cons of a Crash Diet
1. Health complications may occur.
The biggest health risk of a crash diet is the formation of gallstones. These stones can become large enough that they block the gallbladder or other portions of the gastrointestinal tract and require emergency medical intervention to resolve the situation. There is a direct correlation to the amount of weight lost and the size of the gallstones that may form.
2. They are very restrictive.
Crash diets require people to follow one specific course of action in most instances. Because calorie intake is the primary focus of this diet, most of them are designed around consuming the bare minimum amount of food so that the effects of starvation are not felt.
3. There is no control over which resources the body consumes.
People cannot dictate what parts of the body it will consume when it needs energy. You might be carrying a lot of weight around your middle, but your body might decide to take the fat tissues from your neck, legs, and arms before it touches the torso. There’s also the possibility that the body might consume muscle tissues instead of fat tissues.
4. Most people gain back the weight.
Crash diets are an effective short-term solution to a weight problem, but they aren’t always an effective long-term solution. Within 5 years, the vast majority of people who lose weight through crash dieting will not only gain back all of the weight they lost, but they’ll also go above what their original problematic weight was that triggered the decision for a crash diet in the first place.
5. Temptation urges happen all of the time.
It takes a great force of will to stay on a crash diet for a prolonged period of time. Smells, sights, and other stimuli that involve a favorite food can create a huge temptation to cheat on the crash diet. Many find that they either need to isolate themselves while dieting or have a plan of action in place and ready to implement to avoid falling to those temptations when they occur.
How Do You Feel About Crash Dieting?
Many people swear by the successes they’ve seen with their crash diet. Others have struggled to keep the weight off over a longer period of time and find themselves in a pattern of crashing and binging. The pros and cons of a crash diet, however, when properly, weighed, can provide an effective solution to a weight problem.