Juicing, cleansing, and detoxes are the go-to diets for many who want to lose weight within days—because, a quick-fix is so enticing, isn't it? You also have calorie-restrictive meal plans like 17-day weight loss diet, radical grapefruit diet or the alternate day fasting plan to trim that waistline in no time.
It's no surprise that 'diets to lose weight fast' is one of the most Google-d searches among weight watchers. We're not here to reiterate what so many others may have already told you: A quick-fix is not a long-term solution. We're here with expert opinions on how these crash diets work, whether they're worth your starvation, and how your altered meal plan affects the body.
For those who aren't blinded by the hunger to lose weight quickly, what they have to say is worth a listen and may change how you feel about going on that crash diet:
"But, I'm Losing So Much Weight," He Says
Well, fad diets are designed to give you a quick drop in pounds, so of course they help you weigh light on the scale. But that's not because you're losing weight. Adina Fradkin, founder of Adina Fradkin Nutrition Consulting, says, "Most of these meal plans promise quick results in a short time work by drastically reducing our carbohydrate and overall calorie intake. When the body is taking in a reduced amount of carbs, its main source of energy, water weight is lost as our glycogen stores or "backup energy" gets used up. Many people perceive this as weight loss, but it's really just a loss of water weight from the body."
They're So Bad For Women!
Of the genders, women are more prone to crash dieting and weight cycling (yo-yo diets), particularly to look their best for events, drop the baby weight, or make an impression. But, physiologically, crash diets are particularly bad for women because they severly make you lose muscle mass, leading to sagging skin and poor body tone. "They are especially not recommended for women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding. It is good for women to have some protective fat on their bodies. It shields them against infertility, lack of breastmilk production, osteoporosis, dull hair, skin, and nails," says Rebecca Lee, founder of RemediesForMe.com.
They Put You At An Increased Risk For Lifestyle Diseases
Dr Scott Schreiber, a dietician from Newark, explains what this means for your body from the inside. "Extreme calorie restriction, common on most quick-fix diets, increases production of our stress hormones, specifically cortisol, which increases your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Initially these crash diets may decrease body fat, but over time, low-calorie diets lead to muscle wasting and increased storage of body fat, totally defeating the purpose of the diet in the first place."
You will experience a breakdown of not just your metabolism, but your immunity, too. Those who go on crash diets or calorie-restrictive plans fall sick more often, because they aren't feeding their body with the essential nutrients it needs to stay fighting fit. "Eliminating carbohydrates and fats makes you run the risk of becoming severely deficient in essential vitamins and minerals that form the defense squad against illnesses and diseases."
You WILL Put It Back On, Without An Ounce Of Doubt!
We shrug it off when someone tells us that we will gain double the weight in the long run if we crash diet, because most people give this unsolicited advice without justification. Well, there's a very real reason why it happens and understanding it will help give you clarity.
Steve Wyatt, Strength and Conditioning Coach says, "These diets condition your body to store fat. Your body fat levels are correlated to a hormone called leptin, which is monitored by the hypothalamus section of your brain. Leptin controls appetite, modulates your metabolism and promotes the burning of fat cells. If fat levels drop very quickly, there is a subsequent rapid drop in leptin levels. A rapid drop in leptin levels will trigger the starvation response which will tell your body to hold onto fat cells and stored energy to keep you alive.”
Also, over time, your Body Fat Percentage will get extremely skewed because you will start to store more fat than muscle, and have severe water retention with a dip in mineral levels. On the face of it, all is well when you see the deflated stomach in the mirror, or are able to fit into jeans that are a size smaller. But on the inside, you'll be an unhealthy fat person in a thinner body which will go back to its old ways, and have poor recovery subsequently.