Why You Should Never Rely on Crash Diets for Weight Loss

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They are called “crash” diets for a reason. You eventually crash and burn, turn to unhealthy foods full of refined sugar, salt, white flour and other weight gain boosters, and put back all the weight you lost.

Sometimes you add additional weight.

There are several reasons why you should never rely on a crash diet for weight loss.

Unfortunately, these types of restrictive diets can lead to some pretty impressive weight loss numbers in the beginning.

So people think, “Wow! I am losing weight like never before. This is great. I’m going to stick to this diet.”

That is a mistake.

What is happening is your body in the beginning of a crash diet has not decided whether or not this is a speed-bump in your eating behaviors, or if it is something you’re going to do long term.

Eventually, after somewhere around 5 to 10 days, your body recognizes this as a habitual eating pattern.

The problem is, crash diets are very restrictive.

They drastically cut the amount of protein, fats, carbohydrates and nutrition you give your body.

So your body tells itself, “Okay, I guess is this is the way we are going to eat from now on. Since I am getting nowhere near the nutrition I need on a daily basis, I am going into starvation mode.”

If you want to lose weight, starvation mode might sound very sexy. This might sound like something that is exactly what you are looking for.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

That is because during starvation mode, your body recognizes that you haven’t been getting all of the wonderfully healthy nutrients, minerals and vitamins you need for all your body processes to work properly.

When it sees this happening, it begins to store anything and everything you do take in.

Unfortunately, this drastically slows down your metabolism, leading to weight gain. Your body is deprived of essential nutrients, so every carbohydrate your body does receive on these restrictive and unhealthy crash diets is hoarded obsessively, and stored as fat for energy use later.

This makes weight loss difficult to impossible.

Healthy weight loss should be gradual.

You should be able to consistently lose a small amount of weight every few days and do so without depriving your body of nutrition. If you trim your calories and simple carbohydrates by 15% to 25%, without limiting the amount of healthy foods you eat such as fresh vegetables and fruits, you can sustain this eating behavior.

This means healthy weight loss now and over the long-term, a lifestyle habit that is easy to practice, doesn’t cause unhealthy cravings, and doesn’t deliver the “crash and burn” characteristic of crash diets.

Extra Tips for Weight Loss

Get moving. Just 3 sessions of aerobic activity 20 minutes in duration each week will boost your carb-cutting weight loss. Skip sugar-filled drinks and drink lots of green tea and water instead.

Have a 12 to 16 ounce glass of water before meals, and eat mostly raw or steamed veggies and fruits, nuts and berries. Add these steps to your low-carb approach to nutrition and you will maximize your weight loss until you reach your naturally healthy body weight.

Why Depriving Yourself Won’t Lead to Weight Loss

We hear it from dieticians all the time and read in health-related articles that carbohydrates, fats, and sugar-rich foods, are fattening. So, when trying to lose weight we stop eating these foods and focus on other options such as proteins, whole foods, smoothies, green juices, etc.

What happens next is total failure and disappointment, as anyone who has ever deprived themselves certain high calorie foods to lose weight will tell you.

So, why does this happen despite efforts to cut back on calorie intake? Well, here are 3 reasons why depriving yourself will not lead to weight loss.

1) A Self-Deprived Diet Is Guaranteed to Backfire

Whether you have decided to eliminate whole food groups or avoid high-calorie favorites (burgers, chocolate, fries, etc), any diet that consists of depriving yourself is guaranteed to backfire.

For starters, such a diet is hard to stick to.

Therefore, chances are you will revert to your old eating habits that caused you to pack on excess fat in the first place.

Moreover, the body just is not designed to work beyond its limits.

For this reason, depriving yourself to a point below minimum requirement for body function will see your body start conserving energy instead of using it to bring about weight loss.

Your metabolism will slow down, fat burning will shut down, and the body will begin to hold onto its fat stores in preparation for starvation. So what you thought would help cut fat fast, is not even an effective weight loss method.

2) Deprivation Turns You into a Ticking Time Bomb

Forbidding certain foods from your diet only works to make them more desirable.

You will find yourself constantly thinking of these foods and craving to indulge in that savory piece of pizza that you have not had in a long time or that creamy ice cream, which always gives you so much comfort.

While you may resist for some time, the longer you deny yourself, the greater your cravings will grow. Therefore, it is a sure guarantee that you will eventually snap and give in to your cravings.

The problem with deprivation-triggered cravings is that they tend to result in binge eating when you finally give in. And, the worst part is that the period of overeating can last for as long as weeks, months, or even years in some cases.

3) Cutting out Whole Food Groups Is Not Healthy

Cutting out certain food groups in a bid to lose weight will result in your body being deprived of nutrients found in those foods.

Sure, you will cut down on calorie intake, but you will also miss out on other crucial health benefits provided by the missing nutrients.

For instance, carbs have health boosting benefits for the heart, promote a healthy digestive system, boost energy, and fill the stomach faster. So, cutting out carbs means you will be depriving yourself of essential dietary needs.

The same goes for other foods as each food group has its own set of nutrients and benefits. And, if the manner in which you deprive yourself is severe, you can even experience a number of symptoms including malnutrition, dehydration, hunger pangs, headaches, among others.

To sum things up, there is no point in depriving yourself to lose weight because such a diet does not even work in the long haul.

Instead, you should work at forming healthy eating habits that can be integrated into your lifestyle. For example, if you are in the habit of eating half a gallon of ice cream in one go, reduce that portion to about half a cup and the cut down on the frequency in which you enjoy this creamy delight.

By simply applying moderation and watching portion sizes, you can continue enjoying favorites such as pizza and chocolate and still lose weight.

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[Revised and Updated for June 2020]
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