If you’re looking for a fast way to lose weight, you may find yourself falling for the empty promises of a crash diet. By severely restricting what you can eat, these diets are one of the most detrimental things that you could do for your overall health.
These diets are unsupportive of long-term progress because they cause malnutrition and don’t teach dietary changes that can be maintained for an extended period of time. Not only that, but they also significantly slow down your metabolic rate, making it harder to see ongoing fat loss – or maintain your weight loss once you’re done.
Crash diets may seem promising because they claim you’ll get such fantastic results, but do not be misled. Fall for these empty tricks and you will be setting yourself up for problems. Let’s look at what to watch out for as you pick your healthy eating plan.
• Crash diets call for fewer than 1200 calories. For most women, this is the absolute minimum number of calories that you should be eating daily. Men should typically consume 1500 calories and up.
• They focus on just one or two food groups. Never cut a food group out – your body needs all three macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) to function properly.
• They use weird food combining or counting rules. Any diet that has more rules than you can keep track of is one to avoid. Put your energy into developing healthy habits, not trying to grasp an abstract system.
• They are extremely rigid. Remember, a diet has to work with your lifestyle. If you can’t stick with it, it’ll never be successful.
• They require you to use a number of supplements. No supplement will ever compensate for whole foods so stay away from diets that turn your pantry into a pharmacy.
• They use meal replacement shakes. While these can be good on occasion, they should not be used daily in place of meals.
• They’re low in protein content. A diet should provide a lean source of protein for each meal and snack you consume.
• They don’t include a high amount of fruits and vegetables. These are the most nutrient-dense foods. No diet should eliminate them.
• They tell you not to exercise. If a diet isn’t going to provide enough energy for you to stay active, it’s definitely not a healthy approach to eating, let alone weight loss.
• They have you consume only pre-made meals. You want a diet that can teach you to eat right in your daily routine so that you can maintain your target weight for life.
The Bottom Line
As much as you want to lose weight as quickly as possible, you must absolutely avoid any and all crash diets. They simply are not going to bring you the success you’re looking for, at least not in a sustainable fashion. More often than not a severe diet will cause you to regain all the weight and then some after the diet ends.
Choose to use a more moderate diet approach that provides wholesome nutrition and enough energy to get through your day. It should also have guidelines and meals that you can actually stick with. You’ll see far better results, enjoy the process more, and once you reach your goal weight, you’ll stay there.