Saturday, 21 April 2012

Crash Diets and Why They Fail

Crash Diets – Why They Fail

What is a crash diet?

A crash diet, essentially, is a diet regime that lacks certain nutritional requirements in order to restrict the intake of calories and therefore help us to lose weight. The idea is to help achieve rapid weight loss, and to not last a long time.

These types of diet are typically not a healthy way of either living or dieting and are generally quite unsuccessful, certainly in the long term.

Why do crash diets fail?

Although it is often the case that people who partake in crash diets do see a loss of weight, it is extremely common that these people put that weight straight back on.

One reason for this is that when we lower our calorie intake, the body alters its metabolic rate. Once we increase our calorie intake again the calories are being burnt at a slower rate and so the weight can easily be put back on. Essentially, when we lower the calorie intake our body goes into a fat storage, as opposed to fat burner, mode.

Generally, crash diets shed muscle rather than fat and so our body shape will not alter very much, while all along we are burning off muscle that we want and need. This is due to the body storing the fat that it has for energy reserves. Essentially, muscle is more disposable to the body than fat. Therefore, although we are losing weight on the scales, it is not the right weight, and we will be just as flabby as ever.

Another reason as to why crash diets fail is that restrictions of foods are hard to stick to. If we do not allow ourselves a certain food, we are far more likely to crave it and then eat far too much of it! So by restricting a certain food to lose weight can often have the opposite effect.

What we should do to lose weight

Losing weight is not as difficult as some people make it out to be. However, people do have problems with it and a lot comes from the fact that there is too much conflicting information available. Burning more calories than we use is the way to go, but we need to do it in a healthy manner, that we are able to maintain. We must set realistic targets and avoid the yo-yo culture that seems so easy to get into. A healthy weight loss program should look to lose around 2 pounds of body fat per week. This is the healthy and right way to lose weight. We will be less likely to put the weight on this way.


  1. Great post. This makes a lot of sense! I think just eating the right way will be for the best.