Approximately 45 million Americans attempt some kind of weight loss program in any given year. Despite that, obesity rates continue to rise, and 2/3 of the population is considered overweight.
To effectively lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. That means cutting back on what and how much you eat. It also requires increasing your physical activity.
Having a weight loss goal is a vital part of starting your journey, as is choosing the right program to help you reach your goals. Perhaps you’ve heard of crash diets and how they can result in quick weight loss.
So, what is a crash diet? What can it do for you? Is it a safe choice? Keep reading to find out.
What Is a Crash Diet?
A crash diet is defined as a weight loss plan that lasts for a short period of time but that results in significant weight loss results. It’s often done by cutting out specific food groups for a given number of days or weeks.
You will recognize a crash diet because it severely restricts calories. It might also make big promises regarding how much weight you can lose on the program.
These kinds of diets are often called a cleanse or detox. But are they a good choice for you? That depends.
Who Should Try a Crash Diet?
Sometimes a crash diet is prescribed as a quick way to drop enough weight to undergo surgery. This might include individuals who have a weight loss goal that allows for gastric bypass surgery.
In cases where vital surgery is required, and you need to lose weight, a crash diet can help. It should always be done under the supervision of a medical professional for the best results.
However, many people opt for this style of dieting as a quick way to lose weight. It might work but should be done with caution.
How Does a Crash Diet Work?
A crash diet typically lasts for two to seven days. During that time, your calorie goal for weight loss is usually around 1,200 or fewer per day. This could be as little as 800 calories.
For the duration of the program, you’ll eat very low-calorie foods in small portions. Examples include fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, water, and green tea. You will avoid all sugar and alcohol.
Many crash diets also recommend avoiding exercise to preserve energy since calorie intake is restricted. You may be able to do stretching or low-intensity workouts like yoga, but most exercise is off-limits.
Keeping a weight loss goal chart can help you track your calories and keep you on track for reaching your weight loss goals.
Potential Benefits of Crash Dieting
Despite its short-term nature, you can take advantage of a few potential benefits of crash dieting. The most obvious is fast weight loss, providing quick results. These fast results help boost motivation to keep you going.
Again, because it only lasts for a couple of days, a crash diet is a cheaper alternative to many of the expensive weight loss plans on the market.
Problems with a Crash Diet
While there are some potential benefits, chances are you’ll experience more unpleasant side effects on a crash diet.
Why? Because when you severely restrict your calorie intake, you alter your blood sugar levels, reduce energy, and set up the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Low intake of certain vitamins and minerals can have health consequences.
A few days on a crash diet might not produce the same dangerous side effects, but prolonged calorie restriction is risky. It can lead to eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
It can also cause reduced brain function, interfere with immunity, lead to weakened bones, and result in hair loss. Other side effects include muscle loss, impaired attention, reduced organ function, and skin problems.
Reduced nutrient intake can cause a wide variety of health issues, including anemia, electrolyte imbalances, heart arrhythmias, and the risk of organ failure.
If you want to try a crash diet, it’s best to do so under the supervision of a medical professional.
After a Crash Diet
Many people find that once they finish the crash diet, they return to their old style of eating. This results in gaining back the weight that was lost and ending up back at the beginning.
As mentioned above, the quick results of a crash diet can help motivate you to stick with healthier choices. However, the short-term nature of a crash diet isn’t long enough to instill new eating habits.
For that reason, most doctors discourage people from using a crash diet for weight loss unless they are preparing for surgery.
The bottom line is this: the risks of a crash diet far outweigh the possible benefits. You’re much more likely to be successful when you choose a healthy method of dropping excess weight.
What Does Healthy Weight Loss Look Like?
As mentioned above, healthy weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you take in. You can achieve this in two distinct ways.
The first is to focus on a nutritious meal plan that includes foods from each food group. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
This satisfies your appetite while also optimizing your vitamin and mineral intake. Choose foods you enjoy, which makes it more likely that you’ll eat them.
The second way to control calories is to include physical fitness in your routine. The average person should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. You should also do strength training at least twice each week.
It might sound too simple to be effective, but you’ll be surprised at how successful this method is, along with the assistance of a medical professional.
However, methods backed by science, like ChiroThin, can help jump-start your progress and get you on the right track. This program utilizes a natural supplement to support your weight loss efforts.
Taking the First Step
Now that you have an answer for “what is a crash diet,” you likely realize it’s not the right choice for you. It’s important to have realistic weight loss goals before you get started.
With ChiroThin, women can expect to safely lose a 1/2 pound per day and men can lose 1 pound per day. In just 6 weeks, the potential weight loss is 25 to 35 pounds. No crash diets needed.
It’s always important to talk to your doctor before you begin a weight loss program.
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Click here to find a ChiroThin doctor in your area.