Fast Crash Diets

Why calorie restrictive diets are dead wrong!

Fast crash diets, also known as calorie restrictive diets, are often successful at helping people lose weight fast. However these crash diets present a number of inherent problems.

Incidentally, the number of calorie restrictive diets on the market has increased dramatically in response to the worsening global obesity epidemic.

Unfortunately though, the approach almost all of the fast crash diets use means that people who follow them are setting themselves up for failure. In fact, these diets are likely contributors to the obesity epidemic rather than being part of the solution!

Fast Crash Diets

Almost all of the fast crash diets are calorie restrictive diets (a.k.a. Very Low Calorie Diets), which help users drop weight quickly. Some of them are also carbohydrate restrictive diets, which can further accelerate weight loss by ridding the body of carbohydrate and the fluid that is stored with it.

The severe restriction of calories (energy) and in some cases carbohydrate results in quite intense hunger pain. The Lemon Detox Diet is a good example. The Kate Morgan and Tony Ferguson weight-loss program also use a fast crash diet as a major part of their system.

In fact, these two weight-loss program only offer dieters one whole-food meal a day in addition to two shakes. To make matters worse, the shakes they offer are extremely poor quality and fulfil the standard criteria of the various shake diets on the market.

Whilst these diets may help people lose weight quickly, in almost every case as soon as these people return to previous eating habits the weight piles back on again and they quickly return to their previous body weight and usually with a few extra kilos to show for their efforts!

Here are some of the reasons why you should avoid following any type of fast crash diet:

Fast crash diets are not long-term, sustainable approaches to nutrition

It is absolutely essential that you approach any diet or nutritional plan with the intention of following it for the rest of your life. Without this intention and follow-through, then it is impossible to maintain the results you achieve. You will simply put all the lost weight back on.

Fast crash diets are not designed to be followed long term. Since they are so restrictive it is impossible to stick to them for any length of time. The human body simply does not accept being starved as a way to lose weight. You may lose weight initially but rest assured, the lost weight will come back, and it will come back with its 'friends' as well to ensure that the next time you try to lose weight it is even harder!

Calorie restrictive diets often lead to nutritional deficiencies

The lack of food supplied by fast crash diets means that nutritional deficiencies are inevitable. Not only do these deficiencies lead to a whole range of health issues like, suppressed immunity, lack of energy and decreased body functioning overall, but they also lead to extreme hunger and often uncontrollable food cravings, which typically lead to over-eating and failure of the diet.

Post-diet weight re-gain

The biggest problem with fast crash diets is the fact that dieters put all the lost weight back on shortly after finishing the diet. In fact, it is not unusual for some people to gain 10 kilograms (22lbs) of lost weight in a matter of days following the diet!

Since the human body is so effective at adapting to stress, the stress of dieting is easily overcome by using a variety of mechanisms. As a result, fast crash diets are definitely not the way to go if you want to lose weight quickly and keep it off long term.

Fast crash diets result in a depressed metabolism

The body reacts to calorie restrictive diets by invoking its 'Anti-Starvation Response'. This is an evolutionary characteristic that has been with us for millennia. Therefore, whenever our body detects a reduction in food intake it automatically responds in the same way as the bodies of our ancestors did thousands of years ago.

One of the mechanisms through which the body responds to severe food restriction is by decreasing its output of thyroid hormones. Since thyroid hormones speed up your metabolism, a reduction of these hormones results in a corresponding reduction in metabolic rate.

The body's production of cortisol also increases. Cortisol is a glucocorticoid and supports a range of essential bodily functions. From a survival perspective cortisol has the effect of breaking down muscle tissue to liberate amino acids, which may then be converted into glucose and used as a fuel source. This process is known as 'gluconeogenesis'.

Cortisol is the body's most powerful catabolic hormones, which means it breaks down tissue.

Decrease in energy (vibrancy)

Fast crash diets reduce your food intake to the point where you end up with very low energy levels simply because there is less fuel than your body needs in order to function optimally each day. This makes performing everyday tasks very difficult as well as your ability to perform any exercise.

Severe hunger pains

Hunger pains result from a reduction in food that is severe enough to result in some degree of starvation. Everyone who follows any one of the severe calorie restrictive diets will experience some degree of hunger pains. Some people even report feeling hunger pains all day long and have constant thoughts about food.

One of the most important facts about weight loss is that if you want to lose weight and keep it off long term then you must never feel hungry!

Feelings of irritability

Feeling irritable is often associated with being hungry. Since dieting results in intense feelings of hunger, irritability is almost inevitable. Not only is this feeling extremely uncomfortable but it may also have a negative impact on our relationship with other people.

The body increases its production of fat-storing enzymes

One of the adaptive mechanisms that the body makes to any of the fast crash diets is to increase its production of the fat-storing enzyme, Fatty Acid Synthase (FAS). As a result, when normal eating resumes, the body will be more likely to store food as body fat. The body does this so that if it is ever starved again it will have extra stores of fuel (fat) from which to draw.

The Solution...

The only way to lose weight and keep it off long term is to follow a nutritional plan that does not restrict your food intake excessively, supplies your body with all the nutrients it requires and is something that you can easily follow for the rest of your life!

Of course, if you want to lose weight a mild calorie (energy) deficit is essential. However, more is definitely not better in the case of dieting.

Plus, if you combine this with a suitable exercise program and a range of beneficial supplements you will be able to easily achieve your weight-loss goal, improve your health and have a better quality of life all at the same time!

To get a diet that is easy to follow and guarantees to get you results without causing any of the problems associated with fast crash diets, get a copy of my e-book, Look Good, Feel Great!

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