Harmful effects of crash dieting you were not aware of

Updated at: Sep 11, 2017
Harmful effects of crash dieting you were not aware of

Unhealthy weight or body image may make us desperate to the extent of accepting crash diets. This kind of dieting harms the body and may lead you to gain weight instead. Harmful effects of crash dieting are too obvious to ignore!

Sandhya Gugnani
Weight ManagementWritten by: Sandhya GugnaniPublished at: Sep 11, 2017

You could be fooled into thinking that crash and fad diets will give you a quick fix solution, Crash dieting may seem as the best option for those looking to lose some weight quickly but have you ever thought about the effects of crash diets on your overall physical and mental health?

Crash diets

Is a diet that is under 1200 calories eaten daily. It is not a very healthy methods of weight loss that deliver results in a very short span. There are many effects of crash dieting including short-term weight loss, dehydration, nutritional deprivation, leading to long- term health complications.

Depriving yourself

Crash diet tends to make dieters tired, irritable and lethargic and brings on food cravings. There's a rapid weight loss, making it look like the plan is working. At this point, you haven't actually lost any fat; all that's happened is that you've used up the body's limited store of glycogen, a form of carbohydrate. As you use up the glycogen, your body loses water with it, so you appear to be losing weight very quickly.

Primarily, crash diets slow down your body’s metabolic rate. Your body wants to maximize each calorie it receives because it is afraid of starvation so continued weight loss after the crash diet is extremely difficult.

Health risks

The short-term dehydration and nutritional deprivation, can go hand in hand. Even if you consume a lot of water throughout your diet it is hard for your body to retain water if you are not eating balanced meals. Severely restricting your caloric intake deprives your body of vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and nutrients that it needs to sustain itself.

Having a diet free from fat is not acceptable since your body needs 30% of its daily calories to come from fats leading to malnourishment. Leading to weakening of the immune system, development of gallstones, hair loss & cholesterol related disorders. In addition, a lot of crash diets suggest the use of laxatives or salt water flushes which increase risk of dehydration and don’t allow the body to absorb nutrients and fats which in turn leads to nutritional deprivation.

Further, weight gain is another issue due to change in metabolic rate that your body goes through while you are crash dieting. Thereafter, due to the body’s adjusted metabolism, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to loose weight.

Eating disorder

Developing anorexia, bulimia & untimely food cravings further leads to a number of other disorders.


women are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis especially in the menopausal phase and crash dieting makes them even prone to it due to the weakening of bones caused by calcium deficiency.

Muscle and tissue loss

Crash dieting causes the fat to be stored and the muscles are burned instead of the fats and calories. This causes a great deal of muscle loss and loss of tissues around organs like the brain, kidneys and the liver.

Early aging

Crash dieting speeds up the process of ageing. You will notice signs of aging on your skin like sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles early on.

Some other serious crash diets effects include electrolyte imbalance, low blood cell count, development of cardiovascular system disorders and organ damage.

Mental health

A lot of crash dieters go into depression once they hit the weight loss plateau and start putting on weight. Depression is also accompanied by lethargy, tiredness, mood swings and irritability. Crash dieters are also known to complain about lack of concentration and confidence in them.

The Yo-Yo effect

Yo-yo dieting messes up your metabolism, and may even raise the levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood, increasing your risk of arterial disease and heart problems. They weaken your immune system, cause heart palpitations and cardiac stress.

The best solution

If you were considering a crash diet, you should reconsider. Not only will it be unsuccessful in helping you achieve weight loss but also you will undoubtedly expose yourself to health risks in the long run. The best way to get down to your healthy weight and feel and look your best is to do it slowly. A balanced diet and moderate regular exercise will gently get you toned up, and keep the weight off for good.

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