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The Dangers of Crash Dieting

crash dietingNumerous weight loss programs claim to be a “quick fix” while promising to instantly rid your body of any unwanted fat without exercise. These plans, also known as crash dieting, are nothing more than extreme ways to lose weight, such as starvation and minimal intake of nutrients, accompanied by a very heavy cost to your health and overall well-being. Any effectiveness they might have is often cancelled out by more permanent health problems, such as future illness.It would make sense that when you stop eating, you will also lose fat, and therefore weight will come off. However, even if it works, the results of crash dieting are short-lived at best and never outweigh the risks associated with it.

Popular Crash Diets

Many people today have a fascination with celebrities and how they maintain their newsworthy physiques with such hectic schedules. Unfortunately, some celebrities do not have lifestyles we should aspire to, and quite a few of them are outspoken about the crash dieting they follow. Here are a few of the most popular crash diets you might have heard about:

Lemonade Diet+

Initially developed in the 1940s by Stanley Burroughs as a way to flush toxins out of the system, the Lemonade Diet is basically a liquid diet. While the original version was called the Master Cleanse, the new incarnation was publicized by Peter Glickman with a 10-day program, requiring the person to go without food and only consume a mixture of lemon juice, organic maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and distilled water. Gwyneth Paltrow has reportedly used it along with other celebrities, ignoring the dangers of an all-liquid diet, which include a serious deficiency of essential nutrients, low caloric consumption, return of weight, and the possibility of dizziness and headaches.

Cabbage Soup Diet+

A seven-day plan that, despite its name, also features foods like potatoes, bananas, beef, skim milk and water, with of course, cabbage soup. This particular diet has no known origin, but it was popular in the 1980s. It is reportedly used today by Sarah Michelle Geller, Jaime Pressly, and other celebrities as well. Quick results might be a selling point, but users mostly experience water weight lost; it is a diet with very high sodium and risks of less concentration power, overall weakness, and lightheadedness.

Grapefruit Diet+

Known for its similarities with the Atkins Diet because each uses low-carbohydrate foods, the Grapefruit Diet revolves around the notion that grapefruits have a super ingredient that encourages weight loss. The diet is a 12-day program that is considered to be quick and extreme with a low caloric intake that prohibits high-carbohydrate foods, sometimes leading to a lack of essential vitamins, nutrients and fiber. Although no one has discovered who invented this plan, it has been used since the 1930s.

Fat Loss 4 Idiots (The Idiot Proof Diet)+

Here the name says it all, as calorie shifting is employed on a 14-day plan where the first 11 require a meal plan while the remaining three days allow the person to eat whatever they want. Proteins, fruits and vegetables make up the planned meals, and dieters eat four times a day with no portion limits, but each person can only eat until just before feeling full. A simple way to describe this fat loss plan that is billed as “idiot proof” is that its objective is to outsmart the metabolic process, which supposedly will speed up naturally with the cycling, and the body must work hard to keep up with the changing food intake. Some drawbacks are that there is no online support system available, it features a very strict meal plan that is not easy to prepare, and it contains a deficiency of nutrients.

7-Day All You Can Eat Diet+

Is it possible to lose anywhere from 5 to 11 pounds via body detoxification in only seven days while eating foods that also remove harmful substances and toxins? Well, if you believe what the promotions claim, it just might be, if you can stick to the plan to eat fiber-rich foods that are low on the glycemic index, and you drink at least 10 glasses of water each day for the purpose of flushing. On the positive side of this plan, it includes a high quantity of fruits and vegetables, and on the quite negative side, it is very extreme and can cause an upset stomach. You might also experience dizziness and feelings of fatigue or sickness.

3-Day Diet+

A very popular diet plan online is a 3-Day Diet, which obviously is only for short-term use. No author is known, even though it has been around since the 1980s, and up to 10 pounds of weight loss have been reported from it, all without any extra supplements necessary. Carefully consider this with a substantial amount of skepticism because it is not meant as a healthy plan for long or continuing weight loss, and it has a low calorie count.

Hollywood Diet+

Sunset Health Products released the Hollywood Diet in 1997, promising a loss of 5 pounds per day and a total of 10 pounds over the two-day plan. Following a trip to a health spa in Europe, Jamie Kabler supposedly developed an idea where dieters only drink a specially formulated shake for one or two days that according to its claim, not only helps with weight loss, but also remedies headaches, skin problems, depression, lack of energy and other ailments. Each juice shake is really a mixture of antioxidants, fruits, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are normally used for detoxification or weight reduction. Various stomach problems and hunger are the negative effects of the Hollywood Diet, and it is only a short-term solution with potential consequences that could be long-lasting.

Chicken Soup Diet+

Lasting for seven days, this particular diet has five different breakfasts people can choose from, and they must eat chicken soup for the remainder of the day, made with a specific recipe. While its inception is based on the belief that chicken soup is well known for its health benefits, the actual origin of the diet is unknown. Breakfasts are narrowed to certain foods that include yogurt, orange juice, whole wheat, bagels, ricotta cheese, prune juice and skim milk, with a multivitamin recommendation in some versions. As with most other crash diets, it has only a short-term effect, and the Chicken Soup regimen lacks vitamins and nutrients, yet it is high in sodium.

Risks of Crash Dieting

risksThe long list of physical risks of crash dieting includes nutritional deficiency in the short-term and weight gain following the program that negates its value and might slow the metabolism of the person. Emotionally, anyone who uses an extreme program that depletes nutrients might experience moodiness, depression, intense cravings and irritability. People have also reported feeling tired and lethargic on crash diets. Another troubling factor of crash dieting is that it can cause serious eating problems and a variety of disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Crash dieting risks for the long-term include osteoporosis from calcium deficiencies, brain damage, liver and/or kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

A Healthy Weight Loss Plan

If someone you care is struggling with endless cycles of crash dieting that may be endangering their health, please feel free to contact us here at Futures of Palm Beach for more information. We devise healthy exercise and nutrition plans for our patients that will ensure they avoid unnecessary risks and still maintain optimal energy levels. We also address the underlying psychological issues that lead someone to crash dieting and disordered eating habits. Call us today for more information.