8 Ways in Which Crash Diets Harm Your Health
January 12, 2022
In today’s busy world, everything happens at warp speed. From fast food to fast-track diets, not all solutions are as simple as they sound. Real change takes time, especially when it comes to losing weight and getting healthier. If crash diets sound too good to be true, it’s because they usually are, and they can have serious consequences on your health.
1. Lack of Proper Nutrition
Many people on crash diets drastically reduce their intake of food. This can result in the body being starved of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. When we cut back on our consumption of food, we are inevitably forgoing the vitamins and minerals these foods contain.
2. Losing Muscle and Bone
Those on a fast weight loss diet can be at risk of losing lean body mass. Because the weight we lose also comes from muscle and bone, losing too much too quickly or maintaining an extremely low-calorie diet can result in loss of strength and brittle bones.
3. Slow Metabolism
While fast metabolism is often associated with losing weight, crash diets can actually cause a person’s metabolism to slow down, resulting in future weight gain. This is one of the reasons why a crash diet for weight loss leads to yo-yo dieting and feelings of disappointment—or guilt—for having regained the pounds lost.
4. Lack of Energy
A common side effect of a low caloric intake is lethargy and a lack of energy. Because crash dieters often cut out energy-inducing foods like carbohydrates, they can begin to be tired or dizzy. This is due to the fact that the brain turns carbs into glucose, creating the energy it needs to function properly.
Some leading authorities believe there is a connection between a fast weight loss diet and gallstones. Consuming a diet of 800 calories or less has been shown to cause changes in the way fat is metabolized and therefore increase the risk of gallstone formation. This is a very painful condition and is often prompted by a cycle of on-and-off dieting.
6. Heart Problems
Cardiac trouble can develop when people consume too few calories. Your heart needs essential nutrients from food to function properly, and when you restrict your caloric intake, this vital organ is deprived of things like potassium and magnesium. Pre-existing heart conditions can be exacerbated and new troubles like a weak pulse or abnormal rhythm can occur. This is another reason why those on crash diets may start to feel fatigued or dizzy.
7. Hair Loss
Another effect of a crash diet is hair loss. Many people don’t consider the connection between health and hair. However, just like your body’s organs, your hair also relies on proper nutrition to grow and stay strong. When you severely reduce your consumption of food, you are also limiting essential nutrients like biotin, selenium, and vitamin C, all of which are needed for healthy hair.
8. Electrolyte Imbalance
When you dramatically reduce your food consumption, your body’s levels of electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium can drop, resulting in dehydration, kidney failure, cardiac complications, and other health issues. These effects can happen even in the early stages of a crash diet and have serious consequences.
Now that you know the potential risks associated with crash dieting, you can avoid them by enacting a healthy approach to getting fit. Z.E.N. Foods cares about making healthy eating easy and accessible. Check out one of our meal plans and let us help you get started on your personal wellness journey.