The Risks of Crash Dieting

Food Salad Dressing Crash Dieting Diet

It often seems appealing to lose weight quickly. For many of us, it’s easier to think about severely restricting what we do to see rapid gains in a short period of time, than it is to think about making long-term sustainable life changes. But rapid weight-loss – especially the sort that we commonly call “crash” dieting – is not without risks that must be considered in relation to any possible rewards.

If you are planning to start a new diet, make sure that it is not a “crash” diet that could negatively impact your health. Rapid weight-loss, such as that experienced on “crash” diets can be accompanied by numerous health risks, such as:

  • Gallstones: Gallstones form when substances in bile crystallize and the crystals grow together, and these gallstones can later increase in size to cause pain and illness. Up to 25 percent of individuals who use diets that are very low in calories (800 calories per day or less) develop gallstones.
  • Loss of Lean Body Mass: When someone loses a lot of weight, some part of that weight is always likely to be lean body mass (muscle and bone) rather than fat. Overall loss of lean body mass is associated with poor health, especially as we age.
  • Poor Nutrition: When you dramatically reduce what you eat, it can be very hard to meet your nutritional requirements. Some diets may also restrict foods, making it a challenge to get the complete nutritional value that your body needs.
  • The Rebound Effect: When you lose weight, one of the hardest things to do is to keep it off. Many people will find they regain the lost weight faster than they lost it after the kind of drastic dieting found in “crash” diets.

An important rule of thumb to keep in mind is this: If it sounds too good to be true, than it probably is. “Crash” diets may seem like a quick and easy way to reach your weight-loss goals, but they’re often times not sustainable in the long-haul, and they create even more health risks for those who participate.

Want to learn more about “crash” dieting? CLICK HERE to read “The Risks of The Crash Diet,” an article written by naturopathic doctor and medical nutrition expert Jacqueline Jacques, ND, FTOS, and published in Your Weight Matters Magazine.

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