CRASH DIETS- Desirable or not!!

Posted by Vaishnavi C on

By Akshata Kamath

A recent trend has been set on instant weight loss regime. With a plunging body image people are explicitly looking out for quick weight loss diets online. The concept of balanced diet has become a blind spot due to this. Crash diets may help individuals lose weight but are short lived. What one needs to understand is that loss of weight due to crash diets might not only be due to loss of fat in the body but can also be due to breakdown of muscles. Instead of increasing the metabolic rate one may contrarily lower it on account of loss of lean body mass. Low metabolic rate indicates that one need’s fewer calories for their bodily functioning on everyday basis due to which energy expenditure is reduced. This weight however can set back when the individual gets back to their regular eating habits. Dehydration is one of the common consequences of crash diets. Loss of weight can also be because of loss of water in the body. Water bound by glycogen stores gets exhausted rapidly with depletion of glucose. With regular intake of food, glycogen and water is replenished and so is the weight gain.  

Depriving oneself on certain food groups and not knowing how to balance it may lead to deficiency of vitamins and minerals. This can make an individual more prone to infections compromising on their immunity. If one cuts down on the diary they will be limiting themselves in calcium and vitamin D. Cutting down of food rich in fat can deprive them of fat soluble vitamins like A,D,E,K. Until an alternative is found or supplementation is considered crash diets can be detrimental. Mental health is greatly affected when glucose is cut down as glucose is the only form of energy taken up by the brain cells to perform their activity. Fatigue, irritability and lethargy can set in during crash diets. Bowel patterns may not be in accord with their regular patterns which is an indication for the need in bringing about a dietary change.

Alternative approach to this can be a life style modification which helps in bringing about a permanent change in your diet patterns. Aiming for 1 hour workout in a day or playing sports that you enjoy the most, consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein like chicken (breast and the thigh portion), boiled eggs, drinking sufficient amount of water. Limit the intake of deep fried foods, sweetened beverages, alcohol that provide empty calories over a long run. Eating one piece of cake, fries, eating out occasionally do not make you gain weight overnight, abusing yourself with that everyday does. One should inculcate the habit of eating only when they feel hungry rather than munching on food whenever available or offered to them.


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