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Crash Diet

DietsCrash diet, also known as fad diets, are very popular for those looking to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. There are many crash diets out there and, while they are all slightly different, each crash diet has several things in common: they greatly restrict either calories or types of foods, they promise results within a short period of time, and require little to no exercise. Some popular types are the Ducan diet, grapefruit diet, fat burning foods, all claim they are the best way to lose weight and are good heart healthy diets? I don’t think so.  While fast results are appealing to dieters, health care professionals say “beware”. While a crash diet can offer quick weight loss, the long-term effects of crash dieting can have a negative impact on not only your weight, but also your health. The balanced diet is the way to go with of course the dreaded exercising.


Generally, most crash diets work by severely restricting calories. How many calories you may take in while dieting will vary from diet to diet, but generally it is somewhere between 800 to 1300 calories. A popular crash diet is called the 1200 calorie meal plan. These diets are not good for the long term and will not provide obesity help. Some other diets, like the master cleanse, may be even more restrictive, pushing it to as little as 500 calories per day. Sometimes a diet will limit calories while also requiring you to eat a certain type of food, such as grapefruit diet, grapes, tuna, or cabbage. The premise behind choosing any one particular food or food group as the main staple has to do with the supposed fat burning or muscle building property of that food. In a crash, however, it is the restriction of calories that is actually responsible for any successful weight loss. When the body does not receive enough nutrients to properly function, it reacts by going into starvation mode, lowering metabolism and trying to conserve its fat reserves by dropping excess water weight. Eventually, the body will let go of some of its fat cells but also feed upon its own muscle. So, at the end of the crash diet, a person may be 10 or 20 pounds lighter, but that weight will be mostly water, followed by some fat and muscle.


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If you are looking to lose weight for an upcoming special event, such as a reunion or a wedding, then this type of diet program might be perfect for you, as long as you are okay with putting the weight back on, plus possibly another couple of extra pounds after the diet is over. Before going on any of the crash diet out there, be sure to take a few steps.


  • First make sure that you are healthy, as crash diets can aggravate pre-existing health problems. They can cause a serious CRASH in your health!
  • Be sure to always eat at least 500 calories a day; any less than that is considered by health care professionals to be extremely dangerous. 
  • Take a multi-vitamin every day while you are on the diet to supplement some of the nutrition you are losing. 
  • Try to avoid strenuous exercise, as doing this while your body is so nutrient deficient raises the risk of heart palpitations and fainting (again avoid the crash). 
  • Most importantly, if you ever feel sick, faint, or dizzy while on one of these diets, then stop immediately.


Repeatedly going on a crash diet or going on crash diets for longer than 10 days is not recommended. These diets can permanently ruin your metabolism, making it very difficult to lose weight in the future, and can cause health problems from lack of nutrition. They also have the tendency to be addictive, so you should never go on one of these diets if you have a past history of any eating disorder.



If you are looking for diets that work for real, long-term weight loss without the possible dangerous side-effects of crash diets, then doctors suggest good old-fashioned diet and exercise. Eat a wide variety of foods that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Fitness professionals also recommend lifting weights several times a week to build muscle because muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.


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In any healthy diet, you can expect to lose anywhere between 1 and 2 pounds a week. If you have a specific weight loss goal, many sites offer a weight loss calculator where you can input your basic physical information, activity level, target weight and a time goal for the resulting weight loss. The weight loss calculator will then tell you roughly how many calories you need to eat daily to accomplish your goal. The weight loss calculator does not allow dipping below 1,200, or for more than 2 pounds a week of weight loss. This will not only provide you with the information you need for successful weight loss, but will also tell you if your goals are unrealistic. This approach is much healthier than a crash diet.


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