Ten reasons why crash dieting is unhealthy

Don’t go bananas: Lose weight the healthy way!

Crash dieting has side effects

Crash dieting may appear to be an effective way to lose weight in a jiffy, but it is certainly not as far as your health is concerned. Crash diets cause a great deal of harm to the body and mind. They are harmful and lack in nutrition, and are no good for you.

No crash diets, here’s why!

1. Re-bound weight gain: With crash dieting, the body conserves the little energy that it gets and the metabolism slows down. The dieter hits a plateau and loses motivation to do more and starts eating again, and the weight gain this time around is likely to be higher as a result of an already slow metabolism.

This rebound weight being higher, often propels the dieter into another bout of crash dieting. This cycle of dieting and weight gain is often referred to as ‘yo-yo dieting’ and only results in greater weight gain in the long-term.

2. Malnutrition: Many crash diets are nutritionally inadequate. So when one goes on a crash diet, the body is likely to be deprived of many essential nutrients, which leads to a weakened immune system.

3. Continuing from where we left off, a weakened immune system makes one susceptible to various diseases.

4. A lack of essential nutrients increases chances of osteoporosis development in the case of women.

5. Another consequence of inadequate nutrients is hair loss and skin changes, leading to early ageing.

6. Many crash diets have led to heart problems with fatalities due to changes in metabolism.

7. Depending on the kind of plan, there are changes in bowel movements, which can cause tremendous discomfort.

8. Deprivation of food for a long time causes irritability, impacting an individual’s ability to focus and concentrate, and is bound to affect task performance at school, college or work.

9. Crash diets put people at risk of developing eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

10. If such diets are followed for long periods of time, it can lead to damage of vital organs.

Written by Dr Jyothi Prasad, chief nutritionist at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore

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