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Expert Issues Warning Over ‘Unhealthy’ Crash Diet

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 7/6/2020 Darwin Malicdem

Crash diet is unhealthy and tricky. That is the message of a nutritional expert who said the eating plan can do more harm than good despite being effective to cut weight faster than other diets. 

Crash dieting requires a very low consumption of calories. Its approach to weight loss appears similar to fasting, which involves cutting out food groups, taking supplements and only eating fruits and vegetables.

The drastic cut in daily meals can effectively help shed extra pounds. But it also deprives the body of essential vitamins and nutrients, which could eventually lead to health problems.

“It’s not that these diets don’t work for weight loss. They will work,” Tamara Willner, a nutritionist who works with NHS-backed eating program Second Nature, told the “However, they’re an unhealthy way of losing weight. Plus, the weight you lose won’t stay off.”

a close up of a bowl on a table © Pixabay

People see quick weight loss results with crash diets mainly because of the very low amount of total calories they consume. The body also remains fasting for extended periods of the day, Willner said. 

However, both changes also come with problems. People on a crash diet usually lose fat along with muscle mass because they do not get enough protein. 

“While they may result in fast weight loss in the short term, these diets aren’t helpful when we look at the bigger picture of long-term health,” Willner explained. “Arguably, the biggest problem with extended detox diets is that you lose muscle mass.”

A healthy weight loss plan should aim to cut body fat while maintaining muscle levels. The nutritionist suggested that dieters eat a portion of protein at main meals and do more resistance exercises to achieve their desired body. 

Other experts also warned that crash dieting could turn to bad eating habits. People are likely to binge eat to make up for the loss in calories after their drastic weight loss and food cuts. 

They suggested that eating plans should aim for slow changes to help the body adjust to weight loss. The slow approach also provides long-term positive effects unlike crash diets, where people may regain weight easily.

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