Crash diets might be tempting for people who are seeking to jump-start their weight reduction or who may wish to shed a few pounds before a big event or holiday. While it is true that you must consume less calories per day than your body needs to lose weight, crash diets may actually hinder rather than help your weight loss efforts.
Although crash diets have been around for a while, social media and celebrities have helped them remain trendy recently. These diets usually entail cutting back on calories to 800-1,200 per day for a few weeks at a time.
These diets’ proponents assert that they can result in quick weight loss, which may help to explain why they’re so popular. In fact, studies have shown that these diets can be quite successful for some individuals.
In a research involving 278 obese adults, those who followed a 12-week crash diet consisting of 810 calories per day lost more weight than those who only watched their calorie intake. Compared to the moderate diet group, which dropped an average of only 3 kg, the crash diet group lost about 11 kg on average.
Likewise, a study indicated that individuals with type 2 diabetes might benefit from extremely low-calorie diets. After eating 600 calories a day for eight weeks, 60% of the subjects were able to put their type 2 diabetes into remission, according to the research. They also lost, on average, fifteen kg.
Participants gained about 3 kg back after a 12-week follow-up, but crucially, their blood sugar levels did not change.
However, although these diets could help some people lose weight in the short term, they might harm your metabolism over time.
This could help to explain why about 80% of diets end in failure, with the participant either gaining back all of the weight they lost or even gaining more.
Diets that crash and metabolism
The totality of the body’s chemical reactions is your metabolism. It is in charge of turning the food we eat into energy and turning any extra energy into fat. Numerous factors, including as your hormones, nutrition, and level of activity, might affect your metabolism. All these elements are impacted by crash diets.
You eat significantly less when on a crash diet than when you normally would. This implies that less energy (calories) are required by your body to process and assimilate the food you’ve consumed. You shed muscle as well. The body will burn fewer calories while it is not exercising since all of these factors lower metabolic rate.
Crash diets can cause fatigue in the near term, which makes it difficult to do anything, much less exercise. This is due to a decrease in energy availability and the prioritization of life-sustaining reactions with the energy that is available.
Crash diets have the potential to alter our bodies’ hormonal composition over time. They raise our levels of stress chemicals like cortisol. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels can lead to increased fat storage in our bodies over several months.
The thyroid gland produces the hormone T3, which can also be decreased by crash diets. It’s essential for controlling our basal metabolic rate, which determines how many calories our bodies require to function. Long-term variations in T3 levels may cause weight gain and hypothyroidism.
When you start eating more calories again, the body becomes more skilled at gaining weight due to all these changes together. These alterations might persist for several months, if not years.
Gradual weight loss
The greatest weight reduction plan is to adopt a steady, long-term diet if you’re attempting to reduce weight.
Compared to crash diets, gradual diets have been demonstrated to be more sustainable and to have a less detrimental effect on your metabolic rate. Diets that gradually increase in energy can also keep you motivated to exercise, which can aid in weight loss.
These diets help maintain the functionality of our mitochondria, the muscle’s energy-burning powerhouses that burn calories. This increases our ability to burn calories long after we stop dieting.
A diet that helps a person lose between half and one kilogram per week is excellent. The daily caloric requirements are determined by your initial weight and level of physical activity.
While on a diet, there are foods that can assist keep your metabolism stable.
Protein requires more energy for digestion than fats and carbs do. In fact, diets strong in protein can raise your metabolic rate by 11–14% over normal levels, but diets high in fats or carbs can only do so by 4–8%. Thus, if you’re aiming to lose weight, aim to consume about 30% of your daily calories from protein.
Diets high in protein also prolong feelings of fullness. According to one study, individuals who consumed 30 percent protein in their diet consumed 441 less calories during the course of the 12-week trial period than those who consumed 15 percent protein. In the end, this resulted in a 5 kg weight loss, of which 3.7 kg were fat.
Although going on a crash diet could be alluring if you’re looking to lose weight quickly, it might have long-term effects on your metabolism. The best ways to lose weight are to exercise, consume a lot of protein, and somewhat lower your daily caloric needs.