Crash dieting is not a healthy way to lose weight but I’ve often felt the urge to crash diet before events. Today I’m looking at crash diets more closely.
What is a crash diet?
A crash diet is a dieting method to lose weight very rapidly in a short amount of time. This usually involves reducing calorie intake for the day to as low as 700 calories and often exercising in extreme manners too. This is not comfortable or healthy but it offers people the opportunity to lose 5 to 20 pounds in just a few days.
Why do people crash diet?
Many people chose to crash diet, or diet in an unhealthy manner, before an event. Often they have not lost as much weight as they hoped or suddenly want to lose a few pounds. Typically crash dieters need to lose weight for something like a date, party, or wedding that is coming up in a short period of time.
What are some crash diets?
There are probably hundreds of different crash dieting methods out there at this point. Here are a few of the most popular ones that you will hear about most often:
- The Master Cleanse
- Juice Fast Crash Diet
- Cabbage Soup Diet
- Xtreme Fat Loss Diet
- Grapefruit Diet
- Hollywood Diet
- Clean Program
- 3-day Diet
- 4-day Diet
- Chicken Soup Diet
- 7-Day Crash Diet
There are tons of others. Any time someone is telling you that you’ll lose a large amount of weight very quickly… it’s a crash diet.
Is crash dieting bad for you?
Crash dieting is never as healthy as gradual weight loss. Some crash diets are healthier than others but you should always research and check with your doctor before you start a crash diet. While some crash diets work, they can also cause damage that will be hard to repair.
There are a lot of potential risks that come with crash dieting:
- Slowing down of the metabolism
- Loss of muscle, leading to further decline of metabolism
- Weight gain after the crash diet, sometimes gaining more weight than was lost due to slower metabolism
- Weakening of the bones potentially leading to osteoporosis
- Deprivation of essential nutrients
- Weakening of your immune system
- Cardiac stress
- Heart palpitations
All of these things are consequences from crash dieting. Isn’t it a better idea to just wait and lose weight in a slower but healthier way?
My Experience With Crash Dieting
Two weeks before a big event is the time when you crash diet, right?
That’s what I’ve always heard and seen people do. I have a couple friends that did it before every big event where they had to wear a pretty dress or be in front of people. I even did it myself once though it went horribly wrong and I’ve never done it again since that ill fated attempt (again this was an experience where a friend encouraged me to join them on a diet).
Yet, I feel that desire there. I feel that pressure to lose another couple of pounds.
It’s a ridiculous feeling for many reasons: I don’t know what exactly I weigh, I know it will make me unhappy, it will make me weak and cause me to lose muscle, it’s not healthy, it’s not really what I want to do. It’s ridiculous and I won’t crash diet, but I can’t deny the thought isn’t there.
I’m not sure the thought would be there without all the outside influences though. Magazines and movies and even friends’ experiences tell me I can lose 5 pounds in 7 days and if I skip carbs completely I’ll be so much better off by the event. It feels almost like I’m supposed to be throwing a last ditch effort into losing weight right now. Because it feels like it’s what “everyone does” it feels like I should be doing it too.
That’s silly of course. I’m sticking with my healthy habits and eating multiple meals a day with lots of fruits and veggies and plenty of protein for my super awesome muscles that I love. I’ve been doing well for months and feel as healthy and as strong and sexy as I ever have. I’m around my smallest size ever, fitting into some but not all of the pants in the stack (though not well enough quite yet) and looking awesome in the dresses I love to wear.
I’m healthy and I’m strong and there is no reason to resort to unhealthy, unsustainable methods of weight loss just for an event… yet that feeling is there. Urges to do things you shouldn’t happen and that’s okay. I’m not following through and won’t be. But it’s something that is on my list of things to be constantly vigilant about, just like the urge to binge.
Note – This isn’t something I’m thinking much about but I felt the need to acknowledge that feeling and share that I’m dealing with it and not resorting to unhealthy methods. Nor will I. I’m in this thing for the long haul and looking towards developing great overall health for the rest of my life, not just for a couple hours and some photos.
Do you get the urge to crash diet before an event? Have you ever?