The Most Dangerous Types of Crash Diets

The Most Dangerous Types of Crash Diets

Don’t be fooled into thinking crash diets are effective– save yourself and know which diets to avoid!

Let’s consider the request of losing 10 lbs in a month – what is the client really asking to accomplish? In theory, he or she can only attain this goal if a 35,000 kcal deficit is expedited over the course of that month. This equates to ~1,166 kcals per day; even if split evenly between exercise and nutritional modification, daily demands would stand at limiting food consumption by ~580 kcals while also burning ~580 kcals via structured exercise.

One less meal per day could be consumed while performing additional voluntary work equal to about a 6-mile run. This is undoubtedly a challenging combination in any respect. While proper exercise prescription in conjunction with well-guided nutritional modifications can procure notable weight loss in a relatively short time period, some clients demand losses that are clearly unhealthy and may even resort to extreme measures to attain their goal.

The Most Potentially Dangerous Types of Diets

  • Fasting
  • Juice And/or Detox Cleansing
  • Self Induced Vomiting
  • Liposuction
  • Prolonged Use Of Saunas and/or Steam Rooms
  • Self-induced Dehydration

The above extreme measures usually have a negative impact on health as well as performance, while minimizing relative fat loss (except for liposuction). Essentially, trying to lose weight too quickly usually results in a severe dehydration with a significant reduction glycogen stores. These results limit training capacity, reduce the body’s ability to oxidize fat, and promote immunosuppression.

Your body also adapts to what it is going through especially when the body is stressed during times of fasting and ‘cleansing.’ The body reacts by holding onto fat stores as it recognizes an abrupt change in daily caloric intake and therefore you tend to put the body into a stressful situation which can have adverse effects and weight gain.

Additional negative effects associated with extreme weight loss measures include losses in lean mass, a reduction in plasma and central blood volume, decreased myocardial efficiency, increased core temperature and resting heart rate, the potential for altered hormone status, reduced muscle strength and power, electrolyte imbalances and associated muscle cramping, mental fatigue and sleepiness, headaches, mood swings, reduced cognition and vigor, a reduction in VO2max, reduced time-to-exhaustion during aerobic activities, and poor anaerobic performance.

Long-term caloric restriction may also lead to other chronic health issues/diseases such as osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, lowered bone mineral density, abnormal growth and development, anemia, heart damage, and an increased risk for developing severe eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Last, but not least, extreme weight loss or crash dieting can lead to quickly seen stretch marks in the skin around various parts of the body.

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Jack Nunn

Jack Nunn is the head trainer and owner of Roworx. Jack is a former national team rower who has competed in more than 100 triathlons, including 9 full Ironmans. He has created a system of rowing that prepares the whole body for both competition and fitness longevity.

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