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Is Crash Dieting Effective?

Many of you have probably heard of the term, crash diet, which is referred to as a diet in which you decrease calorie intake, by depriving yourself of food.

A lot of people have the misconception that going on a crash diet can help with long term weight loss, however this is just a myth. Crash diets can be described as a loop, there is initial weight loss but after a period of time your body gain’s that weight back in order to return to its equilibrium body weight. If you are trying to achieve long-term weight loss, crash dieting is not the way.

Overtime the body’s basal metabolic rate decreases; BMR refers to the amount of daily energy utilization while in resting state. If BMR decreases, then the energy which should be used up is stored in the body as glucose, carbohydrates and fats, which in turn would cause weight gain to occur. Decreases in BMR levels are also associated with aging, by eating high calorie foods, eating foods which are hard to digest, among various other things. When someone is on a crash diet they do not have enough energy to sustain metabolic functions in their body. For example, their body will start to break down muscle mass in order to gain energy, instead of utilizing the fat storage for energy. So in the long term, not only will the weight which was lost come back, but there will also be a decrease in lean muscle mass, which can cause one to look ‘bulkier.’

You might be wondering, but what about people who suffer from anorexia? They don’t look fat. The reason for this is that anorexia is a psychological condition which is highly heritable, and also is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Due to the chemical imbalances, and the changes in metabolic pathway’s, the bodies of these individuals are different from those of normal people.

Crash dieting not only causes weight gain to occur again, but it is obviously not healthy in the long term, due to the deficiencies of vitamins and proteins. So if you are trying to lose some weight don’t accomplish it by starving yourself, a better approach would be to eat small portions of food about 5 times per day. This is a wiser decision, because when you eat food, your BMR is activated, which is an essential component of weight loss.

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Written by: Noreen

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