Crash Diets Are Never A Good Idea. Here's Why

As we work to meet our goals professionally, personally, and physically, we want to take the right steps to be the best versions of ourselves no matter what. However, when it comes to our bodies, the pull to lose weight quickly is tempting. It seems every time we attempt a new diet, we are motivated at first, and quickly lose the willpower to put down our favorite snacks and drinks. Because dieting is so difficult, many want to get to their goals quickly no matter the cost. Juice cleanses, shake diets, and injections to lose weight have been popular options, but the consequences of depriving our bodies of the nutrients they need to thrive can be detrimental to our physical and mental health.

According to Food Insight, in 2022, over 50% of survey participants admitted to following a diet, which is quite a bit more than in years past. While trying to regain control of eating patterns isn't a bad thing, the drastic measures which some will go to achieve their ideal weight may not be great. Most of us know there is no shortcut to a healthy body, but that doesn't stop many from engaging in too-good-to-be-true crash diets. However, these health choices may be even more dangerous than first thought.

Impact of crash diets

Most of us know that there is no magic potion we can take to get slimmer. The ideal way to get to a healthy weight is to eat whole foods and move more (via Forbes). However, social media gives us a peek at what some celebrities have done to lose weight quickly. Because of the pressure to stay fit is extreme for celebrities, they have gone to great lengths to get fit. From Jennifer Aniston's baby food diet to Madonna's air fasting, there are countless ways that celebrities have tried to lose weight that are not sustainable (via More). While many go into these crash diets thinking it will be temporary, the negative effects on our health can be long-lasting. Penn Medicine explains that even taking part in one cleanse can cause damage to your kidneys, irregular heartbeats, and dehydration.

Another issue with these fad diets is that they are not set up to last. By greatly reducing your calorie intake, you are sending mixed messages to your body. If your body feels like there is a threat of starvation, your metabolism slows working against your weight loss. This also means that you can rebound to your starting weight even faster (via Obesity Action). In addition to slowing your metabolism, crash diets also affect your immune system which can cause stress to your heart says CNN.

If you need help with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Alternatives to crash diets

Instead of taking part in crash diets, consider working to make your lifestyle healthier. According to Healthline, instead of emptying your kitchen, consider filling it with nutrient-rich foods. Vegetables, fruit, yogurt, and nuts are great additions to your healthy repertoire. In addition, opt for eating lean meats and whole foods at your home, rather than seeking food from a drive-thru. These foods will fill you with energy and leave you feeling satisfied long after you consume them. Forbes mentions doing simple things like slowing down to really enjoy your meals and viewing creating meals as an art instead of a chore.

Crash diets are tempting, but they are a terrible idea if you are looking to feel better in your skin. Consider the healthy alternatives and lifestyle changes that will help you enjoy food again. They will give you energy, clarity, and nutrients. With some small changes to your routines and your mindset, you will begin to feel healthier from the inside out.