Dangers of Get Thin Quick Diets

While you might think that faster is better and more efficient, this isn’t necessarily true for diets. New research shows so-called “crash diets” can cause health problems and might even be killing some people.

Crash diets, which are also called detoxification—or detox—diets, usually require a low calorie, liquid approach that supposedly cleanses your body from negative toxins. However, “detox” is mainly just in the name. It turns out that your body—unless hampered by some immune or intestinal problem—cleanses itself of most toxins without anything out of the ordinary being necessary.

Cleanse Diets

What are the effects of fasting, not getting enough calories, and drinking mainly liquids? There are plenty. The proponents of these diets claim that by cleansing the body, you will get more energy and feel more focused. However, studies show that headache, pain, aches, tiredness, and other negative symptoms happen when the body doesn’t get enough energy. This paradoxically causes those using a detox diet to become more tired and less able to do things like cardiovascular exercise that are also important to lose weight.

Extreme Diets

There is no need to go to the extremes of a detoxification diet unless you’ve checked with your doctor. Otherwise, you might be hurting your ability at long-term weight loss. It is better to get good habits regarding fitness and diet set in stone slowly but steadily. This is better for the long run and the short run. You won’t be shocking your body by fasting in the short term and, in the end, healthy and wholesome habits are what help people lose weight and feel great. Short-term fasts like these cleanse diets will work in the short term, but they don’t focus on laying down good habits and practicing them.

Crash Diets Can Kill You

Also, it turns out that up to sixty people may have even died from their crash diets. First, I should mention that this is inconclusive. It looks like these deaths happened at least in part because people were fasting or severely restricting calories while they also had underlying problems like atherosclerosis.

However, not everyone who died had an underlying disease. What ended up happening was that malnutrition of the heart, likely linked to a lack of protein in the bloodstream, necessary nutrients to maintain and rebuild the heart. This fits with what a lot of crash dieters have noticed: that their heart will often hurt inexplicably during the fasting period. Also, problems with the rhythm of the heart muscle seem to happen because of a crash diet. This is why it is so important for you to check with a doctor instead of that health self-help book if you’re serious about weight loss.

Crash Diets Don’t Last

Even if you don’t die—and I sincerely hope you don’t—a get thin quick diet doesn’t even solve the original problem. Most people gain back the weight lost on a diet once the diet is over. The rates of post-diet weight gain are especially high for people using crash diets. I think this is because there is no real attempt to create a lasting habit, since you obviously can’t fast for years and years.

Just remember that extreme weight loss doesn’t have to happen instantly. It can happen slowly over years of careful training and a wisely managed diet and exercise plan. There is no need to get instantaneous benefits and this instantaneous solution will, as you can now see, often backfire in unpredictable ways.

I’m constantly tempted to crash diet, but in the end, it’s just not worth it. Slow and steady wins the race, I think. What has your experience been with crash dieting?