Why Are Crash Diets Bad?
This article goes in conjunction with our article “Is One Diet the Best”. In the previous article we discussed specific ways in which diets of many different kinds can work, and also ways in which they can be less than optimal, or if done incorrectly, dangerous.
Why are we specifically now going to talk about crash diets? Well, let’s start with a definition. When mention a crash diet, we are specifically talking about ones in which the person completely overhauls and changes their eating habits, making a dramatic shift for a specific short-term goal.
This often stems from a competition (bodybuilding or weight class sports), social gatherings (major events where you want to look your best) or monumental life moments (wearing a wedding dress). These crash diets come with promises of losing large amounts of weight in the shortest time possible, leaving you looking great. When people or companies promise these things, they do it by manipulating specific hormones in the body to lead to dehydration or forced excretion (urine and feces).
So, why do we recommend you avoid them? The biggest thing is your health and safety. Anyone who works with PP knows right away, that your health and safety, even more so than performance or your goals, will always come first. If we feel that you need to see a doctor or other medical professional, we will be the first to immediately recommend you to do so. These crash diets can lead to physical and psychological harm and potential damage.
For any of you who are UFC, boxing, or wrestling fans you’ve probably seen the fighter walk up to the scale looking almost emaciated and then a few hours or days later, depending on the event, they look to be about 10-20 pounds heavier and a whole new person. This is due to them adjusting the sodium and water intake for multiple days or weeks prior to the contest in order to weigh a certain amount. If you want to see how Matt has personally used some of these specifics in his own training to make weight for a contest in the safest way possible, with science and supervision, you can click here.
You might be thinking, “so, wait… Matt did it and made weight for his contest and looked WAY better (very relative for how ugly he is), so why can’t I?” That’s a fair question and the biggest reasons are that Matt did it using science and had medical professionals around him during the cut. He also did it for a very specific moment and then immediately did what he needed to in order to be healthy again. What makes crash dieting so dangerous is that people with no supervision or knowledge do this same thing and then get hurt or experience long term negative results because they simply start relying on the crash diet anytime something important comes up. This is not a healthy or sustainable way for someone to diet and will create a terribly unstable relationship with food.
What we recommend at PP instead is to follow these basic tenants:
4 Components to a Healthy Meal
How to Build Habits for Diet and Fitness 1 & 2
Want to help build the skills necessary for you to avoid crash and fad diets by educating yourself and learning from a great staff? Click here for your free consultation.