Crash Diets: Quick fix for weight loss or health hazard waiting to happen?
You’ve heard about the many diets bearing celebrity names, and the very popular Atkins, South Beach and Keto diets. But how effective are they in helping you on your fitness journey? Gleaner Lifestyle shares the views of four fitness enthusiasts, Xavier Grey, Terence Slater, Douglas Evelyn and Janine Hyatt.
According to wellness instructor Terence Slater, crash diets are not sustainable, because with that it can lead to sagging skin, if not done properly. Hyper detoxification, the common crash diet method, delivers more side effects than it does positive results.
“Hyper detoxification is any activity that allows the person to pass stool or urine frequently in an effort to lose weight. It usually results in the body losing muscle and essential vitamins and minerals, causing the skin to lose turgidity and feelings of weakness and fatigue,” he told Lifestyle. Slater added the likelihood of the weight from this method of the weight loss will make a comeback.
Personal trainer Xavier Grey gave an insightful look at the health craze. He explained that crash diets can be seen as an important step, for some cases. “If you get short notice or you have to be in a movie and need to lose a certain amount of weight, or something like that, then crash diets can work,” he said.
But taking on that trend long term may prove to be problematic, as far as sustaining that lifestyle is concerned. “Long term, you would have lost weight too fast, putting both your physical and mental health in jeopardy. I don’t recommend crash diets to any of my clients. Let’s work on losing weight over time,” Grey revealed.
Douglas Evelyn agrees with the latter. The former personal trainer who is a physical therapist and fitness fanatic isn’t one for diet shortcuts. He is all for taking the right approach to health and fitness. “Crash dieting is exactly that; a crash. And no crash is a good crash. It puts you in a dramatic calorie deficit, no matter what. That’s why people lose weight. But as soon as they go back to their regular way of consumption, they gain back more weight,” he shared, adding that this gain is attributed to their affected metabolism.
There have been many on their wellness journey who possess the desire to lose 20 pounds in a month, he highlighted, but that goal is highly improbable. If something like this is done, then chances are the person would have lost a considerable amount of water weight, muscle and fat. “Here’s the thing, nobody wants to be losing weight; they want to lose body fat. Muscles are what helps to keep you moving and the more muscles you have aid in making you function effectively. So you want to keep this.”
Furthermore, when recovering from these crash diets and going back to normal life and eating food, the body stores everything as fat, he says.”The best thing to do is take it slow. Slow and steady wins this race. You go in a slight calorie deficit each day and make smaller diet changes. That way over time, you will lose five pounds in a month and 10 pounds in another month. But it is much more sustainable. You can eat and be full and functional for a longer period of time,” he recommends.
Janine Hyatt knows a thing or two about making small changes. But she doesn’t believe in crash diets. Hyatt aligns more with what works for your blood type, knowing what’s best for you from a holistic standpoint. “I’ve never done any crash diets before. I’ve heard of stories where it works for people and they are able to maintain it. But the problem is when they stop doing the diet, it’s a roller-coaster effect and everything falls back to where it was, or worse, in terms of the weight gain,” she said.
She, too, is of the view that crash diets aren’t sustainable because they are not consistent. Consistency integrated with your healthy lifestyle practices is the best way to go. “I’m more about what works for you, with your body, your genes and your blood type. And ultimately what feels good for you,” she pointed out, adding that it’s about diet and exercise, finding a balance between the two and being mindful of what works for you.
“Once we start eating a certain way, we will know what to do. For instance, if we cut out bread, crackers, chips and rice, I will lose the weight off my tummy in no time. I’ve seen it happen over and over. Somebody else could be eating rice and they’re losing weight. Crash diets just aren’t consistent or sustainable,” Hyatt added.