The Dangers of Crash Dieting

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You may have heard of the term “crash diet” before, but do you know what it means? A crash diet is a common tactic for people who want to lose weight fast. These diets are often used by people who have a special event coming up and want to lose a few pounds fast. Here’s how crash diets do that.

What is a Crash Diet?

A crash diet is any diet that involves severe calorie restriction in an attempt to lose weight quickly. Many crash diets promise rapid weight loss—sometimes as much as 10 pounds in a week or two—but these results are usually not sustainable in the long term.

How Do Crash Diets Work (Or Not Work)?

There are two main ways that crash diets help people lose weight quickly: by restricting calories and by increasing water loss.

Restricting Calories

Restricting calories forces the body to burn stored fat for energy, which results in weight loss. However, this weight loss is usually not sustainable in the long term because it is not possible to maintain such a low-calorie intake indefinitely. When people return to their regular eating habits, they often regain any weight lost on a diet—and sometimes even more.

Water Loss

Increasing water loss is another common tactic used by crash diets. This can be accomplished through diuretics (substances that promote water loss), laxatives (substances that promote bowel movements), or simply by dehydrating oneself through exercise or sweating. While this may result in quick weight loss, it is not fat being lost—it is water weight. As soon as people rehydrate themselves, the water weight will be regained. In addition, dehydration can lead to serious health problems like kidney stones, heart problems, and seizures.

Although crash diets are good for losing weight, you should be aware of some serious risks associated with crash dieting before you try it.

Nutritional Deficiencies

When you restrict your calories, you also limit the nutrients your body gets. This can lead to many health problems, including hair loss, fatigue, weak bones, and organ damage. Crash diets are not sustainable in the long run, and your body will suffer for them.

Not Effective

Despite what you may have heard, crash diets do not work. You might lose a few pounds in the short term, but those pounds will return as soon as you start eating normally again. Plus, when you yo-yo diet like this, your metabolism will slow down, making it even harder to lose weight in the future.

dentist having a client teeth check-up

Dental Problems

Crash diets can also lead to dental problems. You will likely lose weight quickly when you severely restrict your calories. However, as you lose weight, your gums and teeth may be unable to keep up with the changes in your body. If left untreated, this can lead to gum recession, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. If you’re experiencing any of these, visit your local dentist immediately. They can treat any damage caused by your diet on your teeth and help you get on track to healthy, sustainable weight loss.


When you don’t get enough nutrients, it starts to use your muscle for energy. This can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can be very dangerous—even life-threatening—if not treated quickly. So if you’re considering a crash diet, please think twice! Your health is worth more than a few lost pounds.

Crash diets might seem attractive if you’re looking to lose weight quickly, but they come with a host of risks that aren’t worth it. So instead, consider these three healthier options that don’t stop your calorie count.

Mediterranean Diet

One of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off is through a healthy, balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet. This diet emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, and healthy fats. Studies have shown that this diet can lead to more significant weight loss than traditional diets without all the risks associated with crash diets.


Another great way to promote long-term weight loss is through regular exercise. Whether you take up running or cycling or incorporate more movement into your daily life (like taking the stairs instead of the elevator), increasing your physical activity can help speed up your weight loss goals while promoting overall health and wellness.

Professional Support

Finally, consider reaching out for professional support. For example, working with a nutritionist or personal trainer can help you develop a healthy, sustainable plan for weight loss that considers your health and lifestyle.

In conclusion, if you’re considering trying a crash diet to lose weight quickly, please reconsider. There are healthier ways to promote long-term weight loss that don’t come with the same risks associated with crash diets. So instead, consider a more nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and seeking professional support from a nutritionist or personal trainer today!

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