Crash dieting can be tempting, especially this time of year. A crash diet can be defined as a diet that is less than 1000 calories a day. The holidays can be tough if you are trying to watch your weight, but crash dieting is not the answer. They are called crash diets for a reason, and that’s because they are destined to crash and burn. Crash diets are not designed to work, they are designed to fail so that you will go running back for another solution and continue to keep the diet industry alive. Not only do crash diets not work, they can also be dangerous to your health. They are not made with you in mind, they are created as a “one size fits all” diet plan.

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Here are 5 things that happen to your body when you go on a crash diet.


The weight loss seen on a crash diet is typically not fat loss. This weight loss is usually water weight loss which is less than ideal for long lasting weight loss. When your body starts losing water weight, that means water is leaving your body. This puts you at increased risk for dehydration. Also, when you start eating normally again, you will typically gain all of the water weight back and possibly then some.

Hair and skin quality suffer

Crash diets are so restrictive that you are likely not getting enough vitamins, minerals, and protein that is needed to maintain your beautiful hair and skin. Your hair may start falling out, lack shine, and/or become brittle. Your skin may feel dry and you may begin breaking out in acne.

Grumpy mood swings

Ever heard of the term “hangry”? This is a word that is used to describe a person who is grumpy because they haven’t eaten in a while and they need food ASAP. When you crash diet you are not providing your body with enough calories so you stress levels become heightened and you become more irritable and may experience poor concentration and sleep disturbances. Which definitely doesn’t help the irritability.

Low energy levels

Your body is not getting enough calories to perform its basic functions, so it tries to conserve more energy by making you more sedentary. You are also not eating enough vitamins and minerals while on a crash diet, so your body has a difficult time producing its own energy. This leads you to feeling even more tired and sluggish.

Weak immune system

There are several vitamins and minerals that help boost your immune system. When you are not eating enough calories, you are likely not getting adequate vitamins and minerals to help your immune system out. A weakened immune system means your chances of getting sick are a lot higher. No one wants that, especially not this time of year!

Crash diets are designed as a “quick fix” solution. This isn’t good because any results you do see while on a crash diet will likely go away as quickly as they came. These diets are not created with you in mind and will not produce the long-lasting results you wish to see.

Work with a dietitian or healthcare provider to find a diet plan that works with your lifestyle. Working regularly with a registered dietitian can help you not only reach your health goals, but also maintain them long-term.

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