Crash diets seem tempting to those who are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. All you have to do is lower your caloric intake to roughly 700 calories per day and watch the pounds fly away, right? Wrong. A new study from the University of North Carolina is now confirming what many have suspected: crash dieting not only doesn't work, it potentially sabotages your attempts at losing weight and getting fit.
Crash Diets Create Stress & Mood Swings
The study revealed that the rapid switch from a high-fat to low-fat diet lowered dopamine levels. This can lead to a very bad mood and high stress levels and increases the chances of binging. In some ways the after-effects of crash dieting can be compared to that of withdrawals.
This lines up with what we know about sugar and taking yourself off of sugar. Your body actually goes through sugar withdrawals when you remove a significant amount of it from your diet. When you are in the early stages of cutting out sugar your body craves it more and this increases your chances of binging on it.
Sugar And Crash Dieting
The truth of the matter is that most of our comfort foods are loaded with sugar and when we leave comfort behind we start to ache for it. When a person decides they have had enough of their crash diet or allow themselves a cheat day they go running back to their comfort food. Some people feel the need to “make up for lost meals” and then end up eating far more than they should.
These withdrawals, bad moods, and loss of dopamine help to account for the large number of people who regain weight after trying crash diets and other fad diets. They are utilizing temporary methods to gain temporary results. Fitness requires true lifestyle changes to achieve results that last a lifetime.
Crash Dieting Isn't The Same Fasting
It needs to be said that crash dieting should not be confused with fasting. Fasting is about hitting the “reset” button on your insulin levels and forcing your body to attack the excess fat. Fasting, when utilized correctly, is part of a lifestyle rather than simply being a “lose weight quick” solution.
If you want to lose weight and make some real changes to your fitness levels then you need to make some real changes to your lifestyle. This does not mean you have to stop eating the things you enjoy entirely, it simply means that you have to impose limitations on yourself for when you allow yourself those foods. It means that you must take measures to compensate for that consumption.