There are several crash diets on the market today. Some offer you the chance to lose up to 10 pounds in as little as 48 hours. Over time, juicing fasts and other liquid-based crash diets can help people lose upwards of 40 pounds in just 30 days. Whether it is for the beach, a wedding, or just for general health, these dieting options often seem like a great way to lose weight fast.
But are they healthy?
That’s what is up for debate.
Losing Weight Has An Immediate Impact on Blood Pressure
For every 5 pounds of weight that you lose through dieting, it is estimated that you can lower your blood pressure by up to 10 points. That means if you can lose 20 pounds of weight when you’re overweight, you can reduce your blood pressure from hypertension levels. This reduces your risk of suffering from heart disease and other coronary and circulatory issues later on in life, especially if you can maintain that weight.
It’s not just the circulatory system that benefits from weight loss. When you weigh less, your body requires less insulin to turn your food into the sugars it needs to operate. Less insulin means less work for the pancreas and your digestive tract, which creates healthier conditions throughout the body. This is why you tend to have more energy throughout the day when you’ve dieted successfully!
Losing Weight Too Fast Can Have Serious Consequences
When you are losing weight fast, your body is consuming stored reserves that it has saved as a resource. These reserves, which are fat and muscle tissues, release ketones into your blood stream when they are consumed. Have you ever had the taste of a copper penny in your mouth when you were hungry? That’s your body consuming resources. Too many ketones and your blood won’t have enough oxygen to circulate throughout your body. That’s why long-term water fasting can create dangerous imbalances!
You might also experience:
- trouble sleeping, or
- generalized weakness.
Fast weight loss also tends to add more calcium components into your body’s system. This calcium is filtered out of your body and generally takes the form of gallstones. Although most gallstones can pass through your system without incident, some can become bigger and get stuck. This creates an infection and the gallbladder can actually die. Any inflammation in the gallbladder is considered a medical emergency and crash dieting is one of the leading causes of gallbladder formation.
Are the Risks Worth the Reward?
That’s a decision that everyone must make on their own. For some people who are medically obese, the excess weight is more of a medical emergency than the concerns of a crash diet. For others, a slower weight loss makes more sense because that limits the risks involved. In most cases, a safe weight loss is considered to be a maximum of two pounds per week. With exercise and better eating, however, many people may experience more dramatic weight decreases in the first weeks of a lifestyle change.
Crash dieting may have some benefits, but it also has some risks. Weigh them both and speak with your doctor if you have concerns about your diet.