While experts, nutritionists and physicians would advise against them, many people look to crash diets to lose a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. Some do it because they don't have the patience to take up a regular diet and exercise regimen, and they want to see instant results. Others do it because they don't have a large enough time frame to diet and exercise regularly. For instance, someone might need to fit into a particular piece of clothing, like a tuxedo or dress, for an upcoming wedding or formal event. Whatever the reason may be, people are aware of the existence of crash diets that can lead to rapid weight loss, but aren't sure if they actually work. Here is a review of four different crash diets that not only work, but also work fast.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
The cabbage soup diet is a crash diet that focuses on eating only cabbage soup for a week, with the addition of select fruits as another food source from time to time. By using cabbage soup as your primary food intake, this crash diet is designed to make you shed 10 pounds within a one week time span with no exercise required. The soup usually consists of:
- Green onions
- Green peppers
- Canned tomatoes
- Onion powder or onion soup mix
- Optional bouillon cubes for flavor
- Seasonings for added flavor like salt, pepper, hot sauce or garlic powder
While there are many variations to the cabbage soup recipe, the primary focus is to maintain a low-calorie diet without losing too many nutrients by allowing fruits and vegetables into the diet.
The Juice Diet
A juice diet focuses on the consumption of various juices as the primary source of food throughout the entire day. The juice can come from various fruits and vegetables, providing a source of vitamins and nutrients. This diet not only cuts calories, but also carbohydrates to induce rapid weight loss. This type of juice fasting also works as a detox diet, allowing people to slowly wean off of unhealthy habits like overeating, smoking or alcohol. The most common list of juices used for the juice diet includes:
A juice diet is said to cause anywhere between three to four pounds of weight loss per day, slowly averaging to one pound per day as the diet continues. Many people recommend making your own juices by buying fruits and vegetables and processing them through a juicer to gain the most vitamins and nutrients from the juice.
The Liquid Diet
Like the juice diet, the liquid diet focuses on the consumption of liquids to induce weight loss. By replacing solid foods with liquids, you are restricting your calorie intake to low levels. Liquid diets can either be homemade, sold over the counter, or specially made by a health practitioner with added nutrients that promote fat burning. Many liquid diets that are sold over the counter are used as meal supplements, like a diet shake used to replace breakfast, then another shake at lunch, followed by a healthy dinner. However, the true liquid diet allows for no solid foods at all.
The Grapefruit Diet
Other diets require you to replace your food with a diet supplement, like juice or cabbage soup, but the grapefruit diet allows you to eat most foods, paired with a half piece of grapefruit or grapefruit juice at every meal. One thing the diet does require you to cut out is carbohydrates. You can think of the grapefruit diet as a low-carb, high-protein diet with the addition of grapefruits. The grapefruit is necessary because it is said to have a fat burning enzyme, meaning foods high in protein and high in fat are not an issue, like eggs and meats. Foods like sweet fruits, vegetables, grains and cereals are not allowed during the duration of the grapefruit diet, which typically lasts 10 to 12 days. You must also aim for a reduction of caloric intake, similar to other crash diets, which usually consists of 1200 calories per day.
Health Risks of Crash Diets
These crash diets are effective in achieving rapid weight-loss, but are not recommended due to the effects they can have on your body. These diets are low in both calories and nutrients. With a drastic reduction in caloric intake, the body may not be receiving the energy it needs throughout the day. The restrictive diet also reduces the amount of nutrients the body needs to receive on a daily basis. These deficiencies can have lasting repercussions on your body. Here is a list of things to consider before attempting one of these crash diets:
- The initial weight you lose is usually water weight, not fat.
- Eating less slows your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight.
- Crash diets cause the loss of lean tissue which can be dangerous, especially around the heart, kidneys, liver and brain.
- The body will eat through muscle to replace the energy it is not receiving.
- Food depravation can have psychological effects, like making you cranky and more irritable because you are constantly hungry.
- Food depravation can also lead to binge eating if you fail to go through with the crash diet.
- The weight you lose from a crash diet is not permanent, and must be maintained by proper dieting or exercise, or else you run the risk of gaining all the weight back.
Many recommend losing weight the safe way by eating healthier and exercising more. However, no one can deny the incredible effects of rapid weight-loss through one of these crash diets. If you decide to attempt one of these crash diets, consult a physician and nutritionist beforehand. A crash diet should be done under a doctor's supervision to avoid injury or health complications.