The theory behind weight loss is very simple, and we have repeated the basics on this blog dozens of times. If you eat more than you consume, you will arrive; if you eat less, you lose weight. Very simple, right? Unfortunately, many people draw the following conclusion from this simple rule: the less I eat, the harder I waste!
In other words: they are starting a so-called crash diet . Seems very logical, but there are quite a few large adders here under the grass. After all, with such a crash diet you do not get the tight body that you hope for … Why that is so, and what works, we will explain below:
What is a crash diet?
In short, a crash diet is a diet that consumes extremely few calories . There is no ‘official’ limit, but often it is immediately clear that you are dealing with a crash diet. With everything below 1500 calories you can at least assume that it is simply not enough. However, some diets prescribe bizarre amounts such as 500 calories per day !
A crash diet indeed ensures that your weight ‘crashes’: for a while you fall off like mad. And that is no wonder, because you are actually starving yourself! Your body therefore has no other chance than the burning of tissue in order to obtain sufficient energy .
Fat loss vs. weight loss
In the short term, a crash diet really works: you become a lot lighter. The problem is, as mentioned, that there are still some comments to be made about this … A first problem is that not all weight loss also has to be direct fat loss . After all, your body can also burn other types of tissue. And that is indeed what often happens when you start a crash diet!
Of course, you lose some fat. A large part of that first, explosive weight loss, however, is mainly moisture loss. The fastest source of reserve energy for your body consists of glycogen : carbohydrates that are stored in moisture. As you eliminate that supply , you lose pounds without actually burning fat.
Loss of muscle tissue
Well, you might say, but if you maintain that crash diet long enough, will that fat go on naturally? Unfortunately, that is also disappointing. When you have gone through your glycogen, there is another energy source: your muscles . That muscle tissue is affected at least as hard as your fat stores during a crash diet.
You might become a little thinner, but a good layer of fat remains under your skin. This way you will not get stuck in your skin. In addition, your body uses fewer muscles and also uses less energy. So you will have to eat even less to keep losing weight.
Bad for your mood!
A final problem with crash diets is that there is little chance that you will last. The reason is very simple: your body knows that you are doing something unusual. Not only do you not get enough energy, it is also generally poor with nutrients. You just eat too little to get all the vitamins and minerals you need.
That means that your body will give ever stronger signals just to eat again. Huge hunger attacks and binge eating are the order of the day during a crash diet. Even if you do not admit it, you will feel terrible. All those shortages are also deadly for your mood and energy level.