Do you want weight loss success that lasts for years? Of course you do! The last thing you want is to drop four dresses sizes, just to go up six within weeks of stopping the diet.
It’s the start of the year and there are plenty of people looking to start crash diets. It could be the latest 10-day magazine diet, these juice diets (Juice Plus and everything else out there) or a 500-calorie only diet.
Whatever you find, it’s time to think carefully about them. Are they really sustainable for long term weight loss success?
There is one reason why I joined Weight Watchers as a leader. I could follow a healthy eating plan that would keep the weight off for the long term (forever, in fact!) Even with the new plan, it is sustainable for the long term.
And I don’t just say Weight Watchers works. For many people out there, Scottish Slimmers, Slimming World and the old Rosemary Connelly (I can’t remember the new name for it now) do work, and there are maintenance options.
Crash diets don’t have the long term success. Here’s why:
They’re Designed for Quick Results
The truth is these diets aren’t designed for slow and healthy losses. They’re designed for quick results, whether it’s 10 pounds in a week or 30 pounds in a month.
Not only are these not healthy but they’re not sustainable. You’re not changing your eating habits that got you in the position you’re currently in. They’re just cutting back your calories considerably so your body has to burn the excess ones you’ve stored within a short period of time.
A healthy weight loss plan will only reduce your calories by a smaller amount, so you change habits and burn the excess calories slowly.
Once you go back to eating normally after your crash diet, you’ll just pile the weight back on.
You Don’t Learn About Good Wholesome Food
As I mentioned, you’re not learning new habits. When it comes to long term success, you need to change habits to keep the weight off after the diet ends.
The best plans will help you replace your treats with healthier options, while still allowing you some freedom. You’ll learn more about the nutrients in food and why overeating is bad for you. You learn about foods that will make you feel fuller for longer, so you end up eating less throughout the day without actually feeling it.
Crash diets can’t teach you any of this. The whole aim is to lose the weight as soon as possible.
Many Replace Meals Temporarily
Most of the crash diets out there are all about replacing meals. They give you shakes instead of actual food, so you end up starving yourself. You think you’re getting all the nutrients you need, but chances are you aren’t.
These shakes and diets are only temporary, too. Eventually, you have to go back to eating normal food.
This goes back to what I’ve already said in points 1 and 2: you don’t change your habits!
You’re Not Losing Fat
When you lose weight so quickly, you’re not just losing fat. You start losing muscle and a lot of it will be water retention. It gives you the feeling that you’re losing a lot, but the fat is still there somewhere.
A healthy weight loss is up to 2lbs a week. This will be 2lbs of fat. Of course, there will be weeks where you lose a bit more than that and that’s normal and still healthy. But on average it should be no more than 2lbs a week.
By not losing fat, you end up causing yourself other damage. You could be more at risk of muscle and bone problems. You can also look very drawn in the face, making it look like you’ve lost too much weight and making you look older.
Crash diets don’t work, not for long term weight loss success. Please don’t waste your money and time on these diets. The only time that I see them being useful is if you have a lot of weight to lose or you want to give your body a wee kickstart before moving onto a healthy eating plan that will give you the long term success in your weight loss.