Jumps from diet to diet unhealthy

Stay away from crash diets!

If you want to lose a lot of weight as quickly as possible, it is best to undergo a leg amputation or a crash diet. Ok, it goes without saying that amputation is a damned bad idea. But even a lightning diet will probably not help you to become slimmer in the long term. But why is that so?

This is what constitutes a crash diet

With a consistent crash diet, you reduce your calorie intake by 60 to 70 percent. Most super-fast weight loss regimens revolve around a “miracle food”, for example the cabbage diet, tomato diet or the somewhat bizarre pineapple diet. Fatty milk and meat products and carbohydrate side dishes such as rice, pasta and potatoes are only served in very small portions. Classic sin such as sweets, nibbles and alcohol are of course deleted from your menu. Instead, some fruit and especially low-calorie vegetables are served. Typically, these weight loss programs make big promises - five pounds in a week or eight pounds in 48 hours. Sounds tempting, especially since other diets stretch over weeks and months and require a lot of stamina. But what is it about the “slim overnight” super weapons of bodyweight warfare?

It happens in your body

In the short term, a crash diet is definitely an excellent way to lose body weight. You drastically reduce your daily food intake and take it only 500 to 800 calories to you - normal are around 2,000 calories, depending on your age, gender and body type. With this you create a strong deficit in the energy balance of your body and logically lose weight. With such a radical cure, everything is geared towards rapid, measurable success.

Because your body no longer receives enough energy from food, it quickly begins to consume your substance. But instead of helping yourself to the Hüftgold buffet, it first empties your carbohydrate stores - the so-called glycogen stores - which are intended for short-term bottlenecks. Only after a few days does your body consistently get down to the bacon and make use of the stored fat reserves.

Once fat burning has started, it takes place very slowly. Your body has learned from evolution (the fox!) And doesn't burn all the fat at once.

Instead, it starts to make glucose from the proteins in your muscles. In plain language, this means that on such a lightning diet you also get fat as well lose a lot of muscle mass. This is exactly what a good diet should prevent.

Lose a lot fast? It does not work!

There are a number of reasons why a radical cure won't melt your fat cells, even in the medium term. Every reputable health expert will confirm that you can only reduce the width of your shadow over the long term with a permanent change in diet and regular physical activity. Because there is more to a spontaneous crash diet than just one catch.

You're not losing fat, you're losing water

In the first two days, your crash diet will immediately bring measurable success and your scale will show several pounds less. But the glycogen stores, in which your body stores carbohydrates for short-term energy, are deceptive: you lose weight when you empty them, but as soon as you stop hungry and diligently feed carbohydrates, they fill up again and the kilos come back. So you are only consuming your reservoir. The tissue of the glycogen store also binds a lot of water, which causes the Sham effect is reinforced. Like an emptied lake on a river, your carbohydrate stores quickly replenish at the end of your diet. Lost 3 pounds in 48 hours? Congratulations, a lot of it is water.

The yo-yo effect

After the end of a weight loss regimen, most people gain weight again, and there are several reasons for this: On the one hand, as I said, your carbohydrate stores fill up as soon as you are no longer in a calorie deficit. In addition, after the drought period, your body is particularly keen to build up new fat stores. After all, he still considers you - an experience from the last two million years - to be a poorly coiffed mammoth hunter who crouches in his cave and doesn't know when there's something to bite next.
The yo-yo effect is also often a psychological factor. Once you've managed your diet successfully, you're more inclined to reward yourself with calorie bombs. Your body is just waiting for every excess calorie to regain its old abundance. Your physical need and your psychological desire are aligned against your dream body - you can get weak there.

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Deluxe yo-yo effect: gain weight instead of weight loss

If you don't normalize your eating behavior after the crash diet, you run the risk of shining with more hip gold than before your weight loss program. Based on the reactions of your body, this is actually not that unlikely. Because Your body is a bad loser: At some point he will get back what has been taken from him, and if it's a little more than before, that's fine with him.

A crash diet is pretty much the opposite of what constitutes a sensible diet. For long-term success, you have to change your diet so that you don't fall back into old patterns. Regular exercise is an absolute must as this is the only way to get your metabolism going and burn enough calories. If you quickly starve yourself down a few kilos, it does not change your habits and consequently does not contribute anything to a permanently improved figure.

The risks

Going through a weight loss program in just a few days is not only a hopeless endeavor, it can also be harmful for you under certain circumstances. You will feel worse over time, you will suffer from a lack of nutrients and in the long run you will even put your health at risk.

Nutritional deficiency

The menu in a crash diet is usually one-sided. When you go on a cabbage soup diet, you are getting all of the great nutrients in cabbage (delicious, cabbage three times a day!), But no other vitamins and nutrients. If you go hungry often or for a longer period of time, this can mean that you are missing important ingredients of a balanced diet. In the long run, this deficiency can not only lead to a poorer general condition, it also harbors major ones health risks.

Weakness and difficulty concentrating

Over time, your energy level will noticeably decrease. You will become physically less productive and should also sensibly no longer do sport - sport would help you tremendously in losing weight on a healthy diet. Your brain also needs energy - and that is absolutely in short supply right now. The result: you can concentrate more poorly, your performance at work, in studies and training or in school decreases. It is actually your goal to feel more alive and healthier.

Starvation can quickly become an addiction

Losing weight successfully makes you feel good. Your fellow human beings will also be happy for you if you have visibly lost a few excess bacon rolls. But this good feeling can get a bland aftertaste when people keep increasing their desire for a slimmer silhouette. Many people in our society suffer from bulimia and anorexia, they have crossed the line from a healthy diet to a dangerous disease.

In stressful situations - such as injuries and very hunger - the body releases a lot of happiness hormones. In this way, it provides an extra boost of energy in an emergency and also ensures that we feel happy and productive (if you whistle three ibuprofen in despite being in good health, you probably feel better too) addict quickly. As soon as food is consumed, the stress level drops, the endorphin release ceases and the mood worsens. This phenomenon is particularly strong during fasting, when the body receives almost no calories at all for days and weeks (after all, there are 500 to 800 in crash diets).

In addiction research, it is believed that eating disorders and drug addiction are closely related. The consumption of addictive substances also leads to a large release of certain endogenous messenger substances, which the addict wants to experience again after the effects have subsided. This does not mean that a short crash diet will directly trigger an eating disorder in you, or even make you a junkie. But in the long run, rapid fasting can promote an unhealthy relationship to your own diet.

The alternative: a healthy diet, regular exercise and a good mood


A weight loss can be done do not force it with the crowbar (Unless you use it to break the scales and manipulate them). If you are not extremely overweight, one kilo less per week is already the greatest feeling. Much more important, however, is that you make lasting changes to your habits, your diet and your physical activity. If you want to embark on the path to the new you - or just want to lose a few pounds - you also have to be ready to fundamentally change some things in your life.

First of all, of course, that you eat a balanced and wholesome diet. So a lot of fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole grain instead of white bread) and, if possible, no industrial sugar. Our Gymondo nutritional philosophy swears by natural products without long additional lists and chemical processing. A healthy diet also means that your food tastes good and makes you feel good - after all, it shouldn't be your enemy, but your friend.


Losing weight without exercise is possible, but pointless. With a crash diet you are not even able to do sports because you lack the necessary energy. Adequate exercise is an important factor in your calorie balance. Not only do you burn calories while exercising, you also generally boost your circulation. But counting calories shouldn't be the focus of your exercise program.

Sport primarily ensures that you have a better body feeling and can start the day with more energy. You will improve your endurance and burn fat deposits while building muscle at the same time - this will make you fitter and healthier. That's why it's not that bad if you don't lose weight for a few weeks despite changing your diet and taking part in a regular exercise program. During this time, your body diligently transforms fat into muscles and visibly regains its shape in the long run. Fitness and a good body awareness should not be a time-limited weight loss project, but Your attitude to life.


Stay away from crash diets is the motto. Diets are not always bad, but if you want to get to your goal in a minimum of time with maximum starvation, you can only fail! Because losing weight is like so many things in life: You can only achieve lasting success if you have a lot of fun with something and make it your business.

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Carl is Content Manager at GYMONDO. He writes about simple diet and fitness tips that will make your life healthier.