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June 16, 2019: Crash Dieting

My weekly Get Your Stuff Together Sunday email series gives you one actionable focus for the week that will make your life a little easier.

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You’ve probably heard the phrase “crash dieting,” and you’ve likely even tried it yourself. It is when people will severely cut calories in order to rapidly lose weight, usually around a specific event such as a vacation or a wedding. This week, we’re going to talk about why this is a bad idea.

It’s Counter-Productive

The problem with this type of dieting is two-fold.

1. The results are anything but permanent. It’s a short-term solution.

2. The short-term solution may have long-term negative health impacts.

Here are a few things to consider before resorting to these measures to fit into a new bathing suit or pair of jeans.

One of the big things people who crash diet do not realize is that while, yes, they may be losing weight, it is not the weight they want to be losing. As our body starts being neglected with food sources to get energy from, it begins to go into survival mode, believing that the body is in a state of starvation, so it will hold on to your fat stores because those are the easiest to turn into quick energy for the body to survive. This means that while you are crash dieting your body will not let go of fat readily and will sacrifice muscle instead. So, that 15 pounds you lost will end up being more muscle then fat and will leave you with a higher body fat percentage then you started with. Don’t get caught up with the number on the scale, it’s not just about losing weight it is about losing the right weight.

It’s Dangerous

Crash dieting doesn’t just affect your waistline; it can also be doing damage to your heart. The shrinking, growing and tearing around your muscles and capillaries can lead to damaged blood vessels which leave you susceptible to heart disease, heart failure, and heart palpitations. Cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, has said that “A crash diet once won’t hurt your heart, but crash dieting repeatedly increases the risk of heart attacks.” The problem lies in the first part of that quote. Most people who do a crash diet do not only do it once.

Don’t Make it So Hard!

So, what should you be doing? It doesn’t have to be complicated, I am sure you know that you shouldn’t eat that piece of cake for breakfast or have a box of Girl Scout cookies at dinner. In America, the number one item that negatively affects your health is is sugary drinks. A great way to start working toward your weight loss goal by cutting out those sodas, certain fruit juices, and added sugar in your coffee. That small change will help you get on a safe path towards your goal weight much better than a crash diet that doesn’t work well and can hurt you.

Next Sunday, we’ll talk about how you can fit more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Want some expert help with reaching your health goals painlessly? Check out my programs! We’ll get everything taken care of in a way that fits into your current lifestyle so you never have to think about your health again.

Do you have a friend who could stand to G(her)ST? Feel free to forward this!

I hope you have a wonderful week,


Kelly Morgan, Ph.D.

Tsirona -

My weekly GYSTS email give you one actionable thing to do for the week that will make you life a little easier. As "they" say, "Fail to plan; plan to fail." Get these emails (and more!) delivered right to your inbox by clicking HERE.