Crash diets do not serve their purpose and put an immense pressure on the body

Proteins, sodium, potassium and carbohydrates are very essential for your body. While on a crash diet, people concentrate more on reducing calories and do not intake adequate amount of nutrients

Every second person out there is trying to lose weight and there are many who believe that crash diet is the apt solution to lose weight quickly. But, crash diet comes with its own pros and cons. Doctors say many Mumbaikars are falling prey to various diseases because of crash dieting.

From college students to elderly, almost every age group is taking up crash diet, without knowing that experts have termed it as the most harmful diet for the body, which can even land them in hospitals.

Dr Pratit Samdani, a Physician at Breach Candy Hospital, said, “A lot of patients visiting me complain about fatigue and during the process of examination, I get to know that it is due to crash diet.”

Samdani said the trend of crash diet is followed more by women than men.

“Among those who visit me with complaints of fatigue, women aged between 18 and 25 years are more. Their immunity is low and they frequently fall sick because of not eating,” said Samdani, adding that crash dieting is worst thing that anyone can do to their body.

Dr Anil Pachnekar, former President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Mumbai, said, “In a week, I treat around 4 to 5 patients falling ill and having complications because of crash dieting.”

Pachnekar informed that most common problem among those who follow crash diet is body cramps and stomach aches.

Dr Usha Kiran Sisodia, a Clinical Nutritionist, explained crash diet as a strict diet for weight loss, wherein people ‘starve’ for weight-loss.

“They don’t realise that this is making them vulnerable to a lot of diseases,” said Sisodia.

According to doctors those who follow crash diet are can get following diseases:

  • Irregular periods in women
  • Blood pressure
  • Anaemia
  • Hair loss
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Bone weakness
  • Migraine issues

Experts say important nutrients are lost when crash dieting is followed rigorously.

“Proteins, sodium, potassium and carbohydrates are very essential for your body. While on a crash diet, people concentrate more on reducing calories and do not intake adequate amount of nutrients” said Sisodia.

Experts say 25 to 45 years age group are more attracted towards crash diet. Dr Naaznin Husein, President of Indian Dietetic Association, said, “I came across a case wherein a 30-years-old man was on crash diet and only drank cabbage soup twice a day. He was asked to follow this diet for a week, so that he loses 10kg in a week. But, within three days, he was dehydrated and had to be hospitalised.”

According to experts, if body’s water content drops below normal, then one will feel fatigued and will experience significant health problems. Sisodia said a proper diet should have a total number of 2000 calories. If you’re going to cut down 500 calories, you have to make sure that you still get the remaining 1500 calories with required nutrients.

Doctors said marriage season is yet another reason for people fasting and taking up crash dieting to lose weight.

“People have short-term goals, like during marriage season they want to lose weight faster or if they are dating someone, then they do this to impress their partner,” said Husein.

While crash dieting makes you lose a lot of weight as excess water is lost from your body, it causes you to gain same weight back immediately.

Experts say a number of people are also following ‘Atkins diet’ where there is intake of more of proteins and fats which puts a person at a high risk of having a heart attack and kidney failure.

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