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10/15/17 at 08:49 AM 0 Comments

5 Popular Crash Diets That Really Works

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Crash diets are very popular these days for fast weight loss.

They promise dieters quick weight loss and more - without any scientific evidence.

Not only that, their long-term effects of nutritionally unbalanced diets often harm their overall health.

Take the 3-day military diet, for example. It’s currently one of the most searched weight loss diet trends on Google.

The diet claims to help dieters lose weight very quickly - 10 pounds or 4.5 kg in 1 week - with no scientific evidence to show for.

Amongst many failing diets, there are very few “fad or crash” diets that are actually known for producing promising results and based on scientific evidence.

Moreover, these weight loss diets are based on a healthy eating principle which supports the long-term health and dieting success.

Here are 5 “popular” crash diets that are actually legit.

1. The 5:2 Diet

The 5:2 diet, which also goes by the name, the Fast Diet, is a diet that uses the advanced techniques of scheduled, purposeful fasting.

If you've heard of intermittent fasting, this diet basically borrows that idea. You may also think of this as a scheduled fasting.

The diet was popularized by a British doctor and journalist, Michael Mosley.

It's called "5:2" because, for five days, you eat as you regularly would. For the remaining 2 days of the week, you cap your daily calorie intake to about 500 calories.

Because of this calorie restriction, it typically produces a calorie deficit large enough to drive weight loss.
To many people, this sounds like a winning diet since restrictions only apply to 2 days out of a week.

Though it's debatable whether the 5:2 diet is a mere eating pattern rather than a diet with restrictions, but in a sense, it's both.

Regardless, many find it easier to stick to this 5:2 diet than other traditional diets for having the freedom of choice for the first 5 days.

And most importantly, the scientific communities seem to approve of their approach, as more evidence is coming out in support of this diet's legitimacy as a weight loss diet (1).

2. South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is a diet that's high in protein, low in carbs and fat.

It was created by Dr. Agatston, but the diet is more well known for the name of the town where he practiced medicine - the South Beach in South Florida.

Working as a cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston wanted to help his patients achieve a sustainable weight loss without involving any starvation.

The Atkins diet was part of inspiration but its consumption of saturated fat was worrisome for him as it may raise the risk for heart disease.

So, in the 1990s, Dr. Agatston created a diet that's both low-carb and low fat. That diet is what we know now as the South Beach Diet.

On this diet, you are encouraged to eat lean protein, complex carbs such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and healthy fats.

And it's done in 3 phases:

Phase 1 focuses on resetting your body’s metabolism to start shedding pounds quickly.

Dieters can expect to lose anywhere from 8-13 pounds (3.5-6 kg) of body fat during this initial phase.

This phase is also the most restricted phase of the South Beach diet. In an effort to control blood sugar and reduce insulin levels, all high-carbs such as fruits and grains are restricted.

The first two phases of the South Beach Diet are for weight loss. Phase 3 focuses on maintaining the weight loss results.

Phase 3 of the South Beach diet is less restrictive than the first two. While remaining high in protein, it allows unprocessed carbs in controlled quantities.

This high-protein South Beach diet works because protein generally takes more calories to digest than carbs and fat. It also brings more satiety and increases hunger suppressing hormones.

This effective use of protein and limited consumption of fat for weight loss is well documented in numerous studies.

Scientific evidence shows diets high in protein tend to retain muscle mass and reduce body fat than a standard diet. (2).

There is also a 12-week study done particularly on the success of the South Beach Diet. In that trial, pre-diabetic participants lost 11 lbs and reduced 2 inches off the waists.

Favorable insulin outcomes were also present in that study, which is a huge win for diabetic patients (3).

So what's the catch? And why would the South Beach Diet constantly be regarded as a fad?

It's mostly coming from the drastic cut back on fat, mostly the saturated fat that this diet requires. It's also alarming to many critics that it recommends processed oils linked to some health risks.

3. Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic diet or "keto" diet is often considered a "crash" diet, but it actually is a diet many people had a great success at losing weight fast.

This diet works by shifting your body's primary energy source to ketones, from sugar. And to achieve that, it drastically cuts back on carbs.

By limiting the carbs, which turns to sugar for energy when consumed, you exhaust the primary fuel and use the ketones which basically are fatty acid compounds.

In oversimplified terms, with Ketones Diet, you get your body to a "ketosis" state where it uses fats for energy rather than sugar.

Because this is their chosen way of burning fat and losing weight, you are to keep your carb consumption to extremely low throughout the diet.

In a typical Keto diet, your daily carb allowance is less than 30 to 50 grams.

Whether intended or not, this diet's extreme carb elimination almost always lead to calorie and sugar reduction, which alone enables dieters to achieve extreme weight loss.

In one study, 45 obese participants lost on average 27.5 pounds and 29 inches from their waists (4).

4. Paleo Diet

Paleo diet or paleolithic diet, which also goes by the name, caveman diet is one of the most popular weight loss high-protein and low-carb diets around.

This diet is pretty simple in its guiding principles. Eat the way cavemen did back in the day.

The catch is that foods cavemen did not eat such as pastries are off limits.

It also limits various other foods including legumes, dairy, and even grains.

Though some critics point out it's not all that practical to mimic food choices way back in time, research shows skipping some of rather modern foods come with weight loss benefits and help prevent illness linked to modern civilizations.

After all, our society's famous rapper, Rick Ross attests to the success of this diet, losing over 100 pounds on the Paleo lifestyle.

The truth is, how healthful this diet is really up to debate.

One side argues the Paleo Diet not only poses a risk of certain nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D and calcium but also dangerously encourages consumption of saturated fat such as those found in red meat (5).

The others swear by healthfulness of this ancestral diet by pointing out how the elimination of processed foods can only lead to more balanced meals, encouraging more consumption of plant-based foods and lean protein. (6, 7).

Not that weight loss results are the absolute validation of healthfulness of a diet, but it hints the diet’s effectiveness. In one 70-obese participant study, Paleo diet led to a significantly larger weight loss and belly fat loss than the other standard diet eating group. (7).

Some research also shows the Paleo eating reduces the dangerous belly fat, the visceral fat. (8).

5. Vegan Diet

Vegan diet, originally a way of life is now becoming more popular amongst dieters seeking a way to lose weight.

That's because when people go vegan, they tend to lose weight fairly quickly, thanks to increased intake of fruits and veggies.

Despite vegan diets mainly based on all healthy, fiber rich foods, many have called out veganism as a fad diet and criticized its ways of eating as nutritionally not balanced and extreme.

So, is the vegan diet really a fad?

Research says, it depends.

The beauty of the vegan diet is that there are no other restrictions besides eating only plant-based foods - no animal foods.

This can technically mean you can eat 10 vegan muffins a day and claim you are on the vegan diet, which is no help to weight loss.

Vegan diets based on whole, plant-based foods are on the other hand proven to result in significant weight loss. They are even said to help lower the risk of heart disease (9, 10).

In one study, those on the vegan diet lost more than double the weight as participants in other groups (11).

In the end, vegan diets based on wholesome, unprocessed plant foods are found to be effective for weight loss for both long and short-term.

In addition, they may help improve your heart health.

The Verdict

Crash diets will continue to remain popular. They offer not only a clear set of how to's for losing weight, but also come with the allure of getting you there fast.

New diets too will continue to be created and marketed to address ever-growing demands of weight loss and better health.

Although what's known as crash diets are typically nutritionally unbalanced and not scientifically proven, there are few that are.

To successfully lose weight and improve your health, it's important to find not only an eating pattern that's healthy and nutritiously sound but also a way of eating you can live by for long term. At last, the best diet is the one you don't know you are on.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).