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What is considered Crash Dieting?

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Old 02-24-2010, 11:59 AM   #1
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Default What is considered Crash Dieting?

Ok, I have been on a diet for a little over a month and I have lost 20 pounds. While I know a large portion of this is probably water weight, I am wondering if this is rather quick? This makes me think or wonder if perhaps I am crash dieting? I don't think I am and I'm not starving myself. I used to just eat really bad and never exercise and am extremely out of shape so maybe it's just coming off fast right away? Here's what i do on an average day:

Eat 1400-1500 calories a day, usually around 1450-1500. Split into 5 meals
Drink 70 plus ounces of water a day
Exercise 45-60 minutes, doing low/medium intensity on the elliptical 6 days a week
Take multi-vitamin pack daily, not a diet supplement.

Would this be considered crash dieting? Everyone has been telling me that 20 pounds in a month is rather fast, but I don't think I am being too strict on my diet...thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:06 PM   #2
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How do you FEEL? Listen to your body, not anybody else. If you feel good, you're not tired or weak or getting ill, you're fine. Especially at the weight you started at. It can come off very quickly in the beginning.

If you're really concerned, talk to your doctor about it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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Only your doctor, RD etc can advise you on what is best for you, so I'll share what I know to be true for ME:

I have been seeing a RD who wanted to watch what I was eating for a couple weeks before suggesting anything. I initially started at 333, and was probably around 322 when I started seeing her. I was eating about 1800-sometimes 2000 a day.

She told me I was eating too few calories for my size and once I actually upped my calories, I started losing better and felt better too. I'm amazed at how much good, tasty, healthy food I can eat and still lose well!

I lost over 8 pounds over a 2 week period after upping my calories.

She still thinks that's too fast though. We'll see what happens!

One thing she mentioned (and many here know this to be a concern) was that if I started out lower, where would I go once I hit a plateau? How can someone who started out at over 300 lbs safely cut calories over the long haul when starting so low? It may take me 2 years to get to my goal weight.

Starting out at (for now) 2600 calories leaves me wiggle room to shave off calories 100 pounds from now without feeling deprived or missing out on vital nutrients.

At the end of the day, it's not advisable to go lower than 1200 calories, and in your case, that's not far from where you are eating at now, at your current weight. It makes me wonder where you'll have to go (calorie wise) for the stretch of time it will take to get to your own personal goal weight.

I do want to congratulate you for your focus, determination and consistency. That's what it takes, regardless of plan!!!
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:22 PM   #4
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I think those of us that have more to lose will see bigger results in the beginning. I also think it's a combination of many things - water, eating habits for the better and activity.

I guess if you lost 60 lbs the first month, at where you started, I would worry about a crash diet. KWIM?
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:25 PM   #5
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I totally agree w/evoo. I wouldn't be too concerned with it considering it's your first month. You've made drastic changes and your body is still adjusting. As long as you don't feel hungry and you're not starving yourself, I'd say you're ok. It's going to eventually level off. And congrats on your first 20lbs!!! Great job!
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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To me, a crash diet is eating a small amount of something unsustainable, like the all celery diet, or whatever. The terms "crash" and "burn" go together in my mind. It's doing something so intense, it can't be kept up for the long term.

The more you have to lose the quicker it comes off at the beginning, as evidenced on "The Biggest Loser". The larger the contestant, the bigger the number. That's why they go by the percentage loss and not the actual number.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:42 PM   #7
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I feel great right now. I have never had so much energy actually! I do go to bed hungry but that's because I try not to eat after 8pm. I'm just concerned that if i continue on a 1500 calorie like passionista said will i continue to lose weight? or will i eventually stall? I feel like I am getting enough nutrients since I am taking a multi-vitamin pack and what I eat during the day mainly fruits and vegetables and protein, like tuna. Also, if i decide to increase my intake by a couple hundred calories will I gain my weight back? I dont want that either!!
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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Another non-expert opinon here, so take it for what it's worth:

I wouldn't call it a crash diet, and a lot of what you are doing is really good. The smaller meals, the exercise, and water are all good. Going just from your weight and the amount of exercise you are doing, I would guess you may be being very aggressive in your calorie restrictions. That may work for you, but as was already said, over the long haul, there may be some issues. If your body starts to think it's starving, it will actually hold onto the weight more by lowering your metabolism. Just something to think about.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:06 PM   #9
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If I were you, (great work by the way!) I may up the calories 100 a day for a week or two just to see how you lose that way. If you continue to lose at a healthy pace, I would eat as many calories as I could eat if still losing 1-2 lbs a week, that way I would have a lot of wiggle room if/when plateaus hit (as other posters mentioned) and in order to be able to reduce calories as the weight drops. Does that make sense?
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
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Crash dieting is what i associate with what my father did every baseball season. All the weight he gained all year.. he'd have to take off before his season started up again. He'd take about 2 weeks and eat only two salads a day. One for lunch & one for dinner, no breakfast. Doing this he'd lose about 20 lbs. He'd play his baseball season.. and then gain all the weight back just to do it the following year.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:53 PM   #11
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I spent years on crazy crash diets (for most of high school I'd eat less than 500 calories a day, except for weekend date nights).

I do think there were physiological effects (reducing metabolism slightly with each attempt), but I think the bigger issue is the unsustainability of the strategies. If you're feeling good and not feeling deprived or starved, it's very likely you're not on a crash diet. It's not a guarantee, but I think it's a good guideline.

Talking to your doctor or to a dietitian if you have the opportunity would be great, but paying attention to how you're feeling is essential whether or not your diet is supervised by a medical professional.

Feeling great isn't necessarily proof of adequate nutrition, but I think it's a good part of the equation.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:18 PM   #12
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Farn~ I lost 20lbs. the first month too, then it settled to around 8-10 a month. I think the first month is bigger for a lot of folks. If you have the opportunity to speak to a registered dietician, he/she would be able to guide you on how many calories are right for you.
Congrats on the 20lbs down and on sticking to a plan.
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