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The Risks and Rewards of Rapid Weight Loss Diets

Updated on October 30, 2012

Rapid weight loss diets are those diets which allow you to lose a large amount of weight in a very short period of time. There are many different types of rapid weight loss diets out there including starvation diets, liquid diets, diet pill diets and certain fad diets. The reason that so many people continuing trying to use rapid weight loss diets is because there are some definite rewards that are experienced when you lose weight quickly. Unfortunately, there are also some serious risks that are involved when using rapid weight loss to slim down - especially if you use this type of weight loss method on a semi-regular or regular basis.

Types of Rapid Weight Loss Diets

Before discussing the benefits and drawbacks of rapid weight loss diets, let's take a closer look at the different options that are available to you if you are seeking to lose weight quickly. Here are some of the top methods that people might use for rapid weight loss:

  • Starvation diets. These are diets in which people severely cut back on the number of calories that they consume in order to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. Many people will use this kind of rapid weight loss diet prior to going on a big vacation or attending an important event that they want to look great for.
  • Liquid diets. These are similar to starvation diets but replenish some of the nutrients lost from not eating by allowing the individual on this diet to consume only liquids. Some people simply consider this to be a form of fasting.
  • Diet pill diets. Many people choose to use diet pills to assist them in losing weight. Some rapid weight loss diets rely heavily on diet pills to control appetite while speeding up metabolism so that you can lose weight quickly.
  • Drug-induced weight loss. Related to diet pills diets are those rapid weight loss plans in which people use illegal drugs or drugs subscribed for other purposes (such as Adderall for psychological purposes) to achieve the same effects as diet pills and to lose weight quickly as a result.
  • Fad diets. Numerous fad diets have sprung up over the years which claim to allow for rapid weight loss. These are any type of diet that you see advertised which says that eating certain foods will let you lose x amount of weight in x days. Some are more successful than others.

Benefits of Rapid Weight Loss Diets

The reason that people continue to try to use these methods of losing weight is because there are certain benefits that we experience when we are successful with rapid weight loss diets. Some of these benefits include:

  • Rapid weight loss. Starting with the obvious, what people like about rapid weight loss is that they lose weight quickly.
  • Easier than long-term weight loss plans. You get immediate results with rapid weight loss and you get them without exerting the kind of effort that you would exert to get involved in a long-term plan of healthful eating and exercise.
  • Sense of pride. The diets that you can use for rapid weight loss typically tend to require some will power (particularly fad diets and starvation diets). Managing to accomplish this gives some people a sense of pride.
  • Possibility of long-term benefits. For the most part, rapid weight loss is going to be a short-term accomplishment. However, some people find that they can maintain their ideal weight through healthy eating once they've managed to get down to the size that they want to be.

Drawbacks of Rapid Weight Loss Diets

Despite the benefits of rapid weight loss diets, you will often hear people saying that these diets should not be considered to be a good way to lose weight. That's because there are some definite risks involved when you choose to use these diets to lose weight - although the risks do vary depending on the type of rapid weight loss plan that you use. There are also other drawbacks that you may encounter in addition to the serious risks. Some of the negative aspects of rapid weight loss diets include:

  • Weight loss is usually temporary. The rapid weight loss plan is great for allowing you to quickly slim down but you're not going to retain that weight loss for long which means that you'll be back to your old weight (or even heavier) shortly after the diet is done.
  • Self-esteem issues. The fact that rapid weight loss is temporary often leads to a yo-yoing diet experience in which the individual's self-esteem becomes tied to achieving that lower weight again and again.
  • Damage to your health. Losing weight quickly isn't very good for you, especially if you are using methods of rapid weight loss that are known to be bad for your body (like starving yourself or using illegal drugs to lose weight).

Summary of Rapid Weight Loss Diets

Most people are going to tell you that rapid weight loss diets are either all good or all bad. Those people who swear by them may say that they are a wonderful way to slim down during the times when you want to look your best. Those people who are opposed to them will tell you that this is a risky way of losing weight that isn't worth the benefits that you get from it.

The truth is that there are both some good things and some bad things about rapid weight loss plans. You do get some immediate benefits which may be okay for you if you are just trying to lose five pounds so that you can fit into the wedding dress of your dreams. You also take a lot of risks with your health especially if you are choosing to utilize this method of weight loss on a regular basis. The key to determining whether or not you should go on a rapid weight loss diet is to weigh these benefits and drawbacks in regards to your own situation and goals and then see what you think about the decision.


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  • BarryCross profile image

    Barry Cross 6 years ago from York, UK

    Nice awareness article! It's a shame people do not have more patience and take time to learn the basics of fat loss. Once you do you can change your life forever.

    Tweeted you to my weight loss followers.

    Cheers, Barry :)