Can Crash Dieting For 1 Week Actually Be Healthy? Here’s An Expert’s Sound Advice


It’s totally normal that you’re searching about this topic.

Everybody wants to feel confident and sexy in their newly bought dress, or perhaps you’re headed on your vacation to the beach and you’ll have more fun frolicking around the waves with that banging body. And to top it all off, why wouldn’t you want to feel totally sexy and fit and confident everyday of your life? You should!

Although looking for a certain diet and thinking that having minuscule meals for a week before that much needed vacation is a good idea, these crash diets can suck you into developing unhealthy weight control practices.

The founder of Foodtrainers, Lauren Slayton, R.D., say that “we’re not into double workouts, laxatives, counting and aggressively skipping calories, skipping meals or anything that leaves you feeling poorly. I guess that needs to be said.”

But sometimes, especially those that have incredibly busy schedules are looking for that quick slim-down. The question is: How can this be done wisely?

Foodtrainers has a one-week program that allows their clients to lose a few pounds real quick. “A week of pre-event eating can be confidence boosting as long as it isn’t insane, extreme or punitive.”

So, how much weight can I actually lose weight in a week without being unhealthy? There is a simple mathematical equation to this. The amount of fat you can lose in a week has to relate to how many calories you burn, than take in. For every 3,500 calories you don’t end up buying becomes a pound of fat; so if you consume 3,500 calories in a week less than you burn then you find that equilibrium which makes you lose one pound.

If you are able to burn 7,000 calories in a week, then you’ll lose two pounds. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that losing two pounds each week is safe if you are dieting and exercising in a gradual and steady manner.

But what if you want to lose more than just two pounds a week?

Slayton’s one-week diet plans can make you lose up to five pounds in just a week (if you don’t have much fat to lose, you will lose less). So it depends on your numbers at the scale. “But you’re not losing more than a couple pounds of body fat per week so it’s a little fat a and a little fluid loss,” she says. Clients who go through this diet cook their meals at home, instead of eating out. They also consume more vegetables and fish and avoid alcohol and sugar at all costs. “We don’t advise weeks like this more than once a quarter or season—it’s not how to eat day in and day out.”

The reason this weekly diet can only be done sporadically is because even if you don’t have the risk of developing an eating disorder, being too restrictive on your food choices will have a rebound effect, says director of the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at Boston Medical Center, Caroline Apovian, M.D. “People who try to lose weight in a week or a month are going to gain it back,” she adds. Another reason is that “yo-yo dieting” which is gaining and losing weight back and forth is very bad for your health.

When doing a diet for quick weight-loss results, you end up losing muscle mass along with the fat and it’s the muscles that actually makes you burn calories, meaning your metabolism will slow down without muscle, says Dr. Apovian.

Aside from only focusing on the pounds you will lose, you can eat what Slayton calls “delicious de-bloaters:” Avocado, lemon, parsley, asparagus and dandelion tea. These won’t actually help you lose those pounds, but they will make you feel less bloated.

And after you’ve worn that sexy little black dress, or have gotten back from your beach vacation – go back to your regular eating habits. You’ve achieved your purpose, just don’t overeat this time around!

Going on a short-term diet in a healthy manner is okay, just as long as it is done only a few times a year. “This is not the way I have clients eat 48 weeks of the year—one is marriage and the other is like a one night stand or weekend fling. No judgement, but they’re just totally different,” says Slayton.