There are hundreds of diet books suggesting hundreds of different approaches to losing weight. The simplest and least expensive is the crash diet – a short term severe restriction of calories. Experts on diet and nutrition suggest that most women need between 1500 to 2000 calories per day to maintain their weight. Activity level, height and current weight all influence the exact number. Crash diets typically restrict calories to under 900 per day. Some diets reduce daily calories to only 400 per day. The result is almost always a short term, rapid weight loss. Remaining on such a restricted calorie regime for more than a few days or week, however, can lead to many unintended consequences.
When you severely restrict calories, you are also restricting the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrition available to your body. If you are going to use this approach to rapid weight loss, there are some steps to take in order to keep your immune system strong and to reduce the negative consequences. First, take multi-vitamins. You might want to take other supplements as well, such as protein powders or phytonutrients. Second, make sure that your sources for the few calories you’ll consume are good ones. One version of this fast-track diet suggests drinking four glasses of skim milk per day as your high quality calorie source. Other versions people use are the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the lemonade diet, and the juice or liquid diet.
Some diet specialists recommend that you add brisk exercise to your weight loss regime in order to speed up the process. Exercise increases the number of calories your body uses over the day. Calorie restriction typically works in the short term. If you continue on such a severe program for very long your skin will become dry, you may experience hair loss, and your body’s metabolism may slow down because it thinks you are starving to death. If you have more than a few pounds to lose, you will be more successful by taking a slow and steady approach rather than a crash diet approach.