Crash Diets Linked To More Belly Fat, Less Muscle: Foods To Reduce Belly Fat

According to a study, crash dieting would result in more belly fat and less muscle. Add these foods to reduce belly fat.

Crash Diets Linked To More Belly Fat, Less Muscle: Foods To Reduce Belly Fat

If you are planning to take up extreme dieting or crash diets to cut that extra flab, think twice. According to a study, crash dieting would result in more belly fat and less muscle. Researchers from Georgetown University in the US showed that women are more likely than men to participate in "crash" diets. The team examined female rats who were given 60 percent less calorie in their diets, which is roughly comparable to reducing from a 2,000-calorie daily diet to an 800-calorie diet in humans. 

The researchers found that within three days, the extremely reduced calories diet lowered body weight and caused cycling -- similar to a menstrual cycle -- to temporarily stop. The diet also led to a decrease in a number of metabolic factors and functions, including body weight, blood volume, blood pressure, heart rate and kidney function, the findings revealed. But returning to typical eating patterns quickly restored the metabolic functions. 

Furthermore, the animals were found to have a higher accumulation of abdominal fat three months after the diet ended compared to animals that did not follow the diet. "Even more troubling was the finding that angiotensin II -- a hormone in the body -- was more potent at increasing blood pressure in the rats that were on the reduced-calorie diet," said Aline de Souza, a post doctoral student from the varsity. Although the rats' blood pressure levels in recovery remained normal, higher-than-normal blood pressure responses to angiotensin II may increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. 

Such changes in body composition, along with the increase in belly fat, may cause long-term health risks for people who have previously crash dieted. The results were presented at The Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Sex-Specific Implications for Physiology conference in Tennessee, US.

(Also Read: Not Losing Weight Despite Dieting? Watch Out For These 8 Diet Mistakes)


Here Are Foods That Can Help You Lose Belly Fat:


Ajwain Seeds

Ajwain seeds are known to relieve the body of indigestion and associated flatulence.These seeds are great for effective weight loss too. All you need to do is boil a tablespoon of ajwain seeds in a liter of water and sip on it throughout the day. According to Dr. Nidhi Sawhney, practitionist at Nutri Advice, “Ajwain helps in digestion and absorption of food. Due to lesser fat storage, it ultimately leads to weight loss.”

Lauki (Bottle Gourd)

Rich in fibre and having water content of 92%, lauki can help you deal with digestive troubles. According to Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, “Common foods found in our home have tremendous benefits, including lauki, which is virtually fat free and helps keep our body hydrated, further aiding in digestion and weight loss.” A bowl of home-cooked lauki contains only 73 calories. Have it for dinner or a glass of lauki juice in the morning on an empty stomach to see results.


Also referred as bulgar wheat or broken wheat, dalia is high in protein and low in fat. It provides you nutrients, without piling on the pounds. For those who are looking for a good, fibre-rich substitute for rice, this is all you need. According to Dr. Anju sood, a Bangalore-based nutritionist, “Dalia is high on fiber, which delays your digestion. Because the output of sugar is not in big quantum, it is not converted into fat."

Chaas (or buttermilk)

Buttermilk is a healthy and nutritious drink. It is created by beating yogurt and adding some spices. It is excellent for the body and has more lactic acid and less fat as compared to regular milk. It’s a very good carminative and digestive drink as explained by Ayurveda. Buttermilk is useful in treating complicated digestive disorders and obesity as well. This mighty drink is rich in nutrients and vitamins and packed with protein, calcium, potassium and vitamins which helps in washing down fat. 100ml of buttermilk contains only 45 calories and substituting it for snacks and other sugary drinks can be a great idea.

(Also Read: 7 Diet Habits To Avoid When You are Trying To Lose Weight)

Why Crash Diets Don't Work In Long Run?


Fad diets lead to short-term weight loss and can often be a waste of time, according to many health experts and nutritionists. Whether you're following the Atkins and Dukan The Fast Diet, The Alkaline Diet, The Baby Food Diet, The Blood-Type Diet, The French Woman Diet, The Paleo Diet or the new 5:2 regime, these often turn out to be passing fancies. More and more dieters are realising that the fad diet promises of shedding huge amounts of weight in just a few weeks are either hollow, or that the diets are impossible to follow. 

There has never been any secret to sustaining a healthy diet. It always has been, and always will be, about eating the right foods as part of a balanced diet, and exercising, while allowing yourself a treat now and again. 

Drastically cutting down your calories to lose weight has long-term effects on our health. Extreme calorie-cutting forces our body to burn muscle for fuel instead of fat, which eventually slows our metabolism. These days people who are on such crash diets only care about their weight and not what’s going on inside their body. For long-term weight loss, crash diets won’t work, this mainly because they reduce our muscle mass. 

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