The Big Crash Diet Experiment review – does dramatic calorie reduction work?

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Living on 800 calories a day may sound insane, but you will have to surrender your prejudices about quick weight-loss regimes because it seems they might work after all

Crash diets, as we all know, don’t work. They are potentially dangerous, hard to maintain and the people who manage to lose weight on them invariably gain it back, and then some. It is not clear how we all came to know this, because a growing body of clinical evidence seems to suggest the opposite: crash diets do work. They may, in fact, work better than anything else.

In The Big Crash Diet Experiment, Dr Javid Abdelmoneim sought to investigate – with the help of four volunteers – the possibility that Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCDs) may provide more effective weight loss than the slow-and-steady approach recommended by the NHS for most people. “This is a controversial experiment,” he said, “but if it delivers, we may have to think again about crash diets.” Dr Abdelmoneim, by the way, does not strike one as the sort of person who has ever eaten an entire tub of ice-cream for emotional reasons.

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