Twelve overweight male subjects were evaluated on both a normal diet and a 24-h crash diet. During approximately 2 1/4-h complex performance tests subjects breathed an O2/N2 mixture equivalent to 3810 m. (12,500 ft). There were no significant findings due to diet for heart rate, blood pressure, serum electrolytes, subjective fatigue and urinary excretion of K+, epinephrine and norepinephrine. body temperatures were lower (p less than 0.05) for the crash diet than for the normal diet. Serum glucose levels increased during the normal diet and decreased during the crash diet. Hematocrit increased more for the crash diet (p less than 0.05) than for the normal diet. Urinary excretion of 17-ketogenic steroids was less (p less than 0.001) during sleep for the crash diet than for the normal diet. Complex performance showed no significant differences when subjects were tested under low workloads. Performance was enhanced during the crash diet when subjects were tested under the medium and high workload conditions.