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Whether you’re trying to stick to your New Years’ resolution, look fabulous at a class reunion or turn heads at the beach, there’s always a new, popular fad diet promising to deliver quick results for your weight loss goals. Although it may be tempting to give these diets a chance, the truth is crash diets don’t work and can damage your health. Healthy weight loss consists of eating right, exercising and losing a smaller amount of weight over a longer time frame.
“Crash” diets (fewer than 1,000 calories a day) are designed to highly restrict your caloric intake so that you lose weight rapidly. Some of these diets promise up to 10 pounds of weight loss or more per week. Not only is this outcome unsustainable, but it can also hurt you in the long run. Many crash diets restrict caloric intake to unhealthy levels. When you try a crash diet, you may:
Unfortunately, when you stop the “crash” diet and resume previous eating patterns, you’re likely to gain back most, if not all, of the weight back as most of the weight loss is often water loss. The body tends to revert back to the previous weight that it was accustom to prior to the diet.
It’s no secret that losing weight helps maintain optimal health. Losing even a small percentage of excess body weight can help you avoid risk factors for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer. However, healthy weight loss is typically slower weight loss.
We advise our patients on how to follow a healthy meal plan that helps them lose weight quickly but safely. The best way to achieve healthy weight loss is to follow a meal plan that eliminates added sugars and reduces total carbohydrates while consuming more vegetables, healthy fats and a variety of protein sources.
More tips for healthy weight loss include:
Portion sizes have skyrocketed at restaurants over the past two decades, making it harder to know what a healthy portion of food really is. Order carefully when eating out at restaurants and try taking home part of your meal as leftovers. Another option is to order off the “Appetizer” menu for smaller portion sizes.
Check food labels carefully. Be aware of the intended serving size is before eating. Also, watch out for added sugary ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
Beverages account for over 20 percent of daily caloric intake. Do your best to avoid all soda and diet soda as well as fruit juice and limit alcoholic beverages. These drinks can add calories but offer, very little if any, nutritional benefit. Be sure to drink plenty of water, hydration is very important for successful weight loss.
While there are many different, healthy strategies to lose weight, “crash” diets may not deliver on the promises of a sustained, healthy lifestyle. Keeping the weight off is about changes to your behavior and making a commitment to an improved life. At 360 MWS, we work together to equip you with lifelong tools to lose the weight and live a happier, healthier lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more about our weight loss maintenance programs.
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