For many of us, maintaining a healthy weight seems like a constant uphill battle. It can be tempting to try the “diet of the day” to shed some weight quickly. But it’s important to remember that these fad or crash diets can damage your health in the long run.
- Crash diets often limit the dieter to one type of food (like the cabbage soup diet) or cut out entire food groups (think the Atkin’s diet). That leaves the dieter prone to vitamin deficiencies that can harm the way your body functions.
- You’ve probably heard of “yo-yo diets,” where people lose weight, only to put it back on when they start eating again. That fluctuation messes with your metabolism and can even increase your cholesterol.
- When your body doesn’t get the fuel it needs for physical health, your mental health also suffers. You may experience irritability, depression, or extreme food cravings while on a crash diet.
- Most crash diets don’t emphasize exercise. But exercise is a critical component of effective, long-term weight loss.
Healthy Weight Loss
Remember that healthy weight loss begins with establishing healthy habits that can become part of your lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day are the best place to start. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about how you can change daily routines to help you lose weight.
In some cases, if you’re severely overweight and have health complications as a result, your doctor might recommend more aggressive treatment options:
- Some patients may need a low-calorie, high-protein diet. This should be done only under a doctor’s careful supervision.
- Other patients may be eligible for bariatric surgery. This procedure changes the way your body processes food and requires a lifelong commitment to a special diet and exercise plan.
At St. Petersburg General Hospital, our experts are committed to helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle. From fine tuning your diet to performing bariatric surgery, our team offers weight loss solutions that work. Visit us online or call Consult-a-Nurse® at 1-888-741-5122 for answers to your questions and free referrals to doctors and specialists near you.
Health Repercussions of Crash Dieting (LIVESTRONG)
Quick Weight Loss and Fad Diets (American Heart Association)