Are quick weight loss diets healthy?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 15:30
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A couple of days ago we reviewed the most popular weight loss diets. Today we are going to discuss another hot topic in the area of weight loss and this is no other than quick weight loss. Is there such thing as quick weight loss? Are there any quick weight loss diets that work and is losing weight quickly healthy?

Solely for the purposes of this article I will divide these diets into 2 categories. This is not a scientific division of diet regimes just an easy way of looking into them. One category includes the low calorie diets with or without a miracle nutritional aid and the other the nutritional and lifestyle modifying diets.

1. Low calorie diets and very low calorie diets (VLCD). With low calorie diets weight loss will be achieved if followed for a period of time. However, a lot of them tend to lack of essential nutrients, and they can result in the metabolism slowing down. Other adverse effects can include headaches, gastrointestinal complaints, tiredness and irritability. Needless to say that, such diets are not healthy especially if followed for long periods. Side effects can depend on the severity of the calorie restriction. Diets such as the HCG diet restrict the calories to 500 per day which is by far a healthy recommended calorie level.

Apart from the health issues which surround VLCDs, such diets, are hard to follow and after the initial few days the metabolism tends to slow down resulting in actually decreasing the rate in which weight is lost. Moreover, a lot of the weight lost does not come only from fat reserves but also from protein. The actual reserves of stored protein in the body are very small which means that large amount of the protein lost during radical calorie restrictions would come from enzymes, muscles, organs and tissues.

Fasting style diets and increased calorie restriction can influence thyroid and hormone functions. These diets can also be stressful for the body and/or increase the levels of stress.

Some studies indicate that in the case of obesity, very VLCDs are the best solution. However, it should be considered that in obesity the body has been adapted and used to a specific way of working. Any sudden and radical changes could be a huge shock for the body to cope. Such changes should be made under medical consultation and supervision.

2. Nutritional and lifestyle modifying diets. Through the years the trends in modifying everyday diets has shifted from high carb – low fat to high protein diets. Although it must be noted that high protein diets are not a new thing and some of them date back in the 70s, and some of them such as the Atkins diet, tend to come in and out of popularity.

More and more studies suggest that high protein diets can have favourable results in weight loss and health. However, a lot of the diets can be restrictive in the vegetable intake or not include a wide variety of nutrients. In addition, when moving from a high carb to an extremely low carbohydrate diet, the body can take up to 2 weeks to adjust. During that period of adjustment, adverse effects can include tiredness, carb craving, mood changes, constipation, and irritability. In addition, intake of vegetables and fruit is highly recommended for better health outcomes.

One could argue that making a whole diet and lifestyle change it is a better option than short fix diets. That could be true, as long as the diet modifications do have better health outcomes and are a diet that an individual is happy with. If happy with the diet there are more chances to adhere with it.

10 Diet tips to identify which quick weight loss diets work?

Bellow I have summarised some diet tips about quick weight loss diets to help you navigate through them.

1. To my knowledge there is not such a thing as miracle food, food aid or diet which will break the rules of nature. Weight loss is a very lucrative business and there are a lot of diets which aim in you spending money or advertising a specific product.

2. The first week of dieting you will not lose significant measurable amount of fat and it will mostly be water. Fact

3. Therefore, a lot of the VLCDs which are design for a small period of time i.e. 2days-1week will not actually lead to significant fat reductions. Once you stop following these diets the weight will be gained back as most of it was just water.

4. You should not follow VLCDs for long periods as the health effects can be serious.

5. If you have any health conditions or concerns, always consult a health professional.

6. It is best when modifying your diet to do it gradually to allow for your body to adjust and avoid adverse effects such as mood changes, cravings, and constipation.

7. If following a higher protein diet increase your water and liquid intake as high protein can increase the water loss.

7. The best and most efficient way to speed up weight loss is with exercise. Opt for a mixture between aerobic and strength exercise. You don’t have to join the gym or torture yourself, sometimes simple everyday activities such as walking, cycling and cleaning the house can be as good.

8. Always look at the credentials of a diet. Just because it carries the name of a doctor it doesn’t necessarily make it healthy or safe. A lot of the diets regimes in circulation do not have good quality research to back them up in terms of results and safety.

In addition, just because the celebrity world or the stars follow one regime doesn’t mean is healthy, or even results in sustainable weight loss. Celebrities have the time, the personal assistants, and cooks, trainers and so on to help them lose weight and sustain it. Moreover, celebrities can suffer from adverse effects and health conditions as a result of their dieting even if it’s not made public. Most importantly they have airbrushing and photo manipulation, there is a whole different world out there in the naked eye…

9. With VLVCDs is almost guaranteed that the weight will be re-gained. The best way to sustain weight loss is to change lifestyle and follow a healthy and balanced diet in general. You can lose weight with a radical diet but as soon as you go back to old eating habits the weight will come back. There was a reason why you put on the weight in the first place. Changing those habits is a lot more effective than yo-yoing in kilos.

10. You could probably achieve similar results with just moderately decreasing your calorie intake, decreasing fat, and carb intake and increasing exercise. Then just follow a reasonable healthy and balanced diet to sustain the weight loss.



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