Crash diets, detox drinks, juice cleanses, fad weight loss programs. It is hard to keep up with all the harmful weight loss methods that are marketed to us daily. And while there are plenty of healthy, long-lasting habits we can adopt to reach our weight goals, there are tons of dangerous ways to lose weight that experts warn we should stay away from.
To learn more about these harmful methods, we spoke with dieticians Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our Expert Medical Board and Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RDauthor at Go Wellness.
Keep reading to learn more about the weight loss habits they think you should ditch right now. And for more tips on healthy weight loss, check out 9 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas to Help You Lose Weight.
Although it can be tempting to skip meals in order to consume fewer calories, it can be a dangerous way to lose weight. Also, it usually won’t be durable either.
“So many people think that skipping meals is the key to losing weight, when nothing could be further from the truth! Think of your metabolism as a fire; to light a fire, you have to light it. Then, to keep it burning you add small amounts of wood every few hours.The same goes for metabolism.You need to kick it up with breakfast and then keep it burning by eating small, frequent meals every “every few hours. Eating more often will help you manage hunger and fullness, ultimately helping you manage portion sizes and the amount of calories you eat,” says Goodson.
Our two dietitians agree that weight loss cures are not only effective in the long term, but they can also be harmful to your health.
“A ‘cleanse’ is nothing more than a marketing ploy to trick you into buying a product or following a trend. You don’t need to cleanse your body; it’s what your liver and kidneys do all day, every day. When people cleanse and remove most foods, they also remove nutrients. This can lead to low energy, low blood sugar, and making you feel terrible throughout the day. Not to mention that if you exercise you run the risk of feeling dizzy and even dizzy from exercising with little or no food. Eating is key to maintaining stable blood sugar and energy levels, so skip the cleanse and focus on the right amounts of nutrient-dense foods,” says Goodson.
“This type of weight loss is simply not sustainable and can have unhealthy effects on your body beyond repair. Most people who use weight loss cures will usually see results and then continue to use them, and c This is where the dangers emerge as your body now relies on a cleanse to try to reduce belly fat or lose weight in other parts of your body.The truth is, not everyone has need a cleanse to lose weight,” D’Angelo says.
Some people may benefit from weight-loss medication, as recommended by their doctor. However, special care should be taken when using this route.
“Whether it’s prescription drugs or a medical procedure for weight loss, it may not yield long-term results if you’re trying to lose belly fat. Instead of changing behavioral habits through proper nutrition and regular exercise, some people turn to medical drugs to lose weight, this can become dangerous over time because people will depend on the drugs and not focus on improving their health overall with a balanced diet, which could lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiency medical weight loss, but they’re usually not sustainable in the long run and it can be unhealthy for you,” says D’Angelo
Although many people turn to intermittent fasting, it can be a dangerous way to lose weight if not done correctly or with care. If you are unsure, talk to a doctor or dietitian before trying this method.
“Fasting works because you rely on the calorie deficit method to lose weight. However, if you fast too long, you will not get the proper nutrition your body needs. There are many negative and dangerous side effects. of not getting enough of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs,” says D’Angelo.