by Lisa Miller

Is it reasonable to expect to lose weight within a couple of weeks? Do such diets really exist?


Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

The quickest way to NOT lose weight is to diet. Most "fad" diets offer quick results but as any one who has dieted before knows, those results are often fleeting. Research shows us that over 95% of people who lose weight on a diet, regain that weight within 5 years. The overwhelming majority regain more weight.

Research shows that dieting does NOT work for the following reasons:
* Dieting is a form of short-term starvation.
* Decreased metabolic rate
* Increased chances of gaining more weight than lost
* Chronic dieting teaches body to retain more fat and weight cycling causes inflammation in the body and increases risk factors for obesity related disease regardless of a person's weight.
* Increased risk of premature death and heart disease
* Headaches, fatigue, dry skin and hair loss

Our body is programed to do everything in its power to keep you go when it senses starvation. As you restrict calories and lose weight, there are neurological, biological and metabolic changes which occur that make it almost impossible to maintain the diet and a significant amount of weight loss. Restricting food makes you think constantly about food and eating, hormones increase your appetite and leave you less satiated after a meal and your metabolism becomes more efficient so that your body requires less energy than it did before.

And, excluding entire food groups means that you are more likely to become deficient in important vitamins and minerals.

Our body has a predetermined, set weight that it is programed to work best at. It usually isn't what we want it to be, but our body will work hard to keep us there. Listening to your body is the best approach.

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