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Beware of Quick and Easy Weight Loss Solutions

Everyone who has tried to lose weight at some point has encountered “the quick fix” diet, supplement, or “latest and greatest” approach to weight loss. Losing weight is often a struggle, and there are many companies providing products and services that are aimed at making people’s weight loss journey easier. Losing weight as fast as possible and keeping it off is often the stated benefit of these products and plans. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous body of evidence which tells us that these are two things that do not go hand in hand.

Rapid weight loss is not only unsustainable, but for a variety of reasons, is likely to lead to long term weight gain. Therefore, beware of quick and easy weight loss solutions; plans and products that promise rapid and sustainable weight loss should be approached with caution.

There is No Magic Diet Food for Weight Loss

Be wary of diets that encourage unlimited quantities of a particular food or nutrient (fat, protein, carbohydrates, etc.). There is no food that you should have to eat or drink every day to lose weight. In fact, if you are eating the same thing every day, especially if it is not something you enjoy, research shows that you are unlikely to maintain your eating plan.

Similarly, there is no one food or food group that needs to be eliminated to lose weight. A balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates is most generally effective for maintaining long-term health and for achieving long-term weight goals. Diet plans that focus on eliminating carbohydrates, for instance, may work in the short-term, but are unlikely to be sustained and therefore unlikely to work in the long-term. Try to focus on the long-term activities and eating patterns that you can enjoy for the rest of your life. If it is a “short-term diet fix,” then it likely is not a health supporting long-term solution.

Losing Weight Fast is Not Likely a Long-Term Solution

Expectations often do not match reality, and early weight loss does not necessarily mean prolonged weight loss. Overly restrictive, elimination, and crash diet plans often result in weight loss in the short-term, but do not address the long-term. This leads to frustration and cycling back into previous eating and activity habits for those who feel like they have failed to follow through on their weight loss plan. To lose weight and keep it off, remember these basics:

  1. Try to take the long view. In most cases, losing weight takes time and a long-view approach. Losing a lot of weight in a short span of time threatens your overall health in a variety of ways. If a weight loss program is promising weight loss of greater than one to two pounds per week, the approach is unlikely to be sustainable and may not be safe.

  2. You need to create a caloric deficit for long-term weight loss. Body weight is the result of the balance of calories consumed vs. calories burned. In order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. Early weight loss seen in low-carb diets generally reflect significant water weight loss and potentially muscle loss. Long-term weight loss reflects a change in caloric balance. There are a great many approaches to consuming fewer calories. Try to choose one that supports overall health and wellbeing, in addition to promoting weight loss.

Using a Meal Delivery Service May Not Result in Weight Loss

Companies that provide whole meals through delivery or mail can be targeting specific calorie goals, but may not. They also may be using ingredients with your overall health in mind, but they may not. If you are purchasing for the purposes of weight loss, it may be beneficial to review the plan or service with a dietitian to find one that aligns with your goals.

Weight Loss Medications Can Be Dangerous

Weight loss medications can be dangerous if not used properly and should always be used in coordination with your medical team. Medication in many cases will not be the first suggestion of your medical team, as some medications are meant for only short-term use and do not take overall health into account. The number on the scale is not the only goal. If you are considering weight loss medications, we recommend assembling a team to help support your weight loss that includes at minimum your primary care provider and a registered dietitian.

Weight Loss Support at Sauk Prairie Healthcare

If you have questions about losing weight, please contact our Nutrition Counseling team. Our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can help.