Today, we are consumed with quick results. However, it is important to not neglect our health and well-being while trying to lose weight. Here are the top 10 worst ways that people today use to try to lose weight.
1. Purge diets (bulimia) - These diets are some of the most extreme and dangerous methods for weight loss. Vomitting, laxatives, diuretics all fall under this category and can be disastrous for your health and well being. Trying to lose some weight is never a good enough reason to put your life in this much jeopardy. If you are currently struggling with bulimia please get help immediately.
2. Crash diets - Crash diets are little more than starving yourself for vanity and are very dangerous. Crash dieting causes malnutrition and in some extreme cases, death. Crash dieting serves no part in a healthy weight loss program and should always be avoided.
3. Surgery (liposuction, gastric bypass) – This is one of the most extreme options for weight loss and should only be considered in emergency situations. That being said, I can’t imagine a situation where diet and exercise wouldn’t be both better for you and more effective. Many look to surgery for a “quick fix”. However, if they aren’t careful, they often find themselves gaining back the weight. Plus, no surgery is without risk and side effects. I’d say the surgery option is only for those extreme cases and where it is recommended by a doctor.
4. Appetite suppressants – These drugs have been associated with many dangerous side effects, including fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve damage. Some studies have even linked strokes to the use of appetite suppressants. Regardless of their results, these drugs are not worth the risk to your health.
5. Fat burners – While these drugs have shown some results, most are in fact, quite dangerous. Several have already been pulled off the market do to their side effects. Most, if not all, are unregulated by the FDA, meaning that they do not undergo the same quality checking that real products do. Also, while they may help some to lose weight, they do nothing towards increasing your health and well being.
6. Fad diets (Atkins, south beach, etc) – These sometimes show some results, but most are either not healthy or otherwise unsustainable. For example, the Atkins diet encourages large amounts of fats and cholesterol while eliminating good and healthy carbs. Personally, I’d rather take my carbs and exercise any day over that. One thing these fad diets are good for though is taking people’s money.
7. Hypnosis – You may find some that say hypnosis works but there is nothing scientific about it. No research has shown this to be an effective method of weight loss, despite the claims you may have heard in commercials. Save your money and buy a treadmill.
8. Exercise alone – exercise is important – super important. But to really see some results, a healthy diet is necessary. You really can’t expect a lean body if you exercise like crazy but are still eating french fries and doughnuts all the time.
9. Being too strict (unsustainable) - what good will all your hard work be if you can’t get into a system that you can sustain. Living on celery and jogging 10 miles a day probably won’t last you that long. This pattern will lead to burn out and, most likely, gaining back all the weight you may have lost. What is needed is a lifestyle of healthy choices, not a 40 yard dash of strict rules.
10. Going it alone – It’s hard to go it alone… really hard. If you don’t have at least some encouragement and accountability, chances are you won’t make it very far. If you need someone to keep you going, try joining a group like Weight Watchers or find some support online. Everyone can find some support from somewhere.