Avoid these 5 unhealthy ways to lose weight if you want results

by Kelly Forness on September 19, 2012 · 1 comment

definition of weight loss

Some people are so desperate that they will try almost anything to lose weight.  Some will even try one thing after another, usually with no long term success.  Most people know that the right way to lose weight is to follow a healthy diet and exercise, but many people aren’t patient enough to go this path.

Aside from having an actual eating disorder and actually starving yourself or making yourself throw up, some of the most common unhealthy ways to lose weight that you should avoid are:

Skipping meals

It is never a good idea to skip a meal.  Some people think that if they skip meals that they will be cutting out those calories, which will lead to weight loss.  But, it is actually the opposite.  Skipping meals can actually hinder your weight loss, especially if you skip breakfast.  Skipping breakfast can cause you to have food cravings later in the day, and may slow your metabolism down.

When you eat, your metabolism actually increases, so if you are skipping meals, your metabolism will actually slow down, which could actually result in you gaining weight.  It is best to make sure that you are eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.  Eating healthy snacks between meals also is not a bad idea, and likely will not cause you to gain weight.

Diet pills

Diet pills in any form are never a good idea.  They sound good and the people who use them may get great results very quickly, but they can really cause a lot of harm.  You probably heard about the Ephedra and fen-phen, and all of the problems that they caused.

Fenfluramine caused valvular heart disease and pulmonary hypertension and ephedra caused several people to have sudden cardiac death.  There aren’t any magic pills that will make you skinny.  Often when you are taking diet pills, and then you stop, you may gain the weight back.  So, the pills not only have side effects, but their effects are only temporary.

Fad diets

New popular diets are coming out regularly, and some of them tell you to do one thing, and others tell you to do the complete opposite.  Most of them are very low calorie, which is what causes people to lose weight.

Many fad diets are a quick fix, and although people lose weight on them, it is also very likely that they will gain the weight back.  According to the American Dietetic Association, it is best to avoid any diet plans that state that you will have rapid weight loss; allow unlimited quantities of a certain food, such as cabbage soup or grapefruit; diets that have menus that severely limit your food choices; diets that state that you don’t need to exercise in addition to following the weight loss plan.

Exercising too much

Exercise should always be part of a weight loss regimen, but too much exercise is not good for anyone, especially if you aren’t eating enough.  It can deplete your electrolytes, cause fatigue, dehydrate you, cause physical problems such as stress fractures or overuse injuries, and several other problems.  It is best to stick to a regular exercise schedule of anywhere from 30-90 minutes per day.  Anything more may be considered too much.


This really should be used as a last resort, and only people who are severely obese, should get surgery, including liposuction, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery.  Gastric bypass and lap band surgeries really limit the amount of food that you can eat.  When people get liposuction, if they gain weight, the fat will be deposited in areas that weren’t operated on, which may alter their body shape.

In addition to surgeries being very expensive, and, of course, have risks and may cause complications.  Of course, some people don’t have a choice, and getting surgery is the best way for them to lose weight, but as stated above, should be used as a last resort.

What should you do to lose weight the healthy way?

These are just some of the unhealthy ways to lose weight that you should avoid.  If you are really determined to lose weight, you need to make it a lifestyle change.

This means that in addition to changing your eating habits and exercising regularly, you need to have the right mindset.  It is not just a temporary thing.  You need to realize that the changes you make to lose weight are changes that you will need to follow for the rest of your life.

That is why taking diet pills, skipping meals, or going on diets don’t work.  These are temporary fixes, and you are eventually going to stop them.  Surgery can have some complications, but you also need to make behavior changes when having surgery.  You will need to realize that you need to eat smaller amounts.

Basically, the best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy, well balanced diet and exercise regularly.  Rapid weight loss is not likely to stick, and it is recommended to lose 1-2 pounds per week for long term weight loss.

Kelly Forness
About the author

Kelly is a registered Dietetic Technician. She has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and she is also a NASM certified personal trainer. You can connect with her on Google+

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Stevia September 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

The best way to lose weight is to eat a well-balanced diet and to avoid fatty and sugary products, as they will unnecessarily increase the amount of calories in your body.

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