dangerous dietsAt one time or another every woman goes through the cycle of trying to lose a little (or a lot of weight.) For me, it depends on how bloated I am, and how much of my “done lap” has “done lapped” over my jeans before I start to get a bit nervous about it.  Shedding unwanted pounds isn’t ever easy—and let’s face it—from time to time, we get desperate for a quick fix.  And while these diets may seem pretty dandy at first, they can actually be dangerous to your body.  So before you pop a pill, suck down a grapefruit, or eat two pounds of bacon straight up, let’s take a look at some dangerous dietary habits—and what you can do instead.

Low carb, high protein diets

No doubt we all probably know someone who has shed lots of weight quickly and successfully on a low-carb diet. Low carb diets involve eating higher amounts of protein (like meats and eggs) than starches (like bread, potatoes and some veggies.)  Highly successful, this diet has been linked to a higher rate of early death when compared to others who didn’t follow the weight-loss plan.  The rate of early death was highest for people who followed the diet and ate mostly animal-based proteins (enter that two pounds of bacon) versus plant-based proteins from sources like avocado, nuts or tofu. The high rate of saturated fat that is often consumed on this diet can contribute to heart disease, and even higher cancer rates later in life, according to a report by the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Liquid Cleansing and Detox Diets

For centuries, cultures around the world have believed in cleansing the body of toxins and chemicals.  Every few years, this trend rolls around and gains popularity for a while.  Following the belief that our bodies are tainted with chemicals and poisons from poor diet as well as our environment, followers of the detox diet take in precious few calories.  Often drinking strictly liquids of varying ingredients—like lemon juice, cayenne pepper, spices and a range of other fruit juices a detox diet can also encourage the use of laxatives in conjunction with drinking only these liquids for days or weeks at a time.  Touted to give users a burst of energy and a drop in pants size, dieters beware.  Chronically under-nourishing your body can result in blood sugar swings, breakdown of muscle mass, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  Experts warn that these diets are not necessary to keep your body healthy and should be avoided—especially for long-term use.

Even with every quick-fix scheme on the market, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is (you know this) exercise and a balanced diet.  Low in saturated fat, high in fiber and healthy proteins, a diet that combines good food with activities that burn extra calories will help you shed unwanted pounds.  Do you need help getting started on a healthy diet and exercise plan? Dr. Hessel is now offering her patients vitamin and mineral supplements through her website to help boost your new health routine.  If you would like more information, contact Dr. Hessel today.