I know I share this time and time again. But I get a lot of your emails asking if fad diets really work? I am ok with sharing it, time and again: Fad diets don't work for permanent weight loss. Most fad diets actually do more to sabotage your success in the long run. But what about those times when you really need to lose some weight fast? I know it's hard to pass up the promise of crash diets like the Lemonade Diet, cabbage soup diet, bacon only diet, or Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days when your mission is to squeeze into a new outfit in time for a reunion, wedding, or other special event.
So what's wrong with dropping 20 pounds fast so you can wow your friends and family with a downsized new shape?
The truth is that nothing is wrong with losing weight rapidly -- as long you do it the right way, with a medical, fitness and nutrition support from professionals. In theory, you could drop as much as 20 pounds in a week following a very ambitious eating and exercise program devoting more than seven hours per week to rigorous exercise, and under a physician's care like you see on some popular television programs.
If you don't have professionals working with you I wouldn't suggest you do a crash weight loss program. Here are some of the challenges I have seen people face when they choose to lose fast instead of safely.
- Gallstones, which occur in 12% to 25% of people losing large amounts of weight over several months
- Dehydration, which can be avoided by drinking plenty of fluids
- Malnutrition, usually from not eating enough protein for weeks at a time
- Electrolyte imbalances, which rarely can be life threatening
Other side effects of rapid weight loss include:
- Menstrual irregularities
- Hair Loss
- Muscle loss
- Bones weakened
- Skin problems
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