Dieting Dangers

Food ratios


We’ll start out here by saying unequivocally that we think that many of these companies such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers have their definite positive aspects.  They give people a way to lose weight in a healthy manner by providing foods you can eat that will meet recommended caloric intakes.  They also give support and advice along the way as you lose weight.

Their downfall is that they can be quite expensive to join – there’s the cost of their own pre-packaged food for your meals, along with the cost of membership. That can get quite costly.  They are a good option for those of you who can afford their plans and stick to them.

Fad diets are dieting dangersThere are also many, many fad diets that have popped up over the years that promise rapid weight loss.  Some of these fad diets can be dangerous, and they should be carefully evaluated before they are undertaken.

One such diet is the low carb option such as the Atkins Diet Plan.  While many people have been able to lose weight using this plan, others have reported some serious health concerns about this.

Low carb diets can help you lose weight quickly, but keeping that weight off becomes much more difficult once the diet isn’t followed faithfully.  Because of the requirements of the diet – high protein, no “white foods”, etc. – you will be eating foods that are generally high in fat which can raise cholesterol levels. (To eat low carb as healthy as you can, visit our low carb recipe section).

Some of the claims made by people who advocate low carb diets just don’t hold up.  Because of the nature of the diet plan, you will lose weight quickly by cutting out carbs, but you won’t be able to keep it off once you re-introduce those carbohydrates back into your eating plan.  In fact, the longer you are on a low carb diet, the more quickly you will re-gain your old weight.

Carbohydrates provide a way for your body to convert food into energy.  By keeping them out of your diet, you’ll notice a lowering of your energy level, and your muscles will lose their tone becoming softer and flattening out. Also consider that these types of diets recommend that you eat a lot of protein which would be mostly meats and fish.  Many of these foods are high in fat.  Eating a lot of fat can contribute to health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

Many people do like dieting low carb, so if you are one of them, do be sure to purchase the leanest cuts of meat money can buy and watch the intake of sugar-laden sweets. Know completely what you’re getting into before you start.  A good diet plan will balance out all the things your body needs to operate efficiently in terms of food and the benefits of those foods.

Dieting Dangers: Pills

Diet pillsYou may also be considering fat burner pills.  Commercials are everywhere, touting success from people who’ve lost pounds in just two weeks and now they can parade around in swimsuits on national TV.  All with the help of the amazing diet pill they  take. Some people have great luck losing weight by taking these pills, but those pills do come with risks attached to them.  These pills are not required to be tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they are released to the public.

If a drug is found to be dangerous, the FDA will work quickly to make sure it is banned from future sales.  This happened in 2003 when the FDA banned products that contained ephedrine after it was found to be at least partly responsible for the death of an athlete. On the other hand, if one is found to work well and is safe, the FDA may approve it. First approved in 1959, Phentermine now accounts for 50 percent of US prescriptions for appetite suppressants. This means that the FDA found phentermine to be safe and effective for weight loss. It is not considered one of the dieting dangers.

Diet pills work in different ways.  Many are appetite suppressants containing phenylpropanoline or caffeine.  Some claim to increase your metabolism to increase the body’s ability to burn fat. At the same time, you should feel less hungry.  Other pills say they cChecking metabolisman block the body’s ability to absorb fat.  Some help you lose weight by removing fluids from the body.  These pills contain a diuretic or laxative. Those fall under dieting dangers.

It’s very important for you to consult with your doctor before you start taking any kind of diet pills, even the ones that are all-natural.  This is especially true if you have a medical condition.  Taking these pills could interact with medication you are already taking or it could aggravate a previous condition such as anxiety disorders.

Some diet pills can be addictive, so take caution when beginning their regimen.  Follow the directions for dosages exactly and be aware of any possible side effects.  If you experience any of the following symptoms while taking diet pills, stop taking them immediately and consult with your physician:

  • Anxiety or nervousness.
  • Irritability.
  • Insomnia, restlessness, or hyperactivity.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Tightening in the chest.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Fever.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Excessive headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Blurred Vision.
  • Profuse sweating.
  • Menstrual cycle or libido disturbances.

Because diet pills can be purchased over the counter, it is up to each individual person to use them correctly.  Some people take more than the recommended dosage in hopes that it will speed up the weight loss, but this practice is very dangerous!  You can overdose on diet pills which can cause tremors, breathing problems, convulsions, renal failure or heart attack.

If you want to take diet pills, that is certainly one way for you to try and lose weight.  Just do so cautiously and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to keep yourself safe.  Even if you do take diet pills, you will still have to make modifications to your diet and introduce exercise in order to lose weight.  Many people think they can eat whatever they want when they take these pills, but that’s just not the case. That, again, falls under dieting dangers.

And remember that nothing takes off weight and keeps off weight like a sensible, balanced diet and exercise. No pill will help you make the emotional and lifestyle changes that you will have to make in order to lose those extra pounds. To depend on a pill is one of the most dangerous dieting dangers!

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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