Q. Some time ago I went on a strict diet and lost a lot of weight fast, but I didn't keep it off. Now I've put on twice as much weight as I had lost. I've tried to lose weight again but I have been unsuccessful and I'm feeling very frustrated. What should I do?
A. What happened to you is not uncommon. Going on a strict diet does not solve the root of the problem, which is the need to make permanent lifestyle changes. When following a strict ("fad") diet, your body reacts rapidly to the lower calorie level by losing weight, whether you are eating a balanced diet or not. Because you have not taken the time to make gradual and sustainable changes, it is likely you will soon return to your previous unhealthy habits. In the meantime, your body has already adapted to taking in fewer calories, and therefore when you eat more food, it doesn't burn them very quickly. Thus, it is easy to gain weight back fast.
The best and safest way to lose weight is by eating a variety of foods and getting sufficient exercise, and losing weight at a rate of 2-3 pounds per week. Get started, by assessing your current diet with the MyDiet TM free evaluation. The results will tell you which foods you're eating too much of, and/or which foods you are not eating enough of. Based on those results, you may need to increase or decrease your consumption of certain foods. This information will help you begin to learn how to achieve a balanced diet. You will then be able to lose weight gradually as long as you maintain healthy eating habits. Don't forget that a regular exercise plan and a healthy diet go hand in hand.
Dr. Eleazar Lara-Pantin, MD, MSc.
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