Adopting bad habits might be due to the unrealistic beauty standards seen on social media. Wanting to look like people that spent hours photoshopping themselves is not the answer to a healthy lifestyle.

Many don’t know that losing weight can be unhealthy, but how can that be ? What are the side effects? What can you do for a healthy weight loss journey ? Each person has a different body, different goals and live in different environments, stop comparing yourself to others is the first step on your weight loss journey.

Unhealthy Weight Loss

Most doctors recommend seeking medical evaluation if you lose over 5% of your weight within 6 to 12 months. Poor eating habits contribute to four of the world’s top ten leading causes of death. Opting for a nutritious diet can lower the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and other obesity-related conditions.

Recognizing unhealthy ways of losing weight to steer clear of them is crucial when transitioning to a healthy weight loss routine.

Fad Diets Can Be Deadly

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest , unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S. The worst diets to enhance your weight loss journey are the “sleeping beauty diet”, “carnivore diet” and “HCG Diet”.

The Sleeping Beauty Diet

The Sleeping Beauty diet consists of sleeping thanks to sleeping aids to extend sleeping periods and avoid eating. This diet is dangerous as it leads to disordered eating because people sleep too much and overexercise when they are awake. Not following The Sleeping Beauty diet doesn’t mean cutting back on sleep, it means focusing on getting a good seven to eight hours of sleep each night for better health.

The Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet consists of eating zero carbs and feeding yourself with red meat. The characteristic of this diet is the fullness you endure due to high protein consumption. According to Liz Weinandy, “we have multiple food groups for a reason: They each provide us with a range of nutrients.” Therefore, it is important to incorporate those for a healthy weight loss journey. Cutting off these nutrients will lead you to run low on vitamin C and E.

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The HCG Diet

HCG Diet is a diet blocking your calorie intake, with its goal to only take in 500 calories a day for 8 weeks. To help you imagine, 3 slices of buttered toast are 500 calories. The name of the diet comes from the fact that it involves using the hormone hCG to make you less hungry and help you lose weight.

In general, diets that limit calorie intake have risks such as irregular heartbeat or imbalance of electrolytes. The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated that over-the-counter weight loss products with HCG are both fraudulent and illegal.

Overexercising

When you exercise, the body works as followed : muscle fibers break down, then the body repairs and rebuilds them, making them stronger. You might have guessed, but if there is insufficient sleep, rest and nutrition than the process doesn’t work, putting you at risk.  

Overexercising is counterproductive as it can disrupt cortisol balance, leading to persistent high stress levels in the body. This continuous intake of cortisol tells the body that you are going into “survival mode”, the elevated amount of cortisol can cause cravings for sweet, fatty and salty foods. These are some symptoms you might get from overtraining :

● Unusual muscle soreness after workouts
Difficulty maintaining previous training or competition levels
Feeling heavy-legged, even during lighter workouts
Slow recovery between training sessions
Performance stagnation or decline
Considering skipping or abbreviating training sessions

Remember, it’s normal to feel fatigue after a workout, but be sure to make the difference between a healthy and unhealthy workout.

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Appetite Suppression

There are many accessible ways of eliminating appetite such as over drinking water, drinking too much alcohol or smoking. Smoking is a well-known solution for having elements to help suppress the appetite, such as the Nicotine. This drug helps you get easily distracted from food, serving as a behavioral alternative.  

However, this might seem like a benefit, but the negative side effects associated with smoking are concerning. If you successfully lose weight, the likelihood of continued smoking for an extended period is high due to the addictive nature of nicotine.

Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol is another unhealthy way of suppressing your appetite. You may have heard of what we call “empty calories”, well that’s what alcohol is made off. Empty calories come from foods that have little to no nutritional value, replacing dense nutrient dense foods.

You might find it contradictory because alcohol can indeed stimulate your appetite. However, consuming one or two drinks before a meal might increase your hunger, whereas consuming more can act as an appetite suppressant.

Eat Healthy, Avoid The Diet

After reading this, you may want to know how to adopt the right method for your healthy weight loss journey. There are several ways, whether through medical solutions or by integrating healthier lifestyle habits.

Habits don’t always need to be monumental; consistency and commitment to your goals matter most. Consider incorporating physical activities into your daily routine without viewing them as additional constraints, but rather as enjoyable free-time pursuits. Invest some time in crafting your own collection of healthy recipes to eliminate the excuse of “I don’t know what to cook tonight,” which often leads to purchasing junk food.

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Consider incorporating a fitness tracker into your daily routine to set achievable goals, such as reaching 10,000 steps per day or ascending 10 flights of stairs. Avoid becoming overly reliant on it. Consider investing in a water bottle with measurements to monitor your daily hydration intake, as proper hydration plays a vital role in weight management. After so much effort, don’t forget to adopt healthy nighttime habits, it will help to regulate hormones that affect hunger and appetite.

Finally, if you have been struggling with weight loss and suffer from obesity, you might want to consider speaking to your doctor and opting for a medical treatment. Bariatric medicine has advanced a lot in recent years, and new, safer, more effective weight loss treatments are now available. For instance, robotic procedures today allow surgeons to perform more precise incisions, minimizing the appearance of scars and enhancing the safety of the surgery.

Another interesting example is the Spatz3 balloon, a non-invasive gastric balloon that doesn’t require surgery and offers some of the highest success rates among gastric balloons. There are lots of different bariatric treatments, speak to your doctor to find the solution that fits you the best.

Opt For Healthy Weight Loss

The pursuit of weight loss can lead to unhealthy practices, setting you apart from sustainable lifestyle habits. Understanding the risks associated with methods such as unhealthy diets, overexercising, and appetite suppression is critical. Losing weight too fast with no expert guidance increases the chances of having more side effects. Many people are unaware of the potential risks associated with self-directed weight loss efforts, often neglecting to seek medical advice or educate themselves on potential dangers.