While a new year picks up steam and you try to keep your weight loss resolution, ask yourself this, is it worth putting your body through this stress?

We all recognize that fad diets may get the job done in the short term, but let’s try to think about what is the best option for a long-term healthy lifestyle.

The debate between dieting and lifestyle changes has been ongoing for years. We know this can be confusing for individuals trying to find the best option for them and their health, so we here at the ExpressMD Urgent Care want to give you the facts so you can make the best decision for you and your needs.

While getting ready to start your new health craze, ask yourself a few questions, does your diet make specific foods off limits? Has this diet promised unrealistic weight loss goals over a short time period? Finally, has it promised to help you lose weight without exercising?

If you answered yes to any of the following questions, chances are you’re looking at a fad diet. Fad or trendy diets are not always a bad thing, but depending on its implementation, they can lead to more severe health consequences later down the road.

Fad diets may yield fast weight loss initially, but these results are typically not long lasting.  Both nutritionists and doctors agree that weight loss over an extended period of time is more likely to “stick”.

Extreme, fast-paced weight-loss regimens can make you think you are shedding unwanted pounds; however typically a high proportion of water weight, rather than fat, is being shed . By limiting your nutritional intake, this process can be very unhealthy.

Since the majority of diets are considered temporary, most likely you will eventually fluctuate back to your original weight. Professionals call this fluctuation of weight ‘yo-yo dieting’, and while the term might sound harmless enough, the repetition of this dieting method can take a severe toll on your body that can lead to health problems later down the road. In response to this, doctors are now emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy regime by adjusting their lifestyle, rather than dieting, in order to maintain peak mental and physical health.

Managing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not result from a short-term dietary change. Rather, it’s about making a long-term commitment to change that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories eaten alongside the calories the body uses.

Although the term ‘lifestyle change’ sounds intimidating, it’s all about making small modifications that lead to a significant result. Results may take longer to notice, but the body is then able to maintain a healthy, and sustainable weight loss rate, which is around 1 to 2 pounds per week.
The key to making a lifestyle change last is creating a realistic plan that you are confident you can maintain. The most critical element to being able to implement this change into your day-to-day regimen is progressing as the process becomes more normalized. Therefore make sure you start small and break down your overall goal into manageable steps. Making a lifestyle change is not an easy job, but it is the most beneficial for your health. If you can, involve a friend for support. It will make the process much less intimidating. There are also support groups in your community and online that have other people just like you who are making healthy lifestyle changes.

So remember when you think that making a lifestyle change sounds hard compared to dieting, don’t forget that there is a massive difference in weight loss and being healthy, and dieting gets in the way of long-lasting change.