Beware of Improper Weight Loss Methods
Don¡¯t take the risk with improper weight loss methods.
Improper Weight Loss Methods

Weight loss should not be carried out as a means to achieve a desirable figure quickly, but as part of a weight management strategy for long-term good health. Food is fuel for body and for the immune system; unhealthy food intake can harm the body. Improper weight loss methods can cause malnutrition, disabling the immune system from defending the body against illness.

| Improper Dieting |
Improper dieting involves excessively suppressing one¡¯s appetite to reduce weight.

Dangers
When on an improper diet, nothing or very little is eaten. As a result, the body does not receive balanced nutrition, thereby lowering immunity. This results in the body¡¯s inability to defend itself against disease.

After starving themselves, dieters often eat a huge amount of food at the next meal. Calorie intake is not reduced, causing dieting to be ineffective for weight loss.

| High-protein Diets |
High-protein diets emphasize meat as the main food intake, while avoiding foods containing carbohydrates.

Eating meat as a staple food can easily create a feeling of fullness, hence reducing other food intake. Thus, high-protein diets can be effective in the short run for some people. However, the American Heart Association does not recommend high-protein diets for weight loss.

Dangers
Meat is high in saturated fat. Eating large amounts of high-fat foods for a prolonged period raises the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancers.

High-protein diets neglect the importance of consuming carbohydrates and plant foods, and the balanced nutrition they provide. Plant foods help lower cholesterol. Reducing consumption of plant foods usually means eating higher-fat foods, such as high-protein animal foods, instead.

| Fruit Diet |
This is a fruits-only diet for all meals of the day.

Dangers
The body needs a variety of nutrients for good health. Eating fruits may be effective for weight loss in the short term, but a fruit diet does not provide enough nutrition for the body. Prolonged malnutrition will cause immunity to weaken and lead to illnesses.

Also, some fruits such as banana, durian, mango, lychee and longan are high in sugar and calories, and are not beneficial for weight loss.

| Vegetarian Diet |
Vegetarian diets are similar to fruit diets, but in addition to fruits, vegetarians eat starch-based foods such as bread and rice to create a greater feeling of fullness.

Dangers
Vegetable oil used in vegetarian diets is high in calories, and vegetarian food is often fried for taste. High-calorie vegetable oil and frying are not beneficial for health, and may cause vegetarians to gain weight even more readily.

Vegetarian foods made from gluten, such as cakes, rice, and rice balls also burden health as they are high in sugar.

| Diet Drugs |
Just like any drug, diet drugs have side effects.

Dangers
Researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada found that consuming diet drugs over a prolonged period will have adverse effects. Diet drugs contain substances such as caffeine, ephedra, diuretics and laxatives, which can threaten the health of those using them.

Below are some common diet drugs and their side effects.
Generic Name Drug Type Common Side Effects
Caffeine
Appetite suppressant; metabolism booster; diuretic; stimulant
Addiction, increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, irritability, nervousness
Ma huang (Ephedra)
Metabolism booster; stimulant
High blood pressure, irregularities in heart rate, stroke, heart attacks, seizures, death
Diethylpropion
Appetite suppressant
Dizziness, headache, insomnia, nervousness
Orlistat
Lipase inhibitor
Cramping, diarrhea, oily spotting, flatulence, leaking of oily stool, reduced absorption of some vitamins
Phendimetrazine
Appetite suppressant
Insomnia, nervousness
Phentermine
Appetite suppressant
Increased blood pressure and heart rate, headache, insomnia, irritability and nervousness
Sibutramine
Appetite suppressant
Increased blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, headache, constipation and insomnia
Certain TCM slimming teas
Laxative; diuretic
Diarrhea, dehydration, low sodium and potassium levels resulting in abnormal heart rhythms, kidney damage and death
Source: Weight-control Information Network, an information service of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Safe & Healthy Weight Loss Methods

Besides attaining a good figure, the more important goal of weight loss is good health. There is no instant way to lose weight. To lose weight effectively, safely and healthily, one needs to change dietary habits and exercise regularly. Unreliable weight loss methods are only temporary solutions, and are not the best ways to maintain good health.

Below are some steps you can take to lose weight safely:

1) Eat a variety of low-calorie plant foods.
Natural plant foods and herbs that have no side effects are rich in nutrients. To benefit our health, we need to obtain a variety of phytochemicals, antioxidants and polysaccharides from wholesome sources instead of nutrients isolated in supplements.

2) Reduce calorie intake.
Foods rich in animal protein and fats are high in calories. They may increase the risk of obesity, cancer and heart disease. Hence, protein should be obtained from plant sources to reduce intake of animal protein and fats.

3) Exercise regularly.
Exercise improves heart and lung function, helps to prevent coronary heart disease, improves flexibility of the body and joints and increases alertness. What¡¯s more, exercise is very beneficial for lymph glands, because muscle movement promotes the flow of lymph, which helps to strengthen the immune system to defend the body against disease. Moderate exercise can also burn calories and aid weight loss. Make exercise part of your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week.