Avoid Quick Weight Loss or Fad Diets

Publication Date: 
Sat, 03/01/2014
By: Alere Staff

Losing weight and keeping it off requires a long-term commitment, yet even experienced dieters can be tempted by the fast weight loss promised by fad diets. Many fad diets claim to be low carbohydrate, low-calorie, low-fat, and usually promises quick weight loss with little to no scientific proof they work. These fad diets have historically not shown they are able to keep weight off and many can be dangerous to your health.

They do not provide enough of the nutrients a body needs to stay healthy and, over time, can lead to serious side effects, such as loss of bone density and strength (including osteoporosis), problems with menstruation, abnormal heart rhythms, high cholesterol levels, kidney stones, and worsening of gout.1

Problem is, if a diet really worked, we’d all be on it, and we’d stay on it. Unfortunately, most of the fad diets, in their efforts to succeed, involve removing certain foods, and sometimes even entire food groups.

For the foods these fad diets do include, the portions sizes are often well above the recommended intake by major health organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association, as well as the Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Vegetables, diet drinks and foods that are good for you are common in fads. Eating or drinking too much of any food or drink high in vitamin K for example can be very dangerous to you, especially if you take warfarin. If you take warfarin and don’t keep a steady diet, your INR (International Normalized Ratio) test results may change. A fad that asks you to eat too many foods high in vitamin K could increase your risk of forming a blood clot.

Despite what quick-weight-loss diet books may say, the only sensible way to lose weight and keep a healthy weight for life is to eat less and balance your food intake with physical activity. As always, before making changes to your diet or level of physical activity, talk to your doctor to create a healthy, balanced plan perfect for you.

Increasing testing frequency is recommended when making any changes to your diet, medication, etc. Studies have shown that increasing testing frequency with weekly testing of INR improves patient safety and helps keep the drug in its therapeutic effective zone.1,2 Weekly testing was shown to be the most effective testing frequency.1 Medicare and many private/commercial insurance reimburse patients for weekly patient self-testing.3 Go to the Getting Started page or call Alere at 1.800.504.4032 for more information about testing your INR at home.

  1. Am J Manag Care. 2014;20(3):202-209.
  2. Heneghan C., et al. Self-monitoring of oral anticoagulation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2006. Lancet, 367, 404-11.
  3. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Decision Memo for Prothrombin Time (INR) Monitor for Home Anticoagulation Management  (CAG-00087R) [Memorandum]. 2008. Baltimore, MD.

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