Dangerous Weight Loss Plans to Avoid: 15 Regimen Red Flags

Dangerous Weight Loss Plans to Avoid: 15 Regimen Red Flags

If losing weight is your goal, there are several ways to make that happen. Plenty of people strive to get into the best shape of their lives, which is why weight loss is such a common New Year’s resolution at the beginning of every year. Weight loss goals aren’t exactly easy to achieve, though. If they were, diet culture wouldn’t be a booming billion-dollar business. To this day, it’s known for being toxic and aggressive.

Nutritionists, personal trainers, and other weight-loss specialists capitalize on the fact that there are millions of people actively trying to slim down to fit into their old clothing. Some people are dedicated to weight loss plans because they have goals to achieve before certain days on the calendar. The desire to lose weight for your wedding, graduation, birthday celebration, high school reunion, or for any other major reason is common.

The most important thing to focus on is that you’re healthily losing weight. Healthful weight loss shouldn’t any harm or damage to your body along the way. People who fall prey to crash dieting techniques often regain the way they’ve lost – and sometimes the weight gain is even worse after the fact. Click here to read up on 28 weight loss myths that cause you to gain weight instead of lose it.

To gather this list of 15 regimen red flags that are totally dangerous on a weight loss plan, 24/7 tempo consulted several health-centered sources. These include US News Health, Food Network, Food Life Freedom, and Mayo Clinic Press.

Cutting out carbs entirely

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There’s no need to fully exile carbs while dieting.

A diet plan that encourages you to cut carbs out entirely isn’t a sustainable diet plan. Cutting out carbs for the rest of your life isn’t something most people can easily achieve without feeling socially isolated while dining out with friends and family. To make matters worse, limiting carbs on a long-term basis can lead to digestive issues. Cutting out carbs to consume larger amounts of protein and fat could potentially increase your risk of cancer and heart disease as well.

Any sort of detox or cleanse

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Juicing cleanses aren’t exactly safe.

Diet plans that suggest your adherence to detox or cleanse are as dangerous as it gets. Detoxes and cleanses might lead to temporary weight loss results, but as soon as you start eating normal food again, don’t be surprised if you regain all the weight you dropped during that temporary period of time. Detoxes and cleanses come in many forms, including juicing and drinking plain lemon water for a few days.

Plans that don’t mention physical activity or exercise

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Exercise is just as important as dieting.

If a diet plan promises weight loss without mentioning any forms of physical activity or exercise, be aware of the glaring red flags. Healthfully losing weight requires being active while also prioritizing the seriousness of nutritional value. It’s never just about focusing one or the other. Diet plans claiming to help you shed weight without any mention of physical activity or exercise should instantly make you question the validity. There’s a chance it’s too good to be true.

Replacing meals with bars or shakes

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Protein bars shouldn’t replace full-sized meals.

There are a handful of diet plans that encourage people to replace full-sized meals with small bars or shakes. Bars and shakes often contain no more than about 150 calories per product. That being said, there’s no way this type of diet plan is sustainable for anyone on a long-term basis. Once you’re finished swapping meals out with bars and shakes things will take a dark turn. After returning to full-sized meals, you’ll potentially regain the weight you lost.

A plan that forces you to purchase all your food from one brand

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Well-rounded diets come from diverse brands.

Diet plans that force you to purchase all your food from one brand should be approached with caution. This is something to be wary about because it likely means the diet plan is more interested in profiting off of you than seeing you reach your weight loss goals. Keep in mind that truly healthy diet plans should allow you to purchase nutritional foods from different sources to create a well-rounded and diverse meal plan for yourself.

A plan that induces “restaurant anxiety” in you

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“Restaurant anxiety” can be avoided.

You shouldn’t feel anxious every time you head to a restaurant with your friends, family members, or loved ones. Diet plans that induce “restaurant anxiety” have way too many red flags to ignore. While it’s true you should be willing to stick with healthy choices whenever your dining out, that fact shouldn’t bring you to the point of full-fledged panic. You deserve to feel calm as you try to make the best decisions at restaurants. Diet plans that prioritize your mental health (whether you’re eating at home or eating at restaurants) are far more ideal.

A drastic caloric intake cut

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Cutting calories too drastically is dangerous.

Facing a drastic caloric intake cut is another non-sustainable method for people focused on shedding unwanted weight. It’s unsustainable because cutting your caloric intake in half for a limited period of time isn’t something you’re going to do for the rest of your life. As soon as you start consuming a higher caloric intake again, there’s a chance you will regain the weight you lost. Cutting calories is the right thing to do while losing weight, but the amount you cut shouldn’t be unbelievably aggressive.

Suggests a dangerous level of exercise

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Exercise amounts should be safe and healthy.

Pairing smart nutritional choices with exercise is the most brilliant way to achieve weight loss goals. Nutritionists, weight loss doctors, and personal trainers can agree that this is a winning combo for people striving to make major changes. It only becomes a problem if the diet plan you’re on is suggesting a dangerous level of exercise.

The amount of exercise you do should be individualized based on your gender, height, and weight. For example, a woman who is 5’2″ weighing 105 pounds should not be doing the same workout as a man who is 6’5″ weighing 250 pounds.

Enforces rules about hours when you can eat

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Setting strict hours for eating is a problem.

Diet plans that enforce rules about the hours when you’re allowed to eat can be highly problematic. There are some forms of intermittent fasting that are perfectly acceptable after you’ve discussed that type of diet plan with your doctor, though. Aside from that, the hours when you are allowed to eat shouldn’t be a factor in your weight loss journey. Telling yourself you’re not allowed to eat from 7 pm until 7 am, for example, can lead to greater levels of food temptation between those hours.

Cutting out sugar entirely

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Sugar doesn’t have to get cut out completely.

Diet plans that tell you to cut out sugar entirely are far too restrictive. While it’s true that you should be limiting how much sugar you consume in the midst of a weight loss journey, cutting out sugar entirely isn’t always the best way to go about it. Cutting out all sugar is a terrible move because it might compromise your physical stamina and mental health by negatively impacting the level of glucose you have in your body.

Cutting out processed foods entirely

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Processed foods don’t have to be fully removed.

The same way cutting out sugar in its entirety is considered a highly restrictive dietary red flag, cutting out all processed foods is another controversial and troublesome method. There are a lot of benefits that come along with cutting out process foods, including the fact that you’ll feel more energized and focused throughout your day. But remember… being way too restrictive with your diet may potentially lead to binge-eating the foods you’ve been avoiding if you aren’t careful.

Using the words “cheat day”

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“Cheat days” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary.

Diet plans that allow you to eat whatever you want once a week or once a month aren’t problematic in and of themselves. This becomes more of an issue if the diet plan uses words like “cheat day” to describe days when you can freely eating whatever foods you want.

Using a word like “cheat” adds a level of guilt to the cravings that you are indulging in. You shouldn’t feel guilty when you’re eating items from any food group. Knowing you’re allowed to enjoy a few unhealthy options in moderation should be enough to start healing your overall relationship with food.

Enforcing exercise as punishment

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Exercise should not be a punishment.

The idea of enforcing exercise as a punishment in any diet plan is beyond toxic. Some diet plans will tell individuals they’re allowed to eat an extra slice of pizza, have a donut, or drink a glass of soda – if they can make it up to themselves in the gym. Holding yourself accountable is important in the midst of a weight loss journey, but enforcing exercise as punishment takes this notion too far. Exercise should be something you look forward to instead of something you dread.

A plan that forces you to compare yourself 

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Comparing yourself to others is toxic.

Any modern diet plan that encourages you to compare yourself to others is riddled with red flags. This includes diet plans that suggest comparisons to influencers, celebrities, or anyone making waves in the fitness world. Comparing yourself to others in any circumstance is self-destructive and emotionally toxic.

It might sound like a great way to get motivated at first, but it’s not. This is a dangerous method that can impact your mental health in a negative way. Keep in mind that the only person you should compare yourself to is yourself.

Any plan that promises rapid weight loss

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Any diet plan promising rapid weight loss is a problem.

You know you’re being faced with tons of red flags when the diet plan you’ve come across as promising rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss is totally possible, but it usually only occurs if you’re willing to lean into dangerous methods like exercising for hours on end or starving yourself. To make matters worse, when you lose weight rapidly, there’s a chance you’ll regain the weight just as rapidly. Click here to find out about the 18. Best ways to keep weight off if you’re over 40 years old.

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