How Can I Safely Lose Weight Fast?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 10:39 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I need to lose weight fast for a summer wedding.  What's the best way to lose weight quickly? I don't want to go on one of those crazy fasts or liquid diets. How much can I reasonably lose in two months? 

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Weight loss is best when it occurs slowly — no more than one to two pounds a week. More aggressive weight loss can cause loss of muscle and body fluid, and that can set you up for a rebound gain after your diet is over.
 
It's also a bad idea to try fasting to lose weight. Fasting places a huge stress on the body, and will actually precipitate kidney stones and gall stone disease in those at risk for these disorders. Fasting generates harmful free radicals, unhealthy glucose and insulin responses, and may actually destabilize vascular plaque, which can increase the likelihood of heart attack or stroke, especially in those at risk.
 
Keep in mind that fat is lost when the body does not have excess calories to store, so it is best combine a healthy diet with an exercise program that increases muscle. Muscle will chew up excess calories to maintain its bulk, but fat simply enlarges when extra calories are around.
 
I believe the best diet is a South Beach-style diet with lots of veggies and few refined carbohydrates. Protein intake needs to be adjusted up to provide muscle growth, which helps to burn fat. Avoid high-fat diets, which can be unhealthy.
 
Over a two-month period, you should be able to help you lose up to 16 pounds fairly easily by following a healthy diet and exercise program.
 

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