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*[Image Goes Here]*      Thinking of starting a weight loss diet or program? Some diets are not safe or effective, and are based on non-credible sources. Even if a diet does help you lose weight, chances are you will gain it all back plus more and you may damage your health. Try asking the following questions first:


  1. Does the diet promise dramatic, rapid weight loss, i.e. more than 2 pounds per week? If it does, then that diet may be unhealthy and should only be given while under the care of a Medical Doctor (MD) and Registered Dietitian (RD).
  2. Does the diet provide less than 1200 calories a day? Any weight loss diet providing less than 1200 calories a day is lacking in nutrients and should only be given while under the care of an MD or an RD. It is a fact that these diets are very difficult to follow because they are too restrictive.
  3. Does the diet exclude an entire food group? These diets tend to be boring and monotonous and also lacking in nutrients. Canada’s Food Guide suggests eating all 4 food groups because your body needs a variety of foods daily to be healthy. These include; Breads & Cereals; Fruits & Vegetables; Milk & Milk Products; Meat, Eggs, and Meat Alternatives.
  4. Does the diet promise you will lose the weight and keep it off without exercise? Most studies show that people who have lost weight and kept it off for several years did so because they continued to exercise regularly.
  5. Is a celebrity promoting the diet/product or featured in the advertisements? Remember they are being paid to say whatever the company is telling them to.
  6. Does the diet fail to inform you about the potential risks associated with the program/product?
  7. Is the source/author of the diet, “diet counselor” or program provider qualified to give guidance in nutrition? I.e. do they have a University degree in nutrition/medicine and are they registered with a College? Members of a regulatory body/College must adhere to a code of conduct that ensures your right to ethical, safe, reliable advice. Example: an RD or an MD.
  8. Does the diet/program suggest you take different types of unproven or bogus weight loss aids (whether herbal or not) such as: appetite suppressants, metabolism “boosters,” mineral supplements etc? Most of these “weight loss aids” either don’t work or can cause health problems, such as irregular heart beat or even death! If you take any of these products you should be informing your Medical Doctor as they can be risky and interfere with medications.
  9. Does the person who recommends a weight loss aid also sell the product? It is best to ask the advice of a professional who is not in a position to gain financially from giving product advice. Pharmacists can provide unbiased, safe and reliable advice about many so-called weight loss aids.


If you answered yes to even one of these questions it is probably best to avoid the diet or weight loss program you are considering.

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When desperate to lose weight it is easy to look for a quick fix without worrying about the long term negative effects to your health. Ask yourself this: Can you maintain the diet for the rest of your life? Studies continue to prove the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to make gradual healthy changes to your lifestyle (diet and exercise) and maintain those changes for life.


To lose weight, start by speaking with your Medical Doctor then ask them to direct you to a Registered Dietitian in your area for safe, reliable and effective advice.


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