Are crash diets a good way to lose weight?

Tangled tape measure on a fork

I’m taking a holiday next month and I really want to lose some weight before I go. I have read about diets that promise I can lose a stone in a month. Are these diets a good way to lose weight?

BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:

With the summer holiday season almost upon us, we all want to feel our best before we head off, so this is a time when more people than usual look for a quick fix for excess weight. If you are overweight, then losing some weight is good for your overall health and wellbeing and can help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Losing weight steadily and gradually is the safest approach

But restrictive and short-term weight loss plans are not the way to go.

Although they may help you to achieve a rapid weight loss – if you can stick to them – as soon as you go back to eating normally, it’s likely you’ll regain that weight, often with a bit more on top.

Losing weight steadily and gradually is the safest approach and the weight is much more likely to stay off.

It’s also a more sustainable approach, enabling you to make permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle. Gradual weight loss of 1–2 pounds (0.5–1kg) a week is achievable.

Victoria Taylor Meet the expert

Victoria Taylor is a registered dietitian with more than ten years’ experience. Her work for the NHS focused on weight management and community programmes for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. At the BHF she advises on diet and nutrition.

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