Lifestyle change is better than crash diets

Dr Jocelyn Sheen-Apostol advises people that going on a crash diet after indulging during the holiday season may work for a while but is not a good way to keep fit in the long term. photograph cher jimenez

Dr Jocelyn Sheen-Apostol advises people that going on a crash diet after indulging during the holiday season may work for a while but is not a good way to keep fit in the long term. photograph cher jimenez

If you are thinking of starting the year with a crash diet or exercising simply for the sake of immediately losing those extra kilos you gained during the holiday season, a Traralgon doctor's advice is – forget it.

St Luke's Medical Centre's Dr Jocelyn Sheen-Apostol said losing weight was something that was not rushed and required a lifetime commitment to a healthy lifestyle to get the best outcomes.

"Losing weight should be a lifetime habit," Dr Apostol said.

"You can do diet but if it's not long term, you'll lose it and gain it again and you'll never get to a point [of reaching your ideal weight]," she told The Express.

Dr Apostol said some people remained slim despite the amount of food they took in but for people who gained weight easily her advice was to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

"If you want to lose weight you have to maintain it for two years until your brain [gets used to it] and you will naturally eat less," she said.

Dr Apostol said it had been a regular thing for her to see a number of patients with weight, blood pressure and sugar-level issues right after the festive season the past 17 years that she's been practicing as a general practitioner.

She said people should avoid food rich in carbohydrates and sugar because they can be very addictive and it also took time to get rid of them.

For people who crash diet, Dr Apostol said it may work for them for a while, but it was unsustainable and unhealthy to do.

"Crash diet will work but you can't maintain it," she said.

"If you go on a diet it usually means going hungry, it's unattainable because the human body needs food."

Dr Apostol advised that if people can't avoid some foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates to eat them in smaller portions. She said exercise should also be moderate in intensity to maintain a healthy weight.  

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