Skip to main content

Health library

Back to health library

Play It Safe Before Starting Fad Diets & Exercise Programs | Oswego Health

Woman Eating After A Workout

Before diving into that new workout routine or weight loss plan, consult a healthcare professional to see if it's right for you. Find more information at Oswego Health.

Should You Consult A Doctor Before Trying That Trendy Workout or Fad Diet?

A healthy weight can help reduce the risk of heart disease, joint issues, depression, sleep apnea, and other conditions. While thousands of diet and exercise programs on the market boast rapid weight loss as their claim to fame, not all of them are healthy or sustainable. Here, Oswego Health discusses why you should talk to your doctor before digging in.

Recognizing a Fad Diet

If slimming down is the goal, who wouldn't want rapid results? From extreme elimination diets to magic supplements that advertise altered body chemistry, there are a host of programs — and hoaxes — out there. Learning how to spot a fad diet when you see one is the first step in selecting a weight loss plan. While there may be other warning signs, identifying these red flags is a solid place to start:

  • The promise of a quick and easy fix
  • Entire food groups are forbidden
  • Only specific foods are allowed
  • Caloric intake is severely restricted
  • Exercise is not required to lose weight

While the faulty science behind some programs might be obvious, others may be trickier to discover. If you're unsure, play it safe and consult your doctor or a registered dietitian first.

Make Every Bite Count

Healthy lifestyle choices offer the keys to lasting weight loss success. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can result in weight loss and help you feel better overall. For most of us, a healthy diet includes:

Nutrient-Rich Choices from Each Food Group

Eating a combination of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains, and other foods helps the body thrive. Set yourself up for success with a dietary pattern that is high in nutrient-dense foods.

Minimizing Sweet and Salty Snacks

Junk food doesn't have to be eliminated — just limited. Added sugars and saturated fat should add up to less than 10% of your total calories per day, and sodium should be limited to 2,300 mg per day.

Limiting Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages add calories and little nutrition. Limiting yourself to just one drink per day (or none at all) can help prevent weight gain and help you maintain overall health.

Going the Distance with a New Exercise Program

Regular exercise is great for muscle strengthening, cardiovascular endurance, mental health, and more. Most people don't need a doctor to tell them exercising is a healthy habit, but seeking advice on which exercises are best is a safe place to start. Many healthcare experts recommend consulting with a physician if you have a health condition, including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
  • Kidney disease
  • Arthritis
  • Undergoing or recently finished cancer treatment
  • History of physical injury

There is no one-size-fits-all exercise program. Instead, it’s important to find activities that you enjoy and that are safe for you. Additionally, if an exercise program requires you to push past injuries or attempt activities beyond your fitness level, it may be more dangerous than beneficial. While we usually seek a doctor's advice after the running or weightlifting strain, being proactive and asking questions before starting that new routine can help prevent potential issues from benching you later.

Pave the Path for Improved Health

Diet and exercise fads are tempting, but a moderate approach and guidance from a trusted physician are your best bets for weight loss success. Check in with a doctor at Oswego Health to create a weight loss plan that suits you best, and learn more about weight loss from other resources in our Health Library. For more information, contact us today.

Related stories