Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 10:28 UK

Doctor's diary: Fad diets

By Dr Nicola Jones

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"My patient decided to take the diet pill"

The doctor's diary is a weekly insight into life in a busy GP practice.

This week Dr Nicola Jones looks at fad diets, the diet pill and how one patient has found an alternative to years of yo-yo dieting.

There is very little evidence behind most fad diets, and if you hear recommendations that seem too good to be true, then they probably are.

Diets that completely eliminate an entire group of foods are probably not that healthy. The only sure-fire way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn off in physical activity.

To be healthy you need to eat some foods containing carbs, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. And your best chance of sustained weight loss is to change the way you eat and exercise forever - to do that you need to find a way of eating that works for you and to build physical activity into your life.

A loss of 5-10% of your weight can be a real benefit to your health.
And you don't need to get down to a size 10 for it to be worthwhile. A loss of 5-10% of your weight can be a real benefit to your health.

Recently there has been a lot of publicity about diet pills because one of them is now available to buy over the counter.

For people who choose to use the pills, either from the pharmacy or from their GP, the important thing is to eat a healthy low fat diet and to exercise. Unless you do that, they are not going to work.




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