Doctor warns against dangerous dieting in the New Year

Forcing yourself to live off salads isn’t a wise idea (Picture: Getty/

Before you race straight into a ‘New Year, new you’ mindset of intermittent fasting and the keto diet, take a moment to think about your longterm health.

A senior NHS doctor has issued a warning against all the trendy diets and quick-fix solutions people tend to try in January, saying that as well as rarely working, faddy weight loss techniques could cause you serious harm.

We know it may sound boring, but your best bet for genuinely improving your health is a balanced diet, moderate exercise, and slow, steady changes rather than crash diets and detoxes.

Among the dieting trends Professor Stephen Powis warns against are diet pills, tea-toxes, and appetite suppressants.

Products promising quick weight loss by reducing appetite can have damaging side-effects including diarrhoea and heart problems, and can even prevent your oral contraception from working.

Professor Powis said: ‘New Year’s Resolutions are a great time to make a change, but the reality is there’s a slim chance of success with diet pills and detox teas – and people could end up doing more harm than good.’

Dr. Daniel Atkinson, Clinical Lead at, has also warned of other side effects of weight loss and fat reduction pills, telling ‘There are less common side effects to be aware of too.

‘The likes of rectal pain, feeling bloated, feeling tired, increased frequency when passing stool, irregular menstruation and tooth or gum problems are all potential side effects.’

Dr Atkinson also says that taking diet pills and restricting your food intake could result in vitamin deficiencies.

‘The continuous flushing out of your system means you may not be absorbing vital nutrients to stay healthy, you could become dehydrated, you’ll feel uncomfortable and it’s an unsustainable diet plan,’ he adds.

‘Rather than using laxatives to facilitate weight loss, make sure you’re getting enough fibre in your diet, in the form of fruits and vegetables, and healthy cereals. This will help with digestion and you will feel fuller for longer (so you aren’t as tempted to snack before your next meal).

‘You should speak to your GP about your intentions to lose weight so they can give you some guidance on the best practices to do so. With weight loss, it’s a marathon rather than a sprint so you need to be patient with your journey. If you do need some extra help to reach your target weight and lower your body mass index, they might suggest medication.

‘But the most important thing is to make sure that you’re keeping to your diet plan and doing enough physical activity.’

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