Extreme diets

Your body needs a wide variety of nutrients and adequate kilojoules to fuel basic functions. Unfortunately, many of today's "quick weight loss" plans advocate a menu that relies very heavily on one nutrient, while virtually eliminating another.

High protein/low-carbohydrate diets are a perfect example.

Many of the high protein diets emphasise foods from animal sources that are rich in both protein and saturated fat such as fatty meats and full fat dairy products such as cheeses while drastically limiting high carbohydrate foods such as wholegrains, fruits and starchy vegetables. Eating large amounts of these high saturated fat foods over time has been shown to increase risk for heart disease and certain types of cancers.

The bottom line is that extreme diets often result in rapid, temporary weight loss, which is primarily due to loss of body fluids as well as a depletion of carbohydrate stores. This is one of the main reasons why Jenny advocates a diet that incorporates a wide variety of foods from all food groups.

When losing weight it is very important to lose body fat while preserving lean body mass and that requires a moderate approach meaning reduced kilojoule intake and an increase in physical activity resulting in a weekly weight loss between ½ to 1kg per week.