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Key to weight loss: Proper diet, smaller portions, regular exercise
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Unhealthy ways to lose weight

Going hungry

Not eating enough food, eating a little low-calorie foods like vegetables and fruits. Don't deprive your body of what it needs.

Over time, this leads to malnutrition. Each food group provides essential nutrition. Lack of carbohydrates means you lack fuel and energy.

In the extreme, it can result in ketone (an acid) poisoning. Cutting out fats in the extreme can reduce linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acid, essential for hormone production.

Eating the same foods is boring and unsatisfying and you will crave other foods. This can result in overeating.

Taxing laxatives

Trying to lose weight by eliminating food isn't effective, you have to eat right and eat less. Over-use of laxatives will damage the stomach and intestine lining. Long-term use causes dependence and constipation, as intestines no longer work naturally.

Popping magic pills

There are no magic pills.

Most weight-loss drugs have side-effects. Many contain diuretics and lipase inhibitors (fat blockers). Others are appetite suppressants.

They help you lose weight quickly, but you may regain it quickly. Some are touted as metabolism boosters, but the best way to boost metabolism is to exercise.

Overdoing physical exercise

Don't exhaust yourself with too-strenuous exercise or exercise for extremely long periods. Heavy exercise is anaerobic which only consumes glycogen, rather than fat. If exercise is exhausting, you will get very hungry and eat more.

Suggestion: Do aerobic exercise, like jogging or brisk walking, at least 30 minutes daily, or as often as possible, working up to longer stretches.

Eating spicy food or hot pepper

There's no research showing that capsaicine (the ingredient in hot peppers) can aid weight loss. Eating too much spicy food can damage the mucus lining of the digestive system. Some say it can cause rough skin and acne.

(Shanghai Daily March 3, 2009)

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