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Are Short-Term Diet Challenges Effective?

Posted: February 15, 2019

The next time you check your Facebook or Instagram, how likely are you to see a video or photo of a friend takings on the latest social media challenge? Over the last few years, people have doused themselves with ice water, posed as mannequins, and danced in public in hopes of gaining viral attention. Some antics are done in good fun while others have provoked concern for people’s safety. Eventually, an influencer will step up to issue a new challenge to leave us refreshing our feeds.

These days, one may find any number of celebrities endorsing a customized food challenge. It is not a new phenomenon – tabloids have touted headlines teasing so-called celebrity diet secrets for decades. Social media provides an immediate forum for such habits, however, and reaches a greater audience.

Men’s Health recently reported on the popularity of short-term plans like the 10-day no carb and no sugar challenge, and the 21-day fast from meat, sugar, and alcohol – the idea being that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. According to the article, such challenges may not achieve lasting positive results.

Avoiding the Quick Fix

The “food challenge” is no different from the quick-fix, “crash” plans that have drawn people into a harmful cycle of yo-yo dieting. Instead of the reward of permanent weight loss, short-term challenges bring risks of increased stress, poor eating choices, and other health concerns. What weight one loses is likely to return after the challenge ends.

While one may find encouragement sharing a positive lifestyle change through social media, a safe, effective weight loss journey is one that happens in the long-term. The physicians and staff at Bon Secours provide the knowledge and tools to help determine the best program for healthy weight loss and maintenance. New non-surgical options such as medically supervised weight loss allow for weight loss at a safe pace and fitness coaching through Bon Secours In Motion helps encourage good habits in eating and exercise for continued health.
For more information on weight loss programs available in the Hampton Roads area, contact Bon Secours today.

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