Losing weight requires diet, exercise

Tocarra Anderson wanted to lose weight after putting on a couple of pounds over summer vacation, so she went on a diet. But she lost more than just weight.

Anderson, 20, a junior pre-med student from Orlando, said when she went on the Atkins Diet she felt horrible. She lost her appetite, energy and her ability to get out of bed in the morning to attend class.

The Atkins Diet is a high-protein diet that encourages the intake of meats and eggs but no carbohydrates. According to critics of the Atkins Diet, high-protein diets can overwork the kidneys because of the absence of carbohydrates.

“I have always been small, but I gained 10 pounds in the summer. So I went on the Atkins Diet,” Anderson said. “I felt so weak and lifeless while on it. I lost the weight fast. But when I got off the diet, the weight came back. It wasn’t worth it.”

Many diets that women try are dangerous and deadly. According to a fact sheet from the Ohio Department of Health, dangerous dieting may lead to health problems such as mood changes, excessive weight loss, loss of menstrual cycle, loss of energy, infertility, and even death.

“Dieting fads are becoming popular in today’s society, and many people are unaware of how dangerous some of these diets can be,” said LaKeishia Scott, a registered nurse in Orlando.

Various herbal diet supplement pills have been linked to serious health problems including heart attacks, seizures and death, according to the Mind and Body report, published in the August 2002 edition of Essence.

Scott said a common misconception about herbal pills is that they are healthful and organic.

“The best way to lose weight is by exercising at least 30 minutes a day and replacing unhealthful food with healthy food,” Scott said.

Monique Potter, a health educator of FAMU’s Health Department suggested to not eat any heavy foods after 6 p.m. when on a diet. “Make sure you stick to the diet that you chose,” Potter said.

“What you do while on a diet depends on the diet,” Potter said. ” Don’t deviate and go outside of the diet by overdoing what’s required. Don’t cheat by doing things that shouldn’t be done either”.

For more information on dangerous dieting contact Monique Potter at 599-3777 or the National Women’s Health Information Center at (800) 944Woman or visit: www.odh.state.oh.us.

Eboni Starr can be reached at CBlackGyrl@aol.com.