Diet Plans & Programs: The "Skinny" on Popular Diet Plans

Dangers of Fasting for Weight Loss

Diet Myth or Truth: Fasting Is Effective for Weight Loss
Then, slowly lower yourself down. The group leaders at the meetings are not trained experts; they are former members who have had success with Weight Watchers. You can find dozens of do-it-yourself plans touting the unproven benefits of fasting, ranging from flushing "poisons" from the body to purging 30 pounds of fat in 30 days. Any diet that claims otherwise can end up causing weight gain. Merriam-Webster defines a fad as "a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal. It's best to slowly increase the amount of fiber you consume so your body can get used to it.

Typical Fasting Weight Loss Plans

6 Get-Your-Body-Back Moves for New Moms

But the risks far outweigh any benefits, and ultimately, fasting can cause more harm than good. Some plans allow a few solid foods, but are still called fasts because they provide so few calories. Not all fasts are created equal. Some can be perfectly safe, such as medical fasts supervised by a physician. Religious and cultural fasts are typically undertaken as an act of devotion, last from hours, and are not intended to promote weight loss. Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for most healthy adults.

But high-risk people, the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children are advised against any type of fasting. The real danger lies in staying on the fast for prolonged periods, anywhere from three days to a month.

When you dramatically reduce your calorie intake, you will lose weight. But it can also cause all kinds of health problems, including muscle loss. Further, when you start fasting, your body goes into conservation mode, burning calories more slowly. Keep in mind that the initial weight lost on a fast is primarily fluid or "water weight," not fat. And when you go back to eating, any lost weight usually gets a return ticket back. Not only do most people regain weight lost on a fast, they tend to add a few extra pounds because a slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight.

Worse, the weight that is regained is likely to be all fat -- lost muscle has to be added back at the gym. Side effects of fasting include dizziness , headaches , low blood sugar , muscle aches, weakness , and fatigue. Prolonged fasting can lead to anemia , a weakened immune system, liver and kidney problems, and irregular heartbeat. To get which muscles they are, start by doing the exercise while you use the bathroom.

As you urinate, manipulate your muscles until the stream temporarily stops. Then release and let the urine flow. Remember what that feels like, and when you're not urinating, contract, hold, and release those same muscles. Try to do this 10 times per session, three times a day. It can be hard to find time away from your baby in the early months, so try these exercises that you can do with your infant. Take caution when completing them. You may want to practice first using a doll or a rolled-up blanket or towel that's the same size as your baby.

Make sure you're fit enough, and have a good enough sense of balance, to assure your and your baby's safety. Here are some moves that will help you get your body ready for regular exercise. Lie on your back with your arms along your sides. Keeping your lower back flush to the floor, bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Relax your belly as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly lift your head and neck off the floor.

Inhale as you lower your head back down. When you can do 10 head lifts with ease, try this move. Get in the same position you did for head lifts. Inhale and relax your belly. As you exhale, raise your head and your shoulders off the floor, reaching your arms and hands toward your knees.

Inhale as you lower your head and shoulders back down. When you can do 10 shoulder lifts, move on to this. Start in the same position on the floor. Lift your torso until it's about halfway between your knees and the floor behind you. Reach toward your knees and hold for 2 to 5 seconds. Then, slowly lower yourself down. Don't forget to breathe. Exhale when you exert. Inhale when you relax. Bonus Workouts for Baby and Mom It can be hard to find time away from your baby in the early months, so try these exercises that you can do with your infant.

Holding your baby close to your chest, do a forward lunge with your left leg take a big step forward and bend your knee. Then return to starting position and lunge with the opposite leg. This will help strengthen your legs, back muscles, and core. Repeat times on each side.

1. Walking