ZocdocAnswersShould I see my doctor before starting a new diet?

Question

Should I see my doctor before starting a new diet?

I want to lose weight fast and I heard about these juice fasting diets. Is it safe to just go ahead and do it or should I talk to my doctor first?

Answer

Rapid weight loss rarely results in the kind of weight you intended to lose. Using a purely simple carbohydrate diet as your primary energy source will probably be very difficult on your body as it needs a well balance of protein, carbohydrate, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to properly function. During fasting fatty acids which are high energy molecules will start to be used. But without protein intake, your muscle tissues will also be broken down as well in order to provide the body an adequate amount of amino acids. Needless to say, a healthy diet that promotes weight loss needs to be well balanced for the individual's need. It is important to make sure that your energy expenditure is more than the energy gained from food. That said, when you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, it is best to make sure that you don't have medical conditions that would be affected by the metabolic changes. For example, diabetes, renal failure, and heart disease do not tolerate changes in electrolytes or fluid shift well. As a result, it can lead to worsening of these conditions and potential need for hospitalization. Many rapid weight loss diets don't aim to lose fat as much as fluid. Therefore, the effect is short-lived and can often lead to easy weight regain once you start to eat regular food again. You should visit your primary care physician and possibly a nutritionist who can advise you further on an appropriate diet and exercise program for healthy weight loss.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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