The beginning of the Summer is traditionally a busy time for gyms and fitness clubs as people lace up their trainers, put on their gym gear and start to burn some calories. Over 6.56 million of us have gym memberships in the UK and many more choose to do their exercise at home or outside. So, why is June such a popular time to get fit?

The answer undoubtedly has a lot to do with getting 'beach body ready'. As the temperature rises and we prepare to show off extra flesh by the pool or on the beach, the desire to attain a more toned, shapely physique becomes important to many of us. Indeed, looking good for the summer months can have a profound effect on self-confidence. While getting fit and healthy is commendable, there are problems when individuals look for rapid solutions and quick fixes for weight loss.

Crash diets

The crash diet is not a new phenomenon but it can be an incredibly dangerous one. While limiting calories is an important part of shedding fat, combining extreme calorie cutting with intense exercise can place great strain on the body, resulting in an increased chance of fainting, lethargy and susceptibility to illness.

Starving oneself of precious calories can also push the body into a survival mode that actually increases body fat. Under these circumstances an individual will lose weight, but the body will actually burn through muscle and go through a slowing of the metabolism rather than burning through body fat. Over a prolonged period of time this approach is even thought to be a contributing factor to Type 2 diabetes.

There have also been a number of studies showing that crash diets do not to have a lasting impact on weight. According to Wellsphere (A website backed by Stanford University), one study found that only 5% of crash dieters were able to keep their weight off over an extended period of time. And in a similar study at the University of Pennsylvania, a sizeable 65% of crash dieters were shown to return to their previous weight within three years.

Even more worryingly, these radical approaches to weight loss and muscle gain can prove to be extremely detrimental to personal health, building the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and increasing the risk of strokes. These health implications stem from the rapid changes to routine and nutrient intake that crash dieting so often promotes.

A slow and steady approach to calorie cutting is always recommended by diet and nutrition experts. It is also advised that cutting calories should not mean cutting out food groups altogether. A balanced and varied approach is preferable to removing food groups altogether. This includes maintaining a steady intake of good fats and slow-burning carbohydrates. Before embarking on any form of crash diet, consult a health professional for advice and guidance.

For individuals who struggle to lose weight through a consistent diet and exercise plan, there are also prescription medications available. At Express Pharmacy, we offer Xenical, also known as Orlistat, to patients in need of weight loss assistance.

Xenical works by reducing the levels of fat absorbed during digestion with results showing that two-thirds of those treated were able to lose at least 5% of their bodyweight over a 2-year period.

Note: Xenical should only be taken after consultation with one of our expert pharmacists, adhering to prescribed dosage at all times.

If you want the best advice about how to lose weight safely and successfully, whether you want to be truly beach body ready or simply want to make some changes, get in touch with Express Pharmacy today on 0208 123 0703.