IS YOUR new year's resolution to go on a crash diet and get rid of those Christmas calories?
Health officer Trish Davis from the Mid North Coast Local Health District said while it might seem like a good idea, success was often only short term and more often due to water loss.
"Long term, crash dieting can result in nutrient deficiency which can lead to feeling tired and experiencing a loss of concentration," Ms Davis said.
She said eating well-balanced meals and starting a regular exercise program was a much better way to achieve weight loss.
"Replace high fat and high sugar foods with fruit and vegetables and as an added bonus it reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer."
She also rebuffed the common misconception that regular exercise needs to be strenuous to reap any benefits.
"Thirty minutes a day of something you like doing like walking, swimming or golf is a much better approach because you are more likely to make it part of your daily routine.
"And if 30-minute sessions don't fit into your lifestyle then similar benefits can be achieved from a number of shorter periods of activity throughout the day - even 10 minutes helps."
Suggestions include small things like walking up stairs rather than taking the lift or walking to the shops rather than driving as ways to be more active.
A regular exercise and healthy eating plan also helped lower stress levels while increasing concentration and self confidence.
"So the real bonus is with higher energy levels you have the boost to enjoy more in life."
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