Feature Archive

Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely

Sick of crash diets and fad diets? Follow these healthy tips for rapid weight loss.

By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

You've heard it time and again: fad diets don't work for permanent weight loss. But what about those times when you really need to lose some weight fast? It's hard to pass up the promise of crash diets like the Lemonade Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, or Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days when your mission is to squeeze into a new outfit in time for a reunion, wedding, or other special event.

So what's wrong with dropping 20 pounds fast so you can wow your friends and family with a svelte new shape?

The truth is that nothing is wrong with losing weight rapidly -- as long you do it the right way, says Michael Dansinger, MD. He's the medical doctor for NBC's The Biggest Loser show, which spotlights quick and dramatic weight loss.

"In theory, one could drop as much as 20 pounds in a week following a very ambitious eating and exercise plan, devoting more than seven hours per week to rigorous exercise, and under a physician's care like we do on the television program," he says.