Are you trying to lose those extra pounds quick? If you are looking for a “quick way” to lose weight, there are no shortages of fad diets around. Most people today get caught in the “latest and greatest” diet fads, promising to help you lose several pounds in as little as a week or two. Most of these diets claim you can lose weight fast with minimal effort. You may have heard some of the promises, “lose 10 pounds in a week”, “how to lose weight fast”, “shed your body fat in 10 days”. If you’ve been trying to lose weight, these types of diets can be very tempting… but buyer beware! There is no magic pill, or no special combination of foods that will MAKE you lose weight. As a matter of fact, most of these fad diets are not worth trying at all.
The truth is, unfortunately, many of us have followed these fad diets and these types of diets can do more harm to your health than good. Most of these fad diets don’t work to help you lose weight and keep the weight off long term. In addition, the weight most lose initially is put back in with EXTRA pounds. With this being said, to fully understand how to lose weight and keep it off, we all need to come to an understanding of how our bodies work pertaining to dieting. It’s important that we briefly mention the importance of knowing your numbers. For example, know your ideal weight, your blood pressure, your body mass index, your cholesterol levels, etc. Knowing these numbers will enable you to maximize your weight loss efforts with a plan that is just a right fit for your body. An in depth discussion on these numbers will follow later. For now, let’s start by talking about the effects of the fad dieting on our bodies.
Fad diets attract dieters who seek to get quick results. When you try a fad diet, you will likely lose pounds in a matter of days as promised since you will be eating a very restricted diet. When you make significant changes in your body, your body will react. Most of the time, the weight you lose over the course of the first few days is usually just water weight and/or muscle mass. These fad diets are also restrictive and boring, making it difficult to sustain over the long term. Once you stop the diet and resume your normal lifestyle, chances are that you will gain the weight back – with a few additional pounds.
Fad diets also prohibit you from eating certain types of food. Some of these diets restrict or eliminate fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains. These foods are loaded with nutrients that are thought to help prevent many chronic conditions. The diets that eliminate certain foods from a person’s diet completely put the person at risk for nutrient deficiencies. Research has shown that in order to obtain the amount of nutrients our body needs on a daily basis we must consume a balanced and varied diet. Fad diets do not allow consumers to eat a well-balanced diet in most cases which causes the lack of nutrients to the body. In addition, many fad diets restrict the amount of calories and nutrients you consume which can lead to energy deprivation and serious nutritional deficiencies.
Because most fad diets require you to eat a structured amount of food on a structured schedule, you can also end up disrupting your natural metabolism. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. The body, in its normal state, called homeostasis, learns to maintain the weight you normally carry after a period of time. If you lose weight too quickly you are probably losing muscle mass/lean tissue. As we lose muscle our metabolisms slow down. Once you dramatically decrease calorie intake, your body begins adjusting to less food and a new homeostasis is created based on the lower calorie count. Your body learns to function normally with less which means that when you begin eating regular food again you will gain back much more weight than before because your body is used to surviving on fewer calories. Losing weight slowly with a healthy diet of all types of foods will keep your metabolism working properly.
As previously mentioned, muscle loss is another negative effect of fad diets. Since your diet is very low in calories, your body looks for other ways to get energy. One of these ways is by digesting your muscles. This is actually detrimental to weight loss because muscles help you burn more calories even when you are at rest.
Fad diets are quick fixes, not permanent solutions to the weight problem. You may lose weight initially, but as soon as you begin eating regular food again you gain the weight back. The problem is your eating habits and lack of activity. Until you begin eating healthier and exercising regularly, your weight will continue to go up and down.
So what’s the answer to achieving your weight loss goal?
The answer is a balanced eating plan that includes proper nutrients combined with moderate physical activity. Losing weight is as simple as it is difficult. No specific food or product can cause weight gain or loss. The only way to lose weight is to change your habits and consistently eat fewer calories and exercise more over a period of time. To lose weight you need to eat less calories than you burn. Eat a balanced diet rich in all food groups; focusing on what to eat, instead of focusing on what not to eat. Increase your activity level by performing daily moderate exercise and you will feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is so simple but yet few of us are capable of doing it, although doing this will change your life.
We recognize the problem with dieting, we know the solution, why is the obesity rate in America still climbing up?
Health experts will tell you time and again that the only way to effectively lose weight and keep it off is by making long-term changes to your lifestyle, such as adapting a healthier diet and regularly exercising. Needless to say, making these changes is not exactly easy neither quick.
Industry expert Robyn A. Osborn, RD, PhD, a dietician and educational psychologist, says people need to feel that the benefits of changing their behavior will outweigh the costs. For many dieters the psychological cost of giving up their fattening lifestyle seems too great. So they opt for the “quick fix.”
Fad dieting is not so much about the healthy aspects of losing weight, but more about the psychological benefits of the weight loss results. Does this mean that weight loss is more mental than it is physical?
“The research is clear-diet programs don’t work! It’s not only dieters who fail, the diet programs fail as well. We know that less than 10% of all dieters sustain any weight loss, about 50% eventually gain more than they lose, and that the most common result-yo-yo weight loss-can be worse for people’s health than simply being overweight. Further, we are learning more and more about how our culture of “thinness” is destructive to the esteem and health of girls and women.” says David Bedrick, J.D., Dipl. PW author of Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Alternatives to Mainstream Psychology.
According to a new survey of psychologists suggests that when it comes to dieting, weight loss and weight gain, emotions play a central role and may be the primary obstacle to weight loss.
Many of us look at ourselves and compare ourselves to those we see every day in magazines, on TV, and in newspapers. We immediately feed “negative talk” into ourselves calling ourselves fat, complaining about our body parts and so on so forth. We often then times make excuses, “I’m too busy”, “It’s hereditary”, “I like myself this way”. In all honesty, most people want to lose a few pounds, but the task just seems so darn difficult!
Trying to persuade ourselves to do things that we don’t really want to do — behaviors our brain is not used to — is not easy. We are very adept at making wonderful excuses as to why we can’t do what we don’t want to do.
The good news is you CAN achieve your desired body shape and weight loss goals. Self-image is closely connected to the success or failure of any goal you choose to seek after, but none more so that the goal to get yourself fit and healthy. With the right thinking, a regular mental workout and understanding of how to get optimal nutrition, changing to healthy eating habits is just an app away!