From magazine covers to infomercials, you will see countless promises of quick results and miracle programs.
Lose 30 pounds in 10 days!
5 days to 6 pack abs!!
In this blog, I want to shed light on some of the most popular QUICK weight loss strategies that may work temporarily, but can hurt you over the long term.
1. Eating Too Little Calories
While science tells us calories in need to be less than calories out, successfully losing weight and keeping it off involves more than just an equation. You also need to factor in the human side and determine what works best for you and your lifestyle. The fitness industry has duped us into thinking that eating less or exercising more to burn calories will help you lose weight faster, but our body is constantly seeking balance and over the long term it will work against you. When you eat less and less, your body fights against what it perceives as starvation. Eating so little eventually leads to emotional eating or bingeing. You will have hormonal and brain chemistry changes that increase hunger and cravings, then slows the metabolic rate so you will burn less, As you lose weight and as your exercise routine changes, your calories need to be adjusted SLOWLY over time for sustained weight loss.
And remember, you want to get the most amount of nutrients possible in your calories. A doughnut and a chicken breast have the same number of calories. Both are approximately 250 calories. But, the chicken will give you sustained energy as it is more satiating and packed with nutrients.
2. Cutting Out Carbs
Whether it’s carbs, fats, or calories, cutting out these things can cause the exact things you’re trying to avoid (fat storage and a weakened metabolism). Going on a low carb diet may cause fast weight loss initially, but 70-80% of that loss is actually just WATER loss, not fat loss. As soon as you go back to eating carbs normally, that water weight will be gained back.
Maintaining a very low-carb diet is difficult and not sustainable for most, which is why that weight returns so quickly once carbohydrate consumption resumes. Increase your protein intake to help you stay full, maintain your muscle mass and minimize weight gain rebound. Remember that carbs are not your enemy. A more sustainable strategy is to strive to get most of your carbs from non- starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Then find your body’s unique tolerance for starches focusing on the ones with high fiber and water content.
3. The Weekend Cheat Day
The cheat meal is a standard in diet plans. It’s the idea that one day a week or one meal a week, you eat whatever you want, as much as you can on that day. Cheat days are often the trigger for yo yo dieting and weight regain. Following strict, rigid meals with lists of “approved” foods that you can eat and foods that are “off limits” will quickly backfire. Once you are told something is off limits, you end up wanting it more and you end up feeling deprived. By the end of the week, you want to give in and you lose control. You end up binging and consuming too many calories, which may undo all of the progress you made during the week.
Remove the guilt around food! There should be no “on track” or “off track”. To have sustainable fat loss, you have to habit change. To have that habit change, you have to shift your mindset away from that diet mentality. The key is DAILY consistency, moderation and balance. Focus on eating dense nutrients at most of your meals day in and day out and allow yourself those indulgences when you desire. Just be mindful and keep your portions in check so you don’t go overboard.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be mean giving up the foods you love. When it comes to eating, changing our mindset around food choices can be the hardest thing to do. The key is to find a way of eating that will allow you to be consistent at it.
Decide on one or two healthier habits to start with today.
By making these small changes, you don’t become too overwhelmed changing everything all at once. It’s much easier to keep up with and to fit into your lifestyle.