As a trainer I constantly get clients who are looking for fast results because they heard their co worker who was on the latest fad "wonder herb" diet lost 20lbs in the last two weeks. I cringe every time I see or hear an ad like the one above.
There are many factors that go into this kind of "weight loss", including muscle deterioration, reduced inflammation, detoxing, water loss and more so when someone loses an excessive amount of weight in a short amount of time (more than 2lbs/week), you're looking at the things mentioned above- not necessarily FAT loss. I'm going to lay out some reality for anyone that thinks there is a HEALTHY short cut to losing weight, and lets be real you want to lose weight to be healthy right?
We'll start with one of my favorites.
When you drink a "detox" tea that claims weight loss, yea you'll lose weight but you're going to do it through a colon cleanse, frequent trips to the bathroom and possible dehydration. These teas generally contain an appetite suppressant and/or a laxative called senna.
Not only does this limit the amount of nutrients your body is able to absorb because it goes through your system so quickly, but drinking these on a regular basis can lead to a weakened colon and dependance on the effects.
Don't get me wrong, Im a big proponent of cutting out processed carbohydrates, but for the general healthy population who is working out- your body NEEDS carbs. The general principle of low carb diets and weight loss comes from the fact that carboHYDRATES, contain and help maintain water in the body. When you have depleted your body of them you are going to be holding less water, hence less weight. Its quite common to see though when someone who has been on a low carb diet will gain the weight right back when they resume eating normally.
On that note, in order to do a proper low carbohydrate/keto diet, you need to replace the calories you were getting with carbs with good balance of fats and protein which most people fail to do leaving them in a huge caloric deficit which puts your metabolism and other bodily functions at risk.
Bringing me to my next big diet faux pas.
Extreme Caloric Restriction
In order to lose 1-2 lbs/week you need no more than a 20% deficit in your maintenance calories. Any more than that and your body is lacking proper nutrients to maintain normal, healthy functions, physically, mentally, hormonally etc. In order to adjust for times of starvation, your metabolism will actually slow down so unless you're prepared to eat that way forever I suggest you adjust accordingly.
Additionally, if you are exercising AND starving, your body will generally use the quickest source of fuel (protein ie muscle) during times of stress (workouts). So yes while you may lose. "Weight" what you are also losing is a properly functioning metabolism and mainly muscle along with some fat so if your goal is losing weight for health, then you're basically defeating the purpose.
The Shake/The Wrap/The Pill.
I don't want to offend anyone here, but I might- so I apologize ahead of time. If someone tries to sell you a "weight loss product"....run. Don't get me wrong, supplementing 1 meal/day with some sort of shake or smoothie can be beneficial in a few ways including increased nutrient intake (obviously dependent on the brand quality), save time meal prepping, as well as allowing for easily calculated caloric deficit. I highly recommend against supplementing more than one meal a day for a shake however, as most of your diet should include real food.
The shake/pill/wrap itself in no way, shape or form is going to make you lose weight which is why most "diet" products quickly and quietly add in the fine print "must be coupled with healthy diet and exercise". So in my humble opinion- save your money, eat REAL food, and get your butt moving!
True, sustainable FAT loss can only be done through the proper balance of water, well rounded nutrition of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Coming from a trainer of course cardiovascular exercise and strength training is always advised for heart, bone and joint health but is NOT necessary for fat loss.
Have more questions about fat loss, nutrition or exercise? Message me today! I offer online and in person individualized nutrition coaching and workout plans to help you reach your health goals in the most healthy, sustainable way possible.