Which diets help you lose weight fast?
Ah, ‘diet’ - a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
My favorite definition of the word ‘diet’ is - the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats, such as a balanced diet.
And yet, millions of people are searching every day for the first (and worst) kind of diet - the one that restricts them in their food choices while making them miserable. Most of the time people do a diet because they are not happy with themselves.
Many things that are truly bad for health can cause short-term weight loss.
The most effective diets for 'fast' weight loss impose severe restrictions that cannot be maintained and would not be compatible with health if they were.
That's because quick weight loss diets usually emphasize some drastic cut in nutrients or the elimination of an entire food group that can't be maintained over time.
When the diet stops, the weight comes back, often at higher levels than at the start of the diet. It's the body's response to "yo-yo" dieting.
Where do diets come from?
As early as the Greeks and Romans, people have been dieting. But while it was largely about health and fitness back then, it's the Victorians who really kick-started the fad diet.
Annie Gray, a food historian states that "During the 19th Century dieting became big business and has been on the rise ever since. Advertising was becoming more and more sophisticated, with more and more diet products being peddled."
Many celebrities, then and now, are promoting some kind of supplements or special detoxes, that are simple and magic! From drinking lemon water and honey to cayenne pepper and vinegar - we’ve seen it all!
I bet you have already tried one or more of such restrictive diets - low carb, low fat, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Keto, fasting, juicing, detox.. and many many more!
Although all of these diets have different allowed foods and rules, they have a few things in common:
- Very limited scientific research to back them up
- A strict set of rules to limit your eating behavior
- They bring only short-term results and DO NOT contribute to long term success
So why do all these diets fail? Let’s see!
Diet 1 - Eating less
It should be pretty straight forward - You eat less, you lose weight. Right? WRONG! Skipping meals or decreasing the number of calories in your meals have been linked to higher body fat storage.
The brain and muscle’s demand for fuel (in other words, nutritional food!) can result in rebound eating, where you may binge on not-so-healthy sources of food.
Not meeting your basic need for fuel will also cause poor attention span, irritability, and fatigue. Not to mention ulcers!
Diet 2 - Restricting carbs
When did carbs become the enemy? And I mean the ‘good carbs’! You need carbs! Cutting out your carbs means you're depriving your body of accessing its preferred source of fuel, causing you to feel moody, tired, and fatigued. And bloated!
If you don't eat enough carbs, your body will break down all the muscle and tissue to use for energy. Your body will do anything possible to keep your organs working, like your brain and heart. So it may also break down dietary protein which can cause an acid-base imbalance, resulting in an increased risk of kidney issues.
And if you’re unable to fight those physiological and psychological cravings for carbs, you will likely overeat down the road when you get your hands on it.
Why would you even fight the craving for carbs, when I can teach you how you can eat everything while losing weight and maintaining lean muscle?
Diet 3 - Swearing off meat
“What's wrong with that?” - I hear my vegetarian and vegan friends asking.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you for your diet choices. This is my opinion and my opinion only.
Before you go meatless, research how you can get enough of complete protein in your diet. When you are a vegetarian or vegan, you might be at risk for iron and B12 deficiencies.
You will also notice that fullness after meals will not last as long, causing more opportunities for hunger and more snacking between meals.
Diet 4 - Meal replacement - Liquid diet cleanse/detox
I’m sure you know by now (by reading my blogs), I’m not a big fan or believer in detoxes. Our bodies, namely our liver, can detox itself.
The liver is the human body’s primary filtration system, transforming toxins into waste products, cleansing your blood, and metabolizing nutrients and medications to provide the body with some of its most important proteins.
In the last decade, many products have been advertised as ‘liver detox and cleanse’. These detoxes can allegedly:
- cleanse your liver, whether after a weekend of binging on food and/or alcohol;
- maintain daily liver function;
- even repair an already damaged liver.
If you read my blog about the 10 hard truths about weight loss, you know that these products are not FDA regulated, so no one really knows what's really in it.
Although some common ingredients in these products, such as milk thistle and turmeric extract, have been shown to have positive results - there have not been adequate clinical trial data in humans to recommend the routine use of these natural compounds for liver damage prevention.
When it comes to commercial low-calorie meal plans or even a juice cleanse, they are usually pre-packaged for your convenience.
Nothing wrong with that.
Except that you don't have the opportunity to learn about appropriate portions you should be eating to lose the weight and keep it off.
You won’t be able to learn how to cook and shop for yourself to stay healthy.
Yes, you will lose some weight, but what will happen once you don't want to be on this kind of diet? Or cannot afford it anymore (let's be honest, detoxes and cleanses are pretty expensive)?
Yes, you replaced your bad eating habits with your juice or detox for a little while - but did you change your mindset? Or your relationship with food? Have you replaced your bad eating habits permanently?
Diet 5 - Fasting
I have great difficulties with this one. I’ll tell you about it later.
First some facts!
Any immediate weight loss from any form of fasting is due to water retention loss and muscle mass decrease. On top of that, fasting is lowering your metabolism and increasing body fat storage. That's because your body needs essential nutrients and calories to function properly.
Fasting has the potential to be medically dangerous for some individuals and can be a trigger for eating disorders or disordered eating.
OK, the most famous fasting diet - Intermittent Fasting!
Disclaimer - My opinion on IF is already biased because NONE of my clients who were previously on a fasting diet, had anything nice to say about that period.
Even worse, one of my very good friends, a former IF enthusiast and practitioner, developed anorexia and almost died because of it.
My male clients didn’t encounter that many problems, while on a fasting diet.
However, my female clients encountered serious problems practicing fasting for a prolonged time such as binge eating, metabolic disruption, lost menstrual periods, and early-onset menopause. This has happened to my clients who were in their mid-20s and early-30s.
Please, do your research! Don't be a sheep that follows the herd! You might be following them to the slaughterhouse!
There is no scientific research about the actual effect, impact, and benefits of intermittent fasting on a human body. Impact of IF on rats and other vermins - of course!
The more sustainable way to stay healthy, lean, and vital is to steer away from these different forms of restriction.
YOUR BODY NEEDS ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS - they are called ‘essential’ for a reason!
Spending your life weight-obsessed, complaining about it, and torturing yourself with going on and off diets, is no way to live.
I really like the way the Greeks and Romans approached diets. Diets for them were about how to live well and not just as an individual, also in society. They believed you are what you eat. They would treat illnesses first by diet, then by medicine. They also promoted the importance of exercise and sleep to being healthy and vital (Source: Calories and Corsets: A history of dieting over 2,000 years)
However, the Greeks did promote some stranger weight-loss methods, including wrestling, avoiding sex, and walking around naked. Why don't you try those?
I know you are tired of hearing this, or tired of not hearing what you want to hear.
The truth is - there are no magical supplements, diets, or tricks for fast weight loss. But almost everyone thinks there is a magic formula, the holy grail of rapid weight loss, that they haven't tried yet! So they keep searching and trying and failing….
I’m on a mission to educate people about sustainable, healthy, and balanced lifestyles without diets, expensive supplements, and detox.
I’m here to teach people that “healthy” isn’t expensive or complicated.
I’m here to teach you that healthy means ‘having a healthy mindset and a healthy body!’
I’m here to teach that knowing how many calories you should eat per day is a must! I’m here to educate people that eating whole, healthful foods instead of meal bars, frozen dinners, and low-calorie packaged snacks - is the only way to a sustainable and vital lifestyle.
So when you are ready to grow up and be successful, and take back the control over your diet - I’m here.
Yes, you heard me - I said when you are ready to grow up and be successful.
Successful grown-ups don't have the ‘get rich fast’ mindset. Grown-ups understand the transformation and success requires determination, action, and time.
I know YOU CAN! Do you?