Search the internet for just a minute and we can easily be consumed by the hundreds of options out there to help us lose weight. Diet teas, the Cookie Diet, Keto, carb-cycling, liquid diets, intermittent fasting, and more. Not to mention the many Netflix documentaries touting extremes from raw food only, to carnivore, and everything in between. However, these quick fixes and FADs (fast action diets) do not provide long-term solutions and healthy lifestyle & behavior changes. Instead, these diets promote unrealistic and unsustainable short-term results.
Quick fixes and FADs use the following strategies to help you lose a few pounds quickly:
- They encourage you to cut out an entire food group, keeping you from receiving important vitamins provided by the food group
- Severely restrict calories, slowing and damaging your metabolism
- Focus on supplements or meal replacements, not whole foods
Most restrictive ‘diets’ are just that. When they are followed, they work for most people in the short term. You might lose a few pounds in the first few weeks, mostly from water weight that will come back quickly. ‘Diets’ aren’t meant to be followed long-term and most don’t teach you how to transition to a healthy eating lifestyle once you can no longer continue the short-term, restrictive diet.
To lose one pound of fat, you must burn 3500 calories. I’m sure you’ve heard advertisements promising that you will lose 20 pounds in one month? Sure, it’s possible – if you are losing some muscle and water and maybe just a little fat. But it is simply impossible to do in a safe and long-term way.
I want you to think about this: What is your motivation for losing weight? What is your overall goal once you lose weight? Is it disease prevention? Is it to feel healthy? Is it to have clothes fit better? Is it to look good? Is it to perform better? You cannot achieve any of these goals on a quick fix diet.
Instead, strive to lose weight through realistic and healthy changes. Don’t look at food as something to be afraid of or something you must control. Find ways to enjoy eating healthy, balanced, and properly portioned meals. Love chicken wings? Make slow cooker Buffalo Chicken. Love mashed potatoes? Introduce mashed cauliflower into your diet. Even if your goal is not to lose weight, you can benefit from choosing to eat more whole foods and balanced meals.
The most important thing is to eat according to your goals, whether that is to lose weight or gain weight, feel healthier and nourished, have more energy, etc. Create a plan that is sustainable and the whole family can follow! After all, YOU are the one setting an example for your entire family. What habits do you want them to develop?
Michelle Ann Keely
CEO, CrossFit Grail
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Precision Nutrition Certified Coach
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