Extreme Diets


I was just listening to a podcast, in which the host mentioned going on a diet that would have him lose at least a pound a day. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to get through the day without encountering a commercial for a product or diet that promises huge weight loss in a short amount of time. And, in today’s world, we have grown accustomed to getting instant results, which is one of the reasons why Americans are so willing to spend millions for these products.

Living in San Diego, the pressure for some to be thin is very real because it is T-shirt weather for the majority of the year and we live in close proximity to the beach. In my profession as a personal trainer, the most common reason individuals reach out to me to help them work out is to lose weight. Some simply want to lose weight for cosmetic reasons, while others do it out of concern for their general health.

When discussing the weight loss process with my clients, the most important things that I make sure they understand is that losing weight results from several factors and that it does not come uniformly. As for the products and diets promising to help you lose large amounts of weight and “melt the fat away”, one must understand what typically goes on within the body when he/she does lose a couple pounds in a short period. For example, when a person loses a bunch of weight over the weekend, most of that weight is simply water weight. Also, adopting a starving technique, such as consuming only 1200 Calories per day, may also bring about rapid weight loss; however, this weight loss is the result of glycogen stores, water and protein stores taken from muscle. Additionally, when a person abandons those extreme diets and returns to their normal eating habits, it is not uncommon for them to return to their original weight in a couple of days.

The honest truth is that losing weight takes a great deal of dedication and self-discipline, but it is not impossible. While some individuals are blessed with great genes that allow them to lose weight in no time, but, for the rest of us, remaining committed to the weight loss program through healthy eating and consistent exercise are the safest steps to take. As always, prior to taking on a weight loss program, everybody should talk about this with their doctor and consider speaking with a registered dietitian.

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