Today as I scrolled through Facebook, I happened to see a story with the headline, “Lose 10 pounds in Seven Days." First thought, idiotic! If I could have lost 10 pounds in seven days I would have been all over that crap when I was losing weight. Instead I did it the healthy way; increasing my daily exercise to include cardiovascular training and resistance training as well as cleaning up my diet. I didn't have a clue what I was doing but that wasn't going to stop me.
These fad diets are ridiculous! It is unhealthy to lose that kind of weight in a seven day period, not to mention this diet called for eating grapefruits only. No thanks! I think I would like to keep my teeth. Additionally, when you lose that much weight it isn't fat! Come on do you think you will lose fat that fast?? NO! Instead you lose water and muscle. I don't know about you but I'd like to keep my muscle so I am capable of walking, standing from a seated position, eating and playing with my kids. Muscle mass begins to decrease at the early age of 30. This is called Sarcopenia, physically inactive people can lose up to 3-5% of muscle mass per decade! Imagine how much more muscle mass is lost when doing these crazy diets on top of avoiding exercise. Can you stop sarcopenia from occurring? No, but it can be slowed down greatly by adding a resistance training program and doing it for the remainder of your life. These rapid weight loss promises set people up for eating disorders.
How to safely lose weight:
- Think about genetics, instead of comparing your body to ridiculous models or fitness magazines look at your family. If you have shorter, thicker family members you cannot change genetics. If you have long, lean family members and you want to put on mass, be realistic about how large you can get.
- Eat a well-balanced diet- If you avoid eating foods then you become a fat storing machine. I'm positive you don't want that and it won't help you achieve your goals.
- Consume your Macro-nutrients; Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. Yes fats! Good fats; nuts, avocados and natural peanut butters are a few.
- Caloric Restriction needs to be at a maximum of 1000 k/cal a day but if you train then stick to 500. We do rigorous training and I couldn't perform if I cut my calories to some unimaginable amount.
- Gain muscle by avoiding alcohol, eating lean proteins, consuming good carbohydrates (lots of vegetables) and resistance exercises (6-12 reps at 67-85% 1RM). This will allow for muscle hypertrophy.
- If you want substantial amounts of body mass lost quickly the consequence is substantial amounts of lean muscle lost.
- Gradual weight loss allows for maximum fat loss and maintaining lean muscle mass.
- Do not cut calories lower than 1800 to 2000 if you train frequently.
- Avoid Low Energy Density foods- Like chicken broths, fruits, and don't eat salads every day!
- Record how you feel before, during and after a meal. Also journal if you are a binge eater or stress eater.