The Worst Diet Tips For Those Trying to Lose Weight
I've seen it a million times before, someone updates their status on Facebook about having a hard time losing weight. Suddenly the comment thread is full of MLM schemes, supplements, paleo diets, detox teas and the worst fitness tips ever. Here is a list of the most common commentary:
You're Not Losing Weight Because Muscle "Weighs More" Than Fat
We all know a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, it just takes up far less space. Let's get that little detail out of the way.
You can be heavier than you were, yet look far better if you are muscular. However, this statement is often applied to someone who just started their weight loss journey and is stuck in that initial phase of "I'M DOING THE THINGS AND THE NUMBERS ON THE SCALE AREN'T DROPPING!"
The fact is most people see little to no initial loss right away. Your body is not a machine, it is a biological organism that has to operate on a cellular level. Your metabolism has settled in to match your intake and activity level as best it can, and it has been operating this way for a long time.
This process has to change and convert fat to energy, cell by cell. This does not happen overnight, or even in a week. It's frustrating, but you have to be patient.
Building muscle does not happen overnight, either. It takes months and months of consistent resistance training. You cannot jog on a treadmill for a week and build muscle. Just because you work out a few days does not mean you have built a few pounds of muscle, trust me.
You are most likely experiencing water retention. I know that isn't very motivating, but if you have the delusion that muscle just pops up with little effort, you are setting yourself up to be very disappointed later.
There is nothing wrong with you and it is perfectly normal. It is better to be realistic and understand there is a stretch of time you will spend where it seems like nothing is happening... Until it starts happening.
Eat More - You're in Starvation Mode!
Starvation mode is a popular term meaning you have been operating on such low calories that your body "clings to fat" for energy and won't relinquish another pound. More appropriately, your body tries to become more efficient on less calories until it has nowhere to go and you plateau.
Or, in some cases, you develop anorexia, and restrict further, until you drop down into a dangerous place of jutting bones and organ failure (aka, actual "starvation mode.")
The first thing people tend to do when they try to lose weight is cut calories, usually to the tune of a simple calculator on their Fitbit or weight loss app. This, in of itself, isn't necessarily a bad thing and it won't put you in "starvation mode." This early on in the game, the pounds that remain are water and the slower-than-we'd-like process of energy conversion.
What I would advise, when cutting calories, is to not go too low at first - not because of "starvation mode,” but because it is unsustainable. You will inevitably be hungry, feel deprived, and, nine times out of ten, binge out after a certain point.
This compounds if you start exercising and rev up your metabolism. In the battle of will power versus biology, biology often wins. Try instead, to cut out a few hundred calories at a time.
What You Have to Do Is Cut out All Carbs
On the other side of the fence are the people who suggest calorie restriction through cutting carbohydrates. Of course, they don't realize this is why low-carb works. They think it's some magical anti-inflammatory, paleolithic mumbo jumbo, but it's just calorie restriction.
If this type of diet satisfies you and you are healthy and happy, no problem. But more often than not, life happens and you cannot always control the food available to you at all times. Plus, you will set yourself up for the longing of that which you "can't" have. Being flexible helps to control cravings and remain relaxed during those times you aren't in control of the menu.
DM ME - You Need to Check Out My Company
For the love of all that is good in this world, pills, supplements, shakes, teas, and wraps will do nothing for you besides drain your bank account and change the color of your pee.
There is no such thing when it comes to dieting. Not all nutritional supplements are bad, but chances are they are completely unnecessary and this person only wants to get you to sell this garbage under them.
Pay close attention to the transformation pictures these people peddle. It’s never the salesperson – in fact, the ones who slide into your DMs full of promises never look like a success story, themselves. Gee whiz, if it’s so easy and provides “instant results,” I wonder why they aren’t walking around looking like Greek gods?
80% Diet and 20% Exercise
This is a twisted notion of the 80/20 Rule, which means 80% of your results come from the top 20% of your work. This is not the same as when people say your body is built on 80% diet and 20% exercise.
If weight loss alone is the be all, end all, dieting down works. But I think this advice is abysmal - for women, especially, who gravitate towards calorie restriction and cardio. Weight loss is important. There are many health problems associated with being overweight, and overweight alone, not counting the rest of your health profile.
But what really happens when you adopt a strict diet with a little jazzercise on the side?
You lose weight!
Then, one thing happens and it sends you into a death spiral of binge eating and gaining all your weight back, plus more. At a point, your calories are so low, your metabolism has nowhere to go. Plus, if you aren’t exercising, you’re not truly getting fit.
Fitness is such an important part of the health equation – you are stronger, more vital, your cholesterol improves, your mental health improves, your heart and lungs are more efficient, your metabolism is charged up and ready to burn. You have more energy all around. Fitness allows you to actually live beyond dieting and worrying about every bit of food you eat.
The Best Advice
What I really want to say to all of you beginning your health journey is simple: be patient and be consistent. Initially, you will not see results. You will experience soreness, inflammation, water retention, possibly headaches, and acne.
You may suffer from some indigestion and bowel irregularity as you adopt a more fibrous diet. The scale might even go up a few pounds. It’s not motivating, at first.
But, don’t quit.
You may slip up. It happens, just exercise the following day. Eat the right foods.
After a few months, things begin to take effect and you will notice yourself feeling better, perhaps down a few pounds. A few months after that, the things that winded you and made you feel like garbage will be easy. You’ll be adding weight, miles, and skills every day. The scale will move. Your clothes will fit better. You will feel like you have your life back.
Remember, the initial phase takes a measure of determination and the inability to get derailed by “quick” schemes and “fast” fixes. Slow and steady wins the race.