Avoid the Lure of a "Quick Fix" for Fat Loss
"Quick fixes" or "hacks" to weight loss or health will end up taking you longer to reach your goals long-term.
"Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!" "Follow this plan to lose weight quickly!" "Eat this to burn fat!" Have you seen these phrases before? Whether in a magazine article or clickbait on the web, they all will lead you to a dead end. Why? Because there isn't a quick fix or a hack for sustainable weight loss.
Achieving the goals you want requires nothing more than work and consistency. Before you click on that "hack" to burn fat, ask if it meets the following guidelines:
Will I be eating real food?
This is a big one. Honestly. Will you be eating real food? Not frankenfood made in a "research" facility. Human bodies were not made to eat bars, drink "nutrition" shakes and live on supplements. Your ideal "hack" or "quick fix" should check this box: real food consisting of a variety of foods from a variety of food groups.
Is it sustainable?
Is it something you can stick with long term, or is it overly restrictive and very low in calories (which provides very little energy to the body)? Sure, you can reduce your intake to 500 calories per day, but you won't feel great, you will be lacking nutrients your body needs and as soon as you add a normal amount of calories in, your body will want to store it as fat, making your "quick fix" not really that quick.
"If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't." – Michael Pollan
Will it improve my relationship with food?
Your relationship with food matters! Everyone, on some level, has a relationship with food. For some, it is not a problem or something they have to think about very much. For others, our emotions, thoughts, feelings about ourselves or even about food itself is affected by this relationship. A poor relationship with food will continue to set you up for failure no matter which diet you follow. If you continue to binge or restrict based on feelings and emotions or use it as a source of control and power for yourself, you will continue to have a negative relationship with food.
This can take some difficult work to overcome, but a good starting point is to ditch the diet mindset! Getting off the constant rollercoaster is an important first step. I can usually identify "lifelong dieters" in my office even before we meet for a formal intake simply through conversing with them about food and how they eat or have eaten.
Does it fuel my body?
Calories are simply fuel for the body. Which is why many people use the "calories in vs calories out" method for weight loss. While this may work for some, it does not necessarily work for all. Too large of a deficit is detrimental to the body, especially if you are looking to maintain some muscle.
Case in point: I once had a client who came to me wanting a BodPod because he wanted to do a water fast for 21 days. Nothing but water for 3 weeks. I advised him against this water fast. While a short water fast has some potential benefits for some people, there is no benefit to the body for a 3 week water fast. His personal trainer advised him against it. His doctor advised him against it. But he still wanted to do it.
Three weeks later, when he returned to have his follow up BodPod assessment, he was very excited that he had lost weight. His clothes were noticeably looser, but what kind of weight did he lose? His BodPod results indicated that he had lost over 20 pounds in 21 days! Wow!
It was muscle. In 21 days, he had lost over 20 pounds of muscle. So, tell me, does "calories in vs calories out" really mean fat loss? No! It may mean weight loss, but your body is going to get rid of muscle because it requires more energy and you are not giving it any energy to use!
Quick fix plans that require drinking powdered shakes 2-3 times each day and only eating asparagus or eschewing all fruit, legumes, grains and fats to hit a "goal weight" plus a long list of branded supplements is not going to get you where you want to be.
Will it improve both my health and wellbeing?
Health refers to a state where the physical body is free from disease, while wellness refers to an overall balance of a person's physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental and occupational well-being. Will that "quick fix" or "hack" support both of these things? Will it work to help support your body in a disease-free state? Will it support your wellness so that you, in turn, are able to support your health?
Nutrients, from real food, are what support health and wellness. If you are suffering from conditions related to inflammation--heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis--real nutrients are what your body needs. If you are suffering from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, real nutrients are what your body needs. Will food on it's own fix these issues? Likely not, but it is a powerful tool to use in conjunction with the recommendations of your health team.
Stop searching and, instead, work on consistency
Improving your health and wellness is simple. You can do it. Many clients have seen these positive results because they were tired of chasing quick fixes. Click Here to get started or book a discovery call to find the plan that will work for you.
All content of this blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this blog.
Kelly Sherman, MS, NC, CGP, CPT, is a holistic sports nutritionist specializing in athletes transitioning from high school athletics to college athletics. She has a master’s degree in nutrition and is degreed in exercise science as well as a certified personal trainer. With over 20 years of experience in the field, she combines the best of both nutrition and sports sciences to best help her clients reach their potential. To nourish is to flourish!