Over the past three weeks I’ve received several emails from people asking if I would assist them in losing 20 plus pounds as fast as possible. And some of those emails stressed FAST.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight as fast as possible, lose weight without making any changes to your nutrition or exercise, trying to do it by taking a pill or tea or some sort of other magic bean, or by starving yourself – the result is inevitably the same. It’s what screws people up and sets them up for more weight gain after the fat is off. An extreme or accelerated diet is exactly what I don’t stand for.
I explained to each person how much body fat that I recommend one lose per week, why I make that recommendation, what the body can handle and, that this is more of a lifestyle shift and not a diet. No one liked my response, so in each case I turned down their business. Walked away from it. I will not compromise my integrity and allow people to fall into the “lose 25 pounds in 4-weeks” mentality and end up worse off than where they started.
In each case I asked if this had to do with some sort of special event such as a wedding, vacation, etc. In each case it simply had to do with panic about how much weight they had gained. It’s never good to make a decision when in a state of panic.
Creating a nutrition strategy for a lifetime takes some work but is entirely achievable, and in fact is necessary when considering 75% of dieters are unable to maintain even a 10% weight loss after seven years (Anderson, et al., 1999).
Let’s keep it real – being on a diet just sucks, and diets don’t work for the long haul. Your approach has to be based on foods you enjoy eating, a way of eating you can sustain for the rest of your life and something that does not feel like you’re in a state of deprivation. You’re going to have to be in a caloric deficit, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re on a deserted island. Some days are going to run smooth and others will be challenging, and that’s just part of this process, but you must keep moving forward.
Based on feedback from my clients, I’ve streamlined my program even more over the last three months. Feedback allows me to continually tweak the program and the rest is tailoring it to the person I work with, taking into consideration lifestyle, stress, favorite foods and lots of other factors.
Stop getting in your own way. If you need help, I will help you, but we’re going to do it sensibly and our goal is to get the weight off and keep it off.
Anderson, James, Vichitbandra, Satit, Qian, Wei, Kryscio, Richard. Long-Term Weight maintenance after an Intensive Weight-Loss Program. J Am Coll Nutr. 1999;18: 620-627. Retrieved from http://www.jacn.org/content/18/6/620.full