Quick weight loss diets have been around forever, and seem ever-popular, but do they really work? Many of the quick "fad" diets can help for temporary weight loss, but usually it comes back eventually. It is normal for dieters to look for the Holy Grail of diets, one that can have you lose weight fast, then keep it off.
Fad or Binge diets will always be with us, and for a few reasons one may be able to rationalize their use, for any of a number of reasons: Temporary weight loss to "get in to that dress or Tux for the one event" like a wedding or reunion, then it is OK to go back to looking normal. One of the problems of these quick loss and fad diets is many of them are plain unhealthy, and can put you at greater health risk than being overweight.
There are no miracles when it comes to weight loss, but you can take positive steps to losing weight that will help speed things along without resorting to one of these fad diets or just starving yourself. Here are some ways you can move forward and lose weight;
Eat The Right Foods To Speed Up Your Metabolism
If you've been off-and-on dieting over the years, your metabolism may be as much as 30% slower than normal. To get back to normal, you need to eat enough calories to meet your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). You can search for BMR Calculator online and get the numbers you need. Everyone is different. You'll need to enter your height, weight, age and sex to get a number. For example, a 60 year old male at 200 lbs. that is 5' 7" tall has a BMR of about 1750 calories, while a 20 year male the same size has a BMR over 2000.
The BMR is the number of calories you need to get though the day, given "normal" activities. If you have a physically demanding job or big exercise routine, you will need more, and if you sit at a desk all day, you will need less. When trying to get to your BMR, it's best to stick to the healthier foods like lean protein, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
You'll probably have an initial weight gain, but don't let that scare you off. First you need to get your body back to normal operating levels and repair itself. After you've been at your BMR for a couple of weeks to a month or so of eating the appropriate level of calories, your metabolism will speed up and the pounds will begin to fall away.
Once you've got your metabolism back up to speed, you can easily lose a pound a week with a balanced diet, or two pounds a week if you add an exercise program. This is safely sustainable and you won't be starving yourself any more.
Exercise to increase your weight loss.
You will rarely find exercise mentioned with quick weight loss and fad diet, primarily because exercise is work and they are trying to push your "easy" button. Most quick weight loss and fad diets dramatically reduce your caloric intake, which can lead to a quick initial weight loss, but it jacks your metabolism around and the weight will come back as soon as you eat normally again. Plus, most quick weight loss diets don't provide the same health benefits as a balanced diet and exercise.
With all of the various exercise routines out there, at least experts agree on one thing: The best exercise routines include a balance of cardio and strength training. Cardio helps exercise and strengthen the heart and circulatory system, while the strength training tends to build lean muscle mass. Everyone agrees that lean muscle mass is heavier than fat, so a physically fit person will look slim and trim compared to a fattie of the same weight and height. Regular exercise will also help you feel better, leading to a lot of other positive benefits. If you have a lot of stress in your life, you should also consider yoga for stretching and relaxation.
Once you are up to speed, if you get three to five hours a week of cardio exercise, and one or two hours a week of strength training, you will see significant changes in your body shape and fitness level.
The health benefits of exercise are well known, and include improved mood and better sleep, not to mention stronger, leaner body. Exercise also protects your heart and wards off metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. Quick weight loss diets can't touch any of these benefits.
Exercise doesn't need to be the kind of "dreary work out at the gym" program that many people tend to use. It can be found nearly everywhere. Gardening or home improvement projects, playing with the kids at the park, swimming, dancing, or participating in community sports are all ways of getting appropriate exercise without spending all of your time in the gym. I'm sure you can think of many others that not only provide good exercise, but are fun too!
Avoid Starvation Diets
The news and pulp magazines are full of reports of celebrities who drank nothing but [fill in your favorite fad food of the week here] to quickly slim down for a role. What we don't hear about is the aftermath: The rebound weight gain as soon as they ended their diet, and the increase in difficulty losing weight later due to messing up their metabolism.
Watch out for any quick weight loss plan that talks about "retaining water" as if it is a bad thing. Your body NEEDS water, and the sad fact is that most Americans are close to dehydration anyway due to imbalanced diets and other excesses. Most of us are so close that even as few as a couple of days without normal water intake can put us in the hospital. (I know this from personal experience, having collapsed from dehydration because my throat hurt so bad I avoided normal drinking and eating minimally for only a couple of days. That's one hospital stay I really won't be repeating.) Most of these fad and quick weight loss diets are extremely stressful to your body. They just aren't worth the health risk. At best, you'll end up tired, hungry, grouchy, dehydrated, and heavier than before. At worst, you could seriously damage your metabolism, making it impossible to lose weight later, even when you eat very few calories.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Don't set yourself up for failure. Choose a reasonable weight target for your body type and height. Trying to get your weight down to that of an anorexic looking boy-girl model just isn't reasonable unless you've got twigs for bones and don't mind a short, miserable life from all of the damage done to your body by the quick loss diets and their related issues.
In summary, the Fact is that Quick Loss Diets can work, but they are only temporary and many are plain dangerous to your continued well being. The Fallacy is that they can give you what you want, beyond a very brief instant while you are on their miserable routine.
Only a reasonable plan that includes maintaining a healthy weight by keeping your body healthy will get you where you should be. Feed your body a well balanced diet, move it often, stay hydrated and it will perform at its peak for you, for a long time to come.