By: Ann Corwin Marix, ACE-CPT, LMT
We are a society of dreamers who wish upon a star for the quick fix, the easy way out, the ‘diet’ or ‘pill’ that takes all the work and worries out of losing weight and touts to make it ‘just happen’! WAKE UP, the Get Real alarm has just gone off! Now don’t get me wrong, there are some ‘miracle’ diets and pills that can help you shed weight quickly and there are many people going that route. What people don’t realize, or choose to ignore, is the fact these quick and easy weight loss plans set your body up for disappointment and worse, detrimental health issues down the road.
Here are a few that top the charts in dangerously low caloric intake:
HCG diet: With this plan, you are injected with the HCG hormone (or sublingual drops) which is said to assist in losing weight. In the meantime, you are required to sustain a very low calorie plan (500 to 800 calories per day). A diet below 1,000 calories is extremely unhealthy for the body. Can you lose weight on this? Yes, you can but the golden rule in weight loss- the faster it comes off, the more likely you will regain it. In addition, the HCG has not been proven to provide any positive results, and furthermore, science has not confirmed if it is safe to inject HCG when you are not producing it naturally. And to reiterate once again, the low caloric intake is just not healthy.
Master Cleanse: This plan proposes 10 days of drinking a lemon/maple syrup/cayenne pepper concoction several times a day, a quart of salt water in the am and an herbal laxative tea in the evening. Once again, we are looking at 650-1000 calories with NO key nutrients such as proteins, calcium, iron, or zinc. A day or two to ‘cleanse’ the system (and I use the term cleanse loosely…no pun) may not do a great deal of damage but consider this; the body will devour itself and any lean body mass you previously had will be gone. Once you start eating again, you will gain fat, not muscle and hence become a fatter version of your original self.
Zerona: A cold laser treatment that penetrates the skin causing the release of unwanted fat from your hips, waist, and thighs. It is said to release via the lymphatic system. Interestingly enough, it is required that 2 weeks prior to the treatment, you are given a daily regimen to follow. Drink eight to ten 8oz glasses of water daily, exercise at least 30 minutes per day, and eat a balanced meal…so…I’m thinking if you follow the suggested regimen for 2 weeks or more, you can lose weight without spending the big dollars on the dancing laser lights…just a thought…
Breatharian Diet: Yes it’s real and yes I put it here because, well, I just needed a good laugh. This diet promotes living on air alone…no food or water. It is believed by following this plan, you align yourself with the universe and there is no need for food… I hesitate to go further with this because I think we can figure this one out, but here goes: in survival mode, the body can only go a few days without water and a few weeks without food…the world may be a rat race and the survival of the fittest, but there is food and water available no need to go without! Again, depleting the body of calories and nutrition will not do a body good.
In summary, these are all low or no calorie diets so losing weight is inevitable but also an unhealthy and unrealistic way to do so. You would not want to continue any of these as a long term lifestyle so why damage your body by doing them short term? There are many healthy eating plans available and the ones that make sense follow these simple rules:
- Eat 3 meals a day and 2 healthy snacks in between meals. Try to eat every 3-4 hours
- Eliminate or reduce alcohol intake, white starches, processed sugars and foods
- Balance meals with proteins, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates
- Ensure your vitamins and supplements are top grade and pertinent to your needs
- Maintain a daily water intake with a minimum of ½ your weight in ounces
- Avoid diets that eliminate healthy vegetables, proteins, etc. unless you have been diagnosed with a particular disease/disorder that requires the elimination of certain food items.
So when it comes to healthy eating, GET REAL, and avoid the fast pass lane to weight loss. The long term results are more permanent, and healthier than the short term, unrealistic options out there!
About the Author – Ann Corwin Marix
Ann’s start in health and wellness was (and still is) as a masseuse after, believe or not, hiring a personal trainer. See athletics, exercise and activity have always been a major part of my life; but over time life seemed to take over – work; raising a child; keeping a household took its toll and my “Me-time” seemed to disappear. Long story short, what was going to be a time to make myself feel better (by getting a massage after some a personal training session) became an eye opening experience and drove me to obtain my massage license and help others in relieving pain from injuries, trauma, or simply everyday life. Wanting to get back into exercise, I became a Jazzercise instructor and then wanting a closer relationship with clients, followed that experience by becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Certified TRX Instructor. I love providing my clients with a unique and fun approach to help motivate and drive to obtain the results they want