How to detect a ‘rip off’ weight loss plan
If a weight loss program prescribes a reduction in calories below your BMR together with:
- no exercise or physical effort
- unrealistic promises of fast weight loss or
- sales of the latest cream, pill or potion,
you can be confident that it is a scam! Such ‘magical’ programs will not only disappoint you through lack of promised results, but they may also harm your health, not to mention burning a hole in your pocket.
Some side-effects of such programs may include:
- loss of lean tissue (predominantly muscle), causing your BMR to decrease. In short, this mean that fat gain occurs when normal calorie intake is resumed (remember the twins) … hence the so-called yo-yo syndrome
- loss of vital nutrition
- a lack of energy and endurance, which automatically reduces fat-burning activity
Many commercial programs actually discourage exercise, particularly weight training. The reason behind this is that they teach you to measure your progress by the scales. They want you to see quick results, therefore, loss of muscle tissue is going to show a greater reduction in total body weight – very deceiving! If you were to retain your lean tissue (muscle) and lose only stored body fat, this would hinder their desired outcome on the scales!
Even if these magic diet plans do not appear to be focusing on calorie restriction, they usually are. Low fat means low calorie, plain and simple. Fat has the highest value of calories of all the nutrients we consume. One gram of fat has nine calories, one gram of protein or carbohydrates has four calories. You may automatically reduce your total calorie intake when you begin to eat the types of food that your body requires for optimal nourishment. When the body is satisfied with a balanced, daily intake of vitamins, minerals and all essential nutrients, your volume of food may be greater, however, the caloric value is quite often less and you lose food cravings. It is still important, however, not to drop below your basal metabolic requirement.
The human body is a remarkable machine. It will adapt and adjust its system to preserve life. I t will continue to fine-tune all systems and functions as we try to trick and out-smart it. If your main focus is on the bathroom scales, you are probably quite proud of yourself for exhibiting the willpower to diligently adhere to your latest calorie restrictions.
As many of us have discovered, it takes incredible willpower to voluntarily sustain feelings of hunger for prolonged periods of time. Restricting calories is like holding your breath … when you begin to breathe again, you gasp for copious amounts of oxygen; after calorie deprivation you are desperate to feast!
With the lower metabolic rate you have created by losing valuable muscle tissue, that fat will be cascading down those thighs again in no time! I think that most of us, men and women alike, would like to re-shape our bodies, as opposed to keeping the same shape and just getting a little smaller. If you do not focus your efforts on changing your body composition, but instead on weight loss, at best, you will become a smaller version of the shape you are now and probably not permanently. Generally, after several attempts at this spasmodic ritual, our bodies look and feel in worse shape than when we began!
Perhaps this explains why the latest research has proven that 95% of all weight loss clinic clientele regain lost weight.
It is usually at this point that we begin to search for blame. Age is one reason I hear repeatedly. As we age we become less active, full stop! Picture a family get-together. What are the children doing and what are the adults doing? Well, I immediately see the image of adults lazing around the food area, eating, drinking and catching up on the latest gossip … probably complaining about how they have just eaten too much food! The children, however, are running, playing and are far too busy to even think about food, until their parents force them to sit still for long enough to eat something!
And, you must have heard this: ‘It gets harder and harder to lose weight as you get older and, anyway, you are more susceptible to injuries if you exercise too much’.
Obviously, as we get older, we have more responsibilities, less time, perhaps a sedentary job, a vehicle to take us everywhere – excuses, excuses, excuses! We create these habits, so therefore it is completely within our power to make changes, at the very least, to modify our lifestyle, without great time commitments, to allow for a healthier and more active existence.
Changing the nutritional composition of your diet in ways that are compatible with your lifestyle, and increasing your daily activity and therefore the calories burned, combine to give you a sustainable, logical and healthy method of losing stored body fat … forever!