weight loss

Lose one pound a week

Image via Wikipedia

If you’ve never heard of “fad diets” before, they are weight loss plans that are followed for a short period of time for the purpose of quickly shedding pounds and inches.

Sounds great, right?

This combination of speed and simplicity is what draws millions of people a year to various fad diets – all of them hoping that they can quickly lose fat and get the body they dream of having.

If fad diets were actually based on sound nutritional principles, this would be a wonderful thing.  Obesity has become a major problem in our modern world, and a slimmer population would be a healthier, more productive population.

Unfortunately, most fad diets are not only bad for you – many of them can be dangerous.

Why?

Because in order for your body to release a lot of weight in a short period of time, some pretty drastic actions must be taken.

Actions like cutting down your caloric intake far below what your body actually needs; or ingesting diuretics to release a large amount of water from your body.

Sure, this may help you lose weight initially, but at what cost?

Before you consider following a fad diet, it’s important to educate yourself about the pros and cons, the risks and dangers.

This guide is going to share 7 important things you need to know about fad diets.  You’ll discover why they are so destructive, how they distract you from the true source of the problem, why they won’t give you the results you want, and much more.

Then I’ll reveal an alternative to fad diets that works just as effectively, just as quickly, and is much safer.

Important Note:
The information in this guide is intended for educational purposes only and
should not be construed as professional health advice.  Consult your
doctor before beginning any weight loss or fitness program.

Fad Diet Fact #1 – Fad Diets Are Difficult To Stick To

Part of the appeal of fad diets is that they are marketed as being “simple” or “easy to follow”.  And at first glance, they may seem that way.

For example, drinking a lemonade concoction a few times a day instead of eating solid food; or eating several servings of soup each day.

You hear this and think to yourself, “I can do that!”  It seems like a nice change from the drudgery of counting calories or exercising until you drop.

So you eagerly embark on your easy new diet plan, sipping soup or lemonade or doing other activities that seem just as quick and easy.

But after a few days, a week, two weeks . . . it starts to feel harder and harder as you battle unpleasant side effects and boredom.  You start to hate the limitations, the flavors, the rigidity of the program you’ve chosen.

You start feeling just as confined and frustrated as most regular diet plans make you feel.

Before long, sticking to the diet seems like the hardest thing in the world to do, and for good reason!

Fad diets are not meant to be followed for long periods of time.

If you have a large amount of weight to lose, you may have started a fad diet with the intention of following it for a couple of months, or even longer.  But that intention will dwindle as the days wear on and you realize that it’s not going to be easy.

While most fad diets are “simple,” some are actually complex and involved, requiring you to eat foods in a certain combination; or at certain times of the day; or they require a lot of planning, shopping, and preparation.

Needless to say, these types of diets can be even more draining and boring than the simple ones!

Later on in this guide I’m going to share a super-simple eating plan with you that will trump the appeal of any fad diet.

First, let’s move on with the fad diet facts:

Fad Diet Fact #2 –Disappointing Results

One of the major reasons why people flock to fad diets is because they promise FAST RESULTS.

Who can resist the appeal of dropping 5, 10, 15, or 20 pounds within a short period of time?  Fad diets are very tempting just for the instant gratification factor.

It’s true that most fad diets will force your body to lose weight quickly, but this will vary from person to person, and from diet to diet.

Some people experience the opposite on fad diets; they don’t lose any weight at all, or even gain weight!  Most often this is because they shock their body into survival mode so it holds onto the weight in self-defense, or it could be that some of the components of the diet promote weight gain.

It’s understandable that people want to lose weight fast – if you need to lose weight, fast is better than slow, right?

But is fast always better?  Not when it comes to your health and well-being.

What most people fail to understand is that rapid weight loss usually comes along with some negative consequences.  Either you put your health in jeopardy, or you feel rotten as the weight comes off, or you slow down your metabolism.

There is always a price to pay!  There is no such thing as snapping your fingers and magically dropping pounds.

But it gets worse.  Not only will your fast weight loss cause some problems, you’ll also gain the weight right back after you stop the diet.  And you WILL stop the diet – you simply can’t continue following a fad diet forever.

What will you do when you gain the weight back?  Probably go on another fad diet to lose it.  Then gain it back.  Then lose it again.

Fad dieting creates a vicious yo-yo cycle; constantly bouncing back and forth between losing and gaining weight.

Not only is this bad for your health, it’s incredibly frustrating!

Like many other people, you probably don’t think about this before you start a fad diet.  You just see the exciting possibilities for losing weight quickly and don’t think beyond that point.  Only after stopping the diet do you realize you’re worse off than you were before you started the diet.

Fad Diet Fact #3 – Cause Loss Of Energy

Another thing about fad diets that most people overlook is the negative impact they have on your energy level and mood.

Since most fad diets don’t provide adequate nutrition and calories, it’s very common for people following them to feel extremely tired, sluggish, and irritable.

You may suffer from headaches, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, poor concentration, restlessness, impatience, trouble sleeping, and more.

Sometimes the creators of fad diets claim that these symptoms will last only a few days, but they can often drag on for much longer than that.

The fact is that your body needs a certain amount of fuel to function properly.  Your brain needs nutrients to function properly.  Your muscles and organs need nutrients to function properly.

If you don’t provide those things for your body, it’s not going to operate at its best, and you are going to feel terrible because of it.

One possible solution to this problem is to schedule your diet for a time when you can stay home from work and sleep a lot.

But many people don’t have that luxury.  They take care of children all day, or they have a demanding job, or they have other obligations that just can’t be set aside easily.

If you have obligations like these, keep them in mind before you decide to start a fad diet that will tax your energy too much.  If it would be difficult for you to function effectively in your life while you feel so run down and tired, it’s just not worth doing that to yourself.

Likewise for the mood swings and irritability that many fad diets cause.  Losing weight is great, but not if it turns you into a cranky beast for weeks on end!  Not only will YOU feel miserable, you’ll probably make life difficult for the people you have to interact with each day.

You may be thinking, “Well, at least it’s temporary.  Once I stop the diet I’ll go back to feeling normal again.”

Yes, but you’ll also start gaining weight back, which will create a certain level of crankiness (or at least disappointment and frustration) all its own.

Fad Diet Fact #4 – Constantly Craving Food

Most people also fail realize that fad diets usually cause intense hunger and dissatisfaction.  Why do fad diets leave you so hungry and dissatisfied?

There are a few reasons:

1) Too few calories.

If you cut down your calorie intake too far, you will struggle with strong hunger pangs all day long.  You should never reduce your caloric intake below 1,000 calories a day – and for most people even that will be far too little.

A general rule of thumb for caloric intake is to multiply your goal weight by 10.  So for a goal weight of 130 pounds, that would be 1,300 calories a day.

Your actual caloric needs may be different, however.  Speak to a nutritionist or doctor to figure out the right calorie range for you.

2) Fat, sugar and carbohydrates.

Many fad diets rely on the strict reduction or elimination of fat, sugar, and carbohydrates from the body, which can greatly stimulate hunger and leave you feeling constantly ravenous no matter how many other foods you eat.  Dietary fat helps to create a feeling of satisfaction and fullness.  If you cut down your fat intake too far, you’ll feel like you are starving.

On the other hand, some fad diets encourage the consumption of a lot of simple carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar spikes and dips, which can also stimulate hunger.

3) Boredom.

Finally, fad diets often encourage the consumption of only one or a few key foods, leaving you feeling bored and dissatisfied with your daily diet.

Now consider, what is likely to happen if you go too many days feeling very hungry, dissatisfied and bored with your diet?

That’s right, you are much more likely to go on a major BINGE and eat everything in sight.  You’ll reach a point where you just can’t stand it any longer and rebel against the diet and start gaining weight back.

Fad Diet Fact #5 – Health Problems

Fad diets can also cause some serious health problems, including nutritional deficiencies, extreme blood sugar fluctuations, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, heart palpitations and arrhythmia, impaired kidney function, severe dehydration, diarrhea, constipation, and a sluggish metabolism.

Most people who start a fad diet are doing so because they want to be slim and healthy.  Maybe they don’t think too much about the healthy part at first because vanity often takes center stage – at least on an emotional level.

But we all know that being slender is usually healthier than being overweight.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.  So most people will look at a diet as a good thing, without considering the bodily harm it can do.

Part of the problem is that many of us have the “it would never happen to me” syndrome.  We hear the horror stories that happen to other people, but we have a false sense of invincibility when it comes to our own health.

Do you feel this way too?

Do you think that your body is resilient enough to bounce back from the harm you inflict upon it?

It may be, but then again it might not.

It’s very common for people who were in otherwise great health before starting a fad diet to start losing weight, experience side effects from the diet, go off the diet, gain the weight back and still retain some negative symptoms from the diet – so they end up worse off than they were before they ever started the diet.

If you don’t want to risk that happening to you, fad diets are best avoided.

Even if the only consequence you faced from a fad diet was a slower metabolism, wouldn’t that be bad enough?  Losing weight is hard enough without adding that challenge to your experience.

Even if the rest of the facts in this guide don’t sway you to stay away from fad diets, let this one fact speak loudly to you.

Your health is too precious to put at risk.

Fad Diet Fact #6- Do Not Focus On The Cause

Probably one of the most destructive aspects of fad diets is that they distract you from the true problem.

What is the true problem when it comes to being overweight?  It’s not the extra pounds you are carrying on your body.  It’s not your weakness for sweets.  It’s not cravings or laziness.

It is:  poor lifestyle habits.

A fad diet only distracts you from that fact and wastes time while you lose and gain weight in unhealthy, destructive ways.

•    A fad diet won’t teach you how to eat healthfully.
•    A fad diet won’t teach you about nutrition.
•    A fad diet won’t recommend daily exercise.
•    A fad diet won’t teach you about portion control.
•    A fad diet won’t teach you how to handle emotional cravings.
•    A fad diet won’t teach you how to honor and respect your body.

All it does is confuse you, get your hopes up, and let you down in the end.

If you never learn good health habits, you’ll never escape the yo-yo weight loss trap!  You’ll spend years losing and gaining the same weight over and over again – and maybe even keep gaining a little bit more with every cycle so you have still more to lose next time.

Right now you may be thinking, “I don’t care; I just want fast results now” – but you should care.  You should care because your health and peace of mind are at risk.

What if I told you that it’s much easier than you think to lose weight quickly and permanently without fad diets?  What if you could lose weight just once and keep it off for good?  What if you didn’t have to eat strange and unpleasant foods, but could instead enjoy a wide variety of delicious foods all day long?

All of this can be accomplished just by changing your health habits!

We’ll go more into that in a moment, but first let’s look at a positive aspect of fad diets.  Yes, there are one or two positive aspects to fad diets.

Here’s one of the best:

Fad Diet Fact #7 –May Boost Your Motivation

One of the best things that fad diets have going for them is that they can be incredibly motivating.  Most often, there will be a “buzz” about a specific fad diet – people start talking about it in person, online, the media catches wind of it, celebrities claim success with it . . . and the next thing you know, you can’t wait to try it yourself!

If you have a circle of friends and co-workers who decide to try it with you, you’ll be even more motivated and excited about it.

The problem is that this intense motivation doesn’t last very long.

Within a few days, a week, maybe two weeks at most, you start feeling restless, bored, and eager to be done with the diet.

It doesn’t matter what kind of diet you follow; if you don’t feel motivated, you simply won’t be committed and put forth the consistent effort needed to lose the weight.

The good news is that you don’t need a fad diet to motivate you!

Motivation is all in your head.  In fact, ask yourself right now why fad diets are so motivating.  It’s because you get excited about the results, right?  You can do that with any weight loss plan, fad or not.

The true secret to getting and staying motivated is ENTHUSIASM.

The more enthusiastic you are, the more motivated you will be.  So, how do you get enthusiastic?  Focus on the benefits!

With any diet or weight loss plan you consider, think about the benefits you will gain from it.

•    Weight loss
•    Better health
•    Confidence
•    Accomplishment
•    Pride
•    Flexibility
•    Strength
•    Sex appeal

Those are worth getting excited about, right?

An Alternative to Fad Diets

All right; I think we’ve established that fad diets are a complete waste of time.  They are ineffective, draining, disappointing, and even dangerous.  Fad diets may have a few merits, but those positive aspects pale in comparison to the glaring problems that come along with them.

So, does that mean you are stuck with a slow, unexciting diet plan if you want to lose weight?  Not at all!  I’m going to share a very simple, enjoyable, good-tasting eating plan that is safe for virtually everyone.  *Please check with your doctor first; everyone is different and you may have unique health concerns that could be affected by dietary changes.

Note that these are just general guidelines, NOT a strict diet plan.  It’s simply not necessary to be severely restrictive for the purposes of losing weight and improving your health.  Instead, see these guidelines as a flexible approach to forming healthy lifestyle habits for the rest of your life.

Eliminating Refined Sugar

The very first thing to consider is how much refined sugar you consume on a daily basis.  “Refined sugar” means granulated white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey . . . and all of the sweetened products that contain them.

If you are like most people, you are probably consuming far too much sugar, and it contributes to weight gain big time!  Do you drink a lot of soda or sweetened tea or coffee?  Do you eat a lot of candy, cookies, cake, or donuts?  Do you eat sweetened cereals?

All of these products are considered to be “simple carbohydrates” and they wreak havoc on your weight.  They cause a sharp rise in your blood glucose levels shortly after you eat them, and then a “crash” as your blood sugar plummets back down again.  That triggers strong hunger pangs and cravings for still more sweets.  The more sweets you eat, the more sweets you’ll want to eat!

Eliminating these products from your diet will cause you to start losing weight – often quickly!  You’ll also feel better and have more energy without them.  Having an occasional sweet treat is fine for most people, but only in moderation.

If you think you’ll struggle to eliminate sweets from your diet, start slowly.  Remove one or two things each week until you are abstaining almost completely.

Eating Whole Foods

Instead of sugary, refined foods, eating more “whole” foods (meaning as close to their original form as possible) is one of the best ways to lose weight and improve your health.  Whole foods would be:  vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, animal or vegetable protein sources (meat, fish, poultry, beans, soy), whole grains, and dairy products.

Obviously, opting for lower fat versions of protein and dairy products is ideal, but you don’t have to eliminate fat from your diet completely – in fact you shouldn’t.  Your body needs dietary fat.  Experts recommend keeping your daily fat intake to 30% of your total calories.  So if you are eating 1,500 calories a day, 450 of those calories can come from fat.

It’s important to eat a BALANCED diet too, which means including foods from all 4 food groups daily.  You wouldn’t want to eat just vegetables, or just fruit, or any one type of food alone.  Enjoy a wide range of delicious foods!  There are so many to choose from and you can find endless healthy recipes online for free.

Drinking More Water

Being fully hydrated is also a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, and there are so many good reasons to be very committed to it.  First of all, it helps you lose weight much faster and easier; you’ll have a ton more energy; you’ll be able to think clearer; your skin and hair will look better, and you will even look slimmer before you’ve lost an ounce of fat!  That’s plenty of motivation, right?

Experts recommend drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day, which is 8 glasses of 8 ounces each.  If you have to increase your water consumption gradually, that’s fine.

Exercising Daily

Last but not least, physical exercise is also important.  Before you groan and complain, you’ll be glad to know that as little as 30 minutes a day can do wonders in improving your health and shrinking your waistline.  Seek out exercises you’ll enjoy like dancing, bicycling, swimming, or yoga.  You’ll be more likely to stick with it long term if you do.

These guidelines don’t seem as exciting as the latest fad diet, do they?  They aren’t, in a way.  But in another way they can be!  Get excited about feeling better than you ever have before!  Get excited about losing weight and keeping it off for good!  Get excited about feeling great about your body!  Remember, motivation is all in your head.  Find reasons to feel good about your healthy lifestyle habits and they will suddenly seem a lot more appealing.

lose one pound

weight loss

weight loss

Fatigue and weight loss is a common complaint when starting a weight loss program. Healthy eating and weight loss will ultimately give you more energy; however, you may be doing some things that are contributing to a lack of energy.

Take a look at these 5 common causes of fatigue with weight loss and see if any of them may be contributing to your lack of energy:

Fatigue and weight loss Cause #1 – Inadequate Calorie Intake

When we start a weight loss program we tend to be highly motivated and what to achieve weight loss success  as fast as possible. This can lead to cutting calories more than you should. A certain amount of your daily caloric intake will be needed to fuel the needs of your body to perform your daily activities, metabolize food, and exercise.  You definitely don’t want to starve yourself because you’ll only slow down your metabolism and struggle with low energy.  If your  body does not have enough fuel to keep it functioning properly you will feel tired, sluggish, and experience clouded thinking. Make it a priority to eat lots of vegetables, fruit, water, lean protein, and healthy fats to boost your metabolism for fat burning and keep your energy levels up.

Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #2 – Inadequate Protein Intake

Protein provides the energy to get you through the day.  It helps you to build and repair healthy muscle tissue, which makes you physically stronger so you have more stamina.  Include a serving of protein in every meal and snack, and opt for lean protein over fatty protein.  Eat lean chicken and turkey, beans and lentils, tofu, low fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, fish and seafood.  Protein keeps you feeling full longer than carbohydrates, and provides a ton of energy for the small amount you need to eat to feel satisfied.

Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #3 – Inadequate Fat Intake

We’ve been given the message that “fat is bad” but nothing could be further from the truth!  Our bodies need fat for energy, to help us feel satisfied and content, to help us absorb certain vitamins and minerals, to help our skin and hair feel and look healthier, and much more.  The key is to eat fats that are good for you and avoid the ones that contribute to heart disease.  Good sources of fat are fish like salmon and mackerel, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.

Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #4 – Inadequate Water Intake

Our bodies need water even more than they need fat.  If you don’t drink enough water, you cause your body to go into a sort of “survival mode”.  It tries to retain as much water as possible to protect vital organ functions, and you end up feeling sluggish and fatigued.  When you drink plenty of water, everything in your body just works better.  Your thoughts are clearer, your organs function better, your joints feel better, your muscles are stronger – and yes, you have much more energy.

Fatigue and Weight Loss Cause #5 – Excessive Exercise

Exercise is a crucial element of your weight loss plan; however, it is easy to over do it when first starting a weight loss program. If you have been sedentary for a period of time it is best to take things slow until your conditioning improves. Try exercising 30 minutes per day. If that is too strenuous then break your exercise regimen into 5-10 minute sessions and build up to 30 minutes per day as your strength and conditioning improves.

Make an appointment with your doctor before even starting your diet and exercise for weight loss routine to make sure it is safe and you do not have some  medical condition or taking a medication  that could contribute to fatigue. Underlying heart disease, lung disease, anemia, blood pressure medication, and sedatives can all potentially cause you to feel fatigued.

 

weight loss