Obesity and being overweight is a common problem in today’s world. It is no wonder why people want to lose pounds, and lose them really fast. In this post, I’m going to break down extreme weight loss methods that are common and you should stop doing.
By reading this article you could realize that a method you previously thought was healthy for weight loss, is something you shouldn’t do.
How much weight should you lose per week
How much weight are you supposed to lose each week?
Well most people will tell you that 2 pounds a week in fine before you start seeing negative drawbacks.
But that number looks very different for someone who is 100 pounds vs 200 pounds.
Instead try to aim for losing 0.5% to 1% of your body weight each week.
Fad diets are typically trendy approaches to eating that promise fast results fairly easily. An example of a fad diet would be the egg diet, which sees the individual consuming mostly eggs as their meals.
The originators have their reasons and beliefs, maybe it worked for them, that influence them to influence others to jump on the bandwagon.
Fad diets tend to draw a lot of attention because of the promised results as well as the uniqueness each one tends to have.
What’s wrong with fad diets?
Fad diets are extreme weight loss methods you should avoid because they develop unhealthy habits and relationships with food. They also don’t typically improve your long term health.
Most dieters tend to fail and gain weight back by following shortcuts.
After all the promised hope, if the diet doesn’t work for you, you might just give up on dieting all together.
And if you succeed?
What happens when you go back to a normal lifestyle? You won’t know how to maintain a healthy weight because you only learned how to eat eggs all day.
What to do instead of fad diets
Instead of fad diets, just learn how to eat healthy.
That should be the primary goal regardless of whether you aim to lose weight, gain it, or just stay where you are.
Create healthy habits and try to eat balanced meals.
Extremely low calorie diets
Extremely low calorie diets are ones that are below 1200 calories each day.
That is the most common recommended calorie level that you should at minimum be hitting daily.
On an extremely low calorie diet, you are below that maybe even greatly.
The goal here is to make a huge calorie deficit to shed off as many pounds as possible.
What’s wrong with extremely low calorie diets?
There is a reason it’s not suggested to eat so little.
For one, you might lose a lot of weight, but a lot of muscle will go along with it as you are providing your body with sufficient nutrients to maintain whatever lean body mass you had.
Normally, you want to be targeting fat not muscle.
Next, it’s unsustainable long term. Your body will be sending you signals to just eat, probably more powerful than your will power.
Third. If you can maintain this type of eating long term, you are going to ruin your health. Your whole system will be thrown out of whack.
Hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies.
All of that will leave you feeling worse than just being overweight.
What to instead
Make a smaller calorie deficit.
Going at a slower pace will help you preserve muscle, and it is probably going to be a lot more sustainable in the long run.
When wanting to use extreme weight loss methods, some people turn to tons and tons of exercise.
This can be a 3 hour lifting session at the gym.
Maybe a 5 mile run, every day.
If you can produce more energy then you bring in, you will lose some weight.
What wrong with it
Overdoing it in the gym is not going to make up for the triple stack of pancakes drenched in syrup that you had this morning.
Exercise is great, but the amount you need to do to offset bad nutritional choices is ridiculous.
Generally speaking, if you ran a mile, you would burn about 100 calories.
A little snickers bar has 250.
That’s the same as running two and a half miles.
Doing all that movement could lead to injuries too, there isn’t a lot of rest if you are running and lifting each day.
That tiny example shows you that you just can’t outrun a bad diet.
What to do instead
Combining healthy choices both in the kitchen and at the gym will give you the best long term results.
Keeping energy levels up, while eating balanced meals and having a calorie deficit will let you relax a little more and still shed pounds.
Juice cleanse, lose muscle mass no protein
Juice cleanses are very popular.
The idea is that you can eliminate toxins in your body. Maybe even let your digestive system have a break.
Juice cleanses also happen to be a popular weight loss strategy.
Drinking all of your calories could keep you full all day, even if you do need to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes.
Little drawbacks for losing weight, right?
What’s wrong with it?
Juice cleanses are on this list of extreme weight loss methods because they do in fact have downsides.
If you lose weight while drinking smoothies and juices, you probably are not consuming much if any protein.
All that weight you lost as a result will probably be muscle.
Second, liquid calories tend to be a lot of calories.
A measuring cup of apple juice, for example, has about 115 calories.
If you drink these things all day, you might be consuming more than you did before.
What to do instead
Know that there aren’t shortcuts.
Shortcuts usually lead to short results.
And in this case you probably end up back tracking.
Fat free or carb free
There has long been a social astigmatism towards fats and carbs.
Some people believe that those two macronutrients are the main causes of weight gain.
By simply cutting one or both out, the idea is that the weight should come off fairly easily.
What wrong with it
All of the macronutrients play an important role in the body.
Protein is the building block.
Carbs provide energy.
Fats are also used for energy, and they do other things like allow the absorption of certain nutrients.
By missing out on carbs or fat, you could be doing a disservice to your body by not providing it with the right tools to maintain normal functions.
What to do instead
Don’t treat any foods as villainous.
They all have their important role.
Instead, learn what is too much or too little.
Meal planning could be a good start. It doesn’t have to be long term, but doing it for any amount of time could open your eyes to better understand how a diet should be.
Tracking your calories to the last bit and watching how many minutes of exercise you get each day can lead to some pretty good results.
If you know you should be eating 1500 calories to lose 2 pounds a week for your own lifestyle, then making sure you hit that number basically ensures the result.
I fell victim to this trap for a couple years. I had good results, but gained some problems too.
What wrong with obsessive tracking
I put tracking down as one of the extreme weight loss methods because it can lead to trouble.
I for one could not control my weight unless I was tracking everything.
A long time passed before my diet was under control with mindfulness not constant food logging.
That is the habit you can fall victim to. Having a set plan is good. But not learning how to do without one is bad.
You probably would need to meticulously track to maintain a 6 pack beach ready body.
For general good health, it’s not necessary.
What to do instead
Instead of tracking everything, learn how to change your health related habits.
Kick the urge to snack on twinkies in the middle of the night or eat a whole pizza as a saturday treat.
Learn how to reach for fruit when craving something because you know that it’s going to make you feel better then some M&Ms.
Now you know what kind of cheap weight loss tricks to avoid. Be honest with yourself if you do them, and cut them out.
Consider pairing these new habits with a weight lifting program too.
Resistance training has many healthy benefits including weight related ones.
Get a free workout plan I have created here.