Radical Weight Loss: Don’t Do It

radical weight loss

There are times as we flip through the Sunday magazine inserts that we read about certain lucky folks who were successful in losing “15lbs in 17 days” or “50lbs in 30 days” and I have to admit that there have been times that I’ve sat back and thought, “What if..?” Radical weight loss is a phenomenon that’s gained some credibility over the past several years but my advice is – don’t do it.

We aren’t exactly treading new ground here as we’ve discussed some artificial methods such as diet pills that are available on the market that will supposedly shed pounds of weight in a heartbeat, but we’ve questioned their effectiveness and the trauma that they cause on overall body health. The human body is not “happy” with quick weight shedding as it puts too much stress on bodily functions. Large amounts of weight loss usually involve the loss or transfer of water, fluids, and electrolytes which if left uncontrolled, can be disastrous. We see evidence of this type of radical weight loss in the acting and wrestling communities.

Actors on many occasions have to lose weight to play a certain role or to show aging over time during the course of the movie. Some that come to mind are Tom Hanks in “Castaway” and for “The Philadelphia Story”, Matthew McConaughey in “The Dallas Buyers Club”, and Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables. All of these parts demanded that the character in question exhibit huge weight loss. Hathaway lived on a 500 calorie diet to drop weight while McConaughey ran an all liquid diet which brought his weight down to a paltry 135lbs. This type of stuff is definitely not recommended. Remember that actors who adopt these methods are usually under constant medical supervision.

Wrestlers, and sometimes boxers face the same dilemma when trying to make a weight before a big fight. Many times if a fighter has tipped the scales over his weight, diuretics will be used, particularly at the lower level of the sports, to rid the body of water fast, so dropping weight. Again, this is an example of radical weight loss that is most certainly harmful to your health. Many experts believe that Muhammad Ali’s Parkinson’s Syndrome affliction was brought on by the excessive use of diuretics while trying to make weights for his title fights.

In my humble opinion, there are no quick, easy ways to lose weight that don’t put the human body under some terribly hard stresses. When losing weight like that in large quantities, something is being lost which can’t be put back, and the body has to adjust to that. The older the person is, the more stressful the process. As always, my recommendation is to stick with what works using tried and tested diet regimens and exercise schedules.

..unless of course you have a big fight to get ready for or you’ve just landed the lead role in Robinson Crusoe

5 Ways to Keep the Scales Moving

drop weight fast

One of the most common reasons why people give up on weight loss programs is through lack of results. Initially, pounds drop off dramatically, and like any marathon runner will tell you, during the middle part of the race, things start to become more difficult, and in the case of the dieter, the weight reduction slows down. It’s at that crucial point that we must knuckle down and keep the scales moving.

Generally speaking, dieters realise results in vastly different ways. Some see weight fall off almost immediately and they achieve their goals quickly and easily whereas there are many people to whom weight loss is a daily struggle. Those who belong in that first category usually have gained 15-20lbs in a short period of time, maybe a year to eighteen months. Much of that weight is water, and can be lost quite readily. The second group that tend to take longer to achieve their goals, usually have gained weight over a much longer time period, maybe 4-5 years, and have failed to address their overweight issue. It is this group from which most of the “drop-outs” come.

Like anything else, dieting principles usually work if followed correctly and one reason why the scale has stopped dropping is that we have gotten away from what has been working, either through laziness or just complacency. Its those issues I’d like to address today and also offer some advice and tips on how to deal with “The Dieting Wall”.

1. Be sure NOT to consume more calories than you burn. PERIOD
Even if you have whole grain, lean meat, fish and fresh fruit on your diet, if the calorie intake is above what you are burning, you will not lose weight.

2. Lose the vegan/veggie obsession
Too much of one food group can cause the weight loss to flatten out. Revitalise your metabolism with an injection of protein and carbs. The tiredness will go away too.

3. Eat every 3-5 hours
Long periods between meal times can cause issues leading to possible diabetes. Keep the thought “little and often” at the top of your mind. Your body will thank you.

4. Drink plenty of water but do not waterlog yourself
Water is by far the least likely of any fluid that we drink to put weight on EXCEPT when you drown yourself in the stuff thinking that somehow you will “wash” away the weight. Moderation, people. Moderation.

5. Associate a lack of progress with a change in habits
Many people hit “The Wall” and then refuse to realise why it happened. Nine times out of ten it can be pinned down on a change in exercise schedule, diet regimen, or just plain not paying attention. Stay alert to your deficiencies.

These are just a few of the things we can do to make sure that we keep the scales moving not only through the good times, but also through the bad times too. If we can regularly go back to the basics of what we’ve learned here together over the past several months, that barrier that our bodies throw up in protest can be breached, and once it has, it can be plain sailing from thereon in.

Diet Pills: The Good, The Bad and The Just Plain Ugly

Diet Pill Fads

If ever you get a chance to venture inside one of those nutritional supplement stores (who shall remain nameless) you will see whole sections of the store devoted to diet pills, the so-called easiest way to lose weight – but do they work?

I hate to flog a dead horse here but I have to re-iterate that one of my main philosophical beliefs in the weight loss arena, is the development of a culture, an attitude if you will, that lasts with you long after the stringent diet schedules have been and gone. Diet pills represent, for me, at least, the worst type of aid that dieters resort to. Let me first say that not all products are the same but many diet pill products are very expensive, ineffective and what is worst of all, threatening to your health – the worst of all worlds.

Pills can come in all kinds of forms. There are products that have a diuretic effect which causes the body to lose fluids more rapidly than it consumes, so eliminating water and thus weight. There are those that suppress the body’s natural desire to eat, which by themselves are relatively harmless. The issue here is that the lack of hunger forces the body to reject all foods which can, in certain cases, prevent the user from consuming the necessary portions of essential foods such as protein and vitamins. Then there are those that increase stool production, which frankly, indicates some of the extremes that people are willing to go to in order to shed weight. You can see that there is a need to be careful here.

Realistically speaking, the most effective diet pills provide at best a 10% loss in weight over the short term. There are indications that even with the best products, the body tends to become immune to the dieting effects over 6 months or longer. Diuretic=based pills can lose more than 10% but are extremely dangerous in larger quantities. They can effect potassium concentrations in the body which can have adverse effects on the heart and nerve responses. As you can see, extreme care is needed for what can be potentially minimal results.

I have never felt the need to go to the extent of grabbing weight loss out of a bottle, but there are many people who need the extra help especially in cases of adverse medical conditions. In situations like this, obviously a doctor should be consulted. Research, and lots of it, is essential before embarking on any kind of doseage routine to ensure that first, the effectiveness of the products have been proven, and secondly, horrid after-effects such as anal seepage and hourly vomiting is avoided at all costs. Yuck!

I can only maintain that diet pills are for the dreamers who want to get results way faster than they, or their bodies for that matter, are capable of producing. Stick to what comes naturally and if that doesn’t work, seek expert medical advice, and when you pass that nutritional supplement store, do yourself a favor.

Keep on walking.

Does a Big Breakfast Help in Weight Loss?

big breakfast

I’m quite sure we all remember the rantings of our beloved parents when we were small who carried the torch for making sure we had a decent breakfast before we left for school each day. Breakfasts have long been seen as a relatively healthy way to eat a meal but recent studies have suggested that a big breakfast may in fact help in losing pounds faster than normal.

Researchers based in Israel studied a group of around 100 obese women. The women were split into two groups with all members consuming 1,400 calories per day. Group A split their usage with 700 cal at breakfast, 500 calories at lunch, and 200 at dinner. Group B reversed their routine with the 700 calorie meal being eaten at night and 200 calories for breakfast. After 9 weeks, the results showed that the women from Group A had lost an average of 18lbs, while those from Group B had lost an average of only 7lbs. Additionally, Group A women experienced a drop in levels of glucose, insulin, and triglycerides, all helping to improve cardiovascular health and exposure to diabetes.

The science behind these numbers takes on two main profiles. With a big breakfast, it’s thought that the body is able to piggyback on the it’s own Circadian rhythms which control hormones that process carbohydrates, proteins and fats. With the processes working at an optimum level in the morning hours, it seems that if the body can plow through the majority of the day’s calories at that time, less food will be stored as fat later on. Also, the lack of calorie intake during the evening hours, suggests that less calories will remain “unused” during sleeping hours. I can personally vouch that eating larger meals late in the evening contributes heavily to rapid weight gain.

Researchers did also admit that the study was probably not performed over a long enough period of time to be able to draw solid conclusions but frankly, if you can show almost double the weight loss using one diet plan over another, I think for the average man or woman in the street, that’s enough of a encouragement to maybe give the idea a shot. To me, the trick is not only the ratio of food eaten to the time of the day. Some experts have suggested that it is OK to go wild at breakfast and gobble down pancakes, ice cream, bacon and eggs. My first reaction is who would want to do that before going to work, but that type of attitude develops bad habits, and we know how I feel about that. I’d recommend still consuming a high protein meal with no shaving off of calories and throw in a couple of pancakes and a few extra eggs and sausages. Much of this is about how you feel afterwards too. I’m not sure a self-abusive meal at 7.00am gets me in the mood for a very productive day.

In conclusion, I think this study is very valuable in showing us how we can maybe re-distribute the food intake through our day to effect quicker change in our weight loss program. It seems that after all, a big breakfast can still be “The Meal of Champions”!