(I am going to start this blog post by fulfilling a dream of mine to be like Tony Robbins.)
Who here has tried a crash diet? ~ say I!
Who saw results from that diet? ~ say I!
Who then gained back the weight and then some? ~ say I!
Now who wants to see results without the crash dieting and relapse? ~ LET ME HEAR YOU SAY I!
That was exhilirating - thank you.
If you have made a New Year's resolution to lose weight/improve your health then chances are you have tried a crash diet. That excitement of losing weight and seeing results quickly is amazing. Then your cravings kick in, you cheat a little here, a little there and then all of a sudden you find yourself on the couch elbow deep in the Costco sized chicago mix popcorn looking up the next quick fix.
This week I'd like to give you all a little guidance on how to avoid crash dieting, and to see patient, long term training as your solution. So get that hand out of the popcorn bag and buckle-up because I am about to rock your world with this blog post.
you are restricting everything
Many crash-diets are incredibly calorie restrictive and some even restrict you to eating 1 thing for several days on end (like the lemon, maple syrup, cayenne cleanse or the cabbage soup diet). Their effectiveness is not surprising. When you limit yourself from eating, you are not only having to burn through fat stores for energy, but your body is also having to work extra hard to function on fewer nutrients than it is used to. Not just the large nutrients, as in the food stuff, but the actual micronutrients that are crucial for all of the behind the scenes work that goes on in the body to keep you working properly. Neurotransmitters, hormones, red blood cell production, immune responses - all of these require an adequate intake of micronutrients on a regular basis in order to help you function properly. Yes we can live off of stores of some of these nutrients, but there are some that we just simply cannot make enough of (see infographic below for those nutrients).
prioritize long term health
Instead of subjecting yourself to borderline starvation, and multiple, uncomfortable trips to the bathroom, shift your thinking to long-term training and lifestyle choices. If you keep yourself in good health, then you never have to crash diet.
Some of you may be at a point in your life where you need to lose a lot of weight to protect yourself from developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Some of you may just be hoping to look good for that vacation you have coming up in a few weeks. Instead of trying to drop a ton of weight really quickly, consider looking at your health on the life-long scale. Developing daily routines that will slowly improve your health and body metrics will ultimately serve you better than putting your body through nutrient deficiencies, and rapid, and risky weight loss. If you are patient you can look forward to being healthy for every bikini season to come in the future, and you never even have to think about the gruelling process of crash dieting only to be marginally pleased with how you look in your bathing suit.
Regular exercise and healthy food choices also sets your body up to work optimally every day. When you exercise regularly, you keep your joints healthy, you improve vascular function - decreasing your risk of heart disease, and you will keep yourself at a weight that does not cause inflammation, or stress the delicate tissues in and around joints.
When you make healthy food choices on a regular basis, you are providing your body with the tools to fuel and recover-from your workouts. You are ensuring that the body has enough nutrients to support all of the functions that help you sleep well, fight off illness, feel energetic, and stay mentally clear and focused throughout the day.
summing up this world-rocking
Everywhere else in life the word crash is not a good thing. A car/plane/train/bus/boat crash; you need a crash cart when someone is dying - so why do we think that crash diets are good thing? Yeah - you might be able to get the look you want for your vacation, but what happens after that? The weight comes back and your entire body is left in worse shape than before. So quit the crash diet and fitness fads.
Do something good for your body today and prioritize long-term health by finding a way to make exercise and healthy food choices a part of your life so that you can live well and feel amazing for a very long time.
Riri's Discoveries blog documents Riri's most recent research, her travel adventures, and her personal fitness journey.