Nowadays we are obsessed with instant gratification.
We have the world wide web at our fingertips, we have drones delivering our products within hours of ordering and we freak out if texts aren’t returned within a matter minutes. There’s even a product that cools down pizza so that we don’t burn the roof of our mouths when we take an immediate bite (replacing the annoying task of waiting five minutes for the pizza to cool down).
So, it makes sense that we expect an instantaneous result from our weight loss attempts. Right?
Unfortunately, the human body has not and never will catch up to the technologies of 2016. It’s still stuck in olden days, when long-term health and wellness beat out “a better body in weeks.”
Our bodies are not set for today’s pace.
They move slowly but they get the job done—ya know, the job of keeping us alive. And they do not react when well told to do otherwise.
The fitness and diet industry knows that but they’re not interested in following the laws of our bodies—they’re interested in making money. So, playing on our obsession with quick fixes, they push quick fixes and timed solutions, aimed at giving us our best body in a matter of months, weeks, sometimes minutes! Recognize the following marketing schemes?
“5 minute abs!”
“30 days to bikini body!”
“Meal replacement shakes — lose weight in a week!”
“Take this pill and watch the pounds shed off!”
And so on, and so on.
It takes nine months to cook us, seven years for us to get our adult teeth and 12+ years for us to reach puberty. Why do we think that we can completely change our bodies in a week?
Now, I’m not saying that it takes 12 months to lose 5 pounds. But, I do know that it is physically impossible to develop visible core musculature with a five minute workout. And deep down, you do too.
Not only are these products misguiding and incorrect, they can also be very harmful to your body. Many of these products are loaded with harmful chemicals that affect your metabolism and, frankly, are cheaply made. Most meal replacement and conventional meal plan programs advocate low daily calorie counts – and a VLCD (very low calorie diet) is perhaps the worst way to lose weight.
Not only are they unrealistic (do you really think that you can survive on 1000 calories a day for the rest of your life? Really?) but they are severely damaging to your metabolism. The lower your daily calories dip, the slower your metabolism becomes. And, since your metabolism regulates your body all chemical reactions within your body, a slow metabolism is not only damaging to your weight loss efforts, it is damaging to your body in general. Take it from someone who actually was on a VLCD, it is not a road you want to go down!
Now you’re asking “why would the fitness and diet industry to this to us?”
The answer is actually in your question—it is an industry. As in, the goal of these businesses is not to look out for your health and well being but to make money. The fitness and diet industry makes $20 billion dollars a year. $108 million Americans are on diets every year and they are typically on their fourth or fifth attempt. These businesses make money when you buy their products for the first time—they make more money when you continue to buy their products after your second, fifth, eighth failed attempt at weight loss. They are actually counting on your failure because that is where their cash flow comes from.
So, how do you actually lose weight?
Well, first of all, know that it takes time – There is no such thing as a quick fix.
Unless you want to live on meal replacement bars for the rest of your life, you need to make a lifestyle change, develop habits that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
- going to gym 3 days a week,
- taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
- aiming for 4-6 servings of veggies and fruit a day,
- mindfully eating your meals
If you want to feel more in control, you can be more vigilant about your weight loss by tracking your calorie count (though it should never dip below 1300) and lifting weights. All of these habits will lead to a permanent, positive change in your body.
Now, it will take time—but wouldn’t you rather have a long, successful weight loss journey than five failed attempts at a quick fix?
So, my fellow dieters, let’s leave the quick fixes at the door. Throw out your meal replacement bars and shakes and laugh in the face of magazines that promise you a beach-bod in 30 days.
Instead, try to enjoy the slow but successful road to weight loss. Because, as the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait!