Why Short-Term Weight Loss Doesn’t Work (And What Does)

Posted by Beni Cook

You’ve probably seen the ads for quick-fix weight loss solutions promising mind blowing results in a short time frame – things like “get a flat stomach in 10 days” or “how to lose 8kg in a week”. The problem is that these weight loss methods rarely deliver the results they promise, and if they do, the results simply don’t last. If you’re looking for a way to lose weight and keep it off, it’s time for a long-term, sustainable weight loss solution.


Why losing weight quickly doesn’t last?

There are countless programs that promise quick weight loss results. Whether it be a fad diet, a juice cleanse, or a detox program, these quick-fix solutions work by putting your body into a calorie deficit. However, while you may lose a couple of kilos to begin with, they are not a healthy, sustainable solution to weight management. Many of these diets give you so few calories a day that staying on the program long-term could seriously damage your health. That, or they’re coupled with extreme overexercise – also not sustainable or safe.

Most of these short-term solutions are designed to be just that – the creators of these diets don’t expect you to stay on a juice-only diet for months on end, and it would be incredibly unhealthy to do so. That’s why once you stop the diet, you’ll usually put all that weight back on. In fact, so many of these fads rely on putting your body into a stress state, so when your body can finally relax, it will store fats, and you’ll often gain even more weight than you had before the diet.


Other issues with quick weight-loss

As well as being unsustainable, there are a number of other issues that can arise with losing weight too quickly. While you might think that you’re burning fat, studies on short-term weight loss show that many people on fad diets actually lose muscle tone and water weight while retaining their fat. So while the numbers go down on the scales, you’re actually not benefiting from the weight loss in the way you think you are.

Yo-yo dieting can also have a huge impact on your mental health. When you don’t see the results you were promised, it’s easy to feel disheartened, or down on yourself. Many fad diets also increase anxiety in their participants, because they prey on preconceived beauty standards and goals, rather than focusing on personal, achievable goals and outcomes. You may think losing those extra kilos are worth it, but the long-term toll on your mind and body says otherwise.


The sustainable solution

Instead of focusing on the latest weight loss trend, you should stick to the tried and tested methods that professionals use around the world. Healthy weight loss options don’t wield quick results – but they will help you to maintain a healthy, holistic, and sustainable lifestyle. Start by talking to a trusted professional, such as a dietitian or personal trainer, about your goals. They’ll be able to help you set realistic expectations with a plan for slow, steady weight loss over a period of time.

Once you have your goals in place, it’s about making sustainable changes to your lifestyle. When exercising, choose activities that you enjoy so that you’re less likely to see exercise as a chore. It’s also ok to start out slow – if you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity for months, diving in to a 7 day intensive workout program will burn you out before you see results. Instead, start with fun activities 3 days a week, and build yourself up to a more intensive schedule.


The nutritious diet you need

If you want to truly see results in your weight loss journey, you’ll also need to focus on nutrition. This isn’t about drinking 3 juices a day or munching on a single carrot for lunch. Instead, focus on including as many real, unprocessed foods in your diet as you can. Fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed meat, and seeds such as chia and flax-seeds are full of nutrients and low in sugar. They’re also high in protein, which is the most important nutrient for fat loss, and soluble fibre which can aid in weight loss.

The other benefit? Real foods are lower in calories than processed foods, so you can fill a plate up and still consume less calories than a smaller processed meal. Many first time dieters think that they need to eat less to lose weight, but bigger portions of real foods are actually healthier than smaller portions of processed foods. Who knows – maybe you’ll find your new favourite meal by implementing a healthy, sustainable diet.

If you’re looking for sustainable weight loss and weight management, we’re here to help. Contact us for a hassle-free consultation and see how our personal training services can benefit you.

Beni Cook
Beni Cook is the Head Personal Trainer and Founder of Beyond Best. Beni is a health and fitness expert who develops individualised exercise programs that will meet your own short and long-term objectives, while providing information, advice and encouragement that will enable you to lead your healthiest life, every day.

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