Let’s face it: our society really subscribes to “instant gratification” in many forms. We want Amazon Prime so we can get our new jeans within a day, we limit our purchases to under 20 items so we can get in the speedy lane at the grocery store, and I personally get annoyed when my business cards aren’t ready within 24 hours. We Americans can actually be a little “spoiled” sometimes when we don’t get the service and speedy delivery we feel we are entitled to.
For example, the other day my mom went for a walk in our neighborhood and a little dog was following her around. We had no idea whose dog it was, and there was no collar, but that didn’t stop the little guy from tagging alongside my mom, occasionally getting distracted and trailing behind her a few yards before catching back up to her. She was crossing the road when said dog, let’s call him “spot,” lingered in the road for a bit. A woman driving a car rolled down her window and yelled at my mom to get spot out of her way. When my mom told her it wasn’t her dog, the lady in a huff said, “Well get him out of my way anyways!” I know – so rude! Unless said lady is reading this article, in which case I am sure it was a big misunderstanding. We love our readers!!
The point is this: in a time where we are used to receiving what we want WHEN we want, it is no wonder people are always looking for the next new diet or miracle pill that guarantees they lose 20 pounds overnight! However, is this really what you want? Sure, sometimes it may SOUND enticing, but at what cost to your body?
Lose Weight Naturally or Lose Weight Fast?
Being clear on how you want to lose weight is just as important as hitting your ideal weight on your bathroom scale. Sure, you could lose a few pounds overnight with the right pill or potion, but if the weight was glycogen stores or muscle mass, then you may not be helping out your body as much as you had originally intended.
The Funny Things We Do To Lose Weight (and the backlash from it):
- Meal Skipping
“Oh I ate too much today, so I won’t eat breakfast tomorrow.”
- Blood sugar levels can decrease, making you a grumpy, cantankerous old crone;
- You can begin feeling tired or lethargic, making you a grumpy, cantankerous old crone;
- The ability to focus diminishes, making you a grumpy, not-very-good listener;
- Your metabolism slows down;
- You can become irritable, making you a grumpy, cantankerous old crone;
If you are wondering why I kept highlighting cantankerous old crone and linking it to a quiz we made, it’s because that is one of the options you can get on the quiz if you are grumpy enough. Also, it is to entice you to read more of our articles on our website….totally NOT for SEO purposes.
Getting back on track, there are many other downsides to skipping meals, and doing this in the long-term isn’t sustainable and it has an effect on your body!
The Downside to Taking Weight Loss Pills
There are many different kinds of weight loss pills out there, and while their effects may vary, here are some of the general downsides to participating in these supposed wonder drugs;
- Increased pulse and heart rate which leaves your friends and coworkers wondering if you started taking drugs…which you would have if you are taking weight-loss pills;
- Dry mouth, headache, insomnia, constipation and sore throat – there are lots of medicines out there that take care of these symptoms, but end up causing more severe symptoms like anal leakage and kidney failure;
- Some diet pills can cause kidney and gallbladder stones, which if you’ve ever had, turns you into a cantankerous old crone;
- Many diet pills can affect other medications;
- Liver issues (let’s be honest, in a town with some awesome happy hour specials, you don’t need any help harming your liver);
- Does it really REALLY work? Testimonials aside? Many other over the counter diet supplements are promoted as helping with weight loss, but few have actually been proven to work.
The Downside to Fad Dieting
- You may lose weight in the beginning, but may put it back on after you go back to your old eating habits;
- Fad diets aren’t sustainable – such as an all-protein diet or no-carb diet – your body needs carbs to function optimally! If not, you risk becoming a cantankerous old crone (LOL I’m sorry….I’ll stop…maybe).
- Fad diets are often restrictive, cutting out an entire food group – following a balanced diet gives your body the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to keep you going;
One question which needs to be addressed before approaching the topic of weight loss is to identify what your aim is in losing weight? Are you looking to build muscle, lose excess body fat, detox your body or lead a healthier lifestyle in general?
My suggestion would be to write down what exactly it is you are looking to do. Or, if you are elegantly simple in your goals, such as Kevin Spacey in “American Beauty,” where he wants to look good naked, there are still healthier and more natural ways to lose weight than participating in, quite possibly, some of the best marketing gimmicks and BS I have ever seen in my life. Folks, if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Unless it is Ladies’ Night Out where ladies get to come eat, drink and schmooze for free..
Other Dieting Misconceptions
Myth: Certain foods like celery, cabbage soup or grapefruit can burn fat.
Truth: Foods can’t burn fat! Do you know why? Because fat doesn’t burn or melt away! That isn’t how fat works! These foods may boost your metabolism or keep you feeling full for a while for significantly less calories, but that doesn’t mean they burn fat.
Myth: Exercise can turn fat into muscle.
Truth: Fat can’t turn into muscle, these are two totally different types of cells! You can, however, build muscle, increase your metabolism, detoxify your body via sweating and lose fat naturally.
Myth: Low-fat diets are healthy.
Truth: Eating natural fat helps keep you filling full, and actually can help you lose weight. Again, a balanced diet is a huge key to losing weight and keeping it off. If nature put fat as an option in the food chain, it is probably there for a reason.
Remembering that which is natural, well-rounded and balanced in terms of diet and exercise will support you in achieving your ideal weight without the negative side-effects.
What Nature Intended
Good Ol’ Albert Einstein once said, “If you look deep into nature, you will understand everything better.” And seeing that nature is, arguably, the most sustainable system known to mankind, it may be good to take a cue from her!
- Eat Whole Foods, or at the very least, foods found in nature. I have never heard of a Cheerio tree, have you?
- Get Plenty of Rest so your body can heal after workouts.
- Drink plenty of water to flush your body of toxins and to hydrate your cells and organs.
- Partake in exercise or physical activities regularly. In the words of Springfield’s own Brenda Baur, the best exercise routine is one you will actually do.
As with most things in life, it takes time, commitment and effort to achieve your goals, and anyone offering a fast painless way to reach them is probably selling something. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but especially when it comes to dieting, it is important to take the steady, proven road with little-to-no side-effects.
One more key to achieving your dieting goals is to also have a balanced lifestyle – what’s the point of having the body of your dreams if work and working out consume all your free time? Spend time with your children, set aside occasions where you can learn and pursue your hobbies: mental growth and stress relief is just as important to a healthy body as working out and having balanced meals.
Jana Moreno (AKA cantankerous old crone)