Weight loss, dieting, fat loss, losing weight …. they are ALL super hot topics. There are so many different plans, ideas, books, and programs, it can literally make your head spin. How do you decide?
How do you avoid the diet pitfalls that waste time and resources and absolutely test your patience to the limit? Short of reviewing EVERY single weight loss, dieting, healthy eating program you could ever find, I decided to just share with you some of the really lame, and terrible ideas I ever tried for losing weight.
DISCLAIMER, this is all based on personal experience. I totally respect if you have done any of these things and had a really great result. I especially want to hear if any of you had a positive result with No. 4.
The Five Worst Weight Loss Ideas Ever:
1. Starving to save calories: We run on energy, food is the source of that energy. While it is true that we as mammals/humans are designed to have a storehouse of energy in the event of an emergency or famine, generally speaking, our quality of life and mental and physical functions begin to slow the longer we go without food. (Intermittent fasting is a concept that is actually shown to have some health benefits including weight and fat loss. This is very different then starving yourself.)
The body will conserve energy in response to restricted feeding, and that my friend will have you moving in the opposite direction. Not to mention, it starts to make you into a lunatic after a while from lack of food. Think the worst PMS symptoms magnified 100 times. Yikes. In my early days of being obsessed with weight and dieting, I went through the 'starve thyself' phase. It messed me up physically, but it really messed me up mentally. I went from a Pop-Tart eatin,' white bread girl to NOT EATING. Talk about a shock to the body. Definitely not effective on a long term basis. Lesson: Starving Is NOT Living Eat to Live … Starve to die, slowly, very slowly.
2. Using Stimulants Like Ephedra: I did this back in 1994 when I found this supplement while we were living in Boston through a health food store. At the time, I had a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old and so I had a little baby weight left over to drop.
This wonderful combo of working out five to six times a week, taking Ephedra and drinking coffee gave me gobs of energy, and the weight just fell off. It also allowed me to be awake with the kids early, and stay up late for when my hubby got home from his late night job. What a concept, I was Wonder Woman. But Wonder Woman found herself in the ER of a Boston suburb hospital with chest pain and palpitations. Literally, at 28 years old, I felt like my heart was going to explode. Bad, bad idea! Fortunately, when I stopped the Ephedra, the symptoms also stopped. The coffee, well, I am still working on that.
Lesson: Relying on artificial or external sources to constantly jump start your weight loss and stimulate energy is DUMB and potentially DANGEROUS.
3. Doing High Intensity Workouts Three-plus Times a Day Regularly: Isn't it true that it's about calories in, calories out? That's what I have heard for decades so it must be true. So if we eat less, and move more, then we should burn more and lose more, right? During my days of doing triathlons, only sprint distance events, I spent so much time working out. There was so much to learn, so much conditioning to gain. Run, swim, swim, bike, bike, run, repeat, repeat, repeat. Then go to the gym and throw around some weight. Afterward, I would go home, stuff some crappy food in my mouth because I was starving and tired, then crash in a heap and sleep. Eventually, I became completely burned out, bummed out and bored. Which left me with a lack of drive and desire to continue with ANY fitness. Lesson: Too Much of a GOOD Thing Can Be a BAD, UNHAPPY, UNPRODUCTIVE Thing.
4. The Popcorn, Water, Nap-In-the-Sun, Bike-Ride Diet (a.k.a. the Broken Nose): This is actually something I came up with at the brilliant age of 17. In my quest to be trim and tan for summer, I surmised that this combo was the best. Here's how it worked: Eat only popcorn, drink only water, lay out in the blazing mid-day sun, then, go for an uphill bike ride at full tilt.
It ended up with me starting to get heat stroke on the bike, making it home only to faint and fall flat on my face. Don't worry though, my NOSE broke my fall, and the FALL broke my nose (and smacked my forehead open requiring about 30 stitches). Don't ever do something like this. Enough said. Lesson: Don't Ever Do ANYTHING Like This Diet or You Might End Up In a WORSE Situation Than I Did.
5. Cleanse-Type Diets: I have heard over and over how we have so much 'crap' and gunk in our bodies, especially in our intestines. So of course, seeing that I have a perfection problem that I am constantly trying to overcome, I tried this one.
Maybe you have done it. You drink a special drink, cut out tons of types of food, take some little capsules, snack on celery, alternate it on some days with low-calorie, low-fat, low-flavor meals coupled with a prescribed shake or two. After the first time I did it, I could safely say that I never wanted to do something so boring and restrictive again. It just wasn't worth it. Sure I lost a few pounds, and instead of feeling great, I felt hungry and deprived.
Once I completed the cleanse, I rebounded, HARD. Not only did I go back to what I had been doing, but I actually went to a place that was much worse, and most likely undid any good I might have done. I tried to do it again, a couple of times, but in the end, I rebelled. It was no way to live.
Lesson: Find the Right Combination of Carbs, Fat, and Proteins Using Foods That Fuel, Satisfy and Benefit Your Body. How about YOU? What crazy things have you tried to lose weight? I know I am not the only one. Share your stories in the comment section below.