I work with clients one-on-one and in groups setting, both online and in person. I am confident in my background, and I know I can get people to their goals. Here’s the deal though: I REFUSE to go to extreme measures. I refuse to give my clients low-calorie diets, or insane workouts just so they can get to a goal faster. Can I help someone lose 20lbs in 2 months? Yes. I am confident that I could get someone there. I will not do it though. I believe in giving clients tools. I believe in health and balance. I believe in slow and steady wins the race because you learn how to take care of yourself. When I work with clients, I rattle off information constantly and remind them that I won’t be their trainer forever. They need to learn to take care of themselves without me as their crutch.
I cannot stand a quick-fix and it really bothers me when I see companies promoting this. I get that it is a business, and the goal is for people to make money, but I simply cannot get onboard. A company/trainer/program that shows a client how to lose a ton of weight, really fast, eating a tilapia and asparagus diet kills me. It is so unhealthy, teaches zero life skills, and is not maintainable. It completely screws-up your hormones and metabolism. There is zero that is healthy about it. What makes me really sick about it is that these programs are preying on the overweight population when they are feeling down.
What is crazy, is that it truly takes a lot of dedication to be that committed. If you are in a program where you are encouraged to not drink water during your workouts (I hear horror stories!), your weight is the only thing that matters, your workouts are multiple hours, and your food intake is extremely limited: that takes dedication. People who participate in these types of programs are desperate to lose weight, and are SO SO dedicated. Truly, it takes a lot of dedication to be that extreme. I wish the same dedication would go into learning healthy habits. What if, instead of going to the extreme of being on a very restricted diet, you were taught how to eat balanced meals, and to fuel your body? What if, instead of spending 2 hours working out because that’s the only way you think you can lose weight, you work as hard as you can for 30 minutes? What if, instead of starving yourself and losing sleep because your body struggles to sleep despite how tired it is due to being undernourished and overtrained, you actually nourish yourself and sleep MORE? The great thing about sleep is that it really does wonders for your body, especially its ability to lose fat.
I don’t want this post to come off like I am judging people who participate in these programs. I am NOT! You are dedicated to finding a way to change. I am however, very disappointed in the programs that tote these claims. I am disappointed in a program that becomes a quick-fix without offering any real tools for long term success. I am disappointed in a program that perpetuates the yo-yo diet cycle. It does nothing for a person’s confidence, metabolism, or overall well-being.
Like I said, I get that it’s a business, and the goal is to make money. Maybe someday I will be jaded enough to stop caring about people having the tools to succeed and I will just want to make a quick buck. My husband laughs, but whenever we talk about my business I always say “sorry, but I will never make us wealthy.” I refuse to take short cuts, or offer people a quick-fix when I know they will just slip into old habits (I know a business does not have to be slimy to be wealthy, I say it jokingly). I am not saying this as a “look at me, I’m so moral” kind of statement. I just mean that, I would prefer to only have five people in my groups who are all dedicated to make slow lifestyle changes, than put together some crazy program that makes people think they can lose some ridiculous amount of weight in a short amount of time, and that it will somehow be sustainable.
Our bodies are meant to survive. They are designed to be pushed and to thrive despite difficult conditions (even though in our modern, first-world society this is not as necessary). That means, if we starve our body, it will survive. If we deprive our body of sleep, it will learn to survive and adapt. If we dehydrate ourselves, our body will adapt for a time. This also means, if you hydrate and nourish our body, it will adapt to that! It will learn to use more food as fuel without the body having to retain so much, because it is not being starved. Our bodies are amazing, and I believe we have to treat them that way. I believe we need to stop “punishing” our bodies for a body image. I believe we need to find balance and set a healthy foundation for ourselves. That is how we find healthfulness and happiness. Not on a tilapia and asparagus diet where we will lose weight quickly with no tools to sustain that weight loss.
If you are someone who is desperate to lose weight, and you are at that point where you are willing to try ANYTHING, including some insane program that has you on a really restricted diet, you may begin to look for someone to really help you build a foundation for long term success. Instead of being on a restricted diet, I think your best resource would be a registered dietician. These types of programs set you up to have a TERRIBLE relationship with food. An RD can help guide you in how to nourish your body. Or honestly, get a therapist to help you have a better relationship with food. Or find a trainer who will help you build a foundation. If you have the money put aside to spend on one of these insane programs, I really hope you will reconsider, and spend it on something that will give you the foundation to be HEALTHY for the rest of your life, instead of simply losing a bunch of weight now, just to gain much of it back once you are done with the program. Tools and foundation – that’s what I wish more programs promoted.