Fitness · Personal Goals

Let’s Talk about Fad Diets

Everyone has heard of the popular weight-loss systems: Herbalife, Plexus, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, the list goes on and on and on. Each of these claim that if you use their products you will lose weight and gain your ideal body. Many of them even have celebrity endorsers, business plans, and more. They all also cost an arm and a leg for your average middle class citizen. 

I used to do Herbalife with my aunt. It cost $199 a month! They offered ‘vitamins’, shakes, and a weight-loss tea. It worked to an extent, however it is not the healthiest choice of weightloss. Herbalife has you replace meals with shakes. Not protein shakes, but very low calorie shakes. Essentially with Herbalife, you are severely restricting caloric intake by replacing a healthy meal with with a low calorie shake. 

Photo courtesy of 
jasondwarika.com 

 Along with low calorie shakes, my Herbalife representative recommended I cut all carbs, and eat very small portions. I felt like I was starving myself. I lost weight, but not the healthy way.  
From my experience, any weight loss product that guarantees that you will “lose weight fast” probably isn’t worth your money, and probably isn’t the healthiest option for you, and a diet that says you can only eat their food to lose weight, isn’t worth your time or money.

I absolutely love my current weight loss/muscle gaining  “system:” going to the gym and eating right. My only problem, besides finding the time to go to the gym, has been dealing with a gym full of people. I get easily Intimidated by huge guys in muscle shirts who seem to know exactly what they are doing. As I have said in previous posts, I have been working with a trainer. He is also a nutritionist. Recently he drew up a meal guide based on my personal body mass. I went to BYU and used something called a body pod. The body pod uses air displacement to determine how much of my mass is body fat, and how much is everything else. My trainer took that and determined exactly how many calories in need in a day to lose weight, while minting healthy muscle. A typical breakfast for me is half a cup of egg whites, one whole egg (25/30 grams of protein,) one bowl of oat meal (about 20 grams of carbs) and an ounce of crushed almonds (about bout 11 grams of healthy fats.) Every day, for the next four months, I get to eat 1670 calories, contained in six small meals. I divide up my protein for the day, and have a little with each meal.  

I have had friends tell me that eating healthy is boring….Wrong!  Eating healthy is so yummy! There are so many different flavors and foods available that are super good for you! My favorite has been lemon chicken with asparigus. This next week I am prepping cilantro lime chicken, seasoned rice with black beans, and olives. And all of that will last me several days, and it is super flavorful. 

Lemon pepper chicken, asparagus, and almonds.

 We also sat down and made a great work out plan. 

My work out is pretty simple: 

  • Monday: legs and lower body
  • Tuesday: chest and arms
  • Wednesday: Back and Shoulders
  • Thursday: lower body (possibly at home, depending on how the day goes.)
  • Friday: upper body (also possibly at home.)

Each of those days tends to vary, and each week tends to vary as well. For examole, my son and I have been sick for the last week, so my gym attendance has been lacking. That means I have been doing a lot of at home work outs. 

My point in saying all of that, is that All diet fads and crazes tend to do the same thing: target vulnerable people, and promise quick results. I hate to break it to you, and I know it may be hard to hear, but the only way you are going to slim down, and bulk up, is through good old fashioned healthy diet and exercise. It will suck at first, especially if you aren’t used to working out. It will be hard, and it will not be quick. It will however be worth it. Fad diets tend to promise quick results. Unfortunately those quick results tend to be short lived. Losing weight the healthy way is a better way to get permanent, more maintainable results.  

When I was pregnant with Jackson, I gained about 20 pounds. Before I had Jackson, when I was in college I gained the infamous ‘freshman 15.’ Safe to say, I wasn’t healthy. I tried to exercise, but I didn’t really like it, and I have a terrible love for ice cream. Fast forward to present day: I go to the gym regularly, and when I can’t make it I do at home work outs. It is super simple, and doesn’t require me to spend a whole bunch of money to get the results I want. 

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