Fast fat loss and other quick-fixes for building a better body. They’re everywhere. And it makes total sense.
After all, what grabs your attention more?
- You can lose 10 pounds of ugly, unwanted body fat in only 7 days!
- Lose 10 pounds of body fat in 10 weeks and keep it off long-term!
The first claim — lose 10 pounds in only 7 days — tugs at your emotions and promises an immediate solution.
The second claim — lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks — definitely isn’t very exciting or sexy. I mean come on; only lose a single pound per week? Pffft. Why wait 10 weeks when you can follow the first approach and lose it in only 7 days?
It’s way more exciting to think you can get results immediately. We want to see the rewards for our efforts as soon as possible. Heck, we all want fast results.
What’s Wrong with Quick-Fixes and Rapid Fat Loss?
Several things, actually.
For most people I recommend they avoid quick-fix and rapid fat loss solutions. Here are the main reasons why.
1) More often than not, the method required to achieve drastic, immediate results can’t be sustained long-term
What this means is the user will achieve results if they follow the plan, but they won’t be able to maintain them long-term. At some point they’ll stop the diet/program and then regain the weight back because the diet/program was too impractical.
This applies to diets and “hardcore” workout programs that promise rapid fat loss and require upwards of 1-2 hours of workouts per day most days per week.
I’ve known plenty of individuals who get results while following such programs, but once they discontinue it, they regain the weight they lost.
And that’s the beginning of a vicious cycle.
Go on a new diet -> Lose some weight (yay!) -> The diet is too strict -> Give up -> Regain lost fat, with interest -> Guilt from “failing” -> Go on a new diet . . . repeat the whole thing over again.
2) The plan is too stressful and complicated, so the user gives up soon after starting
This leaves the user feeling like a total failure since they couldn’t adhere to the program. While some people can stick to a rigid diet or workout program for a few weeks or even months, some abandon the routine after only a couple of weeks, if not sooner.
I’m sure you’ve had friends who started a new diet and quickly gave up, or maybe you’ve experienced this personally. Asking people to do something drastically different than what they’re currently doing is a recipe for disaster.
It’s not practical to ask someone who doesn’t eat very well to follow a rigid eating plan combined with other “rules”, meal combinations, and other guidelines.
Furthermore, it’s not realistic to expect a busy individual to work out most days, if not every day, of the week at a crazy high intensity.
Some people begin these programs/diets with the best of intentions. They’re motivated and determined to finally lose the excess fat they’ve accumulated. But, when their life revolves around the program and the stress becomes too much, they quit.
While it’s understandable, many people end up thinking, “Great, I’ve failed again. I’ll never lose the weight.”
They’re left discouraged, frustrated, and believing that building a better looking and healthier body is way too complicated (but it’s really not) and something they’ll never accomplish.
3) You always expect and refuse to settle for anything less than immediate results
I call this the “biggest loser” effect. On the popular TV show, The Biggest Loser, contestants usually, and are expected to, drop significant amounts of weight on a weekly basis. At first the weight loss comes quickly. It’s not uncommon to see loses of 10-20+ pounds. This is celebrated and the contestants are praised for their efforts.
But what happens the next week?
What if they “only” lose 5 or 10 pounds instead of 20?
Admittedly I haven’t watched The Biggest Loser in many years, but I do recall an episode where a woman broke down and cried on the scale because she “only lost 9 pounds” that week. She was expected to lose double digits, and when she didn’t, she felt like a complete failure.
Rapid fat loss or quick-fixes get you addicted to very noticeable, drastic results to the point that you expect nothing less.
You end up frustrated and disappointed when you should be celebrating.
This is just one reason I encourage you to stay off the scale.
4) Don’t teach you how to achieve and maintain results long-term
This is critical. Because most quick-fix programs are very rigid, this teaches the user nothing about building and maintaining lifelong habits.
What usually happens is an individual is ready to lose fat, so they look for a quick-fix solution, follow it for a while and have some success, stop because it’s not practical, regain the weight, feel like a failure, look for another quick-fix solution, and the vicious cycle continues.
My job as a trainer and coach is to help my clients develop a lifestyle they can sustain long-term. I don’t care if they look great in a bikini this season. I care if they can maintain that body with ease long-term without revolving their life around a diet or rigid gym schedule.
5) Can lead to obsessive compulsive and disordered eating habits
This is especially the case with rapid fat loss diets and programs that include a combination of a severe caloric deficit, strictly limiting or eliminating certain food groups, and other rigid rules that must be followed.
These strict nutrition rules, and especially the elimination of certain foods and food groups, is a recipe for disaster for a lot of people (including me). This can lead to obsessive compulsive and disordered eating habits such as an unhealthy perspective of food, binge eating, and other less-than-ideal problems.
And, speaking from experience, it takes a while to break free from these bad habits. And another diet is most certainly NOT the solution.
For many people, strict diets and nutrition rules can lead to disordered eating habits, and it’s a big reason I’m not a fan of them.
It’s time to ditch-quick fix diets, break free from binge eating, and be rid of obsessive eating habits for good…
Ditch Quick-Fixes. Do This.
Losing fat. Building muscle. Getting stronger.
It doesn’t matter what your goal may be. I encourage you to ditch the quick-fix mindset.
Here’s what Go Kaleo had to say about her fat loss journey and her experience with the “quick-fix” mentality.
“I did not lose 80 pounds (and keep it off for 5 years) by using a ‘fat loss as quickly as possible’ mindset.
In fact, I spent 25 years fixated on ‘fat loss as quickly as possible’, and while there were a few temporary successes, in the LONG RUN I only got fatter and sicker over the years.
It wasn’t until I completely scrapped the ‘fat loss as quickly as possible’ mentality and instead focused on creating and supporting health that I saw real and lasting progress toward a healthy weight.
Rapid fat loss is the very best way to prime your body for weight regain. We’ve got to get past this need for immediate and dramatic results. It isn’t conducive to true health and long term weight management.”
Very well said. That brings us to Step One of what you should do instead of a quick-fix solution.
Step One — Ditch the quick-fix mindset
Don’t search for some “holy grail” method or strive to achieve your results as quickly as possible.
Yes, drastic, immediate results are possible. But as you saw above, they’re are plenty of negatives to a quick-fix approach and some effect more than others. My advice: don’t even have this as an option.
Step Two — Think both short- and long-term
I’m sure the “think short-term” part is confusing since I just told you to ditch the quick-fix mindset, so allow me to clarify. Think short-term in regards to the process itself. Learn to enjoy the journey.
Don’t become obsessed with your goal (e.g. losing 20 pounds of fat, wearing smaller clothes, etc) that you forget about today.
Be proud of everything you accomplish. Whether it’s trying a new, delicious food, going to the gym for a great workout, or saying something kind about your body. Celebrate every victory, no matter how small.
Likewise, you need to think long-term. Your journey to build (and maintain!) the body you want shouldn’t be about “looking great for swimsuit season” and nothing else. Your goal should be to develop sustainable habits that not only allow you to achieve your goal, but maintain it long-term.
Sustainable, lifelong habits will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration that comes from following quick-fix solutions.
Step Three — Keep it simple
Again, it doesn’t matter what goal you have, you should keep everything simple.
Want to lose fat? Check out the Simple Fat Loss Tutorial.
Want to sculpt muscle or get stronger? Check out “The Secrets” to Losing Fat, Building Muscle, and Getting Stronger (“the secrets” part is meant sarcastically).
Reaching your health, performance, and physique goals needn’t be complicated.
Focus on the few, important things that will lead you closer to your goals and ignore the minor details. Get Back to the Basics.
Make one small, easy change at a time if necessary. Master that change, then make another one.
Simplicity is a beautiful thing.
By keeping things simple you’ll continue to make progress, build momentum, and set yourself up for success.
Step Four — Accept that the results may come at a slower than expected rate
If you follow a program or tweak your eating habits in a way that’s simple and sustainable, that most likely means the results will come slower when compared to a rapid, quick-fix approach.
Do NOT let this discourage you.
This is why I encourage you to have a short-term mindset and enjoy the journey itself. When you’re enjoying the process instead of going through the motions just to achieve the results, you’ll have fun, discover your true potential, and become the most awesome and strongest version of yourself.
Remember — the goal is to build the body you want and be able to sustain it.
Slow and steady. It’s not sexy, but the results are sustainable and the process can actually be fun.
Keep things simple.
Enjoy the journey.
Become the most awesome and strongest version of yourself.
Recommended Reading: If fat loss is your goal then be sure to read 7 (Simple) Steps to Lose Fat Easily, Without Even Trying