Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rapid weight loss is not an answer!

I have nothing to disclose.

Losing weight is something almost all of us struggle with at one point in time or another throughout our lives. I myself have been trying to get into shape by losing inches - not weight - for several years now. It's been a real challenge because I do have many health issues to deal with which make losing weight more difficult. Brain injury, specifically, I have read sometimes makes it almost impossible to lose weight.

Regardless, I have lost and kept off about 20 pounds, I've lost one clothing size. Actually, when I started with T-tapp, I was wearing an XL and now I can squeeze myself into a size small top if I wanted to. I spend A LOT of time tweaking things, researching new information to make sure I'm eating the healthiest food possible. I exercise depending upon my health but typically between 4 - 6 hours a week. Sometimes more than that, sometimes a lot less. I'm not perfect, and I do still have a lot to learn. I'm not yet as in shape as I'd like, but all things considered I've done pretty well and I am a lot healthier and stronger. I stopped measuring my weight loss and inch loss a long time ago, because I have faith in that I'm doing what I have to do in order to get into the healthy shape I want. Also, because I do T-tapp I do believe I'm a little bit taller, because T-tapp helps build muscle and bone. Enough about that though, I'm not writing this to preach about how great T-tapp is.

I'm writing this because this past weekend I read a beauty blogger post about a new weight loss program she was going to follow. Her goal: lose 35 pounds in 40 days. Her plan? To eat 500 - 700 calories per day.

Speaking as someone who in the past has actually eaten 500 - 1000 calories a day, and not by choice, I can tell you first hand starving yourself is NEVER the answer. It damages you both in mind and body. You can research starvation mode, and while you'll find conflicting results, I can tell you my real life experiences have proven starvation mode does make it more difficult to lose weight. It slows down your metabolism so once you start eating normal again you put on the weight much faster and it's harder to burn it off. It's been several years since I experienced what it was like to starve and I still have days in which I struggle with overeating. There's still that part of my mind which worries that I am going to starve. I would never encourage anyone to starve themselves on purpose and I find it quite sick that some people do.

I'm rather upset by this, and I did write her and encourage her to do more research before going through with this plan. She responded by telling me she was hesitant at first but she did research on it and found it to be sound. She also suggested that eating healthy was part of this entire plan. Now I'm no expert, but I do know plenty enough to know that eating 500 - 700 calories a day is NOT healthy. Finally - and I found this incredibly rude - she suggested I do more research on the subject before judging.

Let's do that, shall we?

I started by trying to find information about this program. I found little to no real information. All I found was the company's Web site and their Facebook page, which has under 100 likes. If the program works so well, and actually works, I would expect it to have more likes. (For instance, T-tapp has over 8K likes on Facebook and Zumba of course has over 5 million.)

Additionally, the site contains no honest reviews from it's customers, no before and after pictures. I should point out, I did not anywhere on their Web site find recommendations for such drastic measures. What I see is a quickly made Web site with bare minimum information and no real scientific evidence or real results. False promises for those desperate enough to try anything.

Since I cannot find any information on the success of (or lack thereof) this program, other than the program's own information, let me go further and explain why this program is a set up for failure.

Here's the simple answer:

"'When you eat too few calories, you lose fat but also precious muscle, which is the worst thing you could do because it slows your metabolism and makes it more difficult to increase exercise intensity or duration,' Dansinger says.
Fad diets also set you up for failure by depriving you of what you want. You can't eat like that for long, and it's too likely that you'll rebel and end up back where you started. You deserve better than that!"
 (from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-fast-how-to-do-it-safely?page=2)

The blogger claims the program she plans to follow does not destroy muscle because she's taking a supplement which prevents muscle loss. I'm sorry, but there are no magical pills and if you chose to believe so, you're just fooling yourself.

I'm thoroughly disgusted that this program is being promoted by a beauty blogger and I seriously hope her readers will do research on their own before following in her path. I find it very irresponsible and I will no longer be following the blog involved. I'm just as disturbed to know that a a registered nurse has encouraged her to do such a dramatic program.

All of that being said, this was an interesting reminder that yes, I now pretty much only post about nail polish. This was never really my goal with this blog. Once I settled on posting about nail polish, I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to some day post about other beauty and health topics. For whatever reason, I've felt as though I couldn't post about those things as long as I wasn't happy with where I was at in my own personal "weightloss" journey. That's so silly! So often I've read from many experts who say becoming fit is a journey, and it should be an enjoyable one. I should have fun with this, and I do enjoy blogging so perhaps I may blog about some more health and beauty topics in the time to come. We shall see, as I think and reflect upon it.

(I have a TON more I could say on this subject, and a lot of really negative things I would like to say but I decided I should keep it "short" :P)


  1. I agree with your point of view, and I'm ashamed to say I have had times where I kinda starved myself by not eating enough. I'm underweight, not by a whole lot so I don't look like a skeleton, I just look fit and thin. I use a lot of calories stressing over everything, the smallest things can give me stress. I have trouble interpreting signs that my body sends me, like when I'm hungry, thirsty, cold, tired or something hurts. I mostly just forget to eat, but the problem is bigger than that. I'm always afraid my food has gone bad, even though I bought it the day before. I can't eat it if that thought is in my head. Thes

  2. Sorry, my phone wigged out on me! I wanted to say: the structure is also important. There are foods I can't eat because they don't feel right in my mouth. On top of that I had an operation that required the surgeon to cut out a part of my taste nerve, so my taste is completely gone on the right side. This required me to find out all over again what I liked and didn't like to eat, as my taste had been altered due to having only half of the signals coming through to my brain. Or sometimes, I have too much to choose from i.e. what to put on a sandwich, that I can't make a decision and my brain just chooses to walk away. And then I don't eat. This has all made it very hard to care for myself and to eat right and healthy. I'm having minor heart problems and extremely low blood pressure due to my eating problems. I don't like to call it a disorder because that's not what I have. I'm very very happy with my body and the only thing I would want to change is how it feels, not how it looks. I would like to exercise more and get in better shape, but being underweight and feeling tired all the time doesn't make it easier.

    Well, I guess what I'm trying to say is: don't starve your body! It comes close to self mutilation and it's about one of the most unhealthy things you can do to yourself! So yeah, I totally agree with you Melanie, and I think it's great that you have the guts to speak up and try to help other people!

    1. Narmai, don't be ashamed.. that kind of stuff I understand. It's when people make conscience choices to starve themselves that it annoys me - along with the fact that this was being promoted as healthy on a beauty blog. anyway...that's really strange about your taste nerve, that would be weird to live with. I understand the issue you described with their being too much to eat and so you just walk away. I do that sometimes as well, or sometimes I just forget to eat because I get so busy. Stuff like that is normal!

      Sorry to hear about your health problems, that's not good :( I'm on the opposite scale, too high blood pressure, even with medicine and I sure don't like how that feels either. Just a thought, I know some people who eat coconut oil straight out of the jar. Normally to lose weight, but they do so to get some of the necessary fats and calories they need without eating regular food. I don't know if something like that would be more helpful? I can certainly appreciate how hard it must be for you.

      Thanks for your comments :)