Out of curiosity one day, I decided to do a Google search for: “How to lose 10 pounds” and see what kind of magic the internet had in store for me. As I began to type, Google’s autocomplete feature suggested:
how to lose 10 pounds in 4 days
how to lose 10 pounds
how to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks
how to lose 10 pounds in a week
As a health coach, I always advocate sustainable and steady weight loss through gradual lifestyle and dietary changes as opposed to “crash and burn” diets that make big promises. For an entrepreneur who always has to be on their game to maintain the lifeline of their business, I especially don’t recommend “crash and burn” diets for six reasons:
1. Strict guidelines and menus
Many crash and burn diets require very specific parameters from measured out portion sizes to specific food combinations to even restricting whole food groups. For instance, the Military Diet that boasts an up to 10 pound weight loss in 3 days outlines a very exact meal plan. One lunch meal is outlined as one cup of coffee, half a cup of tuna and one slice of toast. Anything outside of these options will impact the effectiveness of this diet.
For the always on-the-go entrepreneur, adhering to these strict diets can be tricky and challenging. They don’t leave much room for flexibility in times when things just happen and you have no choice but work on the fly.
For these diets to work, entrepreneurs need to schedule their calendar around their diets as opposed to the other way around.
2. They’ll leave you feeling exhausted
The one thing all crash and burn diets have in common is their extremely small food allowance. Less food equals less fuel to rev up your body’s engine. Great for weight loss, but not so great at keeping you up and running. Your productivity and energy could be compromised and can just overall leave you feeling miserable.
3. You’ll feel irritated, maybe even hangry
No one likes dieting because they often feel miserable and moody. There’s a couple of reasons for this.
First, these crash and burn diets can leave you with low blood sugar which can leave you feeling irritable in addition to feeling drained. For some people, this can manifest in crankiness and moodiness too, a.k.a. feeling hangry.
Second, self-control alone apparently makes us angry. In 2011, researchers from University of California, San Diego and Northwestern University conducted a series of experiments to test the effect of self-control on grad students.
They gave grad students a choice to pick an apple or a chocolate bar as their reward for volunteering for the study. After they made their choice, the researchers presented them with a series of choices they’d prefer such as movies, faces and public policy messages.
Sixty-four percent of the students who chose the apple over the chocolate bar picked the anger-themed movies, angry faces or angry public policy messages. According to the researchers, choosing the “healthier choice” lacked instant gratification which made them feel angry.
If you have a tendency to be hangry when its been too long between meals or feel frustrated from too much self-control, then these diets are not for you.
4. A headache could be on the menu
A sudden restriction in calories can throw your body out of whack. For some, low blood sugar can set off a cascade of hormones and biological processes that put the body into starvation mode.
This puts your body in a state of stress and can eventually result in a headache. Depending on the severity, you may need to take an ibuprofen or take a day off from working on your business.
5. It does not guarantee true weight loss
That diet you are following to lose 10 pounds in a week? Most of it is probably water weight and maybe a little muscle loss.
Here’s why: Glycogen is a kind of carbohydrate in your body that is stored as an energy source in your muscles and your liver. When you cut calories and/or carbs drastically, the glycogen stores are broken down pretty quickly as fuel. As they break down, the water bonded to the glycogen is broken down too. This results in a significant amount of water loss excreted through your urine.
Once you go back to your pre-diet regime, your body will put the weight back on immediately because its trying to recuperate all the water that was lost. All your hard work over the past two weeks? Down the drain, unfortunately.
6. It won’t address what’s really important
Just how entrepreneurs and their clients are results-based, so are dieters. Dieters often want the weight loss so badly that they are willing to follow any gimmick, menu or plan in order to get the weight off their body with no questions asked.
Although this way of thinking is great for aspiring to reach the big goals in life, it does not work for sustainable weight loss.
Any diet that does not prepare your mindset and your body for the future essentially will leave you with a net weight loss of zero.
Weight loss isn’t easy. As tempting as it is to try these diets that will help you lose weight fast, don’t. To lose weight in a sustainable manner, a steady pace of about 1 to 2 pounds per week through gradual dietary and lifestyle changes is recommended.
This slower and steadier mode of dieting allows for time to lose real weight with minimal muscle loss, be at par to take care of your business, and to truly examine what really lead to your weight gain in the first place. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, your weight loss journey should be about the journey itself, not the destination.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Amy Lanci, The Vitality Geek, is a certified holistic health coach who helps busy and guilt-driven women to lose their first 10-30 pounds by focusing on their emotional eating and mindset as opposed to supplements and shakes. She found her passion for health and wellness after going through her own journey of losing 60 pounds and overcoming fatty liver. You can grab her free 3-step guide to putting the brakes on your emotional eating here. Connect with @thevitalitygeek on Twitter.
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