We humans are very clever - even trying to trick ourselves into believing false practices that promise great health as the end result! We really know when we need to lose a few pounds too. We also know how unhealthy it is for our bodies to carry excess weight. And we even know, deep down, that continuing to eat junk food, while popping a pill, or choosing a crash diet regime is not the way to achieve the strong, lean healthy body we desire.
Bizarrely, being armed with this knowledge is not enough to stop us from falling into these traps of super fast weight loss promises. The New Year tends to be a favourite time for people to choose to start a crash diet, rather than adopting a healthy lifestyle where your most favourite dessert can be enjoyed in healthy moderation.
The reason behind this feigned ignorance has come to be known as the ‘boomerang effect’, where drastic efforts to change behaviours backfire. It appears that these quick-fix methods cause individuals to feel that they have a ‘get out of jail free card’.
This boomerang effect can have very negative consequences as it can reduce overall motivation, and actually cause people to continue unhealthy eating behaviours. The lure of promised easy weight loss is a dangerous one. It reinforces a false dependency on the ‘quick trick’ of the moment, and reduces the feeling that we have the power to make changes to our bodies ourselves, if only we changed our approach to an easier one that will have more long term benefits too.
“Weight management remedies that promise to reduce the risks of being overweight may undermine consumer motivation to engage in health-supportive behaviours,” write authors Lisa E. Bolton (Pennsylvania State University), Amit Bhattacharjee (Dartmouth College) and Americus Reed, II (University of Pennsylvania) or a recent study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College looking into how advertisements and marketing messages designed to help people lose weight may actually have the opposite effect.
Weight loss drugs may be a particularly devastating part of this problem too, with some studies claiming that this ‘comfort blanket’ is actually fuelling obesity.
“Put simply, why put effort into living a healthy lifestyle when a weight management remedy can take care of the problem?” commented the study team.
The fact is that there are no quick tricks to building a strong healthy body and mind. We must take full responsibility for ourselves and understand how our bodies work, and what is required to nourish them properly.
A sustainable healthy lifestyle is not one that yo-yos between binge and detox diets. We must understand clearly the choices that we are making with food and drink, and be fully aware of the consequences of eating a particular way.
Diet pills cannot undo the damage of an unhealthy lifestyle. The mental and physical consequences of choosing this route as the cure for being overweight can be dire if the results from the aforementioned study are anything to go by.
Sensible Weight Loss Tactics
It is more sensible to choose a gentle approach to help you get back to your healthy weight, that focuses on including healthy foods and not avoiding certain so called ‘bad’ foods.
Weight loss should be gradual to ensure that it is part of a sustainable lifestyle and the effects gained are long term.
A main part of any such approach should be to include plenty of water. Ensuring that your body is adequately hydrated can be a substantial aid in weight loss. Water is essential for all bodily functions, including the metabolism. Drinking enough can also keep you feeling satisfied between meals, and stop you from mistaking hunger for thirst, saving many unwanted calories being eaten over time! Alkalised water is particularly beneficial as it is rich in antioxidants and supports your immune system too.
Your diet should be rich in whole foods, and Super Green supplements that nourish and satisfy your body, reducing cravings for sugar.
Choose to include more delicious, organic fresh foods into your diet rather than simply deciding to exclude foods. Include plenty of seasonal fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources and organic dairy products (or non-dairy alternatives).
High fat foods and sugary foods should not be eliminated, as this will not help your mental strength. You do not need to forbid anything, simply make the choices to include more healthier foods each day that will support your weight loss and the functioning of your body long term.
Set realistic goals to keep you on track, and take up regular moderate exercise. This should be something that you enjoy doing, and a mixture of cardiovascular and strength training.
These methods are the best way to achieve manageable, sustainable weight loss, and a body that is strong and lean. Your body will thank you for the efforts and so will your bank balance when you quit buying expensive products claiming extremely quick weight loss.