As Freddy Mercury from Queen said, “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!”
This is how most people look at weight loss – they want to lose it all, RIGHT NOW! This message is echoed just about everywhere, from grocery store magazine racks to online ads. Common marketing tactics include losing 7 pounds in 7 days or promising to give away the “one weird trick” to lose 30 pounds in a month. Is there any truth to these claims? Read on to find out!
Can you really lose 7 pounds in 7 days?!
You may be able to see your weight go down by 7 pounds on the scale, but is it all fat? Heck, no. You’re being misled by a bunch of charlatans who have no shame. So how can savvy marketers get away with these claims? The short answer is that these extreme diets force your body to shed water, which leads to short-term weight loss. In fact, water can make a person’s weight fluctuate between 2-4 pounds per day. People may experience rapid weight loss in the beginning, but they’ll almost always gain it all back.
Related: Constant dieting won’t help you lose weight
Did You Lose Fat Or Was It Just Water Weight?
One of the most frustrating parts of any weight loss journey is that success isn’t linear, and changes in the scale aren’t always related to a loss or gain of fat. Instead of seeing a consistent drop in weight each day, you’re likely to encounter days where you plateau or suddenly gain weight even if you’re eating right and exercising.
This is partly due to how your body stores carbohydrate energy, a molecule called Glycogen. For every 1 gram of glycogen in your muscle tissue and liver, there are about 3 grams of water bound to it. The average person has around 600 to 800 grams of glycogen stored in his or her body.
This can affect your weight quite a bit. For example, let’s say you have 700 grams of glycogen stored in your body. That means you have 2100 grams of water bound to it, and the glycogen plus water totals 2800 grams or 2.8 kg. For our American audience, 2.8 kg is 6.16 pounds!
As carbs are reduced on any diet, whether intentionally as part of a keto diet or as a result of just cutting back calories in general, the amount of insulin your body produces is going to drop. When the hormone insulin drops, your kidneys will kick out salt from your body, and water will follow! The drop in insulin levels, combined with burning through your glycogen stores, can cause you to pee out several pounds of water the first week of your diet. So while it may seem like “cutting carbs,” “detoxing,” or “going keto” is causing a rapid loss of fat, it’s really just your biochemistry kicking into gear and dumping water weight.
Most extreme diets that promise you’ll lose 7 pounds in 7 days use water weight to their advantage when making weight-loss claims. Remember, a rapid drop in calories forces your body to use glycogen, and that means the water molecules tied to it are let go. As soon as you have a decent meal and replenish your glycogen stores (which the body will ALWAYS do as soon as it has an opportunity) those 6.16 pounds come back basically overnight.
Learn how diets really work in the video below.
Related: Does The Keto Diet Work Long Term?
People pushing these extreme diets know good and well that the glycogen/water dump is coming and most people don’t have a clue. It’ll be pitched to you as your body “getting rid of toxins” or some other sexy tagline, and because the “toxins” are gone, your body suddenly dropped 6 pounds of fat. This is a lie. We’ve seen plenty of people ripped off by this misinformation, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of dollars.
If you want to lose body fat, not just weight, and keep it off for the long term, you’ve got to take a controlled and sustainable approach. This means looking at your progress in the timeframe of months, not weeks.
Related: 9 Hacks To Help You Enjoy Your Favorite Foods & Lose Fat
Optimum health and fitness doesn’t happen overnight. You MUST maintain an intentional mindset about your health and fitness every day. There’s no need to rush things and try to lose 7 pounds in 7 days – all you accomplish by doing that is making yourself miserable for a week and smashing your confidence with a sledgehammer when you end up gaining it all back after one or two “off days.”
You have your whole life ahead of you to improve your physique and relationship with food. Once you’ve “earned it” through hard work and a smart approach to dieting, you’ll need to switch gears and focus on maintaining your results with intention. If you don’t, they won’t last. Liberate yourself from the diet hell imposed by “fast” weight loss schemes by embracing the reality that this is a long-term process…then reap the benefits of taking action in line with that truth!
Our Advice On How To Lose Weight
Take your time, do it right, and get life-long results!
If you’re looking for an alternative to crash dieting, we’ve got you covered. Watch the video below to learn more about how Avatar Nutrition works and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube for more weight loss tips!