Scary Weight Loss Techniques – Please don’t try this at home!

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My personal training client told me about a woman who paid $1,000 to a doctor to lose 50 pounds.  He promised that through his proven weight loss program, she was GUARANTEED to lose the weight.  His program is a 500 calorie per day diet with daily injections (that the patient/client does themselves) of fetal urine.

This program is wrong on so many levels, it is difficult to know where to start.  First, a 500 calorie diet WILL insure that you lose weight.  It will also insure that you GAIN the weight back when you start eating again.  Research also shows that not only will you gain the weight back, but you will put on even MORE weight than you initially lost.  This is due to many reasons – one of which is a slower metabolism.  When you take such a reduction in caloric intake, the body believes that it is starving and you do the WORST thing that you can possibly do….your body becomes a fuel SAVING machine versus a fuel BURNING machine.  Your body continues this saving process long after the diet ends.

The fetal urine???  I don’t know if it can do short term or long term damage.  Fetal urine has been used in the past to help stop blood clots, however, this process was stopped years ago.  I don’t know much else about fetal urine.  Self injections?  I understand self-injections when your life is on the line – insulin, allergic reactions, etc.  However, not being a nurse and injecting myself??  Kinda scary.

The weight loss industry is a billion dollar industry.  From the cabbage soup diet to thigh busters to dangerous programs based on amphetamines and other drugs.  All promising huge weight loss.  There are so many gimmicks out there that it is difficult for the average person to discern what is real (what is safe and what works) and what will harm you now or later – or at best is a waste of time and money.

I have so much compassion for people who are desperate to lose weight.  Who hate their bodies.  The 500 calorie diet?  I was anorexic in my teens and 20’s.  The repercussions of which have lasted into my 40’s.  I understand the obsession with working out.  I understand the depression that comes with hating what faces you in the mirror every day.  I understand the binging – and the depression that follows.

So, what advice can I share with you based on my 25 years of being a fitness professional and personal trainer/coach??  1) Hire people who are the best in their fieldpersonal trainers with lots of letters after their name (specifically NASM, NSCA, ACSM – or if they have a graduate degree in the field); 2) Hire a nutritionist and LISTEN to them!  Eat every three hours.  Balance your food intake to balance your insulin levels.  Take medical grade supplements – if supplements are recommended.  Eat as naturally and organically as possible; 3) Work with a therapist or Brennan Healing Science Practitioner to help you understand WHY you hate your body, WHY you use food or exercise to give solace (or punish yourself), and WHY don’t feel ENOUGH! Food and exercise are the story….they are not the reason! 3) Purchase and read Women, Food & God by Geneen Roth – even if you are a man – lots of good stuff here.

Sorry friends, there is no easy way.  There is no pill.  There is no bypass of the personal and physical work that is involved in losing weight and getting fit.  The first red flag that should scream at you is when someone or something offers you the bypass – or anyone or anything that GUARANTEES you will lose weight….  As my momma said:  If it looks like a duck; walks like a duck; and quacks like a duck; it probably is a duck!