I still read the newspaper. Call me old school but there is something comforting about getting the daily news in paper form. I particularly love the Sunday ritual in my house of eating lunch, watching some CNN and reading through all the news, ads and coupons.
A couple of weeks ago, as I was reading the local paper, I came across an ad boasting that you could lose 30 lbs by Valentine’s Day. The ad was half a page, bright red and made the following claims in big bold letters:
- Real Food!
- No Calorie Counting!
- No Strenuous Exercise!
Real food? Okay, I’m good with that. Get the overly processed junk out of your diet, I completely agree.
No Calorie Counting? Hmmm, how do you know how much is coming in vs. what is going out without some form of calorie counting or tracking? Unless….someone is telling you very specifically what to eat or selling you prepackage meals and supplements. I am not a fan of that! Learning how to eat for yourself is very important and I don’t really consider prepackaged frozen meals “real food”.
No Strenuous Exercise? What? This program promises tremendous weight loss (30 lbs by Valentines’ day based on the date of the ad would mean 5.5 lbs per week) without exercise. Are you kidding me?
What’s wrong with exercise? It’s good for you. Your body was made to move not sit hunched over a desk all day. For good health you need exercise, regardless of weight loss goals. Exercise is not, and should not be presented as, something to avoid.
Without exercise, 5.5 lbs of weight loss a week means a caloric deficit of 2750 a day. How does one accomplish that eating real food, without counting calories and without going on a starvation (500-1000 calorie per day) diet? I don’t see how it can be accomplished safely.
If there’s no calorie counting, no exercise and severe calorie restriction guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to lose lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is our active, calorie burning tissue. When you lose it, you lower your resting metabolic rate. You need fewer calories to maintain your body weight. When you return to “normal” eating, the weight comes back.
You need exercise. Exercise avoidance should not be part of your fitness plan. Exercise should be part of any effort to get healthy, get fit and lose fat. Promises of dramatic weight loss without it out are temporary and potentially harmful to your health. Don’t buy into it, no matter how big, bold and tempting the claims may be.