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Weight Loss Fads I Do Not Follow

April 23, 2014

One thing I have learned about people while on my weight loss journey, as a Personal Trainer, and as a blogger who not only writes, but loves to read other blogs is: a lot of people are looking for a "quick fix" when it comes to losing weight. They go crazy over a new product that has become available as it promises to deliver a miracle, they can do something for only 5 days and drop 10 pounds, etc. When I was younger, I fell victim to a few of these, but I quickly learned that nearly everything is a gimmick.


If you want to lose a significant amount of weight and live a happy, healthy life, you need to fall in love with clean eating and regular exercise. Executing those two things are what guarantees a life of being fit. I will add this disclaimer that every persons body is different; what works for one person, may not work for someone else. You may love doing some of the "fads" that I don't; that is fine too! My writings, research, and opinions are not the only way to do things. "Different strokes for different folks".

1) Juicing
I like this idea if you do this naturally to get in more fruits and/or vegetables. If you have a juicer at home and you put fresh produce in there, make your own, and have it WITH a meal, I think juicing is fine. I would not use it in place of eating vegetables and fruits though. Juicing as weight loss, meal replacements, and/or to "cleanse" you, I do not believe is a good idea. Juicing all of your fruits and vegetables takes away a lot of nutrients; the skin is where an abundance of those are found. Furthermore, a diet of only "juicing" slows down your metabolism. Your body needs proper fuel to burn fat and provide energy. Juicing lacks significant amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. Juicing alone cannot provide all of those nutrients. When a person starts significantly depriving themselves of those, the body shuts down to prevent itself from going into "starvation mode". The body begins burning muscle and storing fat. Then once your juice cleanse is over and you are back to eating regular, solid food, your body has a slower time digesting it and using it as expendable energy. Juicing is expensive from what I have found and can add a ton of unnecessary sugar. Your body has a colon and kidney's that "cleanse" your body, you do not need a "juice" to do that for you. Eat proper foods and exercise - that cleanses. 

2) No Carbs
I hate how carbohydrates have such a bad reputation. When I first started my weight loss journey, I told you guys how I researched and had notebooks full on information that I was finding. I not only wanted to lose weight, I wanted to learn and understand my body. I saw a lot of "low carb" diets and how it was the best way to lose weight. I thought I would try it and I did. I was miserable. How bad my mood was, was just the tip of the iceberg, plus I exercise far too much to deprive my body of essential carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down into three different types: sugar, fiber, and starch. Simple carbohydrates are the delicious yet unhealthy types of carbohydrates to consume - a big base of those are sugar and starch. Complex carbohydrates such as fiber are essential for well-being, digestion, and energy. Carbohydrates provide a thermogenic effect that will increase calorie burning. The carbohydrates standard role is to be our MAIN source of energy and/or "fuel". Carbohydrates are also kind of like the "partner" for protein. This is called "protein sparing". The protein sparing effect conserves protein for muscle tissue, and expends carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates protect the protein you consume from being converted to glucose (sugar) to serve as an energy source when glycogen and plasma glucose levels decrease. Depriving your body of essential carbohydrates over a long period of time causes major stress on one's liver. The liver has to manufacture glucose from fats and proteins. Ammonia is produced as proteins are converted into glucose, which can be toxic to the immune system and cell function. Carbohydrates are especially essential to anyone who exercises heavily, athletes, etc. If you are not as active, high(er) carbohydrate intake is not necessary, but you still need to consume them. Consumption just needs to be the right items. See below for a list of complex carbohydrates.  


3) Fully relying on squats
I have always had big legs and a big butt; even when I was a child. Part of it is definitely genetics and part of it was growing up taking gymnastics and dancing. I hated my big legs and butt growing up, but now I am different, thankfully! I love my big booty and it is my favorite part on me physically. I love working my legs and glutes to the core. I always plan my leg workouts the day before my rest day from the gym. Most days I can't walk after my leg workouts! However, squats are not the be all, end all. I did not start regularly squatting until May of 2013. My butt was built on high incline walks (seriously high inclines are the best), heavy leg press, hip thrusts (definitely do these, they are more glute focused than squats), walking lunges, leg extension, leg curls, and and plyometric workouts. Squatting is an awesome exercise and I love to do it (specifically back squats), but it will not make you nor will it break you. That is kind of like buying a sports car, but it only coming with an engine. The engine is very important, but you need other parts of the car to make it run. Same with glutes and legs.

   
4) Cardio only - no weight training
This makes me give the "side eye" more than anything. "Lifting makes you big and bulky! I only want to do cardio!". People want to "tone up", what do you think toning up is? It is muscle!



First off my arms are hands down the worst part of my body. Guys I hate my arms - I want to love every part of me, but my arms? No way. They are slowly... so slowly... getting smaller, but I think they make me look so much bigger than what I am. They did not start improving until I started adding muscle. Lifting heavier and 3 times a week is what is helping shape my arms and make them smaller. Clean eating is the root of course, but when I really dedicated myself to lifting weights, that is when I started to see a difference. Woman do not naturally have nearly the testosterone that men do. Therefore, we will not get "huge" by lifting weights like they can. Sure if you artificially inject testosterone into your body, women can get huge, but not by clean eating and weight lifting. Adding muscle mass to your body burns more calories when you are at rest. Cardio is great, you burn fat and calories while you are engaging in your activity, but once you stop, it's over. However that is not the case with weight lifting. Your body continues to burn calories even after you finish. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. Growing older leads to your bones decreasing in density and becoming more brittle - especially in women. By doing regular strength training, research has proven that you can both increase your bone density and work to prevent osteoporosis. Weight training enhances performance in cardiovascular activity. How awesome is that? Add muscle to your body by weight lifting, which burns calories at rest, and assists in burning extra calories while you do your cardio workouts. You are stronger therefore can go harder and longer which melts fat away from your body. No matter how old I get or what type of fitness activities I get into, I will always be in the gym lifting my weights!

[Update] I received a few personal emails and comments from women who want to lift weights but are aren't sure how to start, what to do, they're intimidated, scared, etc. I will write a post about how I started weight lifting with tips, ideas, and advice for you guys! I will have that up within the next 2 weeks. 

38 comments

  1. What an excellent post! I couldn't agree more!!
    Fads are evil and dangerous, and I wish there would be a law against them. They raise false hope again and again, make people sicker, fatter and more miserable than before!
    And the no carb thing? Drives me nuts. Like you said, complex carbs are so important!
    I love everything about this post!!!

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  2. Love all these! I too hated my dancer/soccer player thighs for so long! I love a good incline walk and but going to try the hip thrusts now to!

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  3. I am so trying to get into lifting but I am Super intimidated.....still I KNOW it is what I really need to kick things up a notch around here!

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  4. I have to get into weight training! Just so scary to start it

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  5. yes to all of this. people are just too lazy to do their own research and instead, rely on what others tell them or those idiots like dr. oz or whatever. i LOVE lifting; i'm a bro at heart!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  6. Lift big, eat big, get fit...pretty simple and it took me a while to get it all figured out but its the truth.

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  7. Hey girl! Thanks for stopping by my page! I couldn't agree more about these "fab" weight loss programs! Looking forward to following along! :)

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  8. YESS to all of these! I get so frustrated when friends do no carbs or juicing or cleanses to loose weight and then are depressed when they gain all the weight- and usually more- back! You have to change your lifestyle!! Thanks for posting!!

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  9. Yes!!! I hear people talk about all this crazy stuff they are doing to try to loose weight and I just want to smack them. I mean...I agree we all have a different body and different things may work for different people. HOWEVER. If you plan to stay fit and healthy, the only true way is working out and clean eating.'

    I totally bro it up for my work outs just about every day now except for cardio and abs day. I work on my back, chest, shoulders, legs, bis and tris......I am turning into a complete douche like those guys at the gym that check out their flexing in the mirror....and I love it! I think it takes a lot of girls awhile to figure out that lifting can only be good for them.....plus it is a lot more fun for me! I will never be one of those girls that loves to run and even likes it....but I can get into my reps with my weights.

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  10. Oooh I can't wait to see the "lifting" posts!

    I just added weighted squats into my Weight/Strength days.. and from what I read above, I am going in the right direction. I love my uphill treadmill walks, and the leg extension/curls... Lunges aren't my favorite though.. **sighs** in time... I will conquer that.

    :)

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    1. You are so awesome darling! You are kicking ass, I love it.

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  11. I love this! I tend to go lower on carbs but that is just what my body responds to, but nothing too drastically low. I am not a fan of juicing as a meal, it is too low in calories. I used to only do cardio but I learned to love how i feel from lifting heavy!

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  12. Great and detailed post girl! I lost all my weight when I started cutting back on the bad carbs and trying to stick with the good ones. That plus bootcamp and pump classes are what worked best for me :)

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  13. I totally agree with you!!! Your blog is adorable! <3

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  14. I just love this - can't wait to see your lifting post!

    Quick question - you've mentioned a few times that you taught yourself to eat well and did a lot of research on your own. What did you use for your research? I'm only asking because I'd like to become more knowledgeable about how nutrition works and how our bodies respond to different foods (without breaking the bank of course) myself!

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    1. Great question! I am replying back on here so people can see the respond. I took health courses in college for any electives I could. I also obtain my NASM Personal Training certification which taught me a lot, especially through the text books I had to purchase for that course and certification. Those were two huge ways I learned. I bought a lot of books from Barnes and Noble, read a lot of blogs online, frequently visited websites such as Bodybuilding.com and LiveStrong.com and then a lot of it was trial and error with myself as I was trying to find what worked for me!

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  15. I can't stand it when people tell me they're going on a 'carb free diet'. I've told off many people for this. Most of the time, they're doing it with no knowledge of how their body uses different nutrients, what is required etc. They've heard that carbs are the enemy and are happy enough to remain completely ignorant.
    There's so much stuff I'd love to teach the world. I've met a lot of those "lifting weights will make you look like a man" people. They have no idea..

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  16. Great Blog Liz. Well written and great knowledge about your subject to back it up. There is no short cut or magic pill.

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  17. YES!
    I cringe whenever I see someone on FB, Twitter, IG, posting about their new diet fad. I'm a firm believer in balance and eating the food groups and being aware of what you're eating not just eating (or not eating) something because that's what you saw the most pins about this week!

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  18. So happy to see this post Liz! You are such an inspiration to SO many women out there and we know if we come here that we can rely on the information provided. That is what sets you apart from so many other bloggers. Thank you for this (and I love my squats!!!!!) xo

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  19. I have seen so many people do number 1! And Idk they do it because I would starve with just juicing lol!

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  20. totes on your side with this one. it annoys me when my friends know i'm into health/fitness and ask to try out "this new diet plan" when in reality its just limiting what you intake and then once you stop you go crazy and over indulge again. this new 21 day fix thing look stupid, you have to only eat from cups, and the cups have set sizes for meals. how about you guys just monitor what you intake 24/7 and you won't need these things!! thanks for posting today :)

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  21. great post! i can think back on the stupid things i've done to my body and i cringe. every once in awhile, i get interested in the new fad. but ultimately, if you do the research, you can find out that it's pretty much crap.
    i'm all for that strength training post too! do it!

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  22. I hate when people cut out carbs and fat... you need both!! I hate hate hate the juicing fad. It it sooo unhealthy. There is also no scientific proof that it cleanses your system.. just stuff that is on Dr. Oz that all the sheep follow. I can't help but laugh a little when people say they are going to juice for a week, because 1) it's dumb and 2) it won't last. They then state the weight they lost (no shit---you starved yourself) and then complain the lost weight came back and more (it wasn't real weight loss). I would just eat what I want when I want, no matter what it is. I just don't overdo it... well sometimes lol

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  23. LOVE this!!! I hate all the fad diets and juice cleanses. So dumb! People don't seem to realize that as soon as you bring those things back into your life you gain that weight right back! I love lifting (as you already read from my post :) ) and I really think it's funny when people freak out and think they're going to bulk up from lifting! Great post girl!!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  24. I definitely agree with all of this! I've always been very skeptical of the "juicing" fads--I'm pretty sure it's a better idea to just eat your fruits and veggies when you can!

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  25. Great insight my friend!!!! I cant wait to read your how to get started with weights post!!! You are an inspiration!

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  26. What a fantastic post. I lost 85 pds eating a butt ton of carbs....Ok that sounds wrong, but carbs where very much a part of my diet and they continue to be. I did start to worry a bit when it came to weight training because as you know if you are into crossfit its paleo and if you are a body builder weight lifter its eating "clean," which pretty much means paleo. I am already so sick of that part of the culture I want to throw things. What you said about protein sparing is fascinating. I already knew eating to much protein is not good for your liver or kidneys, thats human anatomy 101 but does anyone ever look that sort of thing up to find out if it IS good for them? Nope. As for weight lifting it makes me sad women still feel intimidated by it. I hope they can find a way to get around it. Weight lifting rocks my freakin socks off! Great post, dude! PS if you are going to juice do it right and do a smoothie you get all the fiber too. Always seemed a shame to take out so much of what it is good about a veggie.

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  27. Hi Visiting from the GRITS blog! Thanks for posting this! I'm an online health and fitness and I see a lot of women making the mistakes you mentioned. The body needs protein and complex carbs to build muscle. and if one does only cardio, they will wind up a smaller shape but still have cellulite. Thanks for your common sense approach! :-)

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  28. What a great post and wonderfully written!

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  29. love this! I never understood all the fad dieting

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  30. I loved reading this post! There are so many "lose weight in 10 day" commercials and products and I know that they are crap. There is no way losing that much weight in such a small time period is healthy. My favorite exercise is high intensity cardio (like Zumba) but I still love lifting weights to get more muscle and be strong. Love, love, love this post.

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  31. Walking lunges and stairs kill my back side every time. But I will always love my squats. Great post.

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  32. It's been good to see your blog when I always look for such type of blogs. Thanks for your sharing. I have been really impressed by going through this awesome info. Recently i have read a very good online review about Fast Weight Loss Program. I hope that it will equally help you people in loosing weight.

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  33. I’ve lost 5 kilos in my first week. I followed the diet with some protein as suggested. It is really like magic! It works. I’m not perfectly following the listed diet plan mostly), but the weight looses even on very little exercise. Give a try on this, this diet plan clearly works.

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