For the last thirty years or so, I’ve been helping people lose weight (among other things). And, over the journey, there are not many conversations about fat arses, legs, hips and guts that I haven’t had. At least once a week (on average), someone will interrogate me about some amazing, incredible, new, never-seen-before, miracle weight-loss pill, program, product, powder or potion.
To all the people looking for that quick, easy, painless path to a lean, functional, sexy body, here are (some of) my considered thoughts based on three decades of working with thousands of bodies, minds and personalities.
1. When it comes to weight loss, there are no quick fixes or miracles cures. And, as appealing as it might sound, you won’t undo twenty years of bad choices, behaviours and habits in twenty days.
2. In terms of fitness gizmos and gadgets, most of what you see on television and in magazines is called advertising and creative writing; not science.
3. Weight-loss centres that “want to help you create your best body ever” (a) want your money and (b) don’t know you or give a shit about you.
4. Rapid weight-loss is almost always followed by rapid weight gain.
5. Rapid weight-loss is not the same as rapid fat loss. When you lose a vast amount of weight rapidly, you’re losing water, muscle and fat (in that order).
6. There is no (fixed) optimal daily calorie intake for your body (height, weight, age, etc.). Your energy expenditure varies from day to day. Therefore, so too do your energy requirements.
7. There are no new anatomical movements; just new equipment, new brands, new choreography, new music and new marketing. Functional anatomy and physiology hasn’t changed.
8. There is no best program. There are many.
9. If you only have only twelve weeks left to live, then a twelve-week weight-loss program is a great idea.
10. Most commercial metabolism boosters (fat-burners) increase blood pressure, resting heart rate, core body temperature and risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Other than that, they’re awesome.