By: Nick Thomas
Let’s be real. Almost everyone wants to shed some weight, either 5 to 10 pounds or maybe more. The initial goal being to gain confidence and good health, maybe even reverse some serious health problems. The key to doing this and making it worthwhile is for it to stand the test of time! However, let’s be honest, for most of us losing weight is hard. It takes dedication and long-term commitment to clean eating and exercise. These things just do not always fit in our busy lives easily, so naturally we look for shortcuts.
When we fail to stick to doing it the right way and do not see the results we so desire, inevitably desperation sets in, and we are tempted to turn to fad diets and dietary supplements. Companies make their products and methods look so tempting through amazing promises and awesome advertising. The goal of improving our health slips away, and the quick fix becomes much more alluring. The fad diets and supplements vary; but they all usually have a few things in common — they promise extremely significant weight loss in a short amount of time! The scary part is not only is the rapid weight loss not sustainable, it can have some very harmful side effects.
Elimination of food groups is very typical in fad diets, as is the use of dietary supplements. This may work for a while, but a few things begin to occur over time. Since the body is being deprived of the nutrients it needs to function, it will begin to tell you in varying ways that it is not happy. You may experience fatigue, nausea/vomiting, headaches, digestive issues, irritability, hair loss, and even potential organ damage. While you may lose the weight you have been wanting, as you get comfortable and begin to return to a more “normal” eating pattern, it will all inevitably come right back. This puts you in a yo-yo dieting pattern, hopping from one fad diet or supplement to another every few months, gaining and losing weight rapidly, and putting your body in a very unhealthy cycle both mentally and physically.
Another major consideration when it comes to supplements is that the FDA simply assumes all are harmless until proven otherwise. This only occurs when consumers have issues arise and actually report them. Manufacturers do not even have to prove their products are effective before selling them! This information alone is a reason you should be extremely careful, but there is more. Several supplements do not have a complete or accurate ingredient list and can even be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, other medicines, and other unknown chemicals. I believe it is safe to say that health is NOT the overall goal here!
The bottom line is that nothing can replace real food and what it does for our body. The body craves what it needs, and all that it needs can be found in all-natural whole foods. Dietary supplements are simply not needed when real food is used properly.
Everyone has a certain amount of required nutrients their body needs daily; a balance of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fat, and greens is usually a winning combination. When you begin to replace these all-natural whole foods with protein powders and supplements (while they may be labeled “all natural”) the nutrients have been stripped away, and the body will have little to nothing to absorb for fuel and/or nutrients. They are fillers at best and ultimately are providing you no benefit. God made the earth to support us, don’t over complicate it!
The above just scratches the surface of why a sustainable, healthy lifestyle requires all-natural whole food. Nutrition can either make or break your life. This is something that I believe VERY strongly and continually educate myself in so that I can help others live their best life!
By: Nick Thomas
owner of Prime Performance Training, and Certified Sports Nutritionist