Calling out Women’s Health, version 2.0

Alright, so here is one heading that I, as an exercise professional, just. can’t. stand.    It is “Lose Weight Fast”.

Lets talk again why, if you are losing weight, your goal shouldn’t be to lose it fast:

weight1

  1. You shouldn’t aim for more than 1-2 lbs lost a week, because that pace is realistic long term.  Remember, to lose a lb, thats a deficit of about 3500 calories – which means about an hour of high intensity exercise everyday.  Doing more than that isn’t realistic for anyone, unless you’re an olympic athlete.
  2. You don’t want to just lose weight, you want to improve your body composition, which means gaining muscle mass and losing fat mass.  When you lose more than a lb a week, you are probably losing muscle and water in addition to some fat, which is going to slow down your metabolism in the long run, and make it harder to keep weight off.
  3. Which leads me into point number 3, you need to do a particular resistance workout (aka lifting weights) and then recover from that workout 16 times before you start to see changes in muscle structure.  ACSM recommends resistance training 3-4 days  a week, so it will take you at least a month of sticking with it before you start to notice some changes.

So bringing it back to the Women’s Health Magazine website, I stumbled across some tips to “lose weight in 7 days.”  The goal of the slim down is to stick to one of these tips each day.  What bothers me about these tips, is that they’re not necessarily unhealthy – they’re actually really good advice – but Women’s Health decided to frame them in the usual “Lose Weight Fast” mindset, rather than encouraging healthy lifestyle changes.  Lets take a look at these tips:

  1. weight2Sunday: Eliminate processed foods
  2. Monday: Eliminate alcohol
  3. Tuesday: Increase your fiber intake
  4. Wednesday: Snack throughout the day
  5. Thursday: Load up on fruits and veggies
  6. Friday: Sip on water throughout the day
  7. Saturday: Focus on protein intake

Why is this a “Lose Weight Fast” article Women’s Health?!  Why isn’t this a “Eat Healthier to Improve Your Lifestyle and Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease” article?!  Reframe your content Women’s Health!

Happy eating healthy every day!

-jules

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One comment

  1. I agree with you, these are healthly lifestyle steps people should take everyday to stay healthy and keep their weight down, along with exercise (cardio and strength training). It drives me nuts that people want a quick weight loss fix, they just dont realize they didn’t put the extra weight on overnight, it will take time to get it off.

    Like

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