Marketing preys on human emotions and generally over promises, and under delivers. Whether its perfume that makes you irresistible to the opposite sex, magic pills to add inches to your penis, or a new car that will make you feel 20 years younger behind the wheel. No matter which way you carve it up, we as the consumers often purchase emotionally due to wishful thinking and a ‘want’ to believe it as truth.
None more so than an infamous “6 week body transformation program”. It is likely they capture your attention with a generic sales copy that generally strives to target your insecurities about progressive weight you’ve gained over the past 2 years and mentions something about you no longer fitting into your favourite pair of jeans or some other cringe worthy bullshit (insert eye rolling emoji here).
Far to often I hear this common story throughout an initial consultation:
“I have always enjoyed exercise and been an active person. I was going to the gym 3-4 times per week and then I signed up for this ‘6 week bikini body transformation program’ which was really good. We trained 6 times per week, they gave us a set diet to follow and I got really good results. I was 70kg before I started the program and got down to 62kg, which made me really happy. I really struggled to maintain this and since then have progressively got worse and worse and now weigh more than I ever have before. I’ve been to the GP and had blood work and other tests done and they cant find anything. I just don’t know what to do anymore, that is why I am here.”
Let me tell you why this happens.
The truth is, the people that got you those awesome results in such a short period of time, don’t give a fuck about you. What they do care about is putting your money in their pockets and getting the best before and after photo of you so they can use that to re-market their ‘successful’ program to others just like you and do the same. The question I ask is, show me the ‘after-after’ photos.
On the surface level and for a short period of time, fat loss can occur if your energy expenditure is greater than energy (calories) in. If you restrict anybody to 1000-1200 calories per day, they will experience rapid weight loss. I say weight loss because it will not be tissue specific. You will burn fat and you will also lose muscle.
- The more muscle your body has, the easier it is to burn fat
- After this kind of 6 week challenge your hormones are probably going to be screwed
Why is it so hard to maintain or continue to lose weight post 6 week challenge despite hardly eating anything and training even harder? Dropping weight and burning fat has many variables, calories is only one of them. A more important variable to consider is whether or not your thyroid gland is functioning at an optimal rate balancing the hormones it releases.
Thyroid regulates metabolism, and metabolism governs weight loss. People that eat a lot of calories (from good food), have a faster thyroid. When you cut calories, your thyroid slows down. What needs to be understood is that energy (calories) in can actually determine energy (fat) out. After 6-8 weeks of starvation mode (1200 calories) you may experience elevated reverse t3 and a resistance to weight loss which shuts down our bodies metabolism leading to the cells of your body storing and holding onto fat.
So of course over a short period of time, rapid weight loss can occur in such stressful conditions but soon after, the hormones will catch up and you may spend years trying to repair the damage.
The longer the program is run for, the worse the long term effects. Do you want to look and feel good for 6 weeks or the rest of your life? Although you may not be satisfied with your fitness level or physical appearance right now, patience is a virtue.