Quick fixes don’t exist

Like everyone else in the world, I want quick results and less hard work. I want to go to one interval session with my running club then smash a personal best at my next race. I want to eat a bowl full of salad and kale that immediately cancels out the cake I ate the night before. I want to do a few crunches at the gym one time and have killer abs. Forever.

Yeah. Doesn’t quite work like that, does it? Sadly not. And there is no time like the start of the year than hearing BS claims about “lose 7lbs in 7 days” or “get your bikini body in two weeks!”. It’s almost comical how these things suddenly spark up almost as the new year is chimed in. BOOM. Every news paper, every magazine, every advert, every gym… It’s all about that January fix and New Year’s Resolutions.

And the latest diet craze that sprung up out of seemingly nowhere is this “sirt food diet”. Er, what? Sirt, or sirtuins, are a type of proteins in the body that help regulate biological pathways that basically stop our fat cells from multiplying (more fat cells = the more fat we can become). So more foods containing sirtuins apparently means less risks of getting fat. This is a very loose explanation. I won’t get into the science of it because, let’s be honest here, it’s a load of rubbish anyway and the science premise of the diet itself is shaky. Oh and hey, there’s a book so you can go and waste your money on buy and read and be thoroughly unimpressed. The science is based on mice and fruit flies. Enough said.

Ranting aside, Women’s Health actually have a great article outlining this so-called diet revolution. And for once, it actually puts some sense into it.

February addition of Women’s Health

For example, they highlight that one of the ‘sirtfoods’ is red wine and you’d have to drink around 40 litres to get any sort of benefit. And surely then you’d kind of be dead… Unlike say the Daily Mail, Women’s Health doesn’t just present an entirely one-sided article promoting a ridiculous food plan. They give a good insight into how little we actually know about these flimsy claims. And they note how ridiculous such a reductionist approach to eating would be. The final advice was, just stick to eating healthy and exercising. No nonsense there.

What I also like is that WH also talk about good food to include in your diet which have actual science behind them, such as turmeric (a runner’s best friend for anti-inflammatory properties). I like this: science-based no-nonsense advice and for once not another diet to try and lose those “stubborn pounds”. Plus, not everyone reading Women’s Health wants to lose weight so having foods described in terms of beneficial properties other than just fat-burners is always welcomed.

In a nutshell the takeaway message is: you can’t just eat a ton of kale and drink a load of red wine and think that you’re going to wake up the next day two sizes smaller and feel amazing. Unfortunately life is far more complicated and your body is far more complex (it’s smarter than some dumb new crazy diet as well).

Don’t get me wrong, it is tempting to believe the claims that you can lose weight quickly and shape up in an instant but it’s just marketing rubbish. A big load of money is in this industry and it’s sole purpose is to convince people of their quick, easy routes to body perfection. But health is a lifestyle change and takes weeks and months, even years to achieve. And health isn’t solely measured by weight anyway. Any crazy diet to quickly lose weight is just going to cause more harm than good and be unsustainable. So, my advice would be eat your kale and have your cake too (but in moderation).

**Full Disclaimer: My subscription to Women’s Health was provided for free by magazine.co.uk as part of being in their blogger network**

16 Replies to “Quick fixes don’t exist”

  1. Great post! It astonishes me – it’s exactly the same as spot reduction as a ploy! Yes, you can do something that has an effect on a certain body part, but relying on that alone won’t help you get ‘killer thighs in 3 minutes a day’ and it’s not as if you can just choose where to lose weight from…Plus, what happens after your 7lb in 7 days….well, typically, it just goes straight back on when you realise that lifestyle isn’t sustainable.

    You would think by now that people would be wising up to marketing ploys, especially considering we are warned about marketing ploys on a regular basis…but apparently not.

    (However I am not averse to a diet of kale and red wine…and cake. Sounds dreamy.)
    Katie@These Girls Do recently posted…Gluten-free chickpea blondiesMy Profile

  2. As someone who is actively (now) trying to lose weight, it grinds my gears something chronic to read these types of articles that feature fad diets in the Daily Fail style. What makes me both mad and sad is that there are people who will accept it without evening thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for a bit of diet experimentation, but… yeah… I’ll stand down off my soap box!
    Steph recently posted…Whole 30 Days 22 to 24: Up, up and awayMy Profile

  3. This is why I stopped buying magazines because even the fitness ones are still obsessed with getting smaller sizes and losing weight, and it is all just a load of rubbish and contradictory. I quite like the BBC series Trust Me I’m a Doctor, but even they report things that don’t add up- they did a test where people exercised before work, and half ate first (at 6am) and half didn’t, and they concluded that women should eat before exercise, as they burnt more fat, and men should eat after. But in the same show they also looked at eating the same food over longer or shorter hours, and said you should eat a later breakfast as it’s better for your blood sugar (and also weight loss) to eat over a less amount of hours. So, in the end, they have not even really worked anything out. But at least they looked at two options I suppose! I have not heard of that new diet but it sounds like so much nonsense!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…ComFit foodsMy Profile

    1. I think I read something somewhere that said women’s magazines all have the same format of article types: How to love your body, how to lose weight in x days and then loads of comfort food recipes. Or something like that. It’s so repetitive. That programme does sound interesting. I love stuff like that (however factually inaccurate). It’s like that How to Lose Weight Well…people are put on ridiculous diets to lose weight which is just terrible (like a 2 week crash diet) but it’s interesting to see what happens and how they get on – and also the different diets that I had no idea existed (the starch diet??).
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Excessive cake and surviving long runsMy Profile

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