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Rapid Weight Loss is a Myth

Today on Facebook one of my friends was talking about how he lost 15 pounds in the past seven days, and was so proud he was going to reward himself with a good meal.

He had been on a liquid diet, drinking only juices.

For his privacy, I've removed his name, but I want to share with you what I wrote to him. One of my biggest pet peeves is that there is an entire industry that has been created around weight loss. Books, pills, diet aids, specialty foods, juice machines and gastric surgery all have one thing in common. They lie to you about weight loss, and they have no motivation to actually cure you.

My Facebook friend (whom I don't know in real life) is going to enjoy a good meal and hop on his scale tomorrow to discover a 3 or 4 pound weight gain. This misinformation is going to convince him that juicing is working and food is bad.

What's really happening is his body is reacting to the changing intake. He was getting unlimited water, and his body was letting it go immediately. Now that he's eating again, his body will start retaining some of that liquid just in case it's needed later. A quart of liquid weighs over 2 pounds.

Anyhow, here is the note that I sent to my friend.

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I saw your post about losing weight. Congratulations.

I just want to caution you not to overdo it. My wife lost 85 pounds and it took her over 18 months.

To lose 15 pounds of fat, you'd have to burn 49,500 calories in a week. For a 200 pound man, this would be over 70 hours walking briskly on a treadmill nonstop.

To lose 15 in a week means that most of the loss was water and intestinal cleansing. This is okay, but not sustainable.

Realistically you should be able to lose between 1 and 2 pounds weekly. This is somewhere between 500 and 900 extra calories daily. This way you can eat 2000 and burn 2500 to 2900, and have consistent weight loss.

This is the only way to lose weight and maintain your health.

If you currently weigh more than 400 pounds, you can about double that rate safely.

A crash diet is okay, and good to cleanse your body, but don't deprive yourself of nutrition. And don't expect that this pace can last, even for a little while.

I know we don't know each other, and I don't want to overstep, but I'm continually frustrated by the diet industry continually lying to people.

There are no secrets to losing weight. It's pure physics...

It takes X quantity of energy to move X quantity of mass over X quantity of distance within a period of time. It's the same calculation for the human body, a gasoline engine, or a rocket ship.

It requires heat energy (calories), to move mass (your body), a given distance in a given period of time (exercise). Weighing more, moving faster, or reducing caloric intake affect weight loss but absolutely nothing else does over the long-term.

Ignore super foods, diet pills, metabolism myths, etc.

I see you've been juicing. That's fine short-term, but it's a trick to rinse your body of fluids and bile. You will lose weight, but after a few days you were also drain your potassium and sodium and have no energy. Your body reacts to your reduced potassium by decreasing muscle tone. You may have heard of people who have died from excessive water intake? This is potassium shock. Juice is less damaging than water but will eventually have the same effect.

Drink juice because you liked it and it's better than the empty calories of soda, etc. but it patches a symptom, it isn't the solution.

I wish you best on your journey toward better health. My wife is currently 37, and she is in better health than she was in eighth grade.

My best,

Jason

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