Results of my switch to the Ketogenic diet: Pictures were taken 4 weeks apart. I maintained the same fitness routine for the full experiment. No diuretics or hormones were used to amplify results. No magical pills, powders, or stickers were used either.
The fitness industry is full of corruption and fraudulent people. I hate to even type those words because I love what I do and I love helping people, but that is also why I feel the need to write this. I have seen to many people run through every diet on the market and spend thousands of dollars on supplements, consultations, and diet plans only to see no progress. I’m sick of these individuals taking advantage of other’s health and insecurities to make money. I know I have a tendency to get long winded, but I’ll make this one short(er).
1. They Have Something to Sell
This is a big one! A great diet begins and ends with real food. Supplements are made to supplement your diet; not do it for you. If you must use their supplements for the diet to be “effective,” then it’s not effective in the first place. They don’t want to help you. They want to make money off you. I see this shit all the time. These “Coaches” are really just salesmen that are shown how to manipulate their customers with brightly colored marketing and false promises. Most have no background in fitness or nutrition and honestly most of them are still in the process of getting their diets on track. They don’t have any success stories from recent or current clients, but they have the perfect package for you to reach your goal in a ridiculous time frame! They have powders, pills, and stickers that will make the weight fall off in 60 days! How do they stay in business? They use the words “weight management” that way they have some legal wiggle room. Why would anyone buy this crap? Because most of the “Coaches” rely on their relationships to push the products. You probably have at least one “Coach” on your Facebook feed about to go live to tell you about their newest product or product promotion. Don’t fall into this trap. Google is your friend. Research a healthy diet that doesn’t require you to buy anything. Chances are that you can find some great recipes and maybe even a forum or Facebook group to join for free guidance. If you want to use supplements after fixing the issues in your diet, please do. Supplements are great for breaking plateaus and assisting progress, but you must have a healthy base before they can do anything for you. And please research your supplements as well. I use supplements, but I research everything. My daily supplements include CLA and fish oil for my joints and I take Glutamine, creatine, beef amino acids, and ZMA for recovery. All are completely natural and have zero side effects. Everything else I get from my diet.
2. They Offer Quick Results
The faster it comes off the faster it comes back. Most of these “diets” are caloric restrictions and can severely damage the metabolic system. This happens by dropping the calories so low that the body goes into starvation mode. You will lose weight, but most will be muscle leaving you feeling weak and very tired. This is what we see on the extreme weight loss TV shows. “The Biggest Loser” has a slew of horror stories from past contestants. Those trainers gave their clients everything from metabolic diseases to joint damage. Most put the weight back on shortly after returning home because the trainers did nothing to change their habits. They just brought them in, kicked their ass, and forgot about them as soon as they received their ratings. If you think for a second that those trainers knew what they were doing, you should get your brain examined. No self-respecting trainer would do that to a client. I tell every one of my clients the truth. There is no shortcut. Show up and put in the work. It’s not 80% diet and 20% training. It’s 100% diet and 100% training. That gets lasting results. You can’t work off 20 years of neglect in three months of dedication. I really wish it was that simple, but it’s not.
3. They Use Trigger Words Like Detox and Cleanse
These always push my Bullshit Detector into high alert. I love to ask these guys and gals the names of the toxins that their magical concoction is going to rid me of. I have yet to hear a good answer to this question. Detoxification can only be completed on a cellular level by an individual’s immune system. While there are herbs and food that can boost the immune system (such as cordyceps mushrooms) nothing is going to do the work for it. The immune system works through thermogenesis (big word for “heat creation”). This is why our body temperature increases during a systemic attack such as a cold or flu. The immune system is trying to supercharge itself for the battle. (Not the most technical way to explain it, but I’m not a doctor so you get what you get.) We could also go into the work of heat shock proteins, but you should know how to research using Google by now. Just save yourself some money and treat these words like drugs: Just Say No. The only “detox” or “cleanse” that truly works is water and exercise.
4. The Diet Plan is Not Sustainable for You
Everyone has different tastes and lifestyles. I have tried a lot of diets throughout my life just to get a feel for them. I usually try to run a diet for six weeks to see if they are worth the hype. Most fell flat, but a couple stood out to me. Some were great, but they just weren’t for me because they restricted a large amount of the foods that I like. The main one that stands out for me is the Vegetarian diet. I’ve never tried it because I eat a ton of meat, but I know some people that have seen great results from it. I know that meat protein had nothing to do with their crappy eating habits, but if it works keep on truckin’. I’m sure I’ll rant about that later. Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. My biggest goal is to enjoy life. I keep my diet on track, but I also find ways of working in the foods and drinks that I enjoy. I have been doing the Ketogenic Diet for a couple months now and I have seen amazing benefits from it. It is easily sustainable for me because my favorite foods are Keto friendly. As a personal rule, I do not push the Keto diet on my clients. I tell them about what works for me and if they are interested I help them anyway I can. The only food advice I give them is to replace process foods and sugar with natural foods and drink more water. I’m not trying to get them to convert to my ideology; I’m trying to help them find out what works best for them. This way they can make a healthy, sustainable diet for themselves and not resort to crash diets that do more harm than good. If you feel the need to cheat on your diet, then it’s not the right diet for you.
I know I stepped on a lot of toes with this one, but I stand behind every word. I have no problem debating any of this article with anyone who wants to say their piece. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please send me a message and I will do everything I can to get you the information you need.
ACSM Certified Fitness Professional