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It’s easy to be dismissive of any diet or method or programme for weight loss that promises rapid results over a short period of time.
We’re taught to be inherently distrustful of anything that seems too easy or rewarding. Good things- be them happy marriages, dream jobs, or incredible weight loss- are supposed to take time, and effort. We’re told that this time and effort might not always pay off, either. We swallow that bitter pill whole when they force-feed us the notion that life is supposed to be difficult.
If you want to lose weight, we’re told to wake up an hour earlier every morning to go jogging in the cold dawn. Or forgo the pub after work for a yoga class instead. And that’s a great attitude- exercise is gymnastics for the mind as well as the body. Runners are proven to be more focused during manual tasks through the workday; yogis are renowned across the world for keeping their cool longer than those who don’t take the time to stretch and bend as meditation; working out is good for your heart and lungs.
What if, though, weight loss could be quick-started with the simple idea of eating less?
Whilst under the care of McCullough Spinal Care in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Shelli, a Tennessee native, sought solace for her chronic back pain that had spanned many years and several surgeries. She was told in no uncertain terms to drop weight by her doctors.
Her problem, though, was that she couldn’t exercise. Washing the pots or a short walk with the dog could potentially riddle her with agony. Any kind of physical exertion was problematic. Shelli watched the Olympics along with the rest of us, admiring the obvious dedication to sport excellence displayed throughout. But whereas the rest of us might have set the alarm earlier to incorporate a morning swim or dance class, inspired as we were by the dedication of those tremendous athletes, for Shelli there was no hope. Sport and exercise was in no way designed to be her saviour.
For Shelli, she had to lose weight a different way. The 500 Calorie way, to be exact.
Under extreme medical guidance, including physical check-ups and regular counselling, Shelli undertook a diet of just 500 calories a day. For the first month, her diet consisted of fish, chicken, certain vegetables, some fruit, and very little else. Her doctor closely monitored her progress, and Shelli undertook the challenge with her informed husband, who joined her quest by following the diet plan too.
Her husband was determined to find various ‘life-savers’ to make the diet more bearable- namely copious amounts of coffee, and hot sauce for chicken, steak,boring veggies. No-one was more surprised than him to discover that lethargy or crankiness didn’t seem to become an issue like both of the couple had initially feared, and suddenly the error of their previous junk-food laden ways was revealed to them.
Shelli reported that some of her friends had been less supportive, telling her the diet was at best a short-term fluke, and at worse totally unhealthy.
“I thought about what my husband and I had eaten two Saturdays ago,” she says. “For lunch, it was tuna melt sandwiches- so that’s what? 2,000 calories in an extra large portion, with maybe 175 grammes of fat…”
She continues: “We ordered pizza at dinner- three slices at 350 calories each. Brownies for dessert. I bet we passed 4,000 calories that day. 4,000 calories is not healthy. 4,000 calories is what is unhealthy.”
Shelli says we’re part of a culture that happily ignores excess but quickly ridicule slack. “I’d been suffering pain for years, needed to lose weight, and so took the steps necessary to do that. I had my doctor and husband on side, and was able to identify pretty quickly that my old eating habits were the problem, not my new ones.”
After 30 days on the 500 calorie method, Shelli’s husband says the worst thing “is having to say no to some delicious food that normally I’d have wolfed down.” But, he counteracts, that food would only have given him a temporary satisfaction.
“The will to say ‘no’ has been dramatically empowering. I’d never really exercised my right to ‘no’ before. I think it comes back to being part of a culture where more is better. By default, it’s as if saying no means deprivation and we’re told that deprivation is a bad thing.”
“This month has certainly initiated some interesting discussion with Shelli about long term healthy eating, and weight. It’s about the power of the mind.” Shelli chimes in: “It’s given us a push to look at other areas of our life that need an overhaul.”
Bad press about rapid weight-loss diets has roots in celebrity culture. 19 year-oldMiley Cyrus is reportedly in hot water with her fiancée for becoming so controlling about consuming 500 calories a day and working out for multiple hours, that it is alleged that he has threatened to cancel the wedding if she doesn’t recognise the unhealthy obsession she has developed.
But the glamorous wife of outlandish designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen dropped a remarkable five stone in five months by following a variation of the 500 calorie method, for the considerably more healthy desperation to slim down enough to take part in a charity walk for breast cancer.
The trick, it seems, is as with anything else, not just weight loss: an understanding of why it is important to you, how you can achieve one big goal through many small goals, and support. Shelli and Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen both had partners at their sides, acting as a cheerleader and offering guidance. By comparison, Miley Cyrus has reportedly become secretive and antsy about her weight-loss pursuits.
It’s well known that to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. A really low calorie diet like the 500 Calorie Method could carry out more harm than good- if your body needs more calories (energy) it could impact the rate of metabolism, effecting muscle mass and having a detrimental permanent effect.
The body is, of course, a personal and varied thing, and that’s why any dramatic pursuit for weight-loss needs medical guidance from an industry professional. But with the objective and educated knowledge of a professional, weight loss could be the not only a physical but mental overhaul you’ve been waiting for- as Shelli so proudly shows.
This is a guest post by Dr. Patrick Bowler from CourtHouseClinics.com. If you are also interested to write for HealthResource4u, Please check our guest posting guidelines at write for us.