by Madeleine St. Marie

So the other day, I was slaving away in a Semi-Private Training?session, mid plank, when Joe leapt up from a bench and went, “WHAT?THE HELL?” He ran up to the TV and turned it up. Good Morning America was running a segment on this brand new fad diet called the Ketogenic Entenal Diet, or the K-E Diet. The diet, which had enjoyed immense popularity in Europe, was now catching on with the soon-to-be-wed set in Florida as the method par excellence of losing weight. Like most fad diets that have come and gone through the years, the K-E diet is extreme in that it relies on a feeding tube inserted through the nose that delivers 800 calories a day. The result? The patient can lose up to 20 lbs in 10 days.
So go ahead, let’s say it with ?Joe, “WHAT THE HELL?”
If something like this, or any of the other extreme fads has caught your eye and convinced you that you CAN lose a grip of weight in an extremely short period of time, I have news for you: you’re doing it wrong. At best, you’re cheating.
Now before someone sneers and says, “Madeleine, of course you’d say that. Your inability to lose weight in the last year has been well documented. You’re just jealous,” I’d like to point out that this sort of cheating has nothing to do with me. It’s your body, do your thing. But just realize that you’re cheating yourself. Want to know why dieting has such an extremely high rate of failure? Because people don’t set themselves up to succeed. Yeah, you can absolutely lose weight if you subsist off of grapefruit. But if you think you can keep that up, you’re not being honest with yourself. Losing weight is all about disciplining yourself. Keeping that weight off is all about maintaining that discipline.
I can sympathize with women trying to drop weight before their weddings. It’s one of the biggest days of your life and it’s going to be immortalized in film for the rest of your life. But it’s indicative of our society that instead of trying to treat the underlying cause – terrible eating habits – and instead, trying to solve the topical result. At the risk of using a tortured metaphor; It’s a band aid when what we really need is to fix the underlying issue that’s causing us to bleed.
Look, this stuff is hard. Chad Johnson, the NFL running back more famously known as OchoCinco tweeted the other day that he noticed burgers cost 99 cents, while salads are like $4.99. Pizza Hut is running this $10 deal for a medium one topping pizza with breadsticks and cinnastix. That’s not only cheap but it’s easy. And that’s the problem. We’ve been told by our popular culture for years that nothing good comes easily, but when it comes to ourselves, we’re unwilling to put the work in. Losing weight, especially when you’ve put it on because you’re not making good food decisions, is extremely difficult. You have to keep working on it. What’s going to happen is that these women trying to lose weight for their weddings are going to end up putting it back on unless they have also, in the course of those 10 days, have learned and mastered good eating and fitness habits. Then they’ll be at the same place, desperate to lose weight, but wholly without the tools to help get them there.
Make the right decision. Ignore these fad diets advertised on TV and on the cover of your favorite fitness/fashion magazine. Invest in yourself and make deep seated changes that will help you in the long run.
Madeleine St. Marie is a group fitness instructor at Arena Fitness, a personal training facility in Encino, California.