Is Rapid Weight Loss A Scam? // Thick N Fit Kitchen (July 2019 Q&A with Dr. Dan)
What up, Queens! Welcome back to another Thick N Fit Kitchen livestream recap with our special guest, Dr. Daniel Reardon aka Dr. Dan (@drdanreardon)!
Dr. Dan is a doctor, educator, entrepreneur, and the CEO/co-founder of the DNA analysis company, Fitness Genes. Fitness Genes delivers custom diet and exercise plans based off of your DNA, and is the program that I did in 2017 that completely changed the way that I now eat and exercise, and helped me lose close to 30 lbs in a year.
Every month I host a livestream with him on a special topic, and this month is all about digging deeper into the world of rapid weight loss tactics. Do those fat burning pills actually do what they say? How does water weight impact our understanding of our weight? Do those constantly promoted flat tummy teas actually have something beneficial to offer our health or is it all just a scam?
So here are the key highlights from our conversation. I hope you find it helpful, and if you do feel like you learned something valuable, I would not only love it if you joined us for the next Thick N Fit Kitchen livestream, but if you could also spread the word and invite friends and family members to join you.
Please make sure you're following me on social media at @DayshaVeronica or @YesQueenLife to be updated on when the next Thick N Fit Kitchen livestream will be, and you can also check out the website calendar www.yesqueenlife.com.
Losing Weight: Fat Loss vs Water Loss
To start off our conversation, Dr. Dan first went over the distinction between fat loss and water loss when it comes to losing weight. He said that water weight is very key to our understanding about rapid weight loss.
So when we are talking about sustainable weight loss, he said, then we are talking about fat loss. But when we’re talking about losing more than 3 lbs a week, which is what a lot of magazine articles will claim, then we’re usually talking about water weight or glycogen. Glycogen is a form of glucose that fuels our bodies and is stored in our liver/muscles when not being used. Losing water weight is not as beneficial to your long term health goals as losing fat because your body needs water to survive, and thus you’ll always gain it back.
What is the healthiest amount of weight you should be able to lose in a week/month?
Dr. Dan says that losing 1-2 lbs a week is usually a good sign that the weight you are losing is from fat. However, he notes that if you are losing above 3 lbs in a week, then there is a good chance that you are losing more than just body fat.
He said that it’s also especially important when aiming to lose weight that your body get an adequate number of calories each day because should your body go into starvation mode, then it will deplete your glycogen (the fuel that lives in your muscles), then your muscles, and then your fat. Preserving your muscle gains is important because muscle can utilize and burn through the fuel you get from calories much more efficiently than fat.
Intermittent Fasting and Rapid Weight Loss
One viewer of the livestream brought up the fitness community’s latest obsession: intermittent fasting. While Dan and I agreed that the world of intermittent fasting could be it’s own livestream topic, in relationship to rapid weight loss, Dan brought up the importance of understanding that fasting should not be treated like starving yourself. Fasting, when done properly, he says can have a multitude of health benefits. Fitness Genes can actually tell you if you would genetically benefit from using intermittent fasting, and a lot of that is determined by the state of your metabolism (which FG also reveals). My body type, for instance, would not benefit from using intermittent fasting. So I don’t do it.
But the key point that Dr. Dan wanted to highlight for anyone interested in trying intermittent fasting is that you should still be eating an adequate amount of calories. Intermittent fasting just changes the amount of time you have in the day to eat those calories, but it is NOT about eating less calories than you normally would.
So how do we lose weight safely and effectively?
While this might sound counterintuitive, Dr. Dan says that in order to facilitate fat loss, it is extremely important to make sure that you are eating enough while also creating an energy deficit. He recommends figuring out your maintenance calories, which is just how many calories you eat to maintain your current weight. Once you then understand your maintenance calories, he then says it’s about making a small deficit in what you eat. He said to keep in mind that everyone’s deficit is unique to their starting out point. So instead of just dropping to 1500 calorie diet because some influencer told you it worked for them, he highlights, again, how important it is to remember that every body is unique it what it needs to lose weight.
Spilling the tea on flat tummy teas, diet pills, and and detox drinks
So what was interesting about this response is that Dr. Dan highlighted how some of the key ingredients that are promoted in these dieting products can have many health benefits (like lemon, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, green tea, etc). However, he said that the amount that is often used is so minuscule that the product would never be able to have the intended effect. He also brought up that even though many of these ingredient have great health benefits, their link to weight loss is not always so clear cut. For example, apple cider vinegar is great for your gut health, which in turn could help your digestive system, and bring about weight loss. But as I strongly learned in psych class all those years ago, correlation DOES NOT EQUAL causation; just because some people have lost weight while taking apple cider vinegar shots does not mean that apple cider vinegar will make you lose weight.
Dr. Dan believes that there really is no quick way to lose weight if you are trying to do so sustainably, and that sustainability will always yield the best and long-lasting results. So he suggests that you should always aim to be realistic about your approach, and really make a commitment to yourself.
We both agreed that instead of focusing on getting to the “after” photo, your focus should really be about getting to the “after” lifestyle of making better food choices and regular exercise in a gradual, sustainable process.
Hope this was helpful, and please feel free to join us on the livestreams! You can either follow me on Instagram (@dayshaveronica) or check out the website calendar on the homepage to find out when they're happening next.
To keep up with Dr. Dan, or to ask him a question of your own, you can follow him on social media at @drdanreardon.
If you are curious about giving Fitness Genes a try, please know that all Yes Queen fans get an additional 10% off any purchase at anytime. So the promo code to take advantage of that great deal is QUEEN10.