Everyday we are bombarded with magazines and websites promising quick and easy weight loss results thanks to some new revolutionary slimming programme.

So many diets claim to guarantee fast weight loss, for example:

Lose 8 pounds in less than a week!

Superprof is here to tell you about the risks associated with losing weight in such a short space of time.

Your role as a personal trainer is to educate your clients about exercise. Let's take a look at the advice we shouldn't be giving to people wanting to shed a few pounds!

Personal Training: the Dangers of Losing Weight Too Fast

First and foremost, let's just immediately forget the idea of losing a significant amount of weight in a very short space of time.

Even if, in theory, it's possible, it's harmful for your body and even mentally damaging sometimes.

As a home or online personal trainer, your role is to give your clients the right advice and support them in achieving their goals, with the help of your expertise.

Weight loss must be done gradually so as not to put strain on your body. Don't be afraid to enlist the help of colleagues and recommend specialists (dietician, nutritionist, etc.) to your client so that they can be helped with their diet as well.

The Yoyo Effect: a Fitness Coach's Worst Nightmare!

Find personal trainers to help you workout at home or at the gym.
Don't become obsessed with the scales, the right diet takes time. Source: Visual Hunt

The terms "fast diet" and "yoyo effect" usually go hand in hand!

After extreme dieting, you'll often see that these people tend to put the weight straight back on. Why?

This is because, in order to lose weight quickly, you have to shock your body, for example radically changing your eating habits or starving your body. The problem is that your body will now be conditioned and will have the annoying habit of storing any fat it gets as soon as you resume a normal diet.

In 80% of cases, you will then regain all the weight that you lost, potentially even more.

Muscle loss

There are other dangers for your body if you are tempted by fast weight loss diets.

These programmes favour the loss of muscle rather than fat when it's our muscles that burn more calories!

Even if you do lose weight (muscle actually weighs more than fat), your muscle structure will melt away and, as a result, you will move less. You will actually end up losing strength and tone.

Physical exercise thus becomes more difficult, you burn less fat and you gain more fat. A vicious circle has begun!

Why not discover the mistakes to avoid in bodybuilding.

Other Adverse Effects of Rapid Weight Loss!

As this Marie Claire article explains:

The weight that's dropping like flies isn't all fat—you're actually losing muscle, especially if you're doing something extreme like crash dieting...there is never a quick-fix solution to long-term weight loss. If you're looking to slim down, doing it the healthy way will garner you results...

These fads also lead to severe fatigue that will have negative effects for your everyday life.

Another consequence of depriving your body: if you decrease your food intake, you will salivate less. Saliva production reduces bad breath. In addition to being irritable because you're tired, you'll also not be able to talk face to face with your colleagues!

The article also explains that weight loss that is too fast has a significant psychological impact. Losing pounds does not give the brain enough time to adjust to seeing the body as it has become. A person will still see themselves as they were before their diet. This can greatly undermine self-esteem and can lead to recurrent eating disorders.

The final disadvantage of quick diets: your body gets used to disruption and deprivation. Your brain records this meaning the more you do extreme diets, the more difficult it becomes to lose weight. Fast diets more often than not lead to putting on extra weight and, moreover promote the sneaky onset of obesity!

Personal Training: Is Running Possible for People Who Are Overweight?

Add cardio to your fitness routine to lose weight.
Running at a low intensity will burn fat reserves. Source: Pixabay

If you are overweight and you ask yourself whether running would be beneficial for you to lose fat...

Great question and congratulations on taking the first step!

Firstly, overweight means an excess of 10 to 15 kgs depending on your size.

The first obstacle to tackle is the weight/power ratio in the legs isn't ideal if you're carrying extra kilos. At a cardiovascular level, you will get breathless faster than a person who weighs less.

Compared to a lighter runner, you also put greater stresses (weight divided by the area) on your joints and vertebrae. As a result, you may suffer from joint and lumbar pain. The risk of ligament damage (knees, ankles, etc.) are also increased.

Similarly, you may suffer from lower back pain because the intervertebral muscles will be crushed due to repeated shock waves.

Running still has some advantages, but you need to consider these tips before you start. In order to start properly, Superprof recommends you to stick to the following three rules:

  1. Gradually increase the duration of running to let your muscles and ligaments adjust to the pressure. A good idea also is to alternate between walking and running.
  2. Strengthen your lower limbs, including your glutes by doing squats and lunges to increase the strength of your legs.
  3. Do proprioception exercises to strengthen the stabilising muscles of your ankles and knees.

In general, remember not to exceed a pace corresponding to 65 to 70% of your maximum heart rate, because it's at this speed that you burn the most fat. Don't forget your overall goal!

It's paradoxical, but the more slowly you run, the more weight you lose! Don't hesitate to enlist the help of a personal trainer at home for advice on pace, equipment, moves, mental health, diet, etc.

Slimming Down: Think About Changing the Exercises!

You'll keep going back to the same restaurant if you love the food there, right?

For physical training, in the gym or with an online sports coach, it's not the same thing. On the contrary, you have to alternate between exercises and modify your personal training so it doesn't get monotonous, both for your body and your mind.

It's important to stay motivated!

Remember to try other sports such as swimming and cycling, which have the advantage of being tried and tested sports and therefore much less traumatic for your body. Why not try things like:

  • gym classes,
  • yoga,
  • pilates,
  • power-plate,
  • abs/glutes routines that allow you to strengthen your core muscles and reach a top level of physical fitness! Read our tips on how to not give up during your ab workouts...

Cardio Is Not the Only Way to Lose Weight

Find spin classes at your local gym.
Spinning is an energetic cycling class that burns a lot of calories. Source: Visual Hunt

To slim down, the key to success is combiningcardiovascular and muscle building exercises.

For cardio, it's easy: the elliptical machine, the exercise bike, the treadmill or the rower, done at a low intensity, will put your body into aerobic mode, thus promoting fat burning. The longer you spend on these exercises, the more you will sculpt your body and define your muscles.

For muscle toning, you can use straps, like TRX straps for suspension weight training. This works the upper body, biceps, the back and all the spinal muscles, keeping the spine aligned.

Remember to work your thighs and glutes as well, while not forgetting stomach exercises. Don't be afraid of core exercises like planks to get rock-hard abs, a flat stomach and perfect abdominal muscles!

Dance is also a fun and enjoyable way to lose weight! Try doing 3 hours of salsa and see if you don't break a sweat! If you are a fan of the gym or sports club, why not try Zumba or group classes such as RPM, Body Combat or Pump that will help you tone up your body and get back in shape while losing in weight of course.

If you're not working on a small budget, a fully-qualified personal trainer can also devise tailor-made programmes to help you progress quickly at home.

Lastly, learn all about the pitfalls to avoid during cardio training!

Don't Forget that Sports and Dietetics Go Hand in Hand!

Eat a balanced, healthy diet to see weight loss results.
A balanced diet with lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables is a no brainer! Source: Pixabay

For a healthy and lasting weight loss, Superprof advises you to follow this fail-safe method:

  • Do training sessions with a personal trainer at home or at the gym 3 times a week.
  • Follow a healthy and balanced diet, with lots of fruit and veg.
  • Have a healthy lifestyle (go to bed early, walk 5,000 steps a day, etc.)
  • Limit snacking as much as possible.
  • Have regular sleeping patterns.

You can get nutritional assessments from a dietician who can give you advice on portion size and the type of food to eat on a daily basis. But be careful not to make mistakes in nutritional sports coaching.

With regular physical activity, supervised by a personal trainer online or face to face, a realistic, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, you are sure to lose a few of those extra pounds!

Need a Personal training teacher?

Did you like this article?

5.00/5 - 1 vote(s)


A French/Spanish to English translator, Sarah is currently enjoying travelling around Europe with her work.