Kim K recently spoke about her rapid 16-pound weight loss in 3 weeks in prep for the Met Gala, and Cosmo asked me what I thought of it.
‘COSMO AS IN FUC*ING COSMOPOLITIAN MAGAZINE!’
I basically burst as I messaged my best mate. One of the magazines I grew up reading.
It’s safe to say that I am extremely happy that they, along with a lot of other publications, are finally starting to write about sustainable weight loss and health instead of the ‘spit your food out’ diet article I remember reading when I was 15. No joke.
Do I advocate for such a quick fat loss?
No, it’s not something I would advise my clients and there can potentially be some damaging side effects. However, is it possible? Yes.
And if in her case, she wanted to fit a certain dress (although I strongly believe our clothes should fit us and not us changing our bodies to fit our clothes) it can be done.
She’s spoken about cutting out sugar and carbohydrates and eating high protein foods to achieve the result and although in a healthy diet all food groups need to be included, to create such a huge deficit like the one needed to lose 16 pounds in such a short space of time, cutting out food groups does help reduce our calories, and keeping protein high would have helped her maintain lean body mass (muscle). Being the most satiating macronutrient, it also helps keep us fuller for longer – which will help when dieting on such low calories.
A lot of us have probably found ourselves in situations where we have experienced rapid weight loss; shock, grief and heartbreak can see our bodies change drastically and science doesn’t lie – if you are consuming less energy (calories) than you are using the weight will come off.
The biggest issue I have with this approach is that it continues to push the yo-yo diet narrative.
The idea that we are either ‘off’ or ‘on’ and that we must punish ourselves to change how we look to be ‘ready’ for a certain occasion.
Although physically, the health effects on the body for only 3 weeks wouldn’t be drastic, physiologically this way of dieting can have long lasting effects, damage an individual’s relationship with food and launch them into a restrict and overeating cycle which I work with women to move away from.
The weight loss that occurs from such drastic diets is not maintainable.
You can not live in a deficit and once you begin to reintroduce food groups and start living in the real world, socialising, dining out and having drinks with the girls the weight will come back on.
Instead, I believe our energy should be put towards creating a lifestyle that includes movement that we enjoy, food that nourishes us and a mindful and compassionate mindset towards ourselves.
This way there is no need to ‘prep’ for the event.
Yes, you might decide you want to make some changes and want to lose weight which you are absolutely allowed to do, but you do so through building healthy habits that you can maintain, you allow yourself enough time so that you don’t have to shut yourself away eating chicken and broccoli out of plastic containers and instead can incorporate enjoying a roast with your family or a pizza with your partner.
You set yourself goals outside of what you look like so you have things to measure such as energy levels, strength, and endurance so you continue to appreciate your body for what it can do instead of viewing it as something that needs to look a certain way in order for you to be worthy.
I like Kim, much to the dislike of some of my peers.
I am one of those who sat patiently waiting for the new series of The Kardashians to stream on Hulu, so I say this with no shade because lord knows having all eyes on your body at any given moment must be tough. She wanted to look a certain way and with her body she can do as she chooses.
I appreciate that the image of certain bodies can leave women striving for unattainable beauty standards.
However, some of the people I know that slate the Kardashian’s for this very reason are the same people that would celebrate and comment on their bodies if they didn’t look so perfect.
'Her bodies not that great anyway'
Why? Because untouched she has cellulite like the rest of us? And that ‘isn’t great?’
I can’t help but think that for some people, it will never be done correctly. And this comes down to them and their own insecurities, not the people they are pointing the finger at.
They asked if I could add a sentence to my piece.
‘Is Maria able to share one more comment about how Kim is already very petite, so surely this amount of weight loss can’t be healthy?’
I couldn’t add that sentence.
Not in the way I think they might have wanted.
You see, as with everything, it’s not black and white. There is this huge grey area in between.
If we are fighting for people to appreciate health looks different on everyone and that you can’t judge health on a body size, that works both ways.
If we want people to appreciate that those in larger bodies are healthy, to slam someone and assume they are unhealthy because they are in a smaller body – without context and knowing all the information, is doing the exact same thing.
I lead with this instead.
'Health isn't a certain look and it would be difficult to comment on someone being healthy based solely on their size. An individuals best health is just that, individual. However, 16 pounds is a significant amount of weight to lose in such a short space of time and I wouldn't advocate for such quick weight loss.'
There are healthier and more enjoyable ways to achieve fat loss and a 3-week crash diet is high up there on my list of ways exactly not to do it.
This approach being normalised is something I am incredibly passionate about helping women move away from and find a more balance approach to achieving their goals.
If you want to achieve a weight loss you can maintain, give yourself a minimum of 3 months in a moderate deficit. Include foods and movement you enjoy and focus on creating habits you can see yourself doing long after you achieve your goal.
Be patient, be consistent and remember health is mental, emotional, social and spiritual – not just about fitting in a certain size of dress.