Every day, unqualified coworkers lay atrocious weight loss advice on the ears of those sitting around them. No matter how passive-aggressively we adjust our headphones, Mr. Never-Worked-Out-A-Day-In-His-Life still can’t wait to make up some bullshit statistic about the benefits of carbo-loading for office work. Weed out his myths, encourage him to keep relying on research from fitspo_skinnyarm_xo’s Tumblr page, and know your facts.
What your coworker says: “These meal replacement bars covered in egg yolks with whey powder all mixed together into one awesome morning smoothie blend really pack the protein before work.”
Truth: High protein shakes are designed for people who are trying to gain weight. The only calories you’ve burned, my friend, are the ones it takes to rip off that damn near impossible wrapper. Granted it can be a strenuous finger workout without scissors, but that doesn’t justify all those unnecessary calories. Protein powders and excessive “power shakes” will, without a doubt, help you gain weight if that’s what you want–but if you don’t build muscle, you’ll build fat. Instead, eat something balanced that’s high in fiber to keep you going until lunch, like oatmeal. Blended doesn’t make it better for you.
What your coworker says: “Liquid diets are guaranteed to help you drop at least three pounds.”
Truth: You’ll lose three pounds this week, but gain five the next as you gorge yourself in Chipotle after depriving your body of the solid foods you crave. Embarking on a low calorie liquid fast is like taking your metabolism on an extreme roller coaster. It’s all fun and games during the initial plummet, but rest assured, it will break down and get stuck.
What your coworker says: “Four laps in the pool is the equivalent of running a mile because of the inverse relationship of muscle groups to distance on an XY graph. Trust me, I work out in real gyms.”
Truth: If the statistic sounds made up, it 100 percent is fake 100 percent of the time. There’s a correlation somewhere in there, and just like this guy, I’m going to keep throwing around statistical jargon so I sound like I’m confident in what I’m saying. Play along, or you’ll never hear the end of numbers and facts he pulled straight off his personal blog.
What your coworker says: “I’m doing the Paleo diet so I can eat as much as I want.”
Truth: Remember physics class back in high school? Remember how 1,000 pounds of steel weighs the same as 1,000 pounds of feathers, just like 2,000 calories worth of eggs is the same as 2,000 calories worth of red meat? In terms of energy (because a calorie is, in fact, a unit of energy) they pack the same heat. Eight thousand calories worth of carrots every day without intense exercise will make you fat. The Paleo Diet, while still being researched, isn’t an excuse for excessive eating, as many make it out to be.
What your coworker says: “You should eat six large meals a day to keep your metabolism going.”
Truth: This one has some validity, but your coworker sucks so much you’re absolutely positive he’s probably doing it wrong. If you do the six meals a day thing, good for you, because your metabolism will cruise away at work all day. But, if you look at your caloric intake as a whole each day, you still want to hit your respective, well-balanced, caloric goal. It’s beyond easy to overshoot those goals when you mentally and physically break it down into six separate meals, especially when a burger would count for two whole meals.
What your coworker says: “These diet pills rock, I totally recommend them! They make me poop soooooo much so I can get so skinny.”
Truth: There are side effects to every diet pill. Massive amounts of caffeine paired with crazy drugs may rev your metabolism, but your heart should not beat a million mph after every meal. Also, almost every marketed diet pill has some sort of side effect dealing with your intestinal track, so, gross. You’ll lose weight thanks to increased bowel movements, meaning you’ll spend hours on the shitter dehydrating yourself. So, bye bye water weight, but you’re still fat. Avoid diet pills–they’re an economic ploy to trick you into what is somewhat of a placebo effect.
What your coworker says: “Sunday is my cheat day.”
Truth: Finally, they speak some truth! Always have a cheat day. Sure, it’ll throw your body for a spin and keep things metabolically interesting, but more importantly, it’ll keep your sanity. It’s in our human nature to give in to gluttony once in a while, and if you can control when you do, you’re less likely to give up on your diet in the long run. So enjoy that Doritos Locos Taco trash your stomach will eventually hate you for. You deserve it, champ!