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Laxatives and Weight Loss

I was on the wrestling team, in 7th grade. I didn't get very good training in wrestling, but I learned a lot about the tricks of conforming to the demands of the scale. One of those tricks is taking laxatives and then weighing yourself immediately after you just about rip your bowels out.

While a wrestler may need to lose weight to qualify for a given weight class, almost nobody else does. (A weight class is not a class on weight--it's a range of weight, just as cars are in classes of subcompact, compact, etc.).

In fact, "losing weight" is one of the primary mistakes most people make, in their efforts to have a slimmer body. There are all kinds ways to lose weight, for example:

  • Have your bones surgically removed.
  • Have your limbs amputated.
  • Don't eat for 5 months.

These ways of losing weight are ridiculous, aren't they? Well, they are also very effective if you want to "lose weight."

But do you have a weight problem? Most likely, no. What most people refer to as a weight problem is actually a fat problem. This may sound picky, but it's a critical distinction. Understanding it will help you avoid fundamental mistakes.

  • Weight consists of healthy tissue--organs, bones, skin, muscle, fat, and, for most of us, a brain.
  • Fat consists of, well, fat.

People who "lose weight" often do that in ways that damage organs, bones, skin, and brain--the Atkins diet is an example of such a way. And most "weight loss" results in more muscle loss than fat loss. This means you end up with less ability to burn calories at rest, so you simply get fatter when your "weight loss" diet ends.

People who have "no luck" on these useless "weight loss diets" often turn to laxatives, sooner or later. They see a loss of 5 lbs and think they are making progress, at long last. But that's illusory.

Taking laxatives will cause you to lose weight, but will not cause you to lose fat. So if you are trying for a trimmer waistline, a flatter tummy, a smaller dress or pant size--you are going about it the wrong way and will not get the results you are after. What you will get is dehydration, laxative dependency, and irritated bowels--all of which can produce long-term health consequences. And then there's the embarrassment factor when your laxative-loaded body has "an accident."

What you need to do is lose fat--not weight. As you lose weight, you don't gain health benefits. But as you lose fat, you decrease your risk factors for cancers and a long list of other devastating health problems. And you look and feel better. So, the correct approach is to ignore the scale and work on that fat. It's actually easier and more pleasant than doing the "lose weight" thing, anyhow. To lose fat, see this article.



Article Authorship

The articles on this site are authoritative, because:

  • Every contributor is an expert in his or her field.
  • The articles comply with the accepted principles of the bodybuilder literature.
  • The articles comply with the teachings of such luminaries as 8-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney.

 Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.

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