A local personal trainer turned himself “from a grape into a raisin” through a 24-hour “ordeal” in order to challenge dieting fads and body weight myths.
Michael Cañas managed to lose 6.6kg (over 1 stone) in just one day through what he describes as a "gruelling" practice of water manipulation and dehydration.
He put himself through the “ordeal" - which he described in detail on his blog - to highlight people's needless obsession with their weight, and how too much focus on the bathroom scales is not a healthy approach to physical and mental wellbeing.
“I went through a day of pure hell to turn myself into a weak, dehydrated, ill-looking shell of my former self. I didn’t reduce my bodyfat whatsoever and just because the numbers on the scales read slightly differently, I looked no better for it, and was certainly much less healthy - in fact, dangerously so," he told Express.
Pictured: Michael competes in martial arts and will be at the Island Games later this year.
A personal trainer, Michael has an undergraduate degree and a Master of Philosophy in Behavioural Studies and studied fitness training alongside anatomy, nutrition and physiology.
He is also an athlete, having represented Jersey in tennis and swimming as a youth and now competing in MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He also represents the island in judo and will be in Gibraltar later this year for the Island Games.
Through this pursuits, he has learnt about the effects of diet and hydration on the body and how they affect athletic performance. As part of his studies and coaching practice, he noticed that the majority of people don’t understand the difference between weight and body fat, and tend to lump both of them together, when they are in fact very different.
Pictured: Michael got wrapped up like a mummy to "get sweating."
He called upon his studies and his experience in cutting weight for competitions for his challenge which included saunas, sweat suits, salt baths, natural diuretics and getting wrapped up like a mummy.
While his experience demonstrated that he could drastically affect his weight, it also showed it didn’t affect his body fat level or physical condition in any beneficial way.
“Essentially, I turned myself from a grape into a raisin in the name of weight loss. In terms of aesthetics, it was a completely counterproductive practice,” Michael said.
What’s more, Michael gained the weight he had lost – and more – in even less time it took to lose it, showing that a quick fix will not help long-term weight loss.
Pictured: Michael lost a stone in a day, but gained it back even quicker than that.
Michael is trying to challenge dieting myths even further through his personal training.
He has been working to show that while everyone focuses on exercise, external factors such as hydration, rest, diary organisation, proper nutrition and stress management also have to be addressed.
"We can't change our body, without changing our mind,” Michael says. "And we also can't make a change, without making a change. Once we get the foundations established as habit, the rest flies up in no time."
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