With so many diets and weight loss gimmicks available, why is there such an obesity problem in North America? If those products worked, there would certainly be less obese people. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the gimmicks on the market and touted in magazines and on TV.
Here are some of the fat loss schemes you may come across:
Shakes, Smoothies, and Food Supplements
Weight loss occurs quickly when you substitute shakes or smoothies for real food. The problem is that you aren’t losing fat. You are losing muscle mass and water! This obviously isn’t the right kind of weight to lose. If you are going to substitute a meal or two, make sure you are getting enough fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. And make sure that the shake or smoothie isn’t loaded with saturated fats sweetener. Instead of spending lots of money on these packaged meal replacements, make your own smoothies out of fruit, vegetables, and protein powder. That way you know exactly what you are consuming.
Diuretic and Water Pills
When taking a diuretic, water excretion is increased, causing sudden weight loss. An individual who fails to distinguish between fat loss and loss of water may consider this to be desirable: however, the only actual loss is water, achieved by temporary dehydration. This can cause heart problems and other health problems.
Both prescription and over-the-counter diet pills can be obtained. To help with weight loss, some uninformed doctors prescribe amphetamines (speed), such as Dexedrine and Benzedrine. These drugs temporarily reduce appetite. However, once the patient stops taking the medication, the appetite returns to normal. This means to shed pounds and keep it off you have to keep using the pills. this is expensive and can cause health issues. And the weight loss (and often more) is regained, so the user has the problem of getting off the drug without gaining weight. The only answer is a permanent change in eating behavior. Pills should not be a substitute for healthy eating and exercise.
Add to this some of the pills on the market cause diarrhea, stomach upset, gas and irregular heartbeat. Many of the pills on the market contain caffeine and/laxatives.
Believe it or not, there are creams on the market that will supposedly trim your waist and thighs. And they aren’t cheap. They cost upwards of $50 a jar. You are supposed to smear it all over your body. So, you can see how you’d go through a lot of cream. Interestingly these often come with a suggestion that you should add exercise to your daily routine!!! Save your money and don’t buy these.
Saunas and Steam Baths
Hot baths, steam rooms, and saunas do not speed up your basal metabolic rate. They simply make you hot. And when you are hot you sweat. Sweat is water (not fat) that you are losing. Steam baths and saunas do not melt off body fat They dehydrate you, so the scales show a loss of weight. But you need to distinguish between weight loss and fat loss.
These machines are intended to break up fat by jiggling parts of the body, while the person leans passively on them. While they provide pleasant stimulation, without the expenditure of effort, there is no expenditure of energy, so no decrease in body fat.
Rubber Suits & Salon Wraps
Rubber suits are dangerous because their insulative properties can trap body heat and cause heat injury. Again, you’ll sweat and lose water. During a salon wrap, you are put in a warm room, wrapped tightly with a plastic type wrap (fat is compressible) and offered coffee (a diuretic). After you are measured and weighed you pay your money and leave. You have lost girth (fat has been compressed) and weight (water). Dehydration can cause heart arrhythmia and lightheadedness. It doesn’t take long for everything to right back to where it was.
Like a corset from the 1800s, this device is meant to slim and train the waistline. These devices are sometimes called “waist training” devices. The actress Jessica Alba, and the reality show family, the Kardashians, are using it and promoting its benefits. The wearer straps on the corset to synch in the waist. It will not cause you to lose fat. Yes, you’ll look thinner while wearing it, but it can cause unhealthy and uncomfortable problems. Wearing a corset for hours a day may cause the stabilizer and core muscles to atrophy. They become weak from not having to work. Breathing and digestion may be impeded. It may damage rigs and internal organs. The only person benefiting from you wearing a corset is the person you bought it from!
The 5 (or 7) Minute workout
There are workouts that you can purchase or get online that say you can lose lots of weight if you workout for just a few minutes a day. If it were only that easy! While a little is good, more is better. Working out longer at a moderate level or harder at an intense level is what will give you the best fat burning. Refer to our previous blog on HIIT training.
Low Carb Diets
Our next blog will be on no-carb or low-carb diets. These diets do make you drop weight rapidly, but it is mostly water. But they aren’t good for you nor something you can sustain for a long time. More on this next Blog.
Elimination or Very Low-calorie Diets
Some diets have you eliminate other foods like fruit, or nuts or bread. While this can be good for people with dietary restrictions, it isn’t good for all of us. It can, however, be a problem for our health as we may be cutting out one of the food groups. Remember the previous blog about your basal metabolic rate? We need a certain number of calories just to stay alive. If we don’t get them, metabolism slows down. This is not what we want when we are looking at fat loss.
When your calories are very low, your body starts looking for ways to feed itself. The body goes through sarcopenia where protein is pulled from cells to get turned into carbs to feed the brain and the muscles. I’m sure you can see the repercussions. You’ll lose weight – but not the kind you are looking for. This can make you weak and prone to illness. You need food! If you aren’t getting it for weeks or months, the minute you start eating normally again, you will start packing on the weight.
Only exercise and a healthy eating plan will work to burn fat from your body and build muscle. Some of your clients may ask you about the quickest way to shed those unwanted pounds. Someone once said, “lose weight not money”. And there are lots of ways companies can take your money without you losing weight.