I have to share that I’m feeling kind of sad, angry, and disillusioned. It’s that time of year, I know. That time where every crazy idea about weight loss and getting ripped invades every media outlet in our lives.
I should be used to it; but I’m not.
It makes me sad because of all the bullshit out there.
Just this week, I’ve seen very disturbing ads. Disturbing on one hand because they are utter ridiculousness. Disturbing on the other hand because of people’s reactions to them… or should I say blind faith in them being their magic bullet for weight loss. Oh, yeah, without having to do anything except buy and use this magical new product.
Have you seen the ad for lycra pants with some magical compound woven into the fabric that is absorbed by your skin and melts fat away yet?
I mean really – think for a moment and tell me if you believe this? If this were true, everyone would know about this magical potion that melts body fat – no work required, just rub it on and abracadabra – you’re thin!
I also just saw and ad for exercises no one over 40 should do because hormones.
What the bloody hell?
I couldn’t watch it all but this charlatan has a whopping 4 studies he is using to back up his claim that women over 40 shouldn’t do cardio because it messes up their hormones (again, what the bloody hell?). Oh and I guess cardiovascular health is not as important as your weight even though heart disease remains the #1 killer in the USA?
Ummm. Okay, let’s move on ignoring this major fact.
The next part was that this guy can show you the 12-minute exercise plan that will keep you burning fat and calories for hours after you exercise (spoiler: pretty much all exercise has this impact – Learn more about EPOC.)
Damn you science.
Yes, hormones are a big part of weight loss and metabolism. But the detox metabolism tea or the 12-minutes of exercise a day aren’t going to fix them or abracadabra – we’d all be thin!
But the worst part for me is the comments. This is what makes me angry.
It’s not what I’d expect of people crying BULLSHIT! No, it’s the vulnerable and hopeless pouring out their health problems in a comment and asking if the program will work for them.
People peddling this bullshit to these people should be ashamed of themselves.
Of course, we also have had the supplements and pills around for decades now. Someone is still making money off them (off of you?) or they wouldn’t still be peddling this particular type of snake-oil.
The claim, as always, is just take these pills, no exercise or food changes required and abracadabra – you’re thin!
At least the shakes let you know you have to give up eating twice a day and instead drink their miracle shakes.
Listen, there is some evidence (as in research, not testimonials) for pills and supplements for weight loss but the fine print is usually along the lines of people losing an extra few pounds (not a lot of weight) when they also exercise and/or change their food. It’s not just the pills, people. And there’s not a big difference in weight lost with the pills.
Do you know what you are risking for that extra 5 pounds off loss with a pill or supplement?
Well, if it’s an over the counter supplement, just liver failure or death because these are not regulated.
If it’s a prescribed medication, then it’s just insomnia, damage to liver or heart valves, increased blood pressure, seizures, and diarrhea – fun!
But hey – 5 more pounds! Woo!
At least with the shakes you know you are going to be starving yourself – no matter how “filling” the shakes claim to be, it’s not food and there is no chewing.
But sure, take in a mere 700-1000 calories a day and you will lose weight… and stall out your metabolism so when you stop the shakes (because come on it is not a life-time plan), all that weight you re-gain is going to be fat instead of muscle now because you have wrecked your metabolism.
They should put that in the ads too #truthinadvertising.
Actually, one of my favorite studies on an MLM shake product was provided by a seller and touted as proof that their shakes are different. The punchline? After actually reading the journal article, it turns out they gauged their weight loss shakes a success because the shake users regained less weight after one year than other dieters.
WTH? Regained less weight.
Right. Not actually losing weight… but regaining less weight back. Wow.
This all makes me disillusioned because here I am – hello – peddling health and weight loss through exercise and nutrition changes along with lifestyle management for stress and sleep.
And what? I expect people to do some work?
Yes. Work smarter, not harder; but work nonetheless.
At any rate, these are some random thoughts from a dietitian health coach as the money-making season begins for weight loss.
I have no real point today.
I’ll sit by and bite my tongue… and hope that someday we can see behind the abracadabra curtain and believe that common sense is sexy again.