My Weight Loss Progress

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Intelligence vs. Ignorance

The world is full of weight loss scams, fad diets, and odd ideas, along with a few solid principles.  How do we sort out the genuine from the fake?

  • Number One:  The big one!  Does it play on your fears or emotions? 
I saw an ad for a thyroid supplement that asked, "Are you gaining weight?  Are you afraid your husband won't love you anymore?"  That's terrible to use our emotions that way!  Am I afraid my husband is such a flake?  If I am, I've got bigger issues than extra weight to deal with.  Run from the diet people and get a marriage counselor!

I've seen others that say things like "I couldn't play with my children any more.  Now we bicycle together and run 10K's and all sorts of energetic, healthy things."  Well, naturally, if we're too heavy that's gonna happen, but if it's being used to sell the program, beware. It may be a good program, but do your research.  

Other things to watch out for:

  • Does it make sense?  Can you really lose weight by eating (a great number) of calories a day?  Your body has to put them somewhere.
  • Is it healthy and well-rounded?  Is it medically sound? Sure, cabbage soup and grapefruit may make you lose weight fast, but do they give you all the nutrients you need?
  • Is it just a cleansing program?  Sure you'll lose a few pounds if you get food poisoning or do some other cleansing diet, but you put it right back on once you start putting actual food back in your body again.  It doesn't do anything for the long-term fat storage.
  • Is it on the cover of a magazine?  It might be good, but chances are the headline is simply there to catch your eye and sell the magazine.
  • Is it dangerous?  Surgery and liposuction should be a last resort.
  • Is it extreme?  Whether extreme exercise, diet shakes, or very limited calories, you are not likely to stick with it if you dive in too fast.  Too much pain does not equal gain.  
  • Does it require too many changes at once?  Again, it's hard to adjust to change.  One change at a time may be slower, but you are more likely to succeed.
  • Does it have a disclaimer "Results not typical"?  That's how they can get away with photoshop, airbrushing, false claims, and all sorts of things. That one little phrase.  This is not typical. As in, it's not real. Don't expect to succeed. But send us your money anyway.
  • Does it require a huge investment?  If it does, chances are, they just want your money.
  • Do you have to buy special food?  This may be genuine, well-rounded, and healthy, and people find success on it if they don't cheat on it.  But if you're not going to cheat on it, then why not prepare your own cheaper, fresher food?  You will save a lot--and lose weight--but don't nibble while you cook. 
  • Does it have secret ingredients, diet pills, secret foods, etc.?  Really, consider what you are putting into your body.  Also consider that if it is really beneficial, it would be acknowledged and researched by the scientific community.
  • Does it focus on being s*xy?  What's up with that?  If your biggest desire is to wear a bikini on a beach, then go for it!  But it's true what they say, s*x sells. Unfortunately it also sells women on not feeling good about ourselves.  
  • Last but not least, does it claim to make you look younger?  Maybe some things really do, but let's face it, we're not getting younger.  We have to accept that.  I'm not going to look 20 again, even if I weighed the same as I did then. I don't really want to, actually, because then I would get hit on by college students, embarrass my children, and have flirty old men making smarmy comments.  Ha-ha.  Nope, I just want to be a healthy 50+ woman!  Well, maybe not the + !
What are the better options?  Eat healthy, use a little self-control, or a lot, exercise reasonably, and be patient.  Join a gym, a healthy weight loss group, a walking group, or whatever it takes.  But do your research first!  Don't buy into the sales pitch, the Facebook posts, or the latest fads.  Don't buy into false claims.  Do buy into good health for yourself! 

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