Does it Work? - 'Tis the season...




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MrsJim
12-28-2001, 12:32 PM
Two days ago (the day after Christmas to be exact) not only did the post-holiday clearance sales begin - but the diet industry has started their big advertising push.

The diet marketers know that many people are making their New Years' Resolutions, and also bemoaning the pounds put on between Halloween and Christmas with all the eating.

Yesterday while watching the morning news for fifteen minutes, I saw no less than four diet commercials for the following products:

1) Xenadrine (by the way, didja know that most - if not all - of those 'before and after' pix used in the commercials are not of actual 'fat to fit' people but of fitness models who are PAID to gain and lose weight for these ads?)

2) Jenny Craig ("Lose all the weight you want for $49 [and in a very fast soft voice they add 'plus the cost of food'])

3) The Ab Energizer (probably a good product for people who are bedridden and can't move themselves, but most of us can do crunches that are much more effective than this device - besides, 'abs are made in the KITCHEN, not the gym'!)

4) Slim Fast.

Plus on the way to work, I heard one of the morning DJ's tout Body Solutions (don't you ever wonder why the company uses RADIO DJs - who we seldom see in person - vs. using TV personalities? Hmmmm...)

I just want all you gals and guys out there to take all those diet plan adverts and infomercials with a HUGE grain of salt. I'm not saying they're all necessarily bad - for instance I know Weight Watchers has helped many people (even if it didn't do much for me) - but before you whip out your Visa card to spend on the latest "miracle diet aid" I'd like you to read the following which I got off a TERRIFIC website, Krista Smash! This site has a lot of great FREE advice and what's more is a ton of fun to read! Check it out at http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html

Here goes: Spotting the Scams

The diet industry is just that: an industry. So they're going to try to pry your hard-earned cash out of your little fingers any way they can. They will play on your ignorance, fear, and guilt. But sisters, I have the mongoose to that diet industry snake. Here's how to sniff out the diet cowpies. Mmmm... pie...

1. Beware of anything with a brand name. That goes for workout plans too. There is nothing new under the sun, at least when it comes to eating, so when you see a diet with a brand name, be suspicious.

2. Beware of any diet plan that tells you you need to buy supplements. Besides a good multivitamin, you don't need to supplement. Real food is the best supplement you can buy. Now, you may want to buy some protein powder for pure convenience, but it's not anything special. It's just a portable, cheap, easy source of protein that you can throw in your gym bag.

3. Beware of any diet plan that tells you you must drastically restrict any nutrient.

4. Look at the overall calorie count of the diet plan. Most diet plans work short-term, at least for getting rid of a few pounds of water weight, but only because they're a drastic caloric reduction. Once your body wises up, you're in for a nice metabolic slowdown.

5. Empower yourself to choose your own foods. Don't rely on a diet industry to prepackage your food for you. Learn what you're eating, and why.

6. Read labels. Often diet products are loaded with junk like chemicals and sugar.

7. For gawdsake who cares what celebrities are eating/not eating??? Unless you're prepared to shell out for liposuction, your own chef, and a few lines of coke, don't bother trying to follow what Starlet-Of-The-Month is doing.

8. Beware diet plans that claim to knock ten pounds off you in a week. A half-pound to two pounds of fat loss per week is the most you should aim for. Ten pounds in a week is going to be water, muscle, and maybe an ounce of fat. And it's not gone for good. It's just on vacation. It's going to arrive with some more luggage two weeks later.

9. Beware diet plans which use drugs or "herbs" as the main selling point. See the crap list for more on this.

10. Beware diet plans with a one-size-fits-all mentality. Sure, some things work better than others, but everyone is different. Consider your activity level (of course you are engaging in weight training, right dahling?), age, present bodyfat levels, etc.

11. Demand to see the research. Don't be fooled by scientific-sounding jargon. A lot of diet products and programs use pseudoscientific gimmicks to sound like they know what they're doing. Look at the studies they cite, if they do cite any. Look them up on Medline. That may sound intimidating, but it's worth your while to gain a basic understanding of how your body works, and how it processes nutrients. You may also find that the "studies" they cite don't even exist.

Take care all and have a safe and healthy New Year!


wormtown
12-29-2001, 10:20 AM
Thanks for a great post. I would like to offer one suggestion for anyone thinking of starting a weight loss program for the new year; especially if you are thinking of joining a program that will cost you $$$. Consider going to a nutritionist. Do some investigating about them, and the kind of help they could offer you.

I found a really good dietician/nutritionist a few months ago, and have been working with her. It's no magic bullet. I don't even know if I have lost weight, because I don't weigh myself (my choice, but one she supported). But, I was at a point where I was totally out of control with food (after many years of thinking I was doing pretty good with my food issues). I can tell from my clothes I'm not gaining, and maybe I've lost a little.

For most of us, losing weight and keeping it off is just a lot of hard work. Also, for a lot of us the food is complicated by emotional issues. My nutritionist has been helpful for me. It's 1:1, she's given me some good info (and I consider myself very knowledgable). She's helped me to separate the emotional issues from just trying to feed my body. She wants me to enjoy food. I think the most important thing for me is that she coaches and supports me. I think I felt that at many of the wlprograms I went to before, I would have some initial success, then slow down, and get yelled at for not continuing to lose. Her approach is problem solving; not ok tuesday you were good, but wednesday you were bad--tsk tsk.

IMHO, bottom line is we all have to figure out some way of eating that we can live with, and come to peace with (food wise and body wise). Over the years I've spent tons of money on lots of diet programs. I've had to pay out of pocket for my nutritionist, but it's been well worth it (and I'm trying to get some re-imbursed from my insurance. Some insurance might pay).

Liza
12-29-2001, 01:13 PM
I totally agree with Pat on the usefulness of consulting and working with a nutritionaist. My insurance covered three visits which consisted of reviewing a food diary, making choices and how to be sensible about it and a follow up. I could have signed up for more and gotten reimbursed, but choose to take what I learned and apply it to my day.

Good luck in 2002.

Liza