It seems like every other week, there is a new product, fad diet, or detox drink that promises to cure all of our weight loss woes.
Unfortunately, despite what some websites may tell you, there aren’t any cure-alls for weight loss.
There are two main issues here: the first is regarding unrealistic claims made by companies that have little or no research to back them up; the second issue is regarding diets that research demonstrates are effective in relatively controlled environments, but that are poorly adopted in real life.
The first issue is the most worrisome. Some companies promote products (pills, teas, powders, drinks, or even foods) that promise to “melt away” fat with little or no additional effort. It is often the most attractive for people who have struggled with weight loss.
Some of these pills and supplements do result in immediate weight loss. However, these results aren´t without some nasty side effects, ranging from diarrhea to dementia. Also, once you stop taking the pill or supplement, you often regain the weight within a few short weeks.
The second issue is less worrisome, but could result in some major frustration. Adopting diets that leave out one food group in favor of consuming more of another (think low-carb diets), are effective in the short run because you either consume less calories, or because you force your metabolism to function differently.
However, the changes you are required to make in your eating habits and lifestyle with these, often just aren´t realistic for most people. They may cause anxiety, stress, and drastic fallbacks if you don´t exercise strict self-control.
There are a few ways to avoid these traps:
- Avoid products that promise you can lose weight without changes in diet and exercise. While you may lose weight in the short run, you could be damaging your health in the long run.
- Don´t depend on information given to you by the company´s site. Research on your own, and keep an eye out for criticisms of the product you want to buy or the diet you want to try.
- Identify the elements in your eating habits that are too important to eliminate completely. If carbs are an important part of your culture, adopting a diet that requires you to leave them out could have multiple negative social and psychological effects.
Remember that any weight lose regime that doesn´t require you to adopt a lifestyle change that is realistic for you, simply won´t work.
The best weight-loss regime is the one that you can keep.