Being humans, we have an inherent desire to get results as fast as possible and with a minimum amount of effort. Our mind is always looking for shortcuts. No wonder a lot of us, buy lottery tickets with the hope that we can become instantly rich. The stories about someone succeeding due to some lucky break always appeal to us. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts, there are only our fantasies. This applies to all the aspects of our lives and the sooner we realize it the better.
In the area of fitness, the most common question people ask is, “how to lose fat and reduce belly size fast?” It is so unfortunate that a lot of people like these ignore good advice and fall for gimmicks with promises of fast results with minimal effort. No matter how often these products are debunked, they keep coming back and people keep wasting their money on them. Fortunately most of these products have common characteristics that you can identify. In this article, we are going to identify five categories of such products, which should raise red flags.
Weight Loss Pills
The science behind losing weight is very simple. Eat fewer calories than your body needs. That is it, nothing more. You can achieve this either by eating less or working out more. Now, simple though it may sound, doing this is quite hard and if you are severely overweight, it is going to take months or even years. Add to that the lack the patience and unwillingness to put in the effort and the idea of the magic pill, which we can swallow and lose weight without going through the pain of starving and working out, sounds so attractive.
Alas! It does not work like that. If somebody is trying to sell you a magic pill made up of this special substance that was discovered in some exotic place, which will help you in losing weight. Then be very careful, that person is trying to sell you a gimmick.
Many times the seller provides a money back guarantee. However, we are all busy and who has the time to ask for money back on a product worth $10. Or maybe that product is a diuretic, which makes you lose water weight and so it meets the weight loss guarantee, but in reality you have not lost any fat. There is no magic pill, weight loss is all about what you eat.
Fat Loss Belts
People feel most conscious about their belly fat, as it fat everywhere else does not matter. I have heard a lot of people say, “I do not want to be a fitness model. I just want to lose belly fat.” This clearly shows that they are really not serious about their health. They just want to cut corners and just get rid of their belly fat. Enter the fat loss belts, just wear it and you will lose belly fat in no time and without going through the pains of diet and workout.
Many commercials show a guy with six back abs wearing the belt and when he removes it, there is sweat around his abdomen as if all the belly fat has melted into sweat. This is all a gimmick. You cannot spot reduce fat. The scientific evidence on this is very clear, when our body loses fat, it loses it from everywhere.
Imagine how strange it will look with a person who has fat all over his face, arms and legs and has a perfect six pack ab on the belly. This product has been debunked so many times and yet the product keeps coming back and people keep wasting their money on it.
Fat Loss by Vibration
This gimmick comes in various forms. In general, there is a device which vibrates and you need to hold it or wrap it around your belly or it is some sort of chair. The customer is shown how this vibration breaks break down the fat in your body, as if fat is some kind of sediment, which needs vibration to be broken down.
The model demonstrating such a device is then shown sweating, signifying that the broken down fat has converted into sweat and is discarded out of the body. Such devices claim to spot reduce fats and there are devices for different body parts. Some devices claim to remove fat from your arms, other tone your thighs and of-course there are ones which remove fat from the belly.
Most of these products are marketed as a new patented technology with a fancy name that the company selling it has come up with. It all sounds highly technical however the sellers are just tapping on the fancy of the customers. A lot of attics have some version of such devices languishing there.
In the recent times there are a lot of companies coming up with posture correcting braces. These braces provide support to your body and keep it in good posture. The support may temporarily improve your posture while you are wearing it, however when you take them off, your posture is going to get back to what it was, or in fact might even get worse.
The science behind great posture is also quite simple. Your posture goes bad when one set of muscle groups is weaker than the opposing muscle group. Let’s consider the case of drooping shoulders. It happens because of sitting for long times while being hunched over your laptop. Sitting this way your chest is contracted and your back is stretched. If you sit like that for long periods of time, your chest muscles become strong while back muscles weaken resulting in a hunched over posture. The right way to correct this will be to strengthen your back and stretch your chest.
The posture correcting braces however just gives support to your body in way that your back is not stretched and chest is not contracted without really making your muscles stronger. This support in fact might make your back weaker thus making your posture even worse. There are some posture devices which sense how you are sitting and remind you when you start to slouch.
These devices can be helpful; however, it might be too painful to sit a certain way. The best way in my opinion is to strengthen your muscles with strength training, you posture will automatically improve and you will not have to force yourself to sit a certain way.
You must have seen those ugly looking shoes with a very thick wobbly sole, which claims that by wearing these shoes you will tone up your butt, thighs and calves. Again there is no scientific evidence that suggests that such shoes really help in anyway. The only women I have seen wearing them are the ones out of shape. Do yourselves a favor and buy decent running shoes and go for a run instead of wasting money on these ugly looking shoes.
You might be noticing a trend with these gimmicks. Most of these tap on our desire for an easy way to get fit. They then provide an intuitive explanation on how their product works, which they bolster with vivid and imaginative imagery such as fat breaking down with vibration and then turning to sweat.
Finally, they throw in a fancy term such as “patent pending circular strength technology” to make it appear authentic. A lot of people fall for it and spend their hard earned money on it. Do not fall for such gimmicks, understand that getting into shape takes time and a lot of commitment. The good thing is that the whole process is very rewarding. When we set a goal for us and make progress towards it, our dopaminergic system gets activated, which is very pleasurable. Enjoy the journey!