The 3 Worst Weight Loss Gimmicks That Won’t Go Away
by Alfonso Moretti, Jr.
The fitness world isn’t short on gadgets and methodologies that promise to sack your saddle bags--some legit, some far from it. It’s easy to weed out the most conspicuous offenders: Low-grade UV light stick sheds fat! Buy now! Other claims, however, are trickier to identify.
Here are three pervasive, slim fads that still get over on the gullible, which no longer includes you.
The gimmick: weight-loss sweat suits. What a concept! You wear a rubber or plastic outfit (and hopefully not run into anyone you know!) and sweat your unwanted pounds away, drip by drip.
The truth: Nearly all of the weight you lose will be water weight, and that’s potentially dangerous. You run the risk of becoming dehydrated and depleting your sodium stores. Your body needs water and sodium for cells to function properly. Not to mention, you tend to gain back water weight rather quickly.
The gimmick: no-carb diet. This one needs no introduction; it’s been popular since the 1970s, when Dr. Atkins publicized his eponymous food plan. Dieters usually see notable weight-loss in the first few weeks. Sounds good, right?
The truth: Once again, the weight-loss you initially experience is due to water depletion. By eliminating carbohydrates from your diet, your body holds less water &mdash hence, a lower number on the scale. You’ll also deplete your muscles’ energy stores, so you’ll likely feel moody, lethargic, and have a hard time concentrating. Other side effects: Funky body odor, stinky pee and bad breath. And (you guessed it) most people gain the weight back when they return to eating normally.
The gimmick: cardio craze. This myth just won’t quit! Many people are still under the impression that they can “cardio” their fat away because it burns lots of calories. Weight-training is for those who are already in shape, supposedly.
The truth: For long-term weight-loss and maintenance, you must include weight-training in your repertoire regularly. Building muscle mass helps boost your metabolism, so you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. And no, doing biceps curls with two-pound dumbbells won’t cut it.
Use a weight that only allows you to complete 10-12 repetitions, and perform compound exercises that target multiple major muscle groups at once. And incorporate bursts of cardio between exercises. This workout is a great example!
Alfonso Moretti, Jr., aka “The Angry Trainer,” has been a certified personal trainer for 20 years. He is also a nutrition consultant. You can follow him on Twitter at @AngryTrainerFit.