With the ever increasing popularity of Instagram and other social media platforms fitness has become mainstream and fashionable, with obvious trends starting to appear- otherwise known as Fad Diets, or Fitness Fads. Unfortunately, most of these celebrity endorsed trends are very effective and profitable for the company, but rarely support a good quality product for the consumer. Fortunately, these products and companies have a relatively short lifespan (in most cases).
Given the power of marketing it really is who shouts the loudest wins- not who produces the most effective, sustainable and well-fitting product or plan of action for the masses. As it stands, the most prominent loud-speakers used are reality TV stars, or ‘instagram famous’ female models.
Below we list a variety of products you will have to have been living under a rock to avoid seeing in the hand of a ‘celebrity’, accompanied by a cheesy grin. We feel these products are ineffective at best:
Detox teas and cleanses,
Meal replacement shakes and shake diets,
Miracle pills; raspberry ketones, fat and carb blockers, fat burners, slimming pills, etc.
We firmly believe these products are expensive, unsustainable, supported by poor quality (if any) research and to a degree dangerous (in regards to both the physical product and their message).
Your body does a perfectly good job of ‘detoxing’ itself- that’s one of the liver and kidneys’ main functions- and the ‘fat-burning effects’ of said detox teas are also equivalent to a regular cup of green tea (extremely minimal). You simply do not need detox teas for their fat burning or mildly laxative effect. We suggest a good quality green tea and consuming ample fibre in your diet through whole grains, fruit and vegetables. If you did need to detox yourself of toxins- don’t you think some people would have died by now or at least been hospitalised by a poisoning endemic?
The diet plans that are suggested to use alongside using said magic teas are usually very, very low calorie- commonly around 700-800 calories- and form the main reason behind rapid weight loss. Not an expensive thermogenic blend in the tea bag. The workout routines suggested are also very high volume, so please realise it is the minimal calories and exercise that are causing weight (not just fat) loss to occur!
Waist trainers are said to make your waist smaller over time. Your waist is typically the narrowest point of your torso- where many of your vital organs are housed. There is very little evidence suggesting waist trainers work, even in the short term (0-24 hours) after usage. Your waist size is largely down to genetics, and you can help achieve an hour glass figure by improving your posture and working on the postural muscles; glutes, back muscles and rear delts- in tandem with reducing body fat slowly over time. Training and eating well will also improve your health, without the risk of internal organ and musculoskeletal damage by slowly crushing of your abdomen.
These are commonly touted by models with unnaturally large breast and glutes, rumoured to have (allegedly) had various cosmetic surgeries to enhance the size and shape of aforementioned body parts. This will make the relative size of their waist appear smaller. This visual trick, camera angles, photoshop and hordes of naïve followers equals cash for the waist trainer companies, and commission for the celebrities.
Meal replacement and shake diets are on the whole, very expensive and calorie restricting. If you are replacing a meal with a shake ensure the drink has a balanced amount of protein, slow-releasing carbs and fats- not simply a small serving of protein and sugar. These don’t work due to a ‘thermogenic blend’ of some kind, but actually, and worryingly, they work by cutting your caloric intake by half (in some cases). As soon as you return to normal eating you are likely to gain at least as much weight as you lost during the diet in our opinion, which is supported by anecdotal evidence and emerging studies. Also, the quality and quantity of the protein source in these shakes will usually not be enough to initiate protein synthesis for a large percentage of those consuming the shakes to replace a meal- increasing the likelihood of losing muscle tissue whilst partaking in a shake based weight loss programme. This loss of muscle, water and some fat will be the reason behind the extreme weight loss- with some companies openly boasting about losing up to 30 pounds in 30 days!
If looking to replace a meal with a shake- simply because this is more suitable for the given time of day vs a sit-down meal- please check out our article detailing how to make a healthy meal replacement shake.
Miracle pills and potions that promise the World are again loosely proven, expensive and unsustainable. The majority of respected professionals working in sports science and nutrition will not suggest adding these to your daily diet, nor will they support any of the ‘evidence’ that proves they work. Again we would recommend saving your money, training hard and eating well over a sustained period of time for better results. Raspberry ketones, fat and carb blockers, fat burners, slimming pills would all make it on to our ‘Do not buy’ list.
In conclusion, any photo with the hashtag #spon or #ad in the caption is not worth the money in our humble opinion, especially bearing in mind the #spon hashtag was brought in to make viewers aware the person or profile owner is being paid to promote said product (fundamentally) to our knowledge. All these celebrity-endorsed ‘fads’ bring in big money by essentially trying to cut corners- convincing the potential customer you can get double the results with half the effort, just like said smiling celebrity or insta-famous person did! Arguably, these supplements and waist trainers don’t aid health, but seemingly try to convince people you can buy health, or at least the appearance of it.
Eat well, train hard and reap the rewards of a long and healthy life (and save money whilst doing so!)- avoid these money-traps, and tell others to do so too #TeamLDNM
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