Which Diet or Product Will Help Me Lose Weight?

As a personal trainer in San Diego, I have heard about hundreds, if not thousands, of new diets. Every time I am in the checkout line at the supermarket, I see a magazine with Jillian Michaels, Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz, where they are sharing their “secrets” to losing some amount of weight in a short period. At home, as soon as I turn on the television, I see a number of commercials about products that will “melt the fat away”. Also, as the owner of a personal training business, I get multiple phone calls and emails everyday about more “amazing” products that are promised to help my clients lose weight.

Since I make my living in the health and fitness field, I owe it to all of my clients and the general public to perform extensive research on these products and diets before thinking about recommending any of them, namely because my reputation as a fitness expert and, exponentially more important, my clients’ health can be at risk, if I bypass this step. Most people can think of one or two products that had been pulled from the market because they were causing more harm than good; it is because of this that I take the research process so seriously.

Additionally, from my previous professional experience as a legal assistant, I learned about how some pharmaceutical companies withheld information in an effort to rush their products out to the market, and, for several people, the results were catastrophic. With diet supplements, since they are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, the health risks for someone using those products can be far greater.

We are living in the On-Demand era, where we expect to have everything readily available. In the past, music fans had to drive to the record store to buy their favorite band’s new album; today, you can download an album from your sofa, and stream a movie, do all of your Christmas shopping, and order your groceries to be delivered to your door. It is because of this that many can become frustrated with the amount of time and effort that has to go into losing weight, so they start looking for a shortcut.

While adopting the latest diet trend or taking a hunger suppressant may result in weight loss in a short period, that weight is rarely due to fat being “melted away”; instead, in many instances, that is coming from dehydration, lower muscle glycogen stores and even the deterioration of lean muscle mass.

Is there anything out there that can help you lose weight? Yes, but it is not going to make a woman that is currently wearing a size 8 fit into a size 2 by next week’s high school reunion. So, what is it? Real food! By eating fresh fruits and vegetables, you are effectively satisfying your body’s nutrition needs, and the fiber and water content will give a feeling of fullness, thereby, reducing the urge to overeat. By the way, it you are going to overeat, I would much rather you overdo it with apples and strawberries, instead of chocolate cake and Cherry Garcia ice cream because no contestant on The Biggest Loser has ever gone there by overindulging on fruit.

Additionally, lean meats, such as trimmed chicken or turkey breast, are excellent substitutes to eating red meat. Not only are they as rich in protein as red meat, but they are very low in fat and cholesterol.

I say this all the time—losing weight will come with consistency and dedication to a healthy lifestyle, but you have to remain patient. Remember, celebrities promoting diets and products are paid to promote them, and their pictures in magazines are immensely Photoshopped. Eat your fruits, vegetables and lean meats, and continue working out, and you will be doing your body a huge favor.

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