Saturday Snippets

Happy Saturday boys and girls!

Today’s post is short and sweet. This past week I hit on two pretty relevant topics that impact a whole lotta people.

Did you get to read them?

The first is called Diet Disasters.

I touched on just a couple examples of extreme diets that people resort to in an attempt to lose weight.

Most diets attempted are failed with the person eager to get back to their normal way of living. Nothing extreme or depriving ever works long term.

I constantly preach an old school approach, but only because it’s true and works.

Consistency, with small daily, healthy changes lead to a permanent lifestyle change that is long term sustainable!

The other topic I hit was our relationship with food, The Emotional Impact Of Food

This generated some interesting dialogue and I appreciate the feedback.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all have a relationship with food

Good or bad.

I took a hard look at how we can use it to support everything from our hunger to deeper unaddressed emotional needs and other issues. Understanding why we use food to medicate us is the biggest, most important first step to achieving permanent weight loss.

Tell me, are there other topics on food/nutrition/healthy eating/weight loss you’d like to see here?

Snake Oil Diets And More Wizardry

snake oil

Did you grow up with siblings? If so you understand how you learn to push each others buttons on things right? Sometimes it’s to annoy each other, sometimes it’s just to get that person going on whatever topic because it amuses us in some way.

It doesn’t seem to change even when you grow up. Then we have friends who can do the same thing with us.  It’s all fun and games… usually….

I’m no different, I guess. If there’s one thing that gets me going or kicks my investigator mode into high gear,  it’s having someone ask me about some new diet craze or company pedaling it’s wares promising claims of extreme and swift weight loss.

Usually the companies biggest successes are emptying your pockets, not making you any thinner.

I had a friend message me recently asking if I knew of or had heard of a particular company and it’s product. People were flocking to it and it was gaining a big following.  She had been asked to try it, I’m really glad she’s one of my smart friends and of course, declined.

There are so many companies and products out there trying to make a living off of peoples desperation it really is hard to keep up with them all. I got the basic name and info from her and started digging.

Oh. It didn’t take me long. It didn’t take long at all to be shocked and horrified over it on several levels. The complete nonsense presented on eating and weight loss is…well.. awful.

When I shared what I was finding with my friend the response was “go get them” haha when I mentioned I just can’t help it, (gathering info  and sharing what I find) I get back…. “personally, I get a kick out of it…”

See what I mean from my opening questions? They give me the right prompts and cut me loose haha

So. What about this product?

This is a MLM (multi level marketing) company so that should tell you something right off the bat.

It’s about making money, first. There are no prices offered on website as they want you to find a “distributor” of the product and purchase from them. Hmmm.

There are several products they offer all promising you great things in a short amount of time. Reviews were glowing of big losses in only 8 days for one of their packages.

They claim to detox, fat burn, cleanse you inside and out,  get you thin and make you a new healthy individual with all of their amazing products. AND… you will finally be happy…. poor…  but happy. Blah. Blah. Blah.

( insert sound of me gagging here)

The hocus pocus of all the wording made my head spin in moments. Then I quickly realized people REALLY buy into this, literally and figuratively.

Like, they cough up a lot of money for all these promises of magic potions. Worse yet, they believe it all. They believe this time, something will work.

I continued my reading and searched out more info.  As many of these companies and products go, you find these hard to believe reviews of awesomeness on it, and oddly, not many dissatisfied customers at all.

Another red flag my friends.

There aren’t that many happy people about anything in this world, especially weight loss products. So we have to largely believe the reviews that are so wonderful are put out by the distributors of the product.

The negatives I found, well, as to be expected, the product hadn’t done the miracles they expected, the company hadn’t followed through on it’s promises, over priced, or worse yet were the side effects from using it.

Starve. Repeat.

It didn’t take me long looking at one of their most seemingly “popular” plans, the 8 day kick starter transformation package to know why people were losing so much weight in 8 days.

You’re freaking starving to death, that’s why. Literally.

They promise 8 days to transform you. Holy crap it’s taken me 8 years to learn all this stuff, get fit, and get a decent grip on my eating behaviors.  How could I have wasted all that time?? 😉

As I looked at their daily eating plan, I was thinking, what are people actually, you know, eating??  Besides sucking down all these pills, powders, “flushes”, and occasional shakes they are buying.

Ahhh here it is… I found it in the “plan”… you only get to eat 3 meals in the 8 days.

Yes. That is all.

And those “meals” are limited to 500-600 calories. I can’t even imagine how you must suck the food in at that point. Not to mention how foggy headed you must feel.

The rest of the time you are using all of their products to detox, fat burn, cleanse and whatever else bull nonsense they are hyping you over. Oh the hype.

Let’s call it what it is… you… are starving yourself.  I find it ironically funny they want you to use a product that supposedly “blocks” fat absorption and causes food to pass through. Meh… it’s supposed to expand and take up space in your stomach…

Like, why the heck do you need that when you aren’t even hardly eating anything ???

I wont spend much more time on discussing this. It just made me scratch my head. People will spend money to starve themselves… ok…

They also give you an “exercise plan” to follow but honestly, I don’t see how you are able to do more than lay on the sofa with a daily caloric intake of 500-600 calories.

Anything under 1000 calories a day is a starvation diet people.

But… it’s “natural” and “plant based”

So. What.

It should be noted there are lots of natural things but they can kill you or just make you sick and not feel good.  Just because someone has tossed various natural ingredients together doesn’t mean it’s good for you or that the doses are right for you.

Many of the ingredients in these products act like caffeine. It is the reason people are so hyped up and have so much “energy” when they are on them.  A fancy version of speed.

It should be noted that side effects are jitteriness, racing heart, high blood pressure, sweating, nausea, and shakiness.  Others are cramps, feeling bloated and an overall not feeling well.

No food and natural stimulants, no wonder those side effects present themselves.

One of the main pills you take is an appetite suppressant. It’s loaded with a bunch of herbal stuff.  When you start adding a bunch of “natural” herbal things into your body, the effects can not be pleasant.

One ingredient in this appetite suppressant pill is bitter orange or synephrine. It was banned years ago and is linked to major cardiovascular risks.

Not sure I’d want to be popping that with other stimulants too. No wonder a racing heart is reported.

Oh, and the “flush” they offer. well yeah, it’s supposed to do what the name implies.  It’s main ingredient is senna which is in laxatives you can buy at the store. I’ll just leave this here… you don’t really want to be on some type of laxative to help you lose weight.  This type of product doesn’t “cleanse” or “detox” you.

But then there’s the cost….

Besides the fact you sign up to starve and not eat for pretty much an entire week, and that you’ll be taking another product to flush you which means you might spend more time in the bathroom than anticipated, and another product to keep you from getting hungry ( um hey….getting hungry is a natural body signal we’ve been given to know when to feed ourselves. Ignoring it isn’t smart. ) there’s the ridiculous cost of this stuff.

The rough estimate I found for the 8 day “kit” is 391.00.

Yes. Your eyes aren’t going on you, you read that correct. Almost 400.00 for some supplements and a meal shake that comes in at a whopping 50 calories made with water.

Of course, any other products you buy has an additional charge that’s just as crazy.

And people are buying it. They are jumping on it like flies on honey.

I don’t know if I should feel sad for them or just think they deserve what they get for buying into such nonsense.

But then I remember how desperate people are for a quick fix they will do anything at all to get it.

Anything but the thing that works.. because well.. it does take some time… and effort… and patience.

The old “learn to eat healthy, eat mindfully, change your habits, and get some movement into your days” thing.

I know it’s not cool or trendy but really, its the only thing that works.

The bottom line

Since the weight loss comes from starvation, once you increase your calories to a normal range ( which you will) the weight will come back. These products are not sustainable for long term nor should you do their program multiple times ( setting yourself up for a starve and binge mode isn’t a good thing)  although if you want to drop almost 400 dollars for an 8 week starvation session you may have more money than common sense.

The ingredients are sketchy and found in much cheaper diet aid products if you’re still convinced that’s the way you need to go instead of the old fashioned route.

Promises of detoxing your body and turning it into a fat burning machine are just more modern day snake oil and smoke and mirrors. These products do have the ability to hype you up because of all the “natural” caffeine type ingredients they contain.

8 days won’t change your habits or behaviors with food. That’s where the biggest change occurs when you do it the old fashioned way.

Overall this is another get rich scheme for some people at the expense and desperate need of others.

If you are wanting to lose weight, don’t be brought in by hype and unrealistic promises. For all that money you can go buy a gym membership, some cool new kicks, and a whole lot of healthy foods.




The Biggest Loser And The Biggest Lies

weight loss


Weight loss. It seems to be on almost everyone’s list. Whether it’s those last nagging 5-10 lbs or 100lbs.

There’s one thing everyone probably feels the same on… they want the weight gone and they usually want it gone fast.

Instant gratification. Instant results. Look lean overnight. No flab. Fit. “Toned”.

It just doesn’t happen. You don’t get fat over night and you won’t get thinner over night.

Enter shows like “The Biggest Loser”.  A game. A competition. Winner takes all prize money and the claim of winning… not to mention a smaller body than what they started with. Shows like this tell us lies about healthy living. They tell lies about what you need to do to have a level of success in becoming more fit.

Sadly, I’ve always viewed it as a show gambling with peoples lives. I always wondered what the real health effects could be to those who participated.  Some of these people are well… huge… and they have them doing so much hard work and doing it like… a zillion times a day with a huge calorie deficit. What consequences could they suffer ?

The show also shows us some lies I believe we’re led to believe about weight loss.

Well interestingly enough an article just came out this week that I’ve been following…and can I say …. I have a lot of thoughts on it? Perhaps you’ve seen it on TV or the internet.

I mean… my two cents worth… but some of the things trouble me.

I’m certainly no “expert” or “professional” but I do view weight loss in a sane and practical manner. It’s worked for many and also people I know and have worked with.

The article overall was pointing out that the contestants metabolisms had slowed because of the extreme process they put their body through losing weight ( no surprise there) and that nearly all had gained their weight back ( and a few gained back more weight) the article cited that their bodies basically fought to get back to an ideal weight and that’s why they were gaining the weight back.

Ok… I do believe that we all have a weight “zone”. That is a place where our bodies are naturally, and biologically meant to be. It explains why you might think you want to weight 150… and you’re at 155… and you work like crazy to achieve that number… but without constant, rigid, determined discipline… you will go back to 155. YET…. it’s probably easier and more sustainable for you to stay and hold that weight than it is at 150 because your body might be naturally designed, biologically, to be at the 155 weight.

Personally, I’ve found that to be true. As an athletic person I’ve realized I have a weight that I see when I’m in heavy training. I’m super lean and don’t ever have to think much about what I’m eating ( no, I don’t eat whatever, I still eat healthy) I realized when I’m not in heavy training ( like running 40-50 miles a week) by body naturally went back to where I was before heavy training. It’s a weight that I stay within 5 lbs of one way or the other. I don’t stress over it and I don’t think much about it. It’s pretty sustainable for me… meaning I don’t have to rigidly control my eating or exercise in unhealthy ways to stay there.

There is no way I can sustain the heavy training I do for a marathon or when I was ultra training, all the time. No matter how much mentally I might want to do it. Naturally, that kind of exercise will keep me pretty lean.

Same with contestants on this program. They worked them out 3-4 times a day. They worked out for 7 hours a day, every day. One man reported burning  8,000-9,000 calories a day.

Do you see a problem here ??

Without this high level of calorie output, something will give.

Then, you take people who have been in a pretty deprived environment of all things they’ve loved… involving food….. you restrict them in crazy ways… they are hungry all the time….

then when the show is over…. they go back to their life… and here is what I believe ( and again, just my own thoughts and opinions)

you can put someone through the paces of losing weight by exercising them hard and drastically cutting calories, but if there isn’t a mental change with food… we’ve got problems boys and girls.

If they haven’t learned to build new positive habits to replace the negative or if they don’t have an understanding of WHY they eat… we’ve got problems.

People don’t weigh hundreds of pounds without there being deeper issues and problems that need addressed.  If there hasn’t been behavioral changes they will go right back to what they know and what feels comfortable.

Yes, they all probably have some metabolic issues now due to what they put their bodies through. But when you gain back hundreds of pounds, that is an eating issue. There is no way someone’s “ideal” weight is 400 lbs. or 300 or whatever. You don’t get to that weight without eating food…and a lot of it.

So when they go back to old eating habits, and aren’t exercising in the insane way they did during the show… the writing is on the wall… and when they’ve been taken so far in the rapid weight loss direction ( because it’s so fast and crazy) their body will respond and start adding weight back on. Call it our bodies survival mode kicking in.

The article does say they are encouraged to exercise at least 9 hours a week and monitor their diets to keep the weight off. This is certainly sane and practical advice…but they have to do it.

This now becomes their responsibility…. and if they have the same negative habits in place or aren’t strong enough in new ones… they will slide back.

One contestant talks about how two treats can turn into a 3 day binge.  Binge eating will obviously lead to a return of weight.

One man is only eating 800 calories a day in the “real” world. 800! Talk about messing with your metabolism.

Ok.. I will just say the whole article kinda left me with my mouth hanging open. One mans workout “routine” after the show….. was nothing short of brutal… workouts all through out his day…hours… and with hardly enough food to support all of his exercise. No wonder his body didn’t want to give up fat.

I’ll tell you what troubles me most over this whole thing….well there’s a couple things….

First, I’m worried that overweight/obese people will see this and say… “well, see I’m just meant to be this way because it’s natural, biological” and try and justify it…kinda like the new “I have a thyroid disorder” reason for not being able to lose weight or being heavy ( and for the record… I have thyroid issues so I can say that.) I’ll say it again… no one is biologically meant to naturally, and in a healthy way, weigh hundreds of pounds.

The BIGGEST  thing that got me in that article?

this line….”the only way to maintain weight loss is to be hungry all the time.”

Really? Really????

Why on earth do you think people fail at it? They hate being hungry! I hate being hungry. We aren’t meant to walk through our days miserable, hungry, and constantly thinking about food. The next meal. The next thing we can put in our mouth.

That is disordered thinking.

We have a life to live and it shouldn’t be focused on when we can consume our next meal, or being so hungry it’s all we can think about.

I lost weight slowly and steadily over a period of a couple years. I didn’t starve myself. I ate food. I learned to eat the right amounts of food. I didn’t walk around hungry ’cause I’m not into that kind of sick pain 😉 It’s what has kept me successful… and others too who do this… you eat to lose weight and you don’t live in a state of being hungry.

Again, I’m certainly not some expert but I think this article and the show in itself reveal a few things .

  • Slow, steady weight loss is what is required for it to be sustainable and lasting.
  • Fueling our body with adequate and healthy foods with purposeful exercise is really the only way to achieve those goals of weight loss.
  • You are not on a time frame to make it happen. Live your life one day at a time, seeking to make good choices, forgiving yourself for not so good days and continuing to take steps forward.
  • Don’t quit. Know that things are going on even if you can’t sometimes “see” anything.
  • Without changing our negative habits, and understanding our relationship with food and why and when we eat it, lifestyle change will be hard.
  • More isn’t always better. This is a huge lie.  The extreme measures people went through show us that exercising for hours  during the day and drastically reducing our food will contribute to metabolic issues and our bodies will fight back against these things.

If you are working to lose weight remember there are no quick fixes or extreme measures to permanent success. There are no magic pills, potions, drinks or elixirs to make you thinner. (use that money to buy good food!) Putting on weight takes time, and taking off weight takes time. Don’t buy into overhyped lies that try to tell you any different.

So dear readers, have you read the article on The Biggest Loser contestants? What do you think about it? Do you ever think such extreme measures are successful? What has helped you be successful in weight loss?