The average American has done it… We get stuck in a rut, feel unhappy with our bodies, and we want a solution. I’d be willing to guess that in a room with 100 people, at least 50 of us have researched ways to lose weight fast.
The other 50 have probably at least thought about it.
It’s a crazy thing, but it is so common. It’s an innate desire most of have to get results very quickly. The problem with getting results quickly, as it concerns weight loss, is that a fast track plan doesn’t have the backbones and support to be maintained.
The most common two ways I see people trying to lose weight quickly are with fad diets (such as the Whole30), and with diet pills and weight loss drinks or supplements.
The fad diets, in my opinion, are definitely not a good idea, but they are a far lesser evil than supplements and pills. What we feed our bodies is so important, so although a fad diet is most often not sustainable, at least for a time there is some effort around eating healthy.
Weight loss pills, supplements, and drinks are a whole different game. The problem is- well, one of the hundreds of problems- these things are not regulated by the FDA. Y’all, that’s dangerous. People are putting all sorts of ingredients in their bodies in hopes of losing weight, but with little to no regards to the other three dozen health hazards. So many of these companies make claims that their ingredients are all natural and totally safe, and it simply isn’t true. Many of these companies (which I am intentionally not naming, because my goal is not to offend those who sell these products) have even had the FDA address them regarding concerns over the products and their claims. If the FDA is addressing a company saying they are concerned, that should be a red flag.
Additionally, people often take these things as a way of being able to lose weight, but with zero change to their current lifestyle.
This is a HUGE problem.
First of all, what is the value of losing weight if you are still unhealthy? You might like what you see in the mirror, but underneath what you see is a body that is not well nourished.
I recently told one of my friends, I would rather have cellulite and thighs that jiggle, but know that I am strong, capable, and healthy on the inside, and be able to run a half marathon. If I use weight loss products to simply look good, but I still can’t run a mile without having to stop for a breather, that’s not success to me. Weight loss products don’t address our true health or strength. They simply (supposedly) help us drop a few pounds and feel better about a number on a scale.
Second, there are no good habits formed with taking these supplements. What happens when you stop taking them but keep eating donuts and French fries? The result probably won’t be what you were hoping for.
I am taking a chance at offending someone, I just know it, but y’all… This is such a lazy way out. I get it. I really do. It takes a lot of work and effort for a very long time to see lasting results when it comes to fitness and weight loss. Seriously- maybe you think I don’t get it. Maybe you are thinking there is no possible way I could understand how you feel.
But really, I do.
When I was 19 years old, I was 5’5″ and weighed nearly 190lbs. I had no concept of health or nutrition or fitness.
8 years and one baby later, I am (still) 5’5″, and I weigh 140lbs. That didn’t happen in one year. It happened probably over 5 (losing about ten pounds a year), and the last 3 years I have simply maintained that. My body isn’t perfect, and it probably won’t ever be. But I am stronger than I ever have been. I work out at least five times a week, and I run races a few times a year. I could not have done that at the beginning of my journey.
But I didn’t give up- I kept pushing, and making small changes every day. And it is the small changes and consistency that added up to bring me where I am.
But… no one wants to hear that it might take 5 years to lose all the weight you want. Because, again, we want quick fixes. We want to see progress immediately.
I probably could have done it faster, but I wasn’t looking for a quick fix. I wanted a lifelong change. I could have very easily tried some supplement or drink or pill… but eventually I would have either stopped because I couldn’t afford it anymore, or if I continued to take it forever, I probably would have experienced some pretty negative side effects… because… back to my first point, these things are not regulated by the FDA. The FDA just doesn’t have the same regulatory power over supplements as it does over actual drugs. There are not proven clinical trials with these products as there are with drugs. So while many of these companies have statements on their products such as “clinically proven to…” there are no sources of evidence as to the details of those clinical trials.
I don’t mean to be dramatic, but I just want you to think about it…
It might feel good to lose 5 pounds in a few weeks with a pill or drink, but will it be worth it down the road if your kidneys or liver fail and you find out it was because of your “lose weight quick” method?
I think the answer is probably no.
It sucks and it’s often no fun at all, but invest the time into your diet and lifestyle. The sustainability there is far greater, and it is so worth it.