I wonder if my dog Willie gets bored walking the same route every day.
My inclination is that he doesn’t, but what do I know? Maybe he gets as tired of peeing on the same bushes as I do as walking the same sidewalks. Anyway, bottom line is I take him out on a long walk every morning and, to be honest, can sometimes find it dulling. The solution? I plug in my always-falling-out-of-my-ear-buds and listen to radio.
That backstory in itself is a long walk to explain how I came about hearing an ad for yet another “miracle weight loss product.”
I’ve been writing this column for more than a decade and if you’ve followed it more than, oh, about three weeks, you know that “miracle weight loss products” are one of my prime bugaboos, causing me to become very curmudgeonly and my head to explode. This was no exception; especially because the first words in the advert — even before I knew what was being promoted — were,
“A healthy diet and exercise plan should be part of any weight reduction routine.”
Hello? Really? I never realized that!
I mean, I thought that the way to an appropriate weight is to ingest all manner of secret herbs and potions “the weight loss industry didn’t want me to know about” coupled with cementing my fossilized rear-end on the couch day-long, while munching on high-fructose foods not found in nature and drowning them by gulping buckets of chocolate syrup while enjoying “the pounds just falling off.”
I’m sorry. Excuse the snark.
It’s just that sadly, we are in such a hurry to “lose weight fast without changing any habits” that too many misguided people sacrifice their health to achieve an unrealistic standard that cannot be attained, let alone maintained. To meet market demand, all manner of unscrupulous manufacturers prey on these folks with ineffective, even unsafe products. Knowing what they’re providing is mostly bogus and could result in lawsuits; they add ridiculous, obvious disclaimers where none would otherwise be necessary. Think about it.
Are there any other products requiring such obvious provisos to be outlined front and center?
Imagine car manufacturers beginning their ads with “Keeping your eyes open while driving and not disconnecting the brakes prior to starting the engine are essential to a safe transportation experience.” Or for home appliances, “Refraining from placing your hand upon the open flame is strongly recommended when frying or grilling meals.” One more: “Resting limbs on the spinning blade of the operating lawn mower might impede its ability to mow your grass to expected standards.”
This problem is so prevalent that the Federal Trade Commission produced a report entitled “Gut Check” to help spot false weight loss claims, some of which include:
- Weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise;
- Losing more than three pounds per week under any circumstance for more than four weeks;
- Substantial weight loss no matter what or how much one eats;
- Permanent weight loss even after stopping using the product;
- Blocking the absorption of fat or calories;
- Substantial weight loss for every user; or
- Wearing a product on the body or rubbing a cream into the skin to cause weight loss
There is no quick fix.
There is no magic potion. There are neither special foods that must be eaten nor others that have to be avoided. Supplements won’t cause you to get thin. Creams won’t melt away pounds. I wish it were not so – but it is.
The solution is obvious — and fortunately it’s simple and free: Habits must change.
Eat smaller portions and healthier foods; find time to be active in whatever fashion is possible, and be patient while nature does what it does.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a nationally known weight loss expert for baby boomers and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com. Check out his new series of free weight loss videos and other inspirational material at www.FourMonthsToGoal.com