When starting a weight loss journey, it’s easy to fall into the trap of the quick fix
You know the ones that promise that you will look like Jennifer Lopez within a week? Far too many people are looking for the quickest way to lose excess weight, and preferably with as little effort as possible. You’re bound to see many miracle concoctions on the internet. A popular one at the moment is the detox water. You basically mix a few ingredients such as lemon and mint into two litres of water, then you drink the entire contents throughout the day. The worst of it is that people are saying they’ve lost weight- even whilst consuming chip rolls, crisps and fries. This has dangerous health implications. So, the premise is that I’ve eaten chip rolls this week but it’s ok, I can just swallow this magic pill and two litres of miracle water, then I don’t have to worry about cholesterol or weight gain?
It’s not that it isn’t beneficial- the ingredients of the detox water are known for its anti-inflammatory, cleansing and hydrating properties. Some nutritionists say you’re getting all the nutrients from the fruits without the added sugars that would be present in fruit juice. Not to mention the fact that it’s great to have ways of jazzing up pure H20. Drinking more water helps the body get rid of toxins, but it is never a good idea to rely on this alone– especially if you are planning on making the body work even harder than it does already, by consuming bad quality foods. It’s almost like eating whatever you like, and consuming the water to ‘cancel’ it. The truth is, you cannot erase a bad diet. Supplements and weight loss aids are designed to complete or enhance your regimen. So, you should already be training and eating clean.
You don’t have to go overboard and train twice daily for hours like some athletes.
In fact, studies show that you can get the same results in just 15 to 30 minutes as you could in an hour workout. Consider high intensity interval training (where you alternate between minimum and maximum effort) or enlist the help of a personal trainer. He or she can tailor your workouts according to the time you have available.
Here’s some things to consider before using weight loss aids and supplements
What is your diet like?
Ever heard the saying that abs are made in the kitchen?
It’s true! If you don’t start eating correctly, you’ll never have sustainable weight loss. You’ll always be looking for the next magic pill. Diet is the most important component of a weight loss plan – so, make sure yours is on point.
Are you exercising?
There’s no use getting a fat burner if you’re not going to exercise. You simply won’t get the same results. They work by increasing the body’s temperature thus making you sweat more. Pills will not make you 5kg lighter, running on a treadmill and regular weightlifting might. Exercise three to six days a week depending on your goals.
How sustainable is this?
Are you going to be able to make your detox water every day? Supplements can be expensive. Consider whether you are able to buy your supplements and take it regularly. This takes some budgeting and planning. You may need to purchase more than one box of tablets for the month. It’s also a good idea to do some research on the product or ‘miracle ingredient’ before purchasing it. Find out how to use it, when to take it and the dosage for best results. For example, studies show that for Garcinia Cambogia (a tropical fruit grown in South East Asia) to be effective, you need to consume about 1200mg per day. It therefore wouldn’t make sense to buy a product that only supplies half of this requirement.
What happens when you stop?
If you stop using the product, will you gain weight? For example, if you’ve decide to use a meal replacement shake for breakfast and lunch you will lose weight over time because you would create a kilojoule or energy deficit. But, when you resume your normal eating you are bound to gain weight. And again, how likely are you to stick to an eating plan made up of mostly meal replacement shakes?
If you are considering using supplements, add them to an existing exercise and eating plan.
Losing weight will never be as simple as drinking magic water or popping a pill. There is no substitute for hard work. The sooner you realise that, the sooner you can start a real and sustainable journey to a fitter, slimmer and healthier you.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.