There are a lot of crazy plans and contraptions that people will use to lose weight, and while some of them work and some of them don’t, any product that promises loss without hard work is probably not worth your time. This article will discuss some of the gimmicks out there promising a world of weight loss for the right price.
Weight Loss Meal Plans
This site has talked a little bit about weight loss systems before; whether they come with a rating in the frozen sections for dieters to pick out themselves, or whether they are shipped directly to the door, these programs often promise significant weight loss, provided that one sticks religiously to the plan. No doubt about it, these plans often deliver on their claims, but that’s because of their simplicity: weight loss meal plans work on moderate calorie restriction.
Severe calorie restrictive plans often limit one to virtually nothing but protein sources, and by offering a more middle of the road alternative weight loss meal plans can promise the world without any sacrifice. The only issues with these plans is that they are usually fairly expensive, and all they are is a standard diet that anyone who can afford the plan could easily eat on their own with the right ingredients.
The catch with these plans is also where most of their opportunity lies: reducing calories might not be enough to lose weight, and it might not shed the weight quickly. The body loses weight by burning more calories than it takes in, so reducing calories alone might cause the body to maintain its current weight, or to lose weight very slowly. This process can be sped up by reducing calories and exercising more.
The Sauna Suit
Most work out equipment isles in stores have these weird looking get-ups called “Sauna Suits.” The idea behind these baggy plastic suits is that the body needs to work to cool itself down, so increasing the body temperature while exercising will help to speed up the process. This might make sense to you, or it might not, but it happens to be true.
The body cools itself by moving hot blood from the core to the surface of the body where it can let off heat. This movement requires some work from the circulatory system, which uses a few extra calories. How many calories isn’t exactly certain, but every little bit helps, right?
The problem with these suits is that they don’t let air escape, which means your body can’t cool down, meaning if you work out too hard or too long, or if it’s too hot outside while you’re wearing one of these suits, it can be particularly easy to have complications due to the body dehydrating and overheating. If you want to use one of these suits they do have benefits, but make sure that you don’t workout too long or too hard while wearing one.
A significantly cheaper and safer method is to just get a sweat suit made out of good old-fashioned cotton. A regular sweat suit raises the body temperature, but because it’s made out of cloth instead of plastic it lets the body breath. It’s still not good to wear one in high temperatures, however, and it’s still good to stay hydrated.
Slightly off of the topic of weight loss gimmicks, but still on the topic of body temperature: the body takes a considerable amount of energy to keep itself warm as well as to cool off. Shivering is the body’s way of cooling off, and it is caused by a serious of small but rapid and continuous muscle contractions, meaning that even muscles that aren’t being used in the exercise are getting a sort of work out. This means that not adding an extra layer if it’s chilly can do just as well as putting on a sweat suit when it’s warmer.
Just like it’s not a good idea to wear a sweat suit for a two-hour run on a ninety-degree day, be sure to protect yourself from extreme cold by layering up once the temperature goes below around forty degrees.
Caffeine and Other Drugs
It might not be safe to call it a “weight loss gimmick” but many people have come to understand that smoking causes weight loss, as indeed smoking used to be a common and accepted way to slim down. While some of the hype happens to be true, it’s certainly not worth it, as all of the calorie loss comes from the body working harder and running less efficiently.
Just like cooling the body down burns calories because the heart is working harder to move blood, smoking causes passive calorie loss because tiny hair-like projections on the inside of the lungs and airways are constantly working to keep free of debris, and introducing debris makes them work harder. Indeed this is one scenario in which the potential for calorie consumption is certainly not worth the price.
A similar situation is that of caffeine. Caffeine, a regular ingredient in diet pills, but more common in beverages, causes a temporary boost of metabolism, which leads to faster calorie consumption. Calories don’t magically disappear when caffeine is present, however, as caffeine causes, among other side effects, an increased heart rate. This can cause medical problems if it happens too often, or if too much caffeine combined with too much physical exertion causes the heart-rate to get too high. A little coffee or tea is great, and some caffeine before an exercise can go a long way, but it’s important not to go too far.
Alternative Weight Loss Products
A lot of internet advertising and products on store shelves are pushing herbal supplements or other sorts of pills and drinks that promise to cause the weight to melt away. This may or may not be the case, however these products usually have very little scientific backing. More importantly than that, many of these products carry the danger of interfering with other important medications. People who are not on any medications are likely in a better place than others to give these products a shot, but people who are on medications should certainly talk to their health care providers before trying any alternative remedies.
This may be a good time to discuss the “all natural fallacy.” While the articles on this site push the avoidance of processed foods, that is not to say that all things that come from nature are safe or beneficial. Even though many alternative weight loss products are entirely natural, they may carry ingredients in such concentrations that they can do harm to the body.