The media is full of quick-fix advertisements designed to entice you to try their newest product. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it profits from you buying its pills and serums... and lies.
Would it be profitable for them to sell you a product that worked? Then you wouldn't be back to buy more.
They use media strategies and psychology to design their advertisements so you want to buy what they are selling in the hopes that finally, just finally, you will find the magic solution to the weight you've been trying to shed.
Why You Shouldn't Try Weight Loss Supplements
Just like herbal supplements, most weight loss supplements are not regulated by the FDA. FDA regulation is important because scientists there double check the work of the manufacturer's scientists to make sure the pill does what they say it will do, and that it is safe. Without this double check, manufacturers can fill supplements with various percentages of ingredients. Often companies will cite a scientific study where their pill lead to weight loss, but they leave out the fact that the pill they are selling you only contains a fraction of the active ingredient, so it won't be in sufficient quantities to work. So then you should just take more of the pills, right? Wrong. Because they aren't regulated by the FDA, companies can fill the pills with various ingredients, some of which can be harmful. For example, there have been numerous reports of liver damage caused by the popular supplement Hydroxycut. So many, in fact, that in April 2014 the FDA issued a Consumer Update report recommending that all consumers using Hydroxycut stop immediately. Hydroxycut led to liver damage so severe in one consumer they required a transplant. Another Hydroxycut user died.
Body-critical talk; contagious; worsens existing poor body image and self esteem; sets the stage for eating disorders; often reflects how the speaker is expected to feel about her body, not how she actually feels (1)
Have you noticed any "body-positive" campaigns lately? Perhaps Operation Beautiful by TriDelta? Or "Fight Fat Talk" by Special K? Don't forget one of my favorites, the Self-Esteem Project by Dove that has an entire section devoted to the Role of the Media and how airbrushing and photoshopping as well as scantily clad music video dancers impact the young women of the upcoming generation. They have games like "Retouch Roulette" where young girls learn to spot altered images, gradually redefining their sense of beauty without the impact of the media.
The production and advertisement of low-fat food products has skyrocketed in the past few decades - likely due to the research that came out 40 years ago which supposedly linked fat to heart disease. New research has surfaced that challenges this long-held belief, revealing that fat has a "null" effect (not bad, not good) on heart disease risk.(1) Another theme in "food media" these days is buying local, organic, and natural. These terms can carry many meanings which means they can be confusing, too. But with the resurfacing of the Paleo diet and its followers, fuel has been added to the proverbial fire. The premise is that eating foods that are minimally processed (if at all) is more beneficial for our bodies, avoiding the preservatives and other chemicals added to foods for shelf life and appearance that our body doesn't recognize. I want to arm you with some knowledge about low fat foods, so when confronted with the aisles of options at the grocery store, you feel equipped to make the decision that is right for you.
First I'll teach you what the different types of fat-reduced products are and what the claims mean.
Then we'll talk about two different categories of food: foods you can have low-fat without worrying about menacing ingredients, and foods you should choose the full-fat option.
On the way you'll learn the reasons behind these categories, and see examples that illustrate each point.
The magazines at the grocery store check-out feature "Best & Worst Beach Bods" and "5 Ways to Lose 15 Pounds!" that draw you in and flip the switch to start the fat talk. Whether your doctor has mentioned you should lose a little weight (or your mother), whether its been a lifelong battle for you, or any other reason why you might still be reading this blog post - when you try to make changes in your life, and no fruit comes of it, it can be frustrating. You look up healthy cooking recipes, join the gym (and go almost every day!) and clip a pedometer on, the scale still won't budge. And you're trying so so hard. There are often one or two sneaky habits that persist despite healthy changes that we a) don't know are hindering our road to success or b) we are still in denial.