If you turn on the television today and surf the channels it probably won’t be long before you come across a television show or advertisement showing and/or promising dramatic weight loss. Before and after photos have become a mainstay of many infomercials that promise to get you into the best shape of your life. Personal testimonials add apparent credibility to the claims of the products promoters, and easy payment installments are usually available to make the purchase financially feasible.
Dramatic weight loss as it is portrayed in media has become a reliable way for broadcasters and advertisers to draw in an audience. In today’s modern age, people are not attracted to average or mediocre. People generally want to see extremes. Therefore, rather than watching a program where a person loses a small amount of weight (albeit consistently) over an extended period of time, consumers generally want to see examples of people who have lost extreme amounts of weight in a short amount of time. The fitness industry makes millions of dollars convincing people that they too can see the same results.
I’ve seen a lot of various programs and products on television claiming to help you experience your own dramatic weight loss in a short amount of time. In fact when I see these advertisements on television I often find myself transfixed, watching what they do and how they are doing it; evaluating the product the entire time. I see some products that look good, some that look questionable, and some that I know will not work. Some of these advertisements flat out lie. That’s very disturbing to me because I know that the makers of some products are simply preying off of the ignorance of the consumer.
The Products That Work
As a general principle, products that get you moving your body are going to be more successful at helping to bring about sustained weight loss, than those where you are stationary and moving an object. This goes back in large part to the principle of anaerobic exercise vs. aerobic exercise. You need to engage your body in aerobic activities in order to burn fat. Now there are some great products that have come out on the market in recent years that incorporate various types of circuit training. What I mean is that they require the participant to go back and forth between aerobic and anaerobic training. An example would be two minutes of jumping jacks, followed by 20 pushups, followed by a 60 second plank, followed by 2 minutes of jumping rope, followed by 10 pull-ups, and so on. These are very effective ways of not only increasing muscle mass and thereby increasing your metabolism, but also engaging your body in aerobic activity whereby it will burn fat for energy. Some of the other products that I would lean more toward for weight loss would also be the dance type videos. Not only are they fun for many people, but again, with the idea of moving your own body mass against gravity, you are going to lose more fat.
The Products That Don’t Work
If you are looking to strengthen your abdominal muscles, there is no shortage of products on the market to help you do so. What I take issue with is when product promoters claim that by using their abdominal product, you are going to lose weight or “inches” as they often assert, off of your waist. In the personal training field, this is known as spot training, and it is a myth. Sometimes advertisements make this claim outright, or insinuate the idea by showing before and after photos of individuals with dramatic weight loss. Losing weight or fat around your midsection is not going to happen from doing abdominal work alone. That is not to say that you won’t have a strong abdomen, but if you want to lose weight and actually see those abs, you are going to have to take some additional steps in the form of diet and cardio.
If It’s Too Good To Be True…
I’ve worked out in gyms for twenty years. I’ve trained hundreds of clients. I’ve studied the body, nutrition, and weight loss extensively. You can believe me when I tell you if there were a safe and easy way to be muscular and ripped, I would be all over it. Hard work and dedication are still the foundation of any effective weight loss solutions. Dramatic weight loss can occur with great success when the principles of sound diet, aerobic activity, and an increased metabolism through additional muscle mass are implemented.
Don’t Get Discouraged
There are some very popular shows on television today that base their success in large part off of the dramatic weight loss exhibited by their contestants. When you watch these programs, keep in mind that the purpose of these shows is to provide entertainment and generate revenue. It is not appropriate to compare yourself to the people on these shows for a number of reasons. First, the average person simply does not have the financial means to work with a personal trainer 5 or 6 days a week for a few hours at a time. This would literally cost thousands of dollars a month. Secondly, most people have to work. They do not have the time to commit to training 2 or 3 hours a day, as is common on many of the popular shows on television today. Thirdly, most individuals cannot afford the additional expense of hiring a professional dietician and personal chef.
The Road To Victory
It is absolutely possible for you to experience your own dramatic weight loss, should that be your goal. You may not have a personal trainer six days a week, a private chef, or a dietician on hand, but I want to assure you that you can do it. If your goal is weight loss, a reasonable goal is to aim to lower your weight by 1% a week. Following this guide is reasonable, safe for most people, and challenging enough to push you a little bit. It also means if you stick to it you will lose over half your body weight in a year, should that be your goal. If you can engage the services of a personal trainer to help you, your gains will likely be more noticeable more quickly. A good personal trainer can also help you target problem areas. Make sure you talk to your doctor before beginning any new weight loss program. Good luck and make sure to check back in the future for more exercise and health related tips!