Every time you turn on the television, read the newspaper or scan the new bestselling books, someone is claiming to have the next miracle solution to helping you lose weight, look younger or feel better. Many of these claims are just taking some basic truth and adding a twist to make it into a “new” idea. Some of these claims are completely out in left field but they may actually work through some other mechanism. For example, a writer of a bestselling book might tell you that following a few simple rules is the “key to losing those stubborn pounds”. You are tricked into believing that you only took a supplement or did a certain exercise but in reality they had a few extras attached to the program and the extras are the basics of any good weight loss plan – they reduced your overall calorie intake one way or another!
I was recently watching a popular talk show on television where Tim Ferris, bestselling author of The Four Hour Body was on telling about his “theories” for weight loss. The host of the show was supporting the ideas that were put forth as though they were fact. I was shocked at some of the advice given by this “expert” and wondered how could I (who actually is an expert in this field) have not heard of these things? So I did a little research of my own and found out the Tim Ferris is actually a writer, entrepreneur and public speaker. He is an author on many subjects including the 4-Hour Work Week and Escape 9-5 and he has absolutely no credentials when it comes to fitness, health or nutrition. I was shocked! He proclaims himself that he did “self experiments” for many years to come up with the answer to how to increase your metabolism to burn fat! His advice is unscientific, sometimes out right contradictory and possibly dangerous!
Now if you were to pick through what was being said on the show, there are some hidden truths. For example, he says that there is a rule that you should have “30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of rising”. The truth behind this is that you should have protein in the morning (and with every meal and snack) and you should eat breakfast. The sensationalism that sells the book makes it into a concrete rule of exactly how much and when: the 30/30 rule. Skip the sensationism and have a high protein breakfast in the morning for the same if not better results. Thirty grams of protein is a lot of protein for most people and would simply end up being too much for most.
What about the claims for supplements that help you lose weight, reduce wrinkles or improve memory? I’m all for taking a variety of natural supplements to enhance your health. The problem with the approach taken in these articles, books or television shows is that they are not telling the whole story behind who might benefit or who might actually put themselves at risk. Not everyone should be on the same supplements and many times your physician should monitor the levels. As a nutritionist I am able to help people learn about supplements that could possibly help them and get them started in the right direction doing their own research to determine if it’s beneficial for them. And just like drugs, supplements have side effects that can do more harm than good so being informed is very important.
So the bottom line is that no matter who is proclaiming the new best miracle cure for weight loss or some other common ailment, doing your own research is critical! Don’t believe someone just because they are a “doctor” or expert in the field. Find a good Integrative Physician that can advise you on the right supplements for you and monitor you for any side effects or toxic levels.
Ask me your questions and I will help guide you in the right direction so you can be educated and feel confident in decisions regarding your body and health.
Are you looking to change your diet? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you're ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!
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