Weight loss and the media - when to listen and when to question.


Lifestyle change

Lifestyle change is where most people get confused. Most people when they decide to get healthy do one of three things. The first is to try and guess what they need to eat. The second is to try to guess how to exercise, based on conflicting information. And the last thing is to guess how best to put these two very important pieces together.

They then try and put their guesswork into a unrealistic new daily routine. They will usually go by snippets of information from friends, family or trash mags. We should only go by what I would refer to as proven science from reputable sources and there are some good sources out there. This is a generalisation but most trash magazines are in the business of selling you products and those products are usually owned by the magazines or vice versa, so information that you usually receive will lead you towards a product that you should buy to get the results they are talking about.

So there is one all-important question I would encourage you to ask when people pass you on information that will (they think) help you to lose weight and get results in the gym. Remember people always, rightly or wrongly, have their opinions. I've had opinions on many occasions but hindsight/proven scientific knowledge have led me to wish I’d kept my trap shut.

Life is about learning and growing.

Here is a little role play…….

Susie and Helena are having a gossip over a cup of tea and a biscuit. Then the conversation slips onto exercise, diets and holidays.

Susie: “OMG! You need the new Wood Eating Smoothie Detox 7 Day Ab Buster diet in your life! Everyone is getting fab results, you can drop like, 10 lbs in 10 days! I'm going on it next week and I can't wait! I've got my hols in 2 weeks, so I need to be skinny for that beach!”

Helena: “Wow -10 lbs in 10 days! And abs! I need some of that in my life! how do I get it?!!”

Susie: “All you need to do is to buy a Wood Blending Smoothie Machine for £549, the Detox 7 Day Ab Buster book and DVD for £29.99 or you can go online and subscribe for only £8.99 a month!” (£107.88 a year for the rest of your life as you will probably never get round to cancelling it.) “I'm going to do the subscription, as its only the price of going to Starbucks for a coffee! And you get so much free content and information. It looks so cool.”

Now what Helena should have said was……..”How do you know it works?”

Then Susie would have probably answered something like this…….

”You should see some of the before and after shots in the magazine. The people got such unbelievable results and a doctor said that eating blended up wood can help to dislodge that stubborn belly fat we all hate! Plus the guy that wrote the book is in amazing shape and he's so hot! Also he has written two bestselling books before- How to Lose Weight Whilst Submerged in Strawberries and How to get Abs Whilst Injecting Orange Juice! I've got them both! I I haven't read them but they're meant to be really good.”

Now let's break this down, starting from the first answer-

The before and after pictures: they can be brought online for 5p a shot and you can legally use them as many times as you like.

The unbelievable results: the before and after shots did probably happen, just more than likely not on that diet - or if it was from that diet they would have used some very creative photography, with the subject breathing out for the 'before' picture, then putting on fake tan, breathing in, tensing up and posing under different lighting. This is all usually done in the same one-hour slot because it's cheaper when hiring a model.

And as for the bogus doctor and the wood quote- he or she will probably have been paid by the smoothie machine company and have based his or her findings around some loose unproven evidence, as the diet industry is unregulated.

In the U.S, alone the diet industry is a $90 billion a year market. WOW!!

As for the fit, in-shape author, I can guarantee you that he didn't get into shape in 8 days by eating wood based smoothies!

The only way he got into shape was like everyone else who is in shape - by eating correctly and training correctly for a sustained period of time.

There are no shortcuts.

“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals”
Jim Rohn

I have been around and heard some wonderful claims over my years and I've also made many of them myself in my younger - and not so younger - days.

What I want to get across is this. We live in a fast -paced world with information being released online and capable of being in people's hands and ready to read in hundreths of a second. The power of the World Wide Web is incredible but only if you view quality content. If we consistently view junk and pointless information day after day, we are, without knowing it, building very damaging and hard to remove habits for life, such as fast weight loss, 10 lbs in 10 days. This kind of thinking creates big problems for sustainable, healthy, scientifically proven weight loss by creating unrealistic aspirations.

There is a place for your guilty pleasures, but just as long as they are under control and do not affect your life, thinking process or health. You see, marketers know we want everything NOW, especially weight loss! So you should be aware of all the different sort of information that pops up with huge claims such as "Get Abs in 6 days with this New Workout Plan!" Everyone has a six pack - it's just covered over with body fat. So the best way to get a six pack is to lower your body fat, and the best way to lower your body fat is to eat a calorie calculated eating plan with a 500 kcal deficit and to exercise 5 times a week to a good intensity for 30 minutes or so. You have to do this consistently for 2-3 months to see the biggest results.

I gained a six pack without doing a single sit up, I just constantly did the right things for 10-12 weeks. I did this by working out my calories my body needed for weight loss, pick a macronutrient ratio base on my activity level then I exercised 5-6 times a week with three 40 minute indoor football sessions along with reistance training 2-3 times a week. I know that may seem like a lot of exercise but I love it and it keep my mental and physical state in balance. Also I rest every third day, which is as important as the training for muscle growth and cellular repair.

All I want to get across to you is be aware, read things with a logical aproach, always question quick fixes and too good to be true information. Also when you see this information pop up, try and look around at what is being offered to you. Nine times out of ten it will be something to help you get the quick results. So I'll always say keep your money in your pocket and follow the science.

Thanks for reading.

Justin Stocks

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