Everyone wants a quick fix. In the age of instant gratification, the concept of waiting for results is lost on everyone. Smh. The diet industry knows this, and over the years, they have capitalized on consumers’ lack of patience. Cue late-night infomercials and IG sponsored ads for the next big thing in weight loss. Spoiler alert: none of this sh*t actually works. Real results take time—we have been through this. I know you’re better than that, but I also get the temptation. Like, even if something seems too good to be true, you might think to yourself that it can’t hurt to try, right? Well, it might not hurt your body, but it will hurt your wallet. Here are five fitness products that promise a quick fix, but really do not work.
1. The Shake Weight
Oh, the infamous Shake Weight. Did you know that “you can get firm and fabulous arms and shoulders in just six minutes a day” with these? At least, that’s what the manufacturers want you to believe. The Shake Weight comes in two versions, weighing two-and-a-half pounds and five pounds. That’s very…minimal. But the creators of the Shake Weight claim the vibration creates isometric force on the muscles to hold steady, working the muscles more than regular concentric-eccentric movements. Seems scientific sounding and therefore legit, except for the fact that you can create your own isometric force during any exercise by holding the movement at the most force-generating part of the movement. So, by holding a bicep curl halfway for 10 seconds, holding the bottom of a squat, holding a V-sit for your abs, etc. That means you don’t need a Shake Weight to do it. You can also work your muscles more by using dumbbells greater than 2.5 lbs, I’m just sayin’.
Suzanne Somers is one entrepreneurial betch. I love and respect her hustle. This vintage little tool is like the at-home version of the hip adductor machines at the gym. For the goal of this product to be thinner thighs, it does make some sense kinesthetically for this movement and product to work. However, there is no way to spot reduce just one area of your body, so this product alone won’t help you achieve thin thighs. There are also plenty of superior ways to work the thighs that don’t require equipment, such as squats and lunges, as well as plyometric exercises. Plus, keep in mind that when it comes to any fat reduction, diet will always play a major role.
2. Ab Belt
These belts send electronic stimulation to your abdominal muscles, so your muscles contract without you doing the work to contract it. As in, you don’t even have to think of contracting your muscles. Who has the time and energy to consciously flex their muscles, right? But you want abs, though. Talk about lazy. Whether or not it works? Well, the Federal Trade Commission sued the makers of these belts in the early 2000s for making false claims, so that’s that on that. Here’s the real tea: if you can’t even put in the effort to contract your own abs, then no product or person can help you. The end.
4. Weight Loss Gummies
So you’ve heard of the weight loss teas and lollipops that the Kardashian-Jenner clan have promoted. But now, there are also weight loss gummies for you, because diet pills are soooo 1999. This popular brand’s gummies contain two steps, because that looks more legit. One gummy is basically caffeine from green coffee beans to give you energy, and the other one is supposedly an appetite suppressant made from garcina cambogia (a tamarind fruit extract). A one-month supply will cost you $49.90. Not only is packaging and marketing weight loss in a candy very ironic and a cheap juxtaposition, none of their claims have been evaluated by the FDA (no supplements on the market in USA are). These gummies could be, at best, ineffective and a waste of $49.90, or at worst, dangerous if you are allergic. On their website, they do not provide a full ingredients list for these gummies, so I would not be surprised if they contain very small amounts of these “active” ingredients. BTW, in 2014 the FTC sued a green coffee bean company for making false claims and false studies.
5. Slimming Creams/Masks
There are no products on Earth that, once applied directly onto the external surface of your body, can melt off fat, which is an internal cell INSIDE your body. Yes, because we have pores and glands on our skin, products do get absorbed. This is why it is important to use products that are clean and do not contain metals (such as aluminum in our deodorant). However, if we still haven’t gotten aluminum poisoning after years of using our trusty Secret deodorant, there’s no way a cream or mask can make us lose five inches in three weeks. Granted, supple and moisturized skin can appear tighter than dry, dehydrated skin (so don’t skimp on your water), but if you ever see a cosmetic product claiming to “effectively burn fat,” run from those scammers.
Hyped up fitness products come and go every year, but one thing has remained the same: the hunt for a magic weight loss solution. There is a reason why the diet industry is worth $72 BILLION. But just think—if weight loss was something you could purchase at a GNC, the nation as a whole would be a whole lot fitter and obesity would not as much of an issue. Not only is the hunt for overnight weight loss a waste of money, but it is also a waste of time. Can you imagine if instead, we spent that money on buying fresh produce, a gym membership, a piece of at-home gym equipment, or getting a session with a trainer to show us how to lift and work out properly? Something that breeds healthy habits and not false hope? Before you give this industry another dime, don’t let the flashy commercials and edited transformation pictures fool you: there is no product that will give you maximum results for minimum effort. In fitness, just like in life, what you get is what you give.
Images: Giphy (4)
If you guys have stuck to your resolution to stay fit/get healthy/tone up/etc. for THIS long… congratu-f*cking-lations. You’ve outdone probably 95% of the general population. I am here to help you stick to this resolution, because let’s face it: you still have 10 months to go. While sticking to healthy habits get easier over time… life, like a horrendous mother-in-law, will always try to find ways to make things hard for you.
As a personal trainer, a lot of complaints I’ve heard from clients is they fall off track when they have to travel or circumstances come up where they can’t stick to their normal routine. In the first few weeks, having a steady routine is key, but you’re not a boring bitch. You’re not under house arrest (I hope) and you deserve a little vacay, goddammit. So just because you’re on a bomb body mission, I’m not gonna let you say no to these “business” (yea right, but I’ll play along) trips or vacations just because we’re trying to lose three pounds. Here are my tried-and-true tips for keeping your diet while you’re on vacation.
1. Do Your Research
Does your hotel have a gym? Does your room have a fridge and microwave? What are some active tourist activities you can do? Look at the hotel restaurant menus, see what your best choices are. Google dining options nearby, and find a grocery store nearby to stock up on fruit/nuts/etc. (room service fruit is usually mediocre at best and ridiculously overpriced).
2. Pack Activewear
Always, always, always pack your gym clothes. This way you can’t use the excuse that you didn’t bring workout clothes or sneakers—and honestly, even if you don’t end up hitting the gym (no judgements here), you can wear the clothes on a regular day or on a travel day. I can’t tell you how many times gym clothes have come in handy for me on other non-gym related occasions.
3. Pack An At-Home Gym Kit
Bring booty bands, resistance bands (the ones with handles), gliders, and a jump rope. This way, you can fit in a workout in your hotel room. If you don’t have gliders, you can use little hand towels, but if your hotel room is carpeted it’s gonna be a little rough. I’ve done a full-blown hour-long circuit before (see below) with just these three equipments and body weight moves. Bringing your own equipment will also give you more exercise options in a sparse hotel gym.
4. Add Consistency When You Can
This is probably going to end up being diet related if you’re traveling. Whether it’s having the same breakfast or having a general theme to stick to for dinner (fish/seafood and greens is a great one), having some kind of consistency in your day-to-day will help you feel less stressed and frazzled when traveling.
5. Walk Where You Can
This is amazing for people visiting walk-friendly areas such as New York, Europe, and the UK. Cities that revolve around walking are amazing for helping you stay active while traveling. Soak in the sights and get those steps in. Many large cities in Europe will have guided walking tours, which are also great for safety reasons, so you’re not just stranded in a f*cking foreign country.
6. Plan Active Activities
Of course this will depend on your trip destination, but if you can… take the workout outside! Plan a guided hike, a kayak adventure, ziplining, ATV riding, etc. it’s a great way to make the most of your trip and also stay active.
7. Make Good Food Choices
If you’re in an exotic location, food is a HUGE part of new cultures and new experiences. Try everything, but the keyword: TRY. That’s like 3 bites. “Try” does not mean eat all of everything. If you’re traveling domestic or the local cuisine is more been there, done that, I suggest customizing the f*ck out of your food. Be that girl. The “I’ll have the sea bass, cooked in no butter and sauce on the side” girl. In fact, you should be that girl every time you eat out, travel or no travel. Restaurants don’t care about your resolutions, so you just have to make it work for you. Trust me, they see crazy sh*t all the time, you being specific about your food is SO not a big deal. 3 main tips for eating out: skip the bread basket, salads always ordered with dressing on the side, and nothing fried.
8. Do This Full Body Circuit
- 1 min jump rope/jumping jacks
- 1 min high-knees
- 1 min plank walk out
- 1 min squats (booty band optional)
- 1 min side lunge (gliders and band optional)
- 1 min high plank hold with shoulder tap
- 1 min bicep curls (use bottles of water or a resistance band)
- 1 min tricep extensions
- 1 min burpees
- 1 min rest.
This is 10 minutes. Repeat as many times as you want.
Images: @CurtisMacNewton/Unsplash, Giphy (3).