The Spring semester is officially underway and I have encountered a student that has bought into some notorious fitness myths, specifically: waist training and fat-burning supplements. Let's begin with waist training. Popularized by a certain celebrity, this method of slimming has no merit in science and poses certain health risks. Unfortunately, said celebrity also has a wider following and in spite of my degree in science, a bigger influence in the health choices made by a certain population. I was just looking at my local edition of Groupon and noted that 10, 000 waist trainers had been sold. The irony is that even though this young lady works out hard, she will still attribute some of her success to her waist trainer and her supplements.
Ah, supplements, where shall I begin? Research does not support the wild claims made by most supplements, particularly those that promise dramatic weight loss. Anything that does illicit "dramatic" change should be medically supervised. Don't get me wrong, there can be some positive benefits to certain supplements but you need to do some research and not trust marketing. Remember the sole purpose of marketing is to get you to buy something. Do you have any health conditions, or are you taking any medications? There can be interactions with supplements regardless of a label that says it is natural. Drugs evolved from and include naturally occurring substances and some of those substances can trigger adverse effects.
First and foremost consider this, anything with the word supplement is designed to help, not do the work, so have some perspective. You will still need to make healthier food choices, find exercise you enjoy and will do, manage stress and get some sleep. If you actually do those things consistently, you will look and feel better, whether you supplement or not. Secondly, look for solid science. Reputable research includes words like evidence-based and efficacy along with large sample sizes. Not sure were to start? Check this out: http://evidencebasedliving.human.cornell.edu/2011/04/23/randomized-controlled-designs-the-gold-standard-for-knowing-what-works-2/
You have probably heard this before, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It's hard not to get sucked in to the possibility of achieving your goals quicker and easier by adding a gadget or a supplement to the mix. You're excited and ready to change and you want results! In a world where we can have most things on demand, it's hard to remember biology doesn't work that way. Whatever improvement you are looking to make, took a while to get your attention. Give yourself, your body and mind, some time to make those changes. Don't waist (see what I did there?) your time and money on the latest, greatest fads, they come and go like the celebrities that endorse them. The un-sexy truth is that doing healthful things more often than not, produces results. Hang in there, you can do it!
Another NCCA http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/ncca organization with solid information on fitness and personal training.