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Commercials, Part 1 - The Quick Fix

November 2, 2009

It seems like you can’t go online these days, or watch any sort of television, without seeing commercials or advertisements about a quick-fix way to lose weight. So many companies promise these “silver bullets”, as if there’s some magic way to lose weight, and their one product will make all the difference.

The ones that I’m particularly thinking of are the internet ads about acai berries, and a TV commercial I recently saw about smoothies (from RightSize, I think). Both of these ads proclaim to be able to work miracles of weight loss if you just buy their product. What disturbs me about them is that so many people are so eager for a quick fix that they don’t even stop to investigate, to see if this is true, or if there are side effects that might be even worse. They probably just jump at the chance to have some easy way to lose weight.

The thing is, I can’t blame them. When I was younger, we tried to pin my weight problems on various things, thinking that if we addressed just that one item, I’d be able to lose weight without a problem. The pounds would just melt off. For instance, we thought I had a thyroid problem, so I took iodine supplements – with no luck. Then we thought that I was allergic to all sorts of things (sugar, wheat, citrus fruits, etc.) and that if I avoided those, I’d lose weight. Then it was that I had too much of the bad type of yeast in my body, so I took acidophilus and joined my mom in a yeast-free diet for a while. Then the gym teacher at my mom’s school suggested some supplements (quite pricey, I might add) that were designed to help boost slow metabolisms.

None of these things worked, and it’s why I’m leery of anything that offers a quick fix. No one who’s heavy wants to hear that it could take a long time to lose weight, that it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet, that it will always be a balancing act. But at least for me, and the few other people I’ve met who’ve been able to lose weight and keep it off, that’s the case. For me, what did it was diet and exercise, with a lot of discipline and work and continual adjustments and refinements and change in attitude. The overall goal was to burn more calories than I took in, and when I did, I lost weight. It's not a a quick fix, but for me, it's the only thing that worked.

So I’d like to caution anyone who’s tempted to try these to really find out what’s involved. These products may help with weight loss, but I have a hard time believing just a single change is all that it takes.

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