MIND BODY SOUL – The fitness frauds

Gyanguru Eyes On Fitness fraudsWHEN IT comes to losing weight, most of us will fall for practically anything that we think will make the process effortless. At least, that’s the only conclusion we can draw when we learn about the $33 billion dollar weight loss industry in the US where companies come up with products and devices that, ‘magically’ and ‘miraculously’ eliminate inches and kilos from our frames. Most of them do no such thing, of course. But take a look at some of the funniest ‘weight loss devices that are available on the market.

Weight loss acupressure shoes The manufacturers claim that these shoes press certain acupressure points on the soles of your feet while you walk, which simultaneously decreases your appetite and changes the way your metabolism functions. This means, they claim, that you ‘burn more fat’ and abracadabra! You lose weight without going on a diet or exercising.

Weight loss soap I actually know people who have tried this – and obviously have failed to lose weight with it. All you do with this ‘miracle’ soap is use it when you shower. The soap apparently penetrates your skin and ‘dissolves’ the fat beneath it. So as you bathe, you wash the fat off your body.

Weight loss creams and gels These have been proven to be bogus, but they still sell. All you have to do, according to the manufacturers, is apply them on the fatty areas of your body, and they will penetrate your skin and dissolve the fat. Wow! How easy. I would buy tankers of these creams and gels for my patients if someone could only convince me that they really work.

Weight loss chair According to its manufacturer, this chair rocks and rolls while you watch TV, which realigns your spine and leads to weight loss! Weight loss walker Just lie down with your feet in this ‘walking machine’. It will move your feet automatically, and you will lose weight without moving an inch from your bed.

Passive exercise machines Whoever first thought of these must be a multi-billionaire by now. Unfortunately, this is one of the longest-living fitness frauds. You are supposed to lie down (or sit back, or just do whatever you normally do) with a gadget strapped to a fatty portion of your body. This gadget will pulse electronically against your body, thus exercising the muscle behind all that fat in a passive manner. And you lose weight thanks to this ‘passive exercise’. I am yet to find any scientific explanation for this logic except for the fact that the electric current must affect the user’s brain in some way, because she or he has clearly stopped thinking.

Herbal decoctions Just drink them up and, by magic, the fat will melt away. Pills and powders Every year, thousands of people fall ill thanks to these ‘weight loss’ pills. To date, no research has shown that the use of any product or device can lead to lifelong weight loss / maintenance. At the end to the day, you can only lose weight when you change your lifestyle and food behaviour. Unfortunately, for some people, it takes a lifetime and many lakhs of rupees before they understand this simple, but eternal fact.

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