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.
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