are-you-seriousWe’ve all seen it, machines and straps that wrap around your waistline that magically burn off fat and love handles in just 20 minutes a day. These things are advertised all over the place and we’ve all seen it one time or another. Whether on TV or advertised somewhere else,  people have always contemplated on whether to purchase such a product. Are these fat burning scams? As a personal fitness trainer and someone who is knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition and health, I always say the same thing when I see outrageous products that promise an impossible goal for what its providing which is: are you serious?

Nowadays there are tons of methods that claim to hold the key in melting off excess body weight, getting rid of that stubborn belly fat, or just speeding up metabolism. These all come in forms of machines, pills, powders, straps, etc. But do these things really work? Can you magically take a pill that suppresses hunger and melt off the fat to reveal sexy six pack abs? Can you wear a strap around your stomach and in 20 minutes a day for a month and have all the fat disappear? You don’t need to be an all knowing fitness expert to able to determine if these products really live up to what they promise or not, but you’d be surprised that how many people actually fall for this multi-billion dollar industry of ways to lose fat.

First of all, I am just going to say it right now for the record. Read this next part carefully and after that, read it again! No matter how many darn crunches you do a day, no matter how many back aching sit ups do, you will NEVER be able to reveal abs that way. There is no such thing as spot reduction! You cannot lose fat in one part of your body by doing exercises that target that certain part of the body. If people tell you otherwise, they are simply lying to you and deserve a smack in the face (a gentle one of course). It’s just not that easy. It makes me mad to see all of the people falling for these types of products that they see on TV. Products that claim to reduce face fat, products that reduce leg fat, back fat, every type of fat you have on your body there is a product that claims to get rid of it! The only way to truly lose fat around the stomach or back, thighs etc. is to lose it all over your body.

Fat loss is basically an all or nothing deal, you cannot simply negotiate and say ‘oh hey, I want to lose fat only around my thighs.’ It just doesn’t work like that! The only way to lose fat effectively is through cardio training but most of all proper nutrition. No matter how much cardio you do in one day, if you eat foods that are high in saturated fats, grease, oil and calories, you can basically give up your fat loss dream right now. Like I’ve said, the only way to lose fat is to proper nutrition. You don’t have to be smart to know that if you eat 4 hamburgers a day and sit on the couch and do nothing, you are going to put on fat. Now on to the fun stuff, the truth about most common products and methods out there and why they don’t work!

Hunger suppressants and crash dieting:

I’ve known people that do this; drinking water instead of eating to reduce the number of calories they consume in a day, drastically cutting calories by eating one meal a day or popping pills to make themselves feel full. But to tell you the gosh darn awful truth that some people will not want to hear is; these methods simply make the fat loss situation worse than it is. In the long run, these methods will add on more fat then cut it out. Let me tell you why. The body constantly needs food to provide fuel for the body to maintain proper bodily functions. You’re body is always in either the catabolic state or the anabolic state. When your body is hungry for long periods of time, it switches into catabolic state, where typically your body uses muscle and fat for sources of energy because it is not getting significant carbohydrate intake. Being in the catabolic state for long periods of time leads the body to enter starvation mode. Starvation mode is a survival mechanism that is naturally built into the body and when the body has not received food for long periods of time  it kicks in and it doesn’t do nice things for the body either.  First of all, it slows down the metabolism to burn less fat, because fat is the highest source of energy for the body. It starts to store what you do eat as fat. What happens when your metabolism is slowed? You don’t burn fat! It’s just that plain and simple. The best way to keep your metabolism going is to eat constantly every 3-4 hours and track your calories. Calories are very important when it comes to fat loss and tracking them should be a must.

Ab crunches and ab machines etc:

Remember back then when every infomercial was pretty much an ab machine that promised to develop a nice muscular core? Well what they never did tell you is that; spot reduction is not possible and it doesn’t matter how many crunches you do, if you do not lose the fat that is covering the abs guess what? Those beautifully developed abs won’t show!  These  ab machines are usually used to strengthen and build up the abs.  If you don’t have proper nutrition , fat will keep adding over top of the abs. Its like having a building being built, and constantly being covered by sand…The main reason why people purchase these products is there are usually pictures of girls and guys with washboard abs smiling and basically saying ‘hey, buy this product so the company can pay me.’  Now I’m not saying that these products are not any good at all. Don’t get me wrong. I have an ab machine that I purchased from the store and I love it. It helped me to develop a strong and muscular core. What I am saying though, is that if you buy this and expect to develop a six pack in a few weeks, by just doing 20 minutes a day, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

Prepared and packaged meal plans:

Simply put, these foods usually taste awful. You pay a couple of hundred dollars a month for food to be shipped to your house.  I’m not going to lie, this method kind of works, because the company usually works with you to determine your needs, but the price that people pay, it’s just not worth it. These meals usually come in a prepared package and are cooked in the microwave or on stove top (what isn’t cooked that way nowadays). These foods are usually higher in proteins and low in carbs and fats.  Following these strict packaged meals not only will drain your wallet, but mentally drain you as well. Only eating at the set time that the meal plans call for can leave you feeling hungry for hours, especially if you’re just starting out and used to eating higher calories. My tip here, is to just track your calories, spend that money to buy healthy foods to cook at home yourself.

So all in all. If you’re trying to lose the excess fat, there IS NO miracle way to do it. Hard work pays off and if you aren’t working hard and are looking for shortcuts to achieve your goals, you might be disappointed. I’m not saying that all of these methods to lose fat are fat burning scams, I’m simply saying save your money and do not buy anything that promises quick results. The only way to properly lose weight is through diet and exercise and not found in these expensive alternatives!

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John considers himself as a fitness enthusiast who loves to do anything to keep the body in peak physical performance (much like a highly tuned machine). He mainly focuses on sports nutrition and supplement research, but is also highly knowledgeable in relation to muscle growth and fat loss. He's helped numerous people over the years achieve the body that they've always wanted and hopes his information will guide you to the goals you want.

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