Total Nutrition Technology
Friday, January 31, 2014

By: TNT Health Educator - Stacey Gretka
Part 3 of 5

Americans spend an estimated $42 billion annually on weight loss foods, products and services.  So it's not surprising with so much money at stake, that there are an overwhelming number of "fad" diets and other weight loss products on the market.  In part 3 of our 5 part series we are going to take a look at to more of those options: weight loss shakes and weight loss pills.  Remember, it is important to get the whole picture about what these diets involve and whether or not they are a truly healthy lifestyle change.  

The Movers and The Shakers: Shakeology/Body by Vi
The Good: Again, they tend to work. I separate shakes from fad diets because they do tend to pay attention to replacing the vitamins and minerals lost from eliminating food groups (keep in mind that nutrients added in this way, like supplements, while helpful are not as effective as the real food source). Science has some of these shakes tasting pretty good, too. 
The Bad: What do you tell your seven year old, who still worships the ground you walk on and wants to do everything you do and be everything you are when she sees you drinking a chocolate shake instead of the dinner you made for the family? What are you telling her about her body? What are you telling her about real food?
The Ugly: If you are successful at maintaining a shake diet (and avoiding the temptations of real foods) until you reach your goal weight, what’s your next step? How do you keep the weight off? You might do this in a group and support each other, but honestly, no one is really learning anything in the process, making it super challenging to maintain any success you do reach, again fostering dependence on their products. Plus, some of these shake diets don’t even let you eat any meals at all during their program! So what happens when your body has to digest solid food again? I advise you to check out pediatric websites on introducing solids because your digestive system will definitely revert. 

Pill Promises: Green Coffee Bean/Garcinia Cambogia
The Good: Dr. Oz endorses them? Okay, actually, I can’t find anything really good to say about taking pills as your sole means of weight loss or muscle gain. If anything, all I can really say here is that it is true Green Coffee Bean and Garcinia Cambogia, in studies, tend to help people burn fat or prevent the storage of it. 
The Bad: If you learn nothing, don’t change your poor eating habits and inactive lifestyle, you’ll be popping these pills regularly for as long as you can remember to. And don’t get me started on the detriment to our environment trying to cultivate these gems and process them into something humans can “safely” consume (safely is in quotes to remind you of incidents like Phen Phen), and ship them to your medicine cabinet. 
The Ugly: Green Coffee Bean consumption raised homocysteine levels in those who took the pills regularly (which you’ll likely be doing) in concentrated doses (if your pill choice’s only active ingredient is Green Coffee Bean). Increased homocysteine levels are linked to increased rates of clots, and therefore heart attacks and strokes. Is there a Doctor (Oz) in the house?

Is your head spinning yet?  It'a a lot to take in...and tomorrow there will be a tiny bit more when we take a look at 2 more popular"diets" ~  Cleanses & Detoxs and Mail-In Meals such as Nutrisystem/Jenny Craig.  So be sure to tune in tomorrow for more of the good, the bad, and the ugly!

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