We all dream of a miracle pill to help us lose weight. It’s so much easier than worrying about proper nutrition and regular exercise. No wonder then when America’s favorite TV doctor, Dr. Oz, told us that the miracle pill does exist, we all ran as fast as we could to buy it. Months later, Dr. Oz is facing congressional hearings and grilling by U.S. senators about the promotion of weight loss supplements that do not work as advertised.
“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff when you know it’s not true,” said Missouri Senator, Claire McCaskill, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance. “The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles.’ ” The three products in question: raspberry ketones, green coffee beans and Garcinia Cambogia.
McCaskill said the viewers were misled by the “false hope” and that the Dr. Oz show “perpetuated these scams.” Dr. Oz defended himself saying he believes the products he talks about on his show and that he has even given them to his family.
The congressional hearing questioned the way Dr. Oz introduced these weight loss supplements. “Thanks to brand new scientific research, I can tell you about a revolutionary fat buster,” Dr. Oz said during one of his shows, with the words “No Exercise. No Diet. No Effort” flashing on the screen behind him. “It’s called Garcinia Cambogia.” “You may think magic is make-believe but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight loss cure for every body type–it’s green coffee extract,” he said in another show. “I’ve got the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. It’s raspberry ketones,” he proclaimed in yet another broadcast.
As a result of those shows, multiple companies were marketing the supplements with Dr. Oz’ photo and quotes, leading people to believe the pills were approved by the famous doctor. Dr. Oz said he doesn’t allow his image to be used in ads and he doesn’t receive any money from the sold products. He testified that he should not be held responsible for how those companies sold their products and assured the senators he is now very careful with the words he chooses for his show.
Jason Kozma, LA-based personal trainer, says no weight loss supplement could substitute hard work when it comes to working out and eating right. “Just because someone on TV says a supplement can make you skinny, it doesn’t mean it works, nor does it mean it’s effective,” said Kozma. He pointed out that many weight loss products claim to be “natural” where in fact they are laden with questionable ingredients or can potentially interact with other supplements and medications.
“You have to be smart,” said Kozma. He admits that it’s not an easy task because the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements. But he cautions: “Don’t believe everything you see on TV, take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.”
Kozma adds that “There is no pill, powder, seed, wrap, sauna or injection that does the work for you – the only way to lose bodyfat and the shape the body is with proper nutrition and exercise. Period.”
If Weight Loss Supplements Don’t Work, What Does?
We aren’t saying weight loss supplements don’t work. We are saying that they don’t just work on their own.
What does work? A smart workout and diet plan. You still have to alter your diet and add exercise.
Now that you’ve done that, here are some that work – as long as you put in the work too.
How To Create A Smart Fitness Plan
In order to create a well-balanced fitness plan, you will need to make sure it includes strength training, flexibility, and aerobic exercise.
Strength training exercises such as weight lifting and will build your muscle tissues, increase the strength of your bones, build endurance, and improve coordination. Flexibility exercise such as yoga and stretching will warm the body up for your routine while increasing the elasticity of the muscles. Aerobic exercise like cardio machines, running and swimming will improve cardiovascular condition as well as burn calories and body fat.
Before you start your real workout, you should warm up a bit. A warm up can consist of a short jog on the treadmill, some jumpropes, or the more traditional warm up sets (lighter sets of the first exercise). It is very helpful to stretch after exercising in order to best prevent injury and help the muscles recover.
Warm Up Stretches
Spinal Flex: Start with this as your warm up exercise. Get on your hands and knees, into a tabletop position, line up your hands and arms with your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Your arms and legs are at a 90-degree angle to your torso. Your palms of your hands and insteps are flat on the floor. As you inhale, tilt your head up and arch your back evenly and comfortably. As you exhale, round your back completely (like when a cat rounds their back to look bigger), by curling your hips under and pull your chin toward your chest, stretching the back of the neck.
Toe Touch: Sounds simple, right? It is, but it requires patience and good breathing. Stand straight. Push your arms over your head and breathe in fully. Bend forward and reach for your toes. Keep your legs straight. Slowly round your back as you reach forward. If you are able to, touch the floor with your fingertips or even your hands. If you can, you can stretch more until your stomach touches your legs. Breathe slowly and deeply and hold this for 30 seconds or more.
One of the biggest is the more weight training you do, and muscles you build, the more fat you burn. You can spend all day on a treadmill and burn a ton of calories, but you’ll see a bigger difference in your body composition – muscle definition, no more love handles – when you start weight training.
Creating Your Weight Training Schedule
A lot of my new clients come to me AFTER they’ve been working out for a long time without seeing results. They may be yoga or spin class fanatics, kick-boxers or fitness class junkies, but they all say the same thing “I’m just not seeing the results I thought I would.” I started thinking about this and realized they all have one thing in common: they’re not lifting weights.
Have you ever noticed the most toned people in the gym are the ones using free weights and machines? You may think to yourself “that’s not for me, I don’t need to bulk up. I just want to lose a few pounds and look good in my clothes.” Well, lifting weights is important for everyone. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, gain muscle definition or just get stronger. Weight bearing exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your body. Don’t believe me? Just ask your doctor. It boosts metabolism, builds stronger bones and more muscle. Your body burns more fat even while at rest.
Even a low calorie diet combined with aerobic exercise won’t help you burn as much fat and can even contribute to muscle loss. When you lose muscle, or lean mass, your metabolism slows down. Your weight loss slows down and your body begins to store fat. By increasing your lean muscle mass, you increase your metabolism. The faster you metabolize your food, the more weight you lose. Even when sleeping.
What Are The Right Exercises For Your Workout?
There is not a single workout you can find in a magazine, online or download from an app that is perfect for every body type. You want to create your workout with exercises that suit your body and your fitness goals. One type of workout routine that may have given great results for one person may not do so much for another person. Bodies, metabolisms, recovery rate and general fitness can be radically different from person to person. Of course, there are some exercises out there that are generally better than others.
Unbeknownst to most, amount of movement while lifting weights is the most important factor in calorie and fat burning when considering adding the exercises for your workout program. If you choose mostly isolation exercises with little to no body movement, then it is to be expected that you would burn fewer calories compared to a compound exercise that requires you to move more of your body over a wider range of motion. The more complex movements (exercises) per workout, the more calories you will burn. Complex movements use several large muscles at one time. With this type of movement your heart rate will stay at a high pace which will result in more calorie burning.
Choosing The Right Exercises for You
Exercises that are more complex should form the base of your routine. Included are squats, lunges, push ups, step ups, deadlifts, and bent-over rows. A few examples of isolation exercises that should be added for detail and shaping are crunches, bicep curls, leg extensions, triceps extensions, and hamstring curls. You can get creative and mix two exercises to make an even more complex movement. It can be fun trying out different exercises, but you need to make sure to perform them correctly to prevent injury or wasting your time.
Here are some combination exercises I will use in a personal training session:
- Side lateral raise with lunging backwards
- Dumbbell curls will lunging forward
- Dumbbell overhead press with squats
- Front dumbbell raise with backwards or side lunge
- Walking lunge with twist holding a medicine ball
Now that you know the right type of exercises to choose, you can then opt to increase the intensity of your workout.
Fat Burning Cardio
When doing cardio, start by working within your current capabilities. The aim is to get your heart rate up to anywhere from fifty to eighty-five percent of your maximum rate. This number is 220-your age = maximum heart rate (MHR), then to get your target heart rate multiply that number times the desired percentage of maximum effort (MHR x .75)= 75% max heart rate (I generally default to 75%). Measure your heart rate manually or with a heart rate monitor. Most gyms have cardio machines with them built in. For exercising outdoors, you can get a heart rate monitor at a sporting goods store. As an example let’s say that you are 30 years old. This would make your maximum heart rate one hundred ninety, meaning that your target heart rate would be between ninety-five and one hundred sixty-two. I’ve found the ideal fat burning heart rate for healthy people is about 75% of max.
Most importantly, make sure to drink plenty of water when performing any sort of physical activity. It’s vital that you get at least twenty ounces of water a few hours before working out. During exercise it is recommended that you drink about ten ounces every twenty minutes. After you are done, wait a half hour before drinking another eight ounces. For more intense workout, it may be a good idea to consume a sports drink instead as it contain carbohydrates your body needs as fuel and will replace any lost electrolytes.
Eating The Right Foods
Making the right eating choices is a lot easier than one might think. Although common refined and sugary foods are easy and convenient, they are responsible for all your excess bodyfat. In order to lose weight, you need to throw out all the refined and packaged foods in your cabinets. They are full of refined carbohydrates, trans fats, and sugars.
Now that your shelves are bare, it is time to refill them with healthier alternatives. Fill the kitchen with foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, and eggs. These provide the necessary nutrients the body needs in order to maintain muscle and immunity, as well as allow you to start shedding fat. Organic will always be better, but you don’t have to be perfect in that. Just do your best. Try avoid any foods that come in packages that contain ingredients you cannot even pronounce.