Should you really try a colon cleanse? Do cellulite creams actually work? Here are the top ten health scams — and what you need to know about each one.
We’ve all heard about this or that “magical” or “amazing” product that will help you lose weight, fight disease, or get you in shape faster. It seems like every couple of years (or more often) a product is introduced to the market that targets those people who want the easy way to fat loss or health. The strange thing is, people actually buy this stuff! It’s too bad they don’t realize you can lose weight, be healthier, and feel better just by making a few changes to your diet.
Here are the top 10 health scams:
01. Toning Shoes
Ah yes, those illustrious shoes designed specifically to help tone and tighten your legs and glutes. The shoes have a convex sole and pods and/or mini balance balls at the bottom. This all works to make you work harder to balance and walk. Some manufacturers even claim they can help with back pain and poor posture.
Let’s think about this for a minute. How can a shoe that forces you to walk unnaturally be good for your posture and spine? It’s not likely. In addition, there’s zero evidence that toning shoes actually do a thing to “tone” your muscles. You do that in a gym, by lifting weights…and we wouldn’t recommend you wear these shoes while doing so.
Here’s a great way to tell if the weight loss formula is a scam: it’s touted as being a to-this-day unknown trick of some unknown culture. Hoodia is one of these gimmicks. Further, to do any good, hoodia has to be eaten fresh, and you can’t get it fresh because it’s on the list of protected flora. So don’t waste your money on packaged hoodia, and concentrate instead on what you put into your mouth if you want to lose weight safely and properly.
03. Cellulite Creams
Newsflash: a lot of people have cellulite. Even skinny people get it. And those creams that are marketed all over the place don’t really work. The best way to reduce cellulite is to reduce your sugar intake. Sugar gets stored in the outer fat cells. Exercise regularly, and lose fat naturally. The less fat and more muscle you have, the less cellulite you will have.
04. Vitamin-Enhanced Waters
You can’t really put extra oxygen into water. There’s really nothing you can do to water to make it healthier aside from making sure it’s clean. And then you drink it. Don’t waste your money on expensive, flavored, “vitamin-enhanced” water. And really, if it has all that stuff in it, is it still really water?
05. Colon Cleansers
Your colon is one amazing, delicate, and thriving ecosystem, part of the most important system in your body: the gut. What it doesn’t do is store fecal matter for years at a time. You don’t need to take any colon cleansing products (or enemas, or do colon hydrotherapy) to remove all of this imaginary buildup. What you can do to help your colon is to eat lots of soluble and insoluble fiber by way of fruits and vegetables, eat some fermented foods, drink lots of water, and exercise. Let your colon do the rest.
06. Body Wraps
We’re sure you’ve seen the latest craze in fat loss: body wraps! Supposedly, you put these on for 12-24 hours and when you take them off, you’re drastically thinner. Well, sure. There might appear to be a huge difference, but you know what you’ve lost? Water weight. Fluids have moved to other parts of the body, or have been lost through sweat. What you haven’t lost is fat, and you’ll be back to looking exactly as you were within a day or two. So don’t waste your time or money.
07: Fat and Carb Blocking Pills
It’s really unlikely that a pill can stop your body from absorbing the fat you eat and further, why would you want to do that? Fats are necessary for health! The issue is not that fat makes you fat; the issue is that eating too much fat makes you fat. Eating too much in general will make you gain fat, so don’t demonize fat in and of itself. Not to mention, fat-blocking pills can cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, and anal leakage. What fun! They also prevent your body from absorbing vitamins.
As for carb-blocking pills, wouldn’t it be more effective, less expensive, and safer to just cut back on your carb consumption if you’re so concerned about it?
08. Refined Vegetable Oils
Canola oil, soybean oil, and margarine are not good for you. They will not help you lose weight, are not better for your heart than butter, tallow, or lard, and are actually more likely to cause more harm than good. Have you noticed that since we started eating margarine, people as a whole have gotten fatter and heart disease has gone up? It’s probably no coincidence. Stick to health fats from animals; factory-extracted, rancid vegetable oils are not good for you. Instead, go for avocado oil, olive oil, nut oils (in moderation due to the Omega-6s), coconut oil, and butter, lard, and tallow.
09. Weight Loss Teas
The most common ingredient in these teas is caffeine, which is a stimulant. It makes your heart beat faster and gives you more energy, thus increasing the calories you burn when you are more active than normal. The only time these teas might be effective is if you used them to replace high-sugar sodas.
HCG is a fertility drug, and is commonly marketed as a weight loss miracle. Here’s the trick: you eat a super-low calorie diet (under 1000 calories a day) and have HCG injected into your body. In result, you’ll see dramatic weight loss results.
Well, of course you will! Any person who starves himself is going to see results, at least until his metabolism crashes and burns! Do yourself a favor and stay far, far away from this diet.