Note: I am not a doctor or medical professional. Please do not start any new diet or exercise program without consulting your own doctor first.
Like many people with weight issues, as well as serious health issues that are exacerbated by weight, I dream of the day when Science develops a magic pill that we can take once a day and then eat whatever we want to. Ice cream, cake, cotton candy. The sugar bowl and a stick of butter. Ahem. So it’s no surprise when a possible solution shows up and everyone flocks to the idea. And everyone has different results. My nutritionist says the right diet is the one that works for you. Let’s look at some things that have arisen in this field.
1. Gluten Free versus Low Carb — Not to be confused, gluten is a specific substance found in wheat flour, primarily, but other flours as well. People with celiac disease often improve when they remove gluten from their diets. Carbs, however, are found in fruits, vegetables, and many important parts of a balanced diet. There’s fiber in there and metabolism-stimulating carbs. Check with your health care provider before making a move to eliminate anything from your diet.
2. Vitamin D — I was told by my doctor to start taking Vitamin D because I was low on it and didn’t get out in the sunshine then as much as I do now. Shortly after that, a lot of my friends started telling me the amazing weight loss results they were getting from taking huge doses of D. Instead of talking it over with my doctor, I talked it over with my husband, and he was completely against it. The science behind it was iffy. Even if I was a nudist and went out in the sun naked all the time, I doubt I would absorb as much of a dosage of sunlight to make enough D to equal the amounts suggested in this fix. Adults 19 to 70 (my age range) should get at least 600 IU of Vitamin D per day. The weight loss champions suggest 4000 to 10,000 IU per day. It’s not likely that you can overdose on the D, but depending on the supplements you use, you could be getting toxins that way. The bottom line is that you need Vitamin D, probably more than you get through diet, to help keep your fat cells at a certain level and help to eliminate fat. Even if you don’t lose weight with vitamin D, you might have more muscles forming instead of more fat.
3. Poop Pills —- This is my best hope, I think, for true and lasting weight loss. During a procedure called Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, a woman with a serious and recurring infection in her intestines was given sterile feces from a family member. The infection went away and never came back. Even better, she easily lost the weight she had been carrying for years because the poop donor was a thin person, doctors surmise. And when the reverse is true, a thin person gets a transplant from an overweight donor, they gain weight. Weird, huh? Harper’s Bazaar Australia’s headline said, So Skinny Pills Do Exist? And go on to say in the article, while it’s not appetizing, compared to dieting, they know which one they would choose.
4. Green Tea — Other cultures seem to have mastered the perfect weight diet. Italians have the Mediterranean diet, the Scandinavian/Nordic diet is catching on, and the Asian Old Ways diet has a bunch of good things going for it. And a major component of the Asian diet is Green Tea. Due to the high concentration of nutrients and antioxidants in green tea, it can help break down excess fat in your system, boost your energy level, and perk up your metabolism. However, clinical trials show that its contribution to weight loss is insignificant compared to exercise and a proper diet. And avoid green tea pills and supplements. Organ damage is not worth the small weight loss benefits.
5. Timed Restricted Eating and Intermittent Fasting — Can you go without eating until Noon each day? And stop eating at 8 PM? If so, that is one form of Intermittent fasting and it may work for you. The idea is that our hunter-gatherer ancestors often had to go for long periods without eating, so a little discipline just puts us in touch with our roots. And don’t they look yummy? Timed Restriction Eating splits the day into two sections, 8 hours of eating sensibly and 8 of water and herbal tea only. Research is still being conducted but there are many possible benefits from these two ideas. Just be aware that our ancestors didn’t have Tums to help quiet indigestion and bloating. And you’ll be drinking lots of water to ward off the hunger pangs. After a while, your body will adjust and it will all be worth it. Of course, if it were a Magic Bullet, there would be no getting used to it period, right?
6. High Protein — Dr. Robert C. Atkins was a renegade who developed a diet that most doctors and medical associations hated. Still, the results didn’t lie. High protein and low carb diets work because your body is geared to burn through that fuel and not store as much of it. As long as your cholesterol stays low on the bad side and high on the good side, you can adopt this as your new lifestyle. But it’s still a diet and not a Magic Bullet.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar — It’s hard to find anything wrong with this one, except maybe the taste. And some folks say you get used to it, you might even like it. I put a few drops of it in my birds’ waters to help keep the water cleaner, but also to give them some much-needed vitamins and fiber. Remember to always mix it with something to prevent damage to your esophagus. It’s acidic, after all. And there are downsides to using it daily. Bragg makes a drink with ACV and various juices which sounded like what I needed to remember to drink it every day. Half a bottle is one serving. I managed to down two and still have two in my pantry. I think it would work better for me mixed with sparkling water. No Magic Bullet but closer, because not only might it help you lose weight, it can improve your overall health.
8. Paddling and Shaking Exercise Machines — This is just for fun, but at one time, gyms for women only had a lot of variations on this theme. If you shook the fat hard enough, then beat it with a roller machine, it would run and hide. But you had to wear cute outfits and heels. Some of the machines with weights aren’t too far off today’s ideas of muscle toning. I remember being told (though I can’t find any references to it) that the roller machine didn’t really reduce fat, it simply made it go away from the spots that contacted the machine, to float harmfully through your system and be a hazard in other ways. Scary stuff.
No Magic Bullets exist, or we would all be in line saying, “Take My Money!” Remember to eat healthy and clean foods, exercise regularly, sleep soundly, and get professional help for mental distress and depression. Be happy as much as you can and thankful for what you have. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.