Since “influencing” has become a legit career for so many tech-savvy entrepreneurs, you are likely being constantly bombarded with the newest and greatest of literally everything – according to them. Your insta bestie tells you about all the best of the best, and it’s hard not to be intrigued. If it worked for them, it’ll for sure work for you, ya? And they would never lead you astray. Yeah, we are talking about all those “get skinny fast” powders, “crash diets,” and “no money down gym” – you know the ones.
It’s super hard to know fact from fiction, and truth from “I truly want you to buy this so I get a commission from it” these days, so let’s just get real about it. Ninety-nine percent of these things are scams. They are “shortcuts” that only lead to you starting back at square one (or worse – even further behind).
When is it advantageous to take a shortcut, and when is it harmful? How can you tell whether or not the “life-changing” item your insta influencer bestie is pitching you is worth it?
Here are a few excellent questions to ask yourself before buying in:
Is this a long-term diet or a short-term solution?
Is it safe to use?
What are the long-term health consequences of this?
Is it habit-forming?
Does it require anything extreme?
Let’s put our validity filters to the test on some prior fitness fads (and those you’re probably seeing on your Facebook page right now).
WEIGHT LOSS SHAKES
Do you as a 60-year-old drink weight loss shakes for breakfast? I mean, you sure could. But should you? Do you want that?
For the next 40 years of your life, do you really want to eat and drink like that? I mean, I personally don’t, but maybe you do?
Is it safe to use? It depends. Some shakes contain some harmful ingredients, and chemicals that are likely not adding any health benefit to your body, or possibly even harming it. Sweeteners, often corn derivatives or chemicals, are used in numerous protein or weight loss supplements. Be very cautious when choosing a protein/weight loss supplement, and do your research.
To keep you full and awake, most shakes include a mix of appetite suppressants, caffeine, and a mild laxative (yikes). As soon as you stop taking the shake, you’ll likely gain weight again because you didn’t actually make any real change to your habits. Wups. Try again.
Is it habit-forming? Is it going to get better with time? Well, you’ll probably grow to despise the taste of protein shakes and you will likely start to miss the experience of real food. In addition, each shake you consume has less of an impact than the previous one (see above). Because you deny your body the nutrients it needs, you’re losing weight. So we vote no, it doesn’t get much better.
Is it able to withstand the pressure of the crowd? It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not; eventually, someone will tell you the truth. Only those who have signed up for a diet or a smoothie are posting about their weight reduction success on Facebook (and psssst. You can almost guarantee they are being paid to make posts that make the product appear successful).
The KETO DIET / PALEO DIET / XYZ DIET
Can it be done again? Is this a long-term diet or a short-term fad? Ketosis, intermittent fasting, and high-fat diets have been around since the dawn of recorded history. Short-term ketosis may really be beneficial if you’re attempting to overcome a sugar addiction.
“Can I do this for the rest of my life?”. Well, you tell us. Are you okay with no cake, ice cream, pizza, or bread for the rest of your life? Even on your birthday? At Christmas? Yes? Okay, then maybe you can. But why? If there is a better, more enjoyable way, why not put in a little extra effort and give that a go instead of depriving yourself for the rest of your life.
Is it safe to use? What are the long-term health consequences of this? The long-term benefits of eliminating sugar are undeniable. But, there will always be a rebound effect with unsustainable practices like quick weight reduction or binge eating. If you’re like most people, you’ve developed an attachment to certain foods, and most “diets” will come back to haunt you. These methods don’t educate you on how to change your behavior.
Is there a risk of being addicted to it? The chances of being food-obsessed are high – especially these days with the constant berating of information that comes at you about it. For those with eating disorders, diets provide a distinct “good” and “bad” line, which they find comforting and empowering. Unfortunately, this isn’t a long-term solution, and the phrase “yo-yo dieting” has gained widespread use as a result.
JOINING A GYM
Can it be done again? Is this something I can do indefinitely? We hope so! Yes. You can join a gym and attend for 40 years without missing a workout. Even if you just pay $9.95 a month for entrance to a gym, you’ll get long-term benefits (if you show up).
Is it safe to use? What are the long-term consequences for my well-being? Yes. No negative consequences are expected (so long as you leave your ego at the door and know what you’re doing). In the gym, very few individuals get hurt if they follow directions, and listen to their bodies.
Is it habit-forming? Is it going to get better with time? Again, yes. Weight training has a cumulative impact. Improved metabolism and physical strength lead to a higher quality of life (unless, of course, you’re still doing the same old 3-sets-of-8-reps routine you used last month). Constant change is essential.
Running, weightlifting, and CrossFit all grow more thrilling with time, but in general, the more you move, the more you like it.
JOINING A COACHING GYM OR PERSONAL TRAINER, OR NUTRITIONIST
Can it be done again? Is there a limit to how long I can keep doing this? Well, from personal experience, I’ll tell you this. CrossFit has been a part of my life for the last 12 years, and I’m still a fan. I’ll be honest – I’ve been hurt once, and it was 100% my own fault, and simply because my ego got bigger than my muscles. CrossFit has addressed my chronic issues, enabled me to achieve things I never thought I could, and kept me motivated. I’m always up for a new adventure.
Is it safe to use? What are the long-term health consequences of this? Yes. CrossFit has been a part of many people’s lives for many, many, years, and they still love it. Is anybody hurt? Yes. A conventional gym has the same number of members as a hockey or soccer team. Imagine having that many people pushing themselves physically while doing what they love; there’s bound to be a few sprained ankles and pulled muscles here and there. But recent research has shown CrossFit to actually be much safer than a lot of other sports when performed correctly. It also helps overcome long-term health issues and do things you never thought you could, and it keeps you motivated.
Is it habit-forming? Is it going to get better with time? Yes. In order to recognize success, you need an objective source that can tell you what is working and what changes are needed.
Is it strong enough to withstand the huge crowd? No. Coaches are averse to crowds. We like to work with 10-15 clients in a group class, max. Why? Because we care about each of you…. So much. We are unable to take on more than 1000 customers because of our one-on-one approach, and as long as we always have the best product and service available to our customers, that’s OK.
When you’re on social media or chatting with friends, you’re going to be bombarded with sales pitches. It’s just the facts (and listen, we do it too! It just doesn’t look the same (hopefully)). Don’t engage if you feel like you’re being hustled. Do not begin a new, ultra-secret exercise regimen if it is not one that you can maintain; you will most likely regress despite your best efforts.
Book a No Sweat Intro here if you’re looking for a long-term solution to your health and fitness goals. Our coaches can help you obtain the results that you’ve been looking for by putting together a personalized training plan for your specific needs.