As a Health Coach, I am always learning about the new product on the market, whether it be by default on my Facebook feed, or from someone who knows me and thinks that I might want to promote it to my clients. Most of the products are not necessarily bad but they almost always either contain some ingredient that I tell my clients to either reduce or stay away from OR they are not aligned with my “no-diet” and “no-shame” philosophy.
So with that being said, there are a few products or diets that I will NEVER recommend:
1. Drinks (ie. shakes or protein powders) that mask themselves as nutritional supplements, or weight loss aides, yet are full of crap.
Most weight loss drinks on the market today contain a high amount of soy protein. Why? Because it’s cheap to produce. Fermented soy such as soy sauce is fine, but soy protein isn’t the health food like we once thought it was. It contains estrogenic properties that may cause greater risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer. Also people with thyroid problems (and many people don’t realize they have it) need to stay away from soy. Not to mention, about 95% of soy on the market is GMO. If the drink contains a different kind of protein such as hemp or whey, that would be much better.
They also contain some sort of artificial flavor, whether it be sucralose or simply listed as “artificial flavor” (not sure why they can’t tell us what it is, in this case). Sucralose has been shown to cause many side effects such as digestive upset, headaches, and even weight gain. Studies are inconclusive as far as just how harmful it is, but keep this in mind: Sucralose bears a very close resemblance to the chemical DDT.
Remember, many of these companies prey upon our need for quick weight loss. Also, they know that many of us don’t like to have to cook. Enter, the weight loss protein drink.
2. The hcg diet, or any other diet that promotes severe calorie restriction
Yes, I know that this diet can be closely monitored by a trained health professional, but this diet encourages consuming 500 calories a day. Last I checked, 500 calories is starving yourself, no matter how many medical professionals you have on your side. Call me sensitive- maybe it’s because I used to have anorexia- but any diet of this nature is not sustainable. A true sign of a successful diet is one that you can do on your own which produces slower weight loss, but that lasts, given the correct tools.
3. Those “wraps”
So this is a touchy subject, but I really felt led to spit it out. I was inspired to blog about this product after reading a rockin’ post by Beauty Redfined. It seems like “wraps” are all the rage now. And who can blame us for being seduced by claims of being able to lose inches off the dreaded post-pregnancy stomach just by wearing a wrap? If you sell this product and found me a few years ago, I can pretty much guarantee that I would have went to a party and ordered one. I have always struggled with pure hatred toward my stomach. What triggered the anorexia was my obsession with not having a perfect stomach. In 2009,I was in the waiting room of a plastic surgeon’s office, getting my “before” picture of my stomach– I was all ready for a tummy tuck because I hated the loose skin and the tummy pouch. But after a series of events happened, including getting diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I cancelled the surgery. I am not saying that I absolutely love my stomach, but I am content. Amazingly,I am not tempted at all by the wraps which for me, is a huge breakthrough. I no longer focus on looking a certain size and shape, but on feeling the best that I can, which for me came when I went gluten free. Voila- no more bloating and I feel loads better, despite the fact that I still have loose skin.
For me now, the skin is my badge of honor. I went through two c-sections with an 8 pound baby boy and a 9 pound baby girl. I sure as heck think that I- as with all of us moms- deserve the right to be proud of our post-baby stomach without feeling shameful or like there is something wrong with us.
I echo the fears that Beauty Redefined lays out in their blog (my own words):
–Women who struggle with disordered eating are susceptible to purchasing the wraps which may further aggravate any body image issues that they already have.
–The focus seems to be more on looking a certain way versus getting healthy. Losing inches in your stomach doesn’t help you to go gluten free to improve digestive issues or chronic pain. It doesn’t prevent breast cancer or diabetes.
–We shouldn’t be manipulated to purchasing a product out of shame about a certain body part.
So, there, I said it, and I am probably going to tick a few people off, but it had to said. This in NO way defines the character of anyone who sells or purchases these products. We all have the best of intentions and just want to look and feel our best. Also, I know that not everyone is obsessed with looking a certain way- for many, their reason IS more about health. I am just simply stating my views on certain products and why, as a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I won’t be suggesting these to my clients.
Here is what I DO recommend!
1. REAL, whole food
Nothing can help you feel better, AND help you lose weight, like fresh produce made from the Earth. It’s really that simple. (although I know it’s also VERY overwhelming to change your diet and that’s why I offer my coaching services!)
2. An exercise that you enjoy!
For years, I ran/jogged out of pure punishment. I have now found that I LOVE yoga. Finding an exercise that you can have fun with can really help with weight loss. Just try to break it up with a variety of exercises so that your body doesn’t become stagnant.
3. Throwing out your scale
We are not a number on a scale. Our identity is so much more than that. You can be skinny and not healthy and you can be overweight and very fit. Size is not a determining factor for health and happiness.
If you ever have any questions or reservations about a certain product, feel free to send me a message on my Facebook page! (and “like” my page too!) (www.facebook.com/nourishedandnew) .
Remember that I am here for you! 🙂
Certified Holistic Health Coach
p.s.-*please keep nasty or rude comments to yourself. all comments are moderated and approved by me. thanks. 🙂