Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beware of weight-loss scams

When I was studying in the college in 2004 in India, a friend of mine had found an online commercial advertisement about a product called NutriSlim Powder which claimed to help people lose weight without any hard labor. I knew I was putting on weight and I was wondering how I could shed off those extra fats and stay physically fit. I never dared to remain hungry. So skipping meals was out of the option. I was doing some physical exercises but I was not getting the expected results and that was not giving me enough motivation to keep up my commitment. So when my friend recommended NutriSlim Powder to me, I got excited and wanted to give it a try. After all, its price was only Rs.1100 and with home-delivery service available, I thought it was worth trying once. So I telephoned the Asian Sky Shop at Chennai and placed the order for one packet of Slim Powder. The product reached me in a few days’ time and based on the given instructions, I started taking the product every morning and evening. The sawdust-like powder had to be soaked in water for about twelve hours before drinking. According to the instruction booklet, it claimed to help people lose appetite, burn unnecessary fats and increase the metabolic activities thereby helping the person lose weight in a short period of time. After a few days, I seemed to lose my appetite a bit and felt as though my belly was shrinking. But then it was time to order another packet because I had finished the first packet even before realizing the real effect of the product. So I ordered for the second packet but this time, I deliberately tried to test its effectiveness by eating as much as I could. I wanted to see if I had really lost my appetite but I found out whatever improvement I thought I was seeing after taking the powder was only a psychological feeling. Only then, I realized it was just a weight-loss scam.

Then when I was studying in Australia in 2013, I bought a sauna belt from EBay after reading how it burns extra fats from the body by making the person sweat. It did cost me $35 and I started using it as per the given instruction. It certainly produced sweats in the areas covered by the belt but physically I never felt its effect on my body weight. I used it for a few months and after I realized I was not getting the satisfying results, I browsed for additional information about the benefits of Sauna Belts and there I found that it was also one of the weight-loss scams. I have learned that the amount of sweats produced due to the heat generated by the belt is easily replaced the moment we drink water and it comes back to the same square at last.

Similarly, there are numerous products in the market today that falsely claim to reduce weight. As more and more people are becoming health-conscious, these products are designed to easily lure them with unbelievable promises that they can help them lose their weight without having to physically sweat or diet. Obesity is becoming a public health concern everywhere and hence, many people are going for various weight-loss products such as Slim Tea and Slim Coffee without even realizing their side-effects. Last year, one of my neighbors got seriously ill after consuming Slim Tea to lose her weight. Her symptoms included headache, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea which are the real side-effects of Slim Tea.

Slim Coffee is another product that has a unique way of making you lose weight. It is said to have sent so many people into depression, insomnia and loss of appetite which in fact do more harm than good to your body. A couple of years ago, my adopted sister tried this product and for no reason, she realized she was getting sad, became breathless and anxious. She was even referred to the psychiatrist for treatment but only later she caught the real culprit. She immediately stopped taking the Slim Coffee and she soon returned to normalcy. Later she overheard others also talking about such side-effects of the product. I think it basically manipulates our nervous system and makes us lose appetite so that we would lose weight.

I have realized that it won’t be easy to lose weight with any of such products that can be found in the market today. All the products available in the market that claim to help us lose weight are part of the general weight-loss scams as none of them has been so far backed by science. I have found that even Slim Tea and Slim Coffee which most Bhutanese are found to take are also not tested in the laboratories and hence, their benefits are not scientifically validated. After all those experiences and observations, I have come to understand that no matter what weight-loss products you try, the increased physical activity and reduced caloric intake are the only realistically effective strategies to lose weight. Dieticians never advise skipping meals. So, only reducing the intake of food and doing physical exercises seem to be the permanent solution to obesity and other lifestyle diseases. But having said that, again it’s often easier said than done. I am still struggling with my dietary plans. I am not too obese but the main problem is that my blood pressure is shooting up whenever I tend to take oily or fatty foods. So I am trying to be more conscious about my diet at least when I am at home. But I shall never try any of the weight-loss products available in the market and I also advise others to do the same. It is always healthy to do it naturally either through physical exercises or avoiding unhealthy diet. So next time you see a new product with impressive promises, do some research before buying it because once it gets into your body, you won’t know what it does to your system.

1 comment:

  1. If all the slimming teas, powders and diet pills could work so easily, the world would be filled with only slim and nice looking people. I believe there is no short cuts unless one could put in effort to exercise and eat less carbo. You look fit and nice in your photos.