We have all seen the commercials or read the ads about the "latest diet pill" but do we know what they REALLY do to us? Are the healthy? Probably not. Anything that promises to make you lose weight without moving a finger or taking sugar out of your diet is probably A) not good for you and B) is not going to work. I personally have never taken a "diet pill" but I have had people come to me with a history of using them. In fact, a client of mine reached out to me via e-mail in regards to these pills. She opened up to me and told me her history of taking diet pills and how they scared the crap out of her. She (and myself) don't want anyone to try and reach for the "quick fix" over the counter "magic" and she offered to write about her experience.
The CW Method focuses on teaching healthy LIFESTYLE changes and promoting realistic goals that you can maintain for the rest of your life. As a fitness and nutrition consultant, I NEVER make clients go 150% in any workout or starve themselves by eating 1000 calories a day. Sure, you can do that and maybe drop a few pounds, but is it realistic? Is it safe? Are you going to maintain it? Most likely not. You will end up causing MORE damage by using diet pills, over exerting yourself in workouts and trying to eat little to no food. Being fit is about being healthy, happy, and stable. Please see my client's write up below. I am very proud of her for stepping up and opening up on her experience with pills.
The weight battle is not something new for me. I've battled the bulge all my life. Not just because I like to eat and eat all the wrong things. I'm not genetically blessed and am not athletically/physically inclined. Every workout is a battle. One. Workout. At. A. Time.
In high school, I averaged a size 16 jean and an XL shirt. And by XL shirt, I mean not from the junior section or the trendy stores like Abercrombie or American Eagle (those were two of the cool kid stores in my day). By XL I mean any store I could find that made an XL that would fit me... because Lord knows I was NOT shopping in the dreaded PLUS size section. I hated gym class. Senior year of high school was when the new weight loss magic pill came along. Well, the first one I knew about and was old enough to get my hands on. Metabolife. That pill did wonders. I had energy. I was losing weight. I had less of an appetite. One gym teacher commented "You look good. Hope you're healthy". "Oh yea!", I replied. At the time... diet pills were a new phenomenon. We didn't know enough yet. We thought they were semi healthy until all the studies and garbage came out on them. Until then, all I was worried about was that I was finally in a size 12 jean and on my way to a size 6 in the first year of college!! (I was skin and bones!). Heading into freshman year of college, Metabolife and other weight loss pills had become controversial because of ingredients. So I found one that wasn't a problem. Enter Zantrex... that's what propelled me to the size 6. It was also at that time that I also decided I was going to "be healthy." So I started my fish, fruit and vegetable regimen and power walked for hours. I hated to run, but I would throw on my ipod and power walk as long as I could go. And I would. Knowing what I know now... cardio alone doesn't make you fit. Later in college I started battling severe migraine issues and fell off the wagon. I had kicked the Zantrex but I was still exercising and eating fairly well before battling the migraines. Naturally, the pounds started creeping back on. I had a trip to Italy the year I graduated - in my mind I had to lose 30lbs fast. So I found one of the new crazes, the Extreme Fat Smash diet, some famous doctor on a talk show wrote it. I followed the meals and the exercises... dropped those 30lbs in 3-4 short weeks. I kept it off in Italy but after it was all over.
I started working full time when I got back from Italy. A year after graduating from college, I moved to San Diego. Career took off. Worked like a dog. But let me be honest here. I like to work. I like a sense of accomplishment (if only I could get that to translate into my healthy lifestyle). I like to make money (a girl needs designer handbags!). But working like a dog was and still continues to be my excuse to not exercising or eating healthy ("I am too tired to work out. I worked too late last night to get up and workout in the morning. I stopped at McDonald's on the way home"). However, while living in California, the healthy lifestyle rubbed off on me and I found a fabulous pilates studio and started going 3-4 times per week. LOVED IT! Thru it I gained a great friend in my pilates instructor and she got me to try other things, like the new barre craze. Loved that as well. Unfortunately, as my career kept getting busier and busier and calling for more traveling, the consistent workout schedule stopped and I was back to where I started and then some. While in California, I would go and buy diet pills here and there, Zantrex, Xenadrine, Hydroxycut... whatever label looks most appealing that day (I've tried all three of them... and some of the other flavors of them on the drugstore shelves). I would take them for a week or two and would ditch them. I had grown such an addiction to caffeine and an immunity to the diet pills that they didn't phase me anymore. I had also ordered and tried Nutrisystem... a fortune spent and a few weeks later and no results and I hated it. I had tried Weight Watchers too... hated that. At one point I went home for a visit and saw my doctor before traveling again to make sure I had migraine meds while out of the country... I told her about all of my years of diet pills (I've known this doc since I was 4 and never told her)... she immediately took my blood and told me we had to check my liver and kidney function. Scared the hell out of me. Since then, I have had the itch when I felt desperate and have taken pills here and there (the usual suspects in the diet pill aisle)... but short lived.
Three and a half years later I returned home to Chicago. At one point during the summer of my return home, I heard about Medifast. Tried that. Ate their bars every meal, every day for week. It did what it was supposed to. I dropped a quick 25 lbs. I quickly got sick of eating bars (as yummy as they were) and the holidays came I was nowhere near mentally prepared to get back into shape. Not even my roommate from California's wedding for which I was a bridesmaid the following summer could kick my ass into high gear to drop some pounds for the wedding. I defaulted to what I knew best ... found myself a weight loss clinic, got a pill prescribed and voila... dropped 25 lbs. After the wedding, I came back and didn't do anything to keep those 25lbs off.. That winter, at my heaviest weight ever, I met Cristina and started sessions twice a week and eating clean ... a NEW lifestyle. The weight and inches have come off and are STAYING off (I haven't binged on cookies, or any other of my beloved junk food since the holidays!). Bottom line... from my experience (not just what the experts tell me)... diet pills and crash diets DO NOT WORK and are NOT GOOD FOR YOU. I am happier and healthier than I have been in years!
Questions, comments or concerns with nutrition or fitness? Let me know at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
In GOOD health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.