There is a huge, up to billions in the US Dollar, money behind the industry targeting people that are either truly on the fat side or those that are simply insecure with their body structures. I have seen a wide range of adverts related to the industry, from the most ridiculous to the well-put-together, almost perfect adverts that would make even a person with an already perfect body try out the products.
While there is a huge mix of products in this industry, only very few of them actually live up to 50% of their claims, and that too, in indirect, often harmful ways.
Make the hourglass jealous
Lose 10 kg in a week
Go from fat to slim within 3 months
.....and all sorts of catchy phrases together with beautiful images of models are often seen littering the different media that exist in our society. While many of these products get massive sales from their target markets, the truth is that only a very small percentage can actually give value for their money. In other words, the weight loss industry can be said to be a scam with a high market capitalization.
Slimming (herbal) teas
I am fortunate to have worked as a Pharmacy Technician for up to two years. During this period, I came across different products targeting those that are obese or simply on the fat side of life. Of all these products, slimming and herbal teas were the most common, and perhaps the most popular.
The manufacturers push the products to the market with claims that all fat people need to do is drink a portion of the teas or herbs per day and watch them perform their magic by burning down fats. Most of these information are scientifically inaccurate and misleading. They are simply gimmicks to get insecure people to part with their hard-earned money and stuff the pockets of profit-seeking capitalists.
There are different types of slimming teas but most of them claim to work the same way. They claim that the teas/herbs stimulate digestion, aids the metabolism of fats and some even go as far as claiming that they help get rid of impurities in the body. Any weight loss or slimming effects produced by these teas either happens by pure serendipity (placebo effect) or as a result of some of their components of the products that suppress appetites or cause loss of water and nutrients.
From research, the main components of these teas include but are not limited to caffeine, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds. These chemicals have been researched and found to have nothing to do with the metabolism of fat in the body. A decrease in the accumulation of body fats has been reported to be due to enzymatic inhibitory activities as well as microbial interaction in the gut of humans.
In addition to the components above, many of the so-called slimming teas are sprinkled with laxatives and diuretics. While the former increases stool motility and frequency, the latter primarily works to increase the amount of water and salts excreted from the body. These two components synergistically work together in the body of their unsuspecting patients to produce transient weight loss effects. The effects of these chemicals might further cause complications to some homeostasis processes in the body causing more complex health issues.
Waist Trainers/Tummy Trimmers
Everyone wishes to look sexy, no doubt, and capitalists are evolving to capitalize on the desires of people. Women watch figures like Beyonce and Rihanna and aspire to be like them in terms of body structure while men with protruded bellies have been made to look down on themselves. Welcome to the evolution of waist trainers and tummy trimmers.
Waist trainers are supposed to make women's waists slimmer with flat tummies by burning off abdominal fats so that they can appear sexier while men are supposed to get the abdominal fats that give them protruded tummy burned by wearing tummy trimmers. I have watched both genders trying to get their bodies fitted into the thick fabric undergarments with metal boning and could not help but pity them. Only if they know, but I guess the fantasy of becoming like the hourglass-shaped girl in the advert will not let them know.
Medical experts have analyzed the waist trimmers and identified some negative effects of wearing them in the short, medium, or long term. Because the thick, metal-reinforced fabric compresses the midsection of the body, putting pressure on the various internal organs. This might cause irreparable damage to the organs, especially if the trainer is worn for a long time.
The compression of the mid-section of the body also puts a lot of pressure on the diaphragm and makes normal breathing difficult. This may hurt the body as some vital tissues or organs might become starved of oxygen resulting in hypoxia. Wearing waist trainers may also cause body dehydration as it induces a lot of sweating. It may also cause other problems such as erratic bowel movements, abdominal pains, as well as interfere with the homeostatic processes of the body.
Waist trainers may seem to be working in the short term but the body returns to its normal shape shortly after, unless one makes them a part of their day-to-day article of clothing and that will definitely incur some of the negative effects on the body as pointed out earlier.
So, what works?
There is really no shortcut to getting the body in shape except to work hard towards it. The best, most medically recommended way to avoid getting fat is to burn more calories than consumed. Some of you might be wondering if working out is not what I was supposed to say but the truth is that even if you work out from now until tomorrow, it will all amount to nothing if the amount of calories you are burning is outweighed by the amount you are consuming.
So, the basic approach if you want to burn excess fat off your body would be to consume low-calorie foods and engage in high-intensity workouts. In other words, just ensure that the amount of calories you are burning is far more than you are consuming.
There are no perfect bodies, not even those that subject themselves to cosmetic surgeries get them. Beyond the makeover and camera effects, many of the images we see on the screen and billboards are plagued with their imperfections. Slimming teas will not make you slim, waist trainers will not give you that hourglass figure you are dreaming of, tummy trimmers will not remove your abdominal fats, penis enlargement creams will have to make your hands bigger if they indeed increase the size of the penis, air growth creams do not make your air grow.
The earlier we get to know these things, the better for us. A huge industry is flourishing on the insecurity of people.
Thank you all for reading.