I’m back with another installment of health and fitness fads to avoid! If you missed the first two parts, you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.
The health and fitness industry is constantly changing and evolving, with new products, services, and programs coming out all the time. How can you be sure which ones actually work and which ones are scams. Spoiler alert: MOST are scams! Here are three more that have become increasingly popular, but you shouldn’t waste your money on:
1. At-Home HIIT Programs
These are typically video-based home workout programs, such as P90X and Insanity. They are typically extremely difficult and pricey! The claim is using the 30-60 min videos almost every day of the week (5-6 times), for 60-90 days, will help you lose weight, get fit, increase your strength, and feel great. Sounds great, right? WRONG. While these home fitness programs are often marketed to fitness newbies, they are certainly not meant for them. These programs are meant for people who are already fit, already know how to work out, and already have a high level of endurance. But the people who actually attempt these workouts aren’t like that. They put themselves at a very high risk of injury because they are doing workouts and exercises that they are not ready for. Doing a ton of high-impact movements puts a lot of stress on the joints, something that’s not good for people who are brand new to exercising. It’s so easy to hurt yourself while doing these workouts, whether it’s due to incorrect form or just half-assing it because that’s the only way you can get through it #sorrynotsorry
What To Do Instead
Find a less intense program, especially if you are a beginner, and work your way up to these higher-intensity programs. It is ALWAYS a good idea to have eyes on you, especially if you’re an exercise newbie, so consider going to actual group exercise classes. Even better would be to do a couple sessions with a personal trainer to REALLY get the attention you need and to learn proper form and execution of movements. If you are adamant about working out at home, there are tons of free programs on Youtube that are perfect for beginners. Don’t waste your money on a program that you aren’t physically ready for, or that could cause injury in the long run.
2. Whole-Body Cryotherapy for Weight Loss
Cryotherapy is having a moment right now. It’s becoming increasingly popular, both amongst athletes and non-athletes. I’m not here to talk about using cryo as a recovery tool, I’m here to talk about using cryo as a weight loss tool. Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses freezing temperatures while standing in a chamber. Your body gets blasted with the cold and the idea is that 3-minute treatments a few times per week will help you lose weight. Treatments range in cost from $65 to $200 per session. Yikes. For that price it has to work, right? Actually, according to multiple published studies, (British Journal of Sports Medicine, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Journal, and Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, to name a few), there is NO scientific evidence that whole-body cryotherapy results in any long-term weight loss. In fact, if done incorrectly, you put yourself at risk for cold-induced injuries like frostbite!
What To Do Instead
Take that $600 PER WEEK you might spend on cryotherapy and instead spend it on a gym membership and healthy food items. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 10000000 times: there is no shortcut to weight and fat loss. You have to eat well and move often. Nothing can replace consistent, healthy, well-rounded nutrition and consistent, effective, and safe training for weight loss. Nothing.
3. Anti-Cellulite Creams
Many well-known cosmetic companies have some sort of anti-cellulite product, whether it’s a cream or a lotion or a serum. Basically, these are products that you rub on your skin in “problem areas” (areas with cellulite) to reduce the visibility of cellulite and eventually get rid of it. The problem? Cellulite is largely genetic, and is a natural anatomic characteristic of many women’s thighs and buttocks. This means that it’s very hard to get rid of it. In fact, there is no scientific evidence the cellulite creams are effective in reducing or getting rid of it. The main ingredient in most of the creams is caffeine. Caffeine increases blood flow to the area, working as a diuretic, to remove moisture from the skin. While this does work to firm the area, it is only a temporary solution, until the cream wears off. So, let’s say you have a photoshoot that you want to reduce the appearance of your cellulite for. The creams are great for that, but since it’s a temporary fix, your cellulite isn’t actually GONE. There aren’t really any dangerous side effects to these creams, other than possible allergic reactions to the ingredients.
What To Do Instead
Since cellulite is a natural occurrence that has a lot to do with genetics, it doesn’t always happen because of excess weight or minimal exercise. These things may exacerbate cellulite, but it doesn’t necessarily cause it. The beset thing to do is keep a consistently healthy nutrition and training program, and if you have cellulite, EMBRACE IT! Cellulite is NORMAL. It’s not necessarily related to weight gain or loss. Cosmetic companies are great at tapping into womens’ psychological self-deception of wanting their cellulite to be gone. Athletes, celebrities, and “normal” people deal with cellulite. Don’t waste your money on creams or treatments that don’t actually work long-term.
As usual, you can get better results from consistent, healthy nutrition and moving often. These products are money-grabbers. People are so obsessed with instant gratification these days, which is why products like these are so popular. Add a big name celebrity as an endorsement, and boom. Sales will skyrocket. I hate to break it to you, but there is NO QUICK FIX. If there was a magic pill, everyone would be taking it!
Remember: you are much better off spending your hard-earned money on someone who can get you real results. Whether it’s an online coach or a personal trainer in your gym, don’t waste your money on crap that is dangerous, doesn’t work, and costs a TON.
2 thoughts on “Three Health and Fitness Fads to Avoid, Part 3”
Agreed! I only do at home workout programs, but it definitely helps to know where to start. Insanity is DEFINITELY something to work up to haha.