By Ameya Godse
An eternal burning desire humans have had since time immemorial has been to shed excess flab on their bodies for the ideal physique. The hunger for weight loss, and peer pressure to achieve superstar looks, has pushed millennials to resort to all sorts of ways to stay thin.
It was not long ago that the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a “disease.” A vast majority of medicos believed that sugar was the cause of this ‘disease’. Consumable sugar items contribute majorly to obesity worldwide. The effect of this has been that “quick” weight – loss products started cropping up.
It became fairly simple to target the obese population by bribing them with quick results. Slogans of “lose weight feel great” populated commercials and magazines. Dieting pills and slimming meds became a huge hit. Slimming teas and fat – burning medicines started raising hopes of consumers to get thin quick. There was just one question though, that everybody failed to ask; “Is this stuff legit and cleared by the FDA?” It was the rhetorical question of the century.
Dieticians have time and time again maintained their stand on diet pills and medicines. There are no proven guaranteed results. In fact, the risk of side effects is titanic. The most common symptoms seen in consumers of diet pills were increased dependency, high blood pressure and anxiety. A near majority of the appetite suppressants were directly linked to heart disease. In addition, there is always a risk of gaining more weight than before if the individual discontinued the use of these pills.
The gloomy footprint of social media also plays a part in the diet industry. The advent of social media led to an outburst of unrealistic dreams on the minds of young impressionable kids. The obsession of having the “perfect” slim body became the only objective on their minds. The fashion industry was plagued with anorexic models strutting the catwalk for top brands, showcasing haute couture. In a recent post on Instagram, socialite Kim Kardashian posted about “appetite suppressant lollipops.” The post received severe backlash from users, one of them calling her a “terrible and toxic influence on young girls.”
The company in question, Flat Tummy Co, claimed that the lollipops contained Satiereal which was “clinically proven to be safe and extracted from natural plants.” A further detailed analysis showed that such supplements weren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. While it is true that there is no direct harm or danger upon consumption of these lollipops, the answer lies in introspection – do we really need them?
A healthier alternative is the best way forward. We have always asked one immutable question – are there healthier ways to lose weight? There are plenty! For starters, the intake of processed and sweet foods has to be diminished. We have to break a vicious circle of paying money for food which makes us fat, and start paying instead for a gym membership. Alternatively, a gradual increase in outdoor exercise, brisk walks, and yoga is always beneficial. Quite often, the whole process of weight loss is found to be more psychological than physiological. A simple habit of “mindful eating” can go a long way in keeping a healthy lifestyle. Setting a realistic goal for yourself should be a priority. A self – analysis of your own body type and the type of body you can achieve should help in setting these goals.
In conclusion, we need to stop relentlessly pursuing unreal goals and gaze at what’s inside each one of us. For the answer then would be more rewarding than ever.