Oh, summer madness... what have you wrought in the way of slimming?
Each year -- specifically, every swimsuit season -- something magical and diabolical happens. Mirrors become enemies, swimsuits are torture devices, and we lose all ability to reason good and bad things for us because every quick-fix diet program or device has guaranteed us it can slim our bodies just in time to hit the beach without a wrap or body-covering burka.
This year is no different. Here are some of my favorite new "miracle slimming solutions" to make the scene.
In-home genetic DNA testing
Ok, I never claimed to be a high-tech kinda gal. My nephew had to set up my Wii and he's just 14. But this sounds cool to me.
Basically, for about $150 and two cotton swabs that you send off to have "DNA" from the inside of your mouth tested, you get a genetic determination of how your body metabolizes fat, and the impact that exercise and carbs have on your body.
Neat, right? Well, hold on now. By knowing this, will anything change?
Chances are good that most people who ante up for this test already have some idea that need to increase their fitness levels and make dietary changes. So I am not exactly sure what the test will prove or help, for that matter.
The Beef Tapeworm Diet
Do we really need to even talk about this? The idea behind this harebrained scheme is this: You swallow tapeworm eggs, they hatch and grow inside your digestive tract, you lose weight, then you swallow something to kill the worms.
Sounds more like a horror movie than an actual safe diet.
The Coconut Oil Diet
I love coconut, but eating any one food, using any single product or swallowing any one supplement is not going to be the answer to your weight issues.
I could change out coconut oil for Organic Virgin Olive Oil Diet and while I love it, I cook with it and I have been known occasionally to dip my bread in it, it's not going to make anyone lose weight unless you cut down on calories consumed and kick it up a notch at the gym.
The Maple Syrup Diet or Cleanse
While living on maple syrup, lemons, water and cayenne for days on end sounds like a great time (that's pure sarcasm folks), in the end the only real thing you will have lost is muscle and fluid.
So where do the dog days of summer leave us?
With an abundance of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. And we should all be incorporating these into our diets.
There is no quick fix or magic diet aids. There is only hard work, insightful learning and satisfying consequence for our positive actions.
Making healthy, bold, natural food choices and getting out and getting active is always going to trump popping a pill... no matter how exotic or "easy" someone spins it.
Incorporate as many veggies as you can and wean yourself a little from the heavy meats. Making small changes not only will allow you to stick them out but will equal great results.
Alicia is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer and a Weight & Lifestyle Management consultant. The owner of Evolution Total Wellness in New York is also the author of "Oscar & Otis, Fat Fighters." For more information, visit www.linkedin.com/in/evolutiontotalwellness.