Sometimes, a little bit of knowledge is all you need to make a big decision.
It all started a few weeks ago. I was in the car with a friend, and she was sharing the results of her recent physical.
“So officially,” she said with a chuckle, “I’m obese”.
I looked at her skeptically. She didn’t look obese to me; slightly overweight, maybe. I knew she could stand to lose (more than a) few pounds, and I knew that after joining the gym for her birthday in August, she had meant to. In fact, evidence of her commitment to a healthier lifestyle was instantly apparent in her choice of a large green tea versus my towering mochaccino.
(My views on my body and dieting? See right.)
Still, I frowned at her in confusion. I had a mental image of what an “obese” person looks like. And my friend, to put it frankly, is in better shape than I am. She’s the one who walks her dog twice a day, even in the dead of winter. She has a job that requires her to be moderately active, and has been known to routinely take the stairs when entering her fifth floor condo.
“I guess I love food too much,” she giggled nervously, misinterpreting my frown to be one of disappointment rather than confusion. I opened my mouth and closed it, thinking that in all the times I’ve enjoyed a meal at her home, it has always been nourishing, satisfying and well balanced. So, if she’s eating too much, at least it’s the right kind of food. I told her this.
“I don’t know,” she sighed. “I need to do something. Try something. I need to change something.”
At that very moment, we drove past a strip mall close to my home. And on a sign near the road that displayed a list of retailers, we recognized a logo. It was for Herbal Magic Weight Loss & Nutrition Centres. I looked at my friend and laughingly – but never mockingly – said, “Well, try that!”
Admittedly, neither of us had any prior knowledge of Herbal Magic, assuming (correctly) that it had something to do with proper nutrition and herbal supplementation. Upon returning home, we checked them out online and learned more about the program:
“Herbal Magic’s natural weight loss program is designed to help you change your body and the way you look at food. At Herbal Magic, you won’t drink strange concoctions, buy pre-packaged meals or follow a crazy diet. Our revolutionary weight loss program helps real people lose weight and keep it off – for life. By following our customized weight loss plans you will lose an average of two pounds per week. This weight loss strategy is designed to ensure that the weight you lose is maintained successfully, as studies show is most effective for long-term success.”
Further to the strategy is their “3 Pillars” Philosophy:
1. Herbal Magic lets you eat Real Food. We’ll give you tips to shop for the right foods to help you lose weight.
2. Your Herbal Magic weight loss centre gives you access to your own Personal Health Coach.
3. Our line of Natural Health Products helps you maintain lean body mass and boost your vitality.
(Herbal Magic diet program costs are based at $14.95 per week.)
I have to admit that when considering a weight loss program, those that take a natural approach are more attractive than those that promote pre-packaged meals or extreme diets, especially when it comes to long-term success. (And when you’re paying for a service, you want it to be successful.) I also find that accountability is key; I have another friend that healthfully lost weight (and kept it off) on a different weight loss program thanks to the one-on-one coaching provided.
So, based on our recent conversation, and ensuing research, my friend is ready to make a big decision. However, I told her to hold off until I did a little research of my own.
What do you think, readers? If you were presented with the circumstances, and had the means and motivation to try a natural weight loss program, would you?
This post is sponsored by Herbal Magic. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.
Chandra Christine O'Connor
Not for me too much money with all the products they want you to get, I’ll keep trying to do it on my own at the gym and try not to sneak chips and chocolate bars in the house like I didnt do yesterday lol
Ha! And I’ll pretend I didn’t sneak a slice of chocolate cake (or two) either. Totally understand :)
CBC Marketplace did an investigation on Herbal Magic http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/Marketplace/Season+37/ID/1405964153/
It costs a lot and seems that it may be a rip off you have to buy all their pills
I’ll check out the link – thanks for the feedback, Debbie!
Herbal products are not researched on conclusively for their side-effects or benefits. The benefits may differ from person to person. It is safe to be careful than to go with “herbs” are natural and harmless.
Thanks for weighing in, Misty!
I have a friend in the States whose daughter is on the “Trim Healthy Mama” program and she has lost a lot of weight and loves that everyone in her family is eating healthier now. Be sure you check it out as well – http://www.trimhealthymama.com/
Since I was 15 I’ve lost and gained well over 600lbs…… I’ve put my body through the ringer. I have no trouble taking weight off, but I just can’t stay at a level weight. I lost 70lbs last year and gained it back in a couple of months…feeling pretty sh*tty about myself right now.
Thanks for the info.
Oh Anne, I think a lot of people can empathize with you! Hoping for a healthy 2014 :)
I wish I could find information for those of us on the other end of the spectrum. I am terribly underweight at 92lbs and totally lost on how to ‘gain’ in a healthy way. There isn’t much out there, I get a lot of people to advise me to eat more junk food, that’s all ok if you don’t ever plan on moving around I love walking! I can put on a few with bad eating habits but the minute I hit the streets for a good walk, off it comes. I feel for those trying to lose weight. It’s a difficult, very self disciplined course to take. Good luck to those making the effort!! You will succeed!
I get it, Darlene – it can be just as hard to gain weight as it is to lose it, especially if you want to do it in a healthy way!
Judy C (Cowan)
I wouldn’t try it. I think there is always a catch to them. Herbal products are good but you can take to many of them too. The best way I found was to be accountable to myself – I kept a food journal, tracked calories, cut out junk food, watched my portion sizes and walked. I didn’t lose weight overnight but it did come off and I didn’t have to pay money to do it.
I think what you said makes good sense, Judy.
Personally, I wouldn’t trust any weight loss programs. Mainly because even sticking with it, most… once they finish the program, end up going back to old eating habits and start gaining weight again. My Mom struggled with her weight most of her life and as a kid I remember her trying numerous programs. Some worked, some didn’t… but the weight always came back. It wasn’t until she took control herself, changed her eating habits to what suited her… not these weight loss places… that she lost weight and kept it off.
I suggest juicing to anyone who wants to drop a few pounds. Not to the extreme of only drinking juice and no food. But replacing a meal with fresh juice and eating healthy goes a long way. You’ll drop the extra weight and feel incredible.
Thank you so much for the feedback, Holly :)
I’m always skeptical about things like that and in the long run they do end up being costly. However, there is something to be said about accountability and if something does cost money, then you do make the extra effort to try and make things work. I went to a Nutritionist after my daughter was born (I gained a ton of weight). She had a common sense approach, and had an initial consultation followed by a weekly weigh in. It was quite effective, and you end up eating more than you actually would in a given day normally, but dropping weight.
Good to know Athena, and congrats on getting back on track!
I believe it is all about eating moderate meals that watch fat and sugar intake and getting exercise. Some may need the extra help but I really think the majority of us can do it without.
I think you’re probably right :)
I am a firm believer in the idea that different things work for different people. Myself, I would not pay for a weight loss program, as I would prefer to spend my money on services or products that contribute to overall health and well-being (with weight loss perhaps being an added benefit!). As two examples, I splurge on yoga and buy a lot of cookbooks for healthy eating.
I have heard a few success stories with weight loss programs, though. Weight Watchers in particular. I think you’re a great friend for telling your friend to hold off until you two do some more research. I have also heard a few negative stories from people who feel like they paid for nothing.
Thanks so much for the feedback, Victoria! It sounds like you’re spending money the right way!
I don’t know anyone who has tried this. I would hope for the money that it would be successful for them!
I would totally try it. I think having a plan is so much more motivating to me than trying it on my own.
Absolutely. Everyone is different!
I would love to try herbal magic i just find the program to be expensive!
I think if you can afford it, it’s a viable option :)
I think in order to lose weight, it’s really up to your own determination. I don’t believe in any programs but more of when and what you eat. However everyone is different, if a program works for you then congrats to you
Have you tried some of the free resources like myfitnesspal or fitrocracy? Sometimes you need to see what is wrong before you try to fix everything.
Thanks for the tip!