I got a slimming pill ad in my email, and being bored today I decided to open it up. How little has changed since I spent my adolescence dieting on and off with the same ten pounds. Hey, it seemed like a lot at the time, and I’d always been so skinny it was devastating to gain weight, you know! I used to read all the crappy pitches for pills in the back of trashy magazines, and sometimes I’d even order them. By the time I cottoned to the fact that every single one came with a stringent, 1000 calorie diet that had to be followed (when the ads said “Do nothing and lose tons of weight!”) I stopped buying them. I once ordered the one thing that sounded different – Chinese edible crystals that you sprinkle on your food and eat, or dissolve in water and drink, and it would do its magic in your tummy, and you would just lose weight. Eat whatever you want. So I tried it. The third day I woke up at exactly the same time (10 hours after eating the crystals) with the same hard bubbled-out belly that HURT and caused me to spend at least 45 minutes in the bathroom to end it. When I realized what was causing that, I stopped using it. I did leave one packet in water and by the next morning it had turned into a sticky mass of clear slime. Weird. But at least it was different.
I don’t think these companies are even trying anymore. There were always ads that certain combinations of foods could make you lose weight with no effort, that this pill would speed up your metabolism (caffeine, and later guarana), lessen your appetite (again, caffeine and nausea from whatever else they put in it) and a starvation diet would combine to make you skinny by summer! Then came SlimFast and it seemed ok – drink two meal replacement shakes a day – chocolate! which you’re deathly sick of by day 3 – and eat a sensible dinner. I decided it would be cheaper (and the same calorie-wise) to drink two pints of chocolate milk (full fat) – Nestle – and eat that sensible dinner from the menu plans that came with the SlimFast. It worked. Of course I could smoke at my desk then and I spent a fortune on cigarettes, but whatever. Once I tried my doctor’s 1000 calorie diet while doing nautilus and aerobic walking at the gym and lost 20 lbs and looked like a hardbody; that was kind of fun. It took a few months to gain it back that time. I tried LA Weight Loss but the food was so heinous I had to stop in a week – hot lemon juice in the morning followed by rabbit food and Wasa crackers and fake bacon bits. Wasa crackers are evil. (My apologies to fans.) My metabolism changed completely after I had a baby, and that was that. 6 months on Jenny Craig and two hours rigorous workout daily and I lost maybe 5 pounds – yeah, no. I gave up then and there.
Let’s replay the past, shall we?
Block dietary fats, eh? Gee, I thought we learned with starch blockers that blocking one of the three ways you can ingest a calorie was a Bad Idea. In, like, the early 90s. You don’t hear about the miracle starch blockers much anymore. Too many sick people. Now we’ll block fat, like Olestra, and we can have anal leakage so foul that they tell you to carry extra pants and warn that the stain will never come out of your toilet. Yum. Maybe that’s how they suppress your appetite.
Increase your resting metabolism. Caffeine again! I take Ativan to prevent jitters and panic attacks and aid my fight against insomnia; the last thing I want in my body is caffeine to make me jitter and jounce and stay awake. No thanks.
It suppresses your appetite. More nausea! Yay! If I’m going to torment myself, I might as well just buy Dexatrim; it has the same effect. You don’t lose weight, but you feel like shit.
Plus, it cleanses your body! I thought water, kidneys, the liver, skin and the like did that? But hey, if you want to go in for a useless colonic irrigation, go for it – whatever floats your boat. All that stuff woulda been gone the next day anyway, but who’m I to tell you what to do?
Also, Oprah did not use this product nor has she endorsed it. So they still lie.
Do these pitches ever change? The pills? Who buys this stuff?
Webmd says it will improve your skin and help you avoid diabetes. Now there’s a responsible claim. Based, I assume, on the erroneous truism that it’s fat that causes diabetes? Shocker.
You know, it’s just so boring. To read a weight loss pill ad all these years later and find it exactly the same as the ones I’ve ever read – from the pitch, to the false claims, to the things it does…can’t they at least be a little creative?