What are they Really Selling?

So much to say I need two posts!
While I’ve been laid up for the past couple days, I’ve been spending a good amount of time in my phone. The net we get trapped in is pretty smarted marketing, no?  I look at one diet-related thing then every ad on Facebook is about weight loss and many Google Cards are about weight loss, so I click it because I am interested and Bam!  More and more weight loss ads.  I can usually see through them all.  How many people claim to have the answer for the “low low price of a ($$$$) webinar or a bottle of magic pills for a couple hundred bucks a month plus whatever side effects they may have.  Today I researched Noom because that ad keeps coming up in my Facebook feed and a couple of my Facebook friends have “liked” the page.  I knew it costs because it’s up front about that, but the ads are very vague, just showing people dancing around or being all happy.  It turns out, it is much like Weight Watchers but without having to count points or calories.  There’s a coach, a weekly focus that you set for yourself, and reporting your weight/progress.  It also helps with the mental/emotional  aspects of eating.  It costs $10/month. If you want to read one review from Cooking Light click Here
I’m not totally sold on it.  I guess the fact that it’s not self-guided bothers me.  Having to check in with weigh-ins at a certain time/interval, having a coach...wonder why this bothers me.  Maybe it would keep me more accountable, maybe that’s why it scares me!  Ha!
In the morning and through noon, I took my blood pressure 4 sets of times ( each set was an average of 3 readings).  I wanted to see how much effect 1 and 2 cups of coffee had on my blood pressure and also my medicine (a diuretic meant to lower my blood pressure.  To my disappointment, my blood pressure was higher than it had been just a few weeks ago.  Yes, I am still having pain from my foot but when the nurse weighed me again Tuesday my weight had creeped back up to 191, which means I’ve regained 6 pounds of the 15 I lost over the summer.  That doesn’t sound like much but I sure can tell a difference physically and in how my clothes fit.  So as predicted, the first cup of coffee raised my blood pressure by a few points.  Nothing dramatic, but since it’s already higher that nearly pushed me to the next level of hypertension.  I figured it would drop a good amount after taking my medicine, but it did the opposite, pushing my diastolic (the second number) up over 100!  When I logged my reading at the American Heart Association’s blood pressure tracker, it sent me an alert that I registered as high blood pressure (level 2).  Creepy!!  So I spent some time looking up how to lower  blood pressure.  Of course I knew the common things like stop smoking (I have never been a smoker), lose weight (wish it were as easy as it sounds on paper) eat healthy (ditto) and exercise. They also list some supplements like Garlic and Fish Oils which I already take but may increase my dose of, and Magnesium and calcium, neither of which I take. I know I have to clean up my act with food; limit sugars and sodium and stop eating when I’m not hungry.
Back on Facebook and aside from all the get-paid-to-lose-weight and Noom ads, the $4 a package of “overnight oats” with “health boosting ingredients (matcha) and those overpriced lifecoach and self-help webinars, one cropped up and the only reason I opened it was to see if there were negative comments.  The video had been shared 60-some times and the only negative reviews were that people thought the video was too long before it got to the “pitch” so I watched it.  The spokeswoman was in the fitness industry and was giving this information for free so I knew there would be a pitch at some point.  But, she talked about Leptin and how it works in the diet and how the more excess weight you carry the more likely you are resistant to it.  Leptin helps us stop eating when we have enough caloric intake to sustain normal function.  So having resistance to it means we keep eating long after we have enough calories.  It’s actually an interesting video with great info.  At the end they do pitch their magic pills called Kindle by Femme Forme.  If anyone is interested here is The link  I actually got in a good mood about it and for a split second they almost got me, I thought about trying it for a month, they have a money-back guarantee... then I started thinking, if $67 is a great deal (according to the ad) for 1 month supply (you only pay $47 for the first month plus you get other freebies) how the heck much is it going forward?  And what the heck is in it? Would it interfere with my thyroid function or meds?  Would it affect my blood pressure?  In the ad they show people doing HIIT training, jumping on boxes and doing burpees and I simply can’t do all that high impact stuff.  It got me a little depressed thinking about these programs that assume that everyone is already moderately fit but just have a “few extra pounds to lose”.  What do people with injuries do? What about people who have bad balance? I fit both those categories and I’m only 5ft tall so jumping on a box isn’t happening over here.  I was still curious to know what magic stuff was in their ridiculously priced pills.  They have a nutrition label on their site, surprisingly, and as suspected it is an overpriced caffeine pill with some obscure plant extract (African mango) that has been very inconclusive in weight loss and had a side effect of excess flatulence and diarrhea.  I don’t know about you, but i’d rather have a good old fashioned cup of coffee and save myself hundreds of dollars and some stomach discomfort!  I did a little further research on Leptin resistance and one doctor said that while it is a real phenomenon in obese individuals, it is likely caused by or is a result of insulin resistance, which can be corrected by eating less sugary or starchy carbs.All these “experts” and programs and pills have some value I am sure, but in the end I sort of get the idea they are trying to sell “easy”.  Who is so short on time that they can’t put some oats in water and stick it in the fridge overnight?  Are we really that reliant on convenience that we can’t shop for the ingredients for a meal or, God forbid, go inside the store to buy it?  Do I need a magic caffeine pill to do the “fat burning” for me even if I don’t work out?  I guess I am more of a do-it-yourself kind of girl.
So where did my day of thinking about weight lead me?  Back to my roots of South Beach Diet method. Designed by a cardiologist, free enough to allow fruit and dairy, no counting or confusing rules and I have always had fantastic bloodwork while being on it.  It is a realistic and maintainable plan and I usually end of feeling good while I am on it.  I have strayed from this while I was trying to adhere to mindful eating but time and time again, it proves to me that the sugar roller coaster is real and I’m sensitive to it.  When I allow sugary carbs I crave them, when I am limited sugars I rarely crave them.  I just have to commit mentally.  This blood pressure stuff is scaring me, I wish it would be lower with the medicine.  I will keep monitoring it and if it stays high (average 135/90) I will ask for advice.  Yes, losing weight will help it drop eventually but I don’t want it to keep creeping up until then.
So my new goals looking ahead are going to begin with going back to my SBD roots and tracking my sodium levels and getting back to taking blood pressure several times a week.  I took the focus off my health and my body is showing me it matters.


  1. Happy New Year! I looked into Noom and my take is it's like WW for millennials (no human interaction! ha ha). Two programs I did consider (before I went with a local coach) were My Body Tutor and NerdFitness. com because they are both basically a health focused life coach that helps you build a plan that works for you. I'm tired of trying to make myself adapt to a plan that doesn't work for my preferences, schedule, or body. I had to find something I could do forever. Anyway, I wish you a successful 2019!

    1. Good to hear you found a plan that works for you. Honestly, I know the nutrition and moving part, I just need help with my brain. I also have some techniques for that but I have been neglecting the knowledge I have. If anything is good about a fresh new year is that it tends to make us refocus on our bodies now that all the chaos is over! Happy New Year!


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