I am uniquely qualified on this subject. As a personal trainer, working for Big Fitness, I was the king of supplement sales. Nobody beat me in this category. Despite how it sounds, it’s not something for which I’m proud. That trophy goes in the “I was young and needed the money” bin.
In all likelihood, this advice goes against every influencer in your world: your spouse, your buddy and that really beefy guy at work. They’ve all told you about some pill you really gotta try.
Funny they never say the same thing about eating fresh veggies and fruit.
Taking supplements is not only fooling you into thinking some magic is happening inside your body, it’s also misdirecting your energy [read: money], plus keeping you from making more important decisions to postively impact your health.
You’re convinced there’s magic in them pills.
One of the best articles I’ve read on fitness pointed out that it’s boring. In many ways, despite all the sparkly packaging and fancy names, so is supplementation.
Desperately, would-be supplement takers search the interwebs for the ultimate panacea.
Sadly, there is no miracle berry we have yet to discover. The brass tacks of your fitness are managing your food intake for your goals, combining your efforts with staying active. I know, this goes against everything talk show personalities would have you believe.
There will never be a pill derived from the rainforests of Ecuador which when taken, harmlessly brings you all your hopes and dreams.
Harmlessly, because if you want to drop weight fast there is always crystal meth. Just be prepared to break the law and lose all your teeth, friends, money… but look like a model at the beach, a model without teeth.
The sooner you decide that this is the real truth, the sooner you can stop wasting your time looking for magic pills.
Your money is being poorly spent.
Let’s imagine you disagree with my first point. Your friend so-and-so has been taking goji-berry-unicorn-tears for six months and she lost ten pounds, with no side-effects. She heard about it on Doctor Osborne’s talk show.
The thing is, she spent $60 a bottle for the magic pills, which only lasted two weeks so she was spending $120 a month. For $120 you could pay to meet at least once with a costly nutritionist, but as many as 4-5 times with a more affordable one.
The pills will run out, then what? The education from a nutritionist you take with you forever. A good one will help you understand how to eat the food already in your home, the food you like, to get your goals.
With four sessions, you could meet once a week for a month, reviewing your progress. You could also afford 2-3 sessions with a personal trainer, which would likely include nutrition counseling.
Your attention is being misdirected towards supplements.
So you’ve ignored the last two points of logic. You’ve decided you don’t want someone peeking into your cupboards, judging your food choices or telling you that you have to eat more broccoli. I understand that.
You also don’t want to train with Jillian Michaels. I totally get that.
You could do so much just with your trusty AOL account. Rather than shoehorn your attention into finding the best deal for said supplements, setting reminders on your phone to help you take them on time, then hoping for a miracle, do it yourself.
The most important move you will make for your health is adopting a regular fitness habit.
Read this article on Hacking Your Brain to Create an Exercise Habit.
The most effective tool you have at your disposal is controlling your nutrition. It starts with a few simple pieces of knowledge. Know your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Know your target calories for your goals.
There are pages of Google results with free resources for this information. If you’re not using calorie king, go there now. Bookmark it. Add their app to your phone. Start researching all your favorite foods.
You could even design your own food program, again, for free by searching Google. We’ve never had had more DIY opportunities to rebrand yourself a health nut than we have today.
Here’s one caveat. If you’re taking a multivitamin because you know your nutrient profile generally stinks or because your doctor has advised you to do so, then keep taking it.
Just do yourself a favor. Beware voodoo ingredients, like caffeine, niacin, mahuang (ephedra) or anything added to make you “feel something.” You shouldn’t. It’s a multivitamin. They’re boring, the way fitness should be.
Do yourself one better; start eating more raw vegetables and fruits, like every single meal. You’re on the path to healing yourself.