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To Burn or Not to Burn, Fat is the Question
(Brown Books Publishing Group)

 
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De-Mystifying Health

Busting the Infomercial Hype

By Dr. Len Lopez
Nutrition and fitness expert


CBN.comMany of us are starting to think of how we are going to drop those dreaded pounds, get in shape, or overcome those nagging health issues.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of hoopla from infomercial promises, which is why I wanted to devote some time and bust all the infomercial hype that is being spewed on the airwaves.

The first thing I can tell you, and I can’t emphasis it strongly enough, is that there are “NO” magic pills or potions that are going to fix all your troubles. Overcoming any health complaint – whether it is fatigue, weight gain, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, and the list goes on – is a process! It’s not going to happen by merely swallowing a bottle of “magic promises.”

Infomercial Hype # 1: Cortisol is the reason we can’t lose weight.

Fact is cortisol is only part of the problem. Cortisol and adrenaline are important hormones that help regulate our metabolism. Infomercials like to make everyone believe that they need to lower their cortisol levels, but more than half the patients we test have cortisol that is too low – NOT too high. That means we have to raise their cortisol levels in order to get their metabolism working properly.

Many of the infomercial products are designed to lower cortisol, but if your cortisol and adrenaline are already low and you begin taking a product that is formulated to lower cortisol, it is definitely taking you down the wrong road.

The real problem is the adrenal glands, which produce cortisol and adrenaline, have become exhausted and depleted due to all the stress in your life. Therefore, supporting the adrenal glands with proper supplementation goes a long way in restoring your metabolism. I recommend using a product like Adrenal Fuel, which is formulated to both nourish those depleted adrenal glands and balance out those hormones with all the adaptogenic herbs that are included.

If you are not sure if your cortisol is too high or too low, you should consider having your adrenal glands measured through a saliva test to determine if stress has taken its toll on your body. Constant, prolonged stress will disrupt your metabolism and throw your hormones off, which can trigger your body to store fat instead of burning fat. So, focus on supporting and strengthening your adrenal glands.

Infomercial Hype # 2: Liquid vitamins are better absorbed than pills and tablets.

What determines how well anything is absorbed into the body is mostly controlled by how well your digestive system is functioning. If you have a history of bloating, gas, indigestion, and other irritable bowel problems that are irritating and inflaming your digestive tract, it is going to affect how well your body absorbs any nutrients. It doesn’t matter if it came in liquid or capsule. Infomercials that try and market their products as being better absorbed than tablets or capsules are talking hype.

Liquid vitamins are like moving into a furnished house; everything is already there. Whereas vitamins that are in capsule or tablet form still need to be broken-down or opened up in order to become available for the digestive process. Capsules are usually pretty easy to dissolve and open up, but tablets are a little trickier, because to pack all those nutrients into a tablet takes a lot of compressive force and various binders and fillers to get it all to stick together. This could make the tablet so hard it won’t break apart.

Some tablet manufacturers do a great job in making tablets that easily dissolve or disintegrate. I always tell my patients when they purchase a vitamin/supplement that comes in tablet form to try and crack it open with your teeth. If it feels like a jaw-breaker, and seems impossible to break with your teeth, how do you expect the little enzymes in your stomach to break it down? It doesn’t, so if you can’t break open your tablets with your teeth, find another vitamin supplement because those probably aren’t being absorbed very well.

Infomercial Hype # 3: You can add more lean muscle tissue when you swallow our product, even while you sleep.

As a strength and conditioning coach, this is the one that really cracks me up because you are NOT going to add any muscle to your body unless you exercise those muscles. To think you can sleep and build muscle is crazy without first stressing them. Yes, you do release most of your growth hormones when you sleep, but if you didn’t exercise those muscles, there isn’t anything to repair. The only way muscles become more toned and firm is by exercising them. So when you hear some infomercial claiming that you could add inches of muscle by swallowing their pills, I have a bridge I would like to sell you! Stay away from those products.

If you want to add some shape and tone to your body, you can follow my “Super Seven Workout,” which is spelled out in To Burn or Not to Burn, Fat is the Question” (Brown Books). It is a complete, whole body workout that utilizes both aerobic and anaerobic training principles.

Buyer Beware

There are so many more claims that are being spewed out onto the airwaves. I will continue this column in the weeks to come and try and separate the truth from the hype. Stay tuned!


Dr. Len LopezDr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and creator of The Work Horse Trainer.  He speaks extensively on diet, exercise, and how stress can affect your overall health and wellness.

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