I saw this advertised at the checkout counter, and it wasn’t even next to alien babies or Elvis on the cover. So I seriously thought about putting it over in my humorous blog: Human Body Engineer. But it didn’t claim to be kidding, and I think we need to address this sort of thing a bit seriously. What if it is true?
So I opened it up and here’s what it said: “walking for 22 minutes at 75% of your heart rate.” Ok. That’s going to drop 7″ off my belly in a week?
Walking is something that people do. It’s evidently the preferred “compromise” exercise between couch potatoing and the strenuous jumping bean exercises most fitness clubs seem to favor. But I’ve never heard anyone claim it drops an inch off their belly a day. The only way I would see that working is if I were immensely constipated and the walking just jogged something loose finally. But even then, if I’m bloated out by seven inches, I think that’s a medical emergency.
I’m not a fan of the calories in = calories out model (it’s the hormones, not the calories), but to tip the hat to that particular myth seems a good place to start.
Strenuous walking for an hour will burn 460 calories for a man and 370 calories for a woman. An increased metabolism for the next 24 hours might burn an extra couple hundred calories. So there is an outside chance that an hour strenuous walking plus the metabolic speed up plus serious dehydration in the summer sun might drop seven pounds in a week. But no one is going down seven belt loops in a week. That’s a serious surgery situation.
So why claim you can? To sell magazines. If I was too embarrassed to open the magazine in the line, I would have slid it onto my groceries and found out the fake allure at home. It’s the same game those more risqué magazines play with all their “50,000 Things He Really Wants.” Yeah, good luck with most of those unless you happen to be a double-jointed Orangutan gymnast. Now that’s number 498.
Let’s all take a deep breath and relegate sudden unexplained weight loss to the same pile we put those Ponzi scheme letters promising us 15%. Or all those chain letters promising to bless us if we just irritate fifteen of our (former) friends by mailing them a copy.
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