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The Magic Pill - Myth or Truth

The fitness industry can indeed be perceived as both toxic and alluring simultaneously. It's crucial to navigate through its complexities with awareness and caution. The book "Magic Pill" sheds light on various aspects of dieting, focusing on the trend of Ozempic, offering valuable insights beyond just a passing diet fad. Reflecting on the parallels between the book and the health and fitness industry, it's evident that after dedicating over 30 years to this field, one can recognize its potentially harmful yet captivating nature.

In the book Magic Pill, the author talks about his own struggles with weight and food over his lifetime. The story begins with him being invited to a celebrity event shortly after the pandemic. He felt a little self conscious about the weight he'd gained over lock-down but figured since we were in all lock-down, that most people would be in the same boat. It ended up being the opposite.

In the book he writes "everyone looked like an instagram filter of themselves". He asked his friend, who'd extended the invitation to Johann, "have you all been doing Pilates? Everyone looks so good."

Deep within the shadows of my Pilates studio, a mysterious secret unfolded. Whispers of a transformative power drifted through the air, shrouded in enigma. The allure of a newfound beauty masked in ambiguity beckoned, casting a spell of curiosity upon all who dared to listen. Was it the mystical elixir known as Ozempic that held the key to a mesmerizing metamorphosis? Or is this Magic Pill, concealing unforeseen perils beneath its seductive facade?

What did this mean for me as a fitness coach? I encourage people to move their bodies, to burn calories yes, but also to feel better, stronger, more flexible. Is everyone just going to start getting a shot once a week and do nothing else to improve their health but depend on the impressive results of having no appetite? I've gotta say, this fab for weight loss is scaring me.

Sure, I can see the benefits for an obese person, who's had a life long battle with weight. Taking the weight off will improve their mobility, and reduce the risk of many health issues, like heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. This part I understand and applaud. The other part to this is the question, what happens when you stop taking Ozempic?

Unless you are implementing lifestyle changes alongside administering these injections, you will end up regaining all the weight you lost! Throughout our lives, we've been conditioned to believe that weight loss is a matter of simple mathematics: expend more calories through physical activity and consume better quality foods. This journey can be lengthy and challenging for some individuals. For instance, if you are accustomed to consuming 3000 calories daily and reduce it to 1500, it will likely take at least three months to notice significant changes. By combining this calorie reduction with exercising three to four times a week, resulting in an additional 1500 to 2000 calories burned, you may experience slightly accelerated progress, but not significantly. This approach could assist you in shedding 5 to 10 pounds per month.

People using Ozempic are doubling these results. As a fitness coach I would tell my clients to be patient with the process. When you lose weight with better lifestyle choices, you are improving from the inside out, sleeping better, lower blood pressure, better cholestoral, improved energy, for starters. Yet we get so focused on the number that show up on the scale that we don't take note of the other healthy things happening to us.

Here's a typical plan I would coach someone on to lose ten to twenty pounds:

After calculating how many calories they need to function each day. Let's say this number is 1500 calories. Now, here's how the calories could get broken down in your day.

Breakfast - 300 to 400 (fresh berries, with 1/2 cup greek yogurt or similar, 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds)

Snack - 150 to 200 (protein shake with 1 tbsp healthy fat, nut butter or avocado)

Lunch - 250 to 350 (mixed greens salad 1 tbsp of olive oil / lemon dressing, lean meat or fish)

Snack - 150 t0 200 (bran muffin or similar high fibre snack)

Dinner - 350 to 450 ( sweet potato (1/2) green veggie (one cup) lentils or lean chicken 3 oz) 4 oz of your favourite wine, or sparkling water with lemon.

Until you were pretty good with portion control, you'd want to measure this with an app like, Loseit. This is a menu I've already put into my app and here's the break down of macros.

Protein - 40% (102 grams)

Carbs - 33% (93 grams)

Fat - 27% (33 grams)

Fiber - 19 grams

Calories - 1437

Now adding in exercise. Walking for 30 minutes -120 cal. Pilates Class -130 cal. Or strength training for 45 minutes - 250 cal

You are now in a calorie deficit of 350, for one day. if you did this five times per week, you are looking at -1750 calories a week or 7000 per month. which is about two to 3 lbs, maybe up to 7 lbs if you consider water weight loss. This is considered the healthy way to lose weight. It's work! But it takes consistency and determination.

When people go on Ozepic, they get a shot once per week. It reduces their hunger by blocking the hormone that tells us we are hungry. Most people eat less than one third of their normal calories. Think about that. If you were eating 3000 calories a day and you reduce it to 1000 calories per day, you will lose weight way faster than the formula above!

This is why people are seeing such fast results. They are literally in a calorie deficit of 8000 or more calories a month, because they are not hungry and aren't eating. No wonder this is so attractive to people. It's not just overweight people doing this now, its all types of people who want to restrict their calories.

My advice? Read this book, Magic Pill by Johann Hari. Learn about his journey and the highs and lows of the Ozempic fad. Then decide for yourself. How do you want to manage your own health and fitness. Because it's more than weight loss you are contending with when you choose a fast approach. On the other side, when you take notice of your calories in / out with healthy eating and exercise, you are adding quality years to your life.

It is important to acknowledge the challenges that come with weight management, especially during significant life transitions like menopause, child birth or recovery from surgery. My dedication to prioritizing health, considering my family history of heart problems, is unwavering. Even a seemingly small weight gain can have a noticeable impact on one's well-being and should not be dismissed. It is crucial to be kind to yourself during this process and seek support and guidance to navigate these changes effectively.

When I read Magic Pill it was to educate myself about this trend in weight loss. It made me angry that people who don't really need this drug are using it for vanity. I have say what I learned, reinforced some of my health and wellness beliefs after reading this book and I'm as motivated as every to help myself and my clients live a long, happy, healthy and energized life! No magic pills required:)

As always, reach out if you have any questions about exercise and or health coaching. I love helping others achieve their goals and coaching them on how to make the most of their fitness and health!

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