Samantha Bluemel is a personal trainer and nutritionist. She aims to inspire the happiest, healthiest and most positive state of living.

Sam Bluemel: Do 'magic weightloss' solutions work?

Are any of the pills and potions promising weight loss worth it?
Photo / 123RF
Are any of the pills and potions promising weight loss worth it? Photo / 123RF

It's a common mistake - you want to lose weight, and you want to do it as quickly as possible. While prepping yourself for the workouts and meal plans that you're imagining are going to be torturous, you're also frantically Googling weight loss tricks, tips, magic spells, anything to make the journey easier.

You stumble upon the 'natural weight loss pills' that promise to burn more energy in an hour than a week spent running, there's the superfood berries that if eaten continuously for 72 hours will make you shed 3kg in an instant, you've heard of diuretics, 7 day lemon detox and this-will-melt-fat-like-nothing-else teas. Hundreds of products promising an instant solution to your weight loss goals - if only they worked as effectively as promised.

To add to the confusion, there are products that promise to 'assist' your weight loss journey, and this is where most of us trip up.

While most won't work, some actually will make a marginal difference in your training, and others will do wonders for your motivation when used correctly.

However, more often than not, it's disappointing results and an unnecessary hole in your wallet that results.

I've investigated the options available share the dangers that can be associated with them. Keep in mind, more than anything else, it's a regular fitness regime and balaned nutrition that is going to get you the results.

Taken in capsule form, thermogenics are a weight loss pill claiming to increase your basal metabolic rate and cause your body to burn more fat, all while doing nothing more than sitting at your desk. While some users may notice marginal differences in the way their body responds, these benefits do nothing to offset the risks associated with such tablets. Related side effects can include anxiety, sleeplessness and even addiction, hardly worth it when a balanced diet and regular exercise could achieve infinitely more for your health and body.

This is a stimulant taken in either pill or powder form directly before exercise, aiming to increase your endurance and performance during the session. The danger is in buying products over the counter that often include illegal ingredients like amphetamines or DMAA, a banned party pill ingredient. I wouldn't recommend trying out a pre-workout supplement unless you are an experienced and avid gym goer, and having exhausted all other options like fuelling up the right way before a workout you are still feeling weak or dizzy by the end of it.

Hot pants:
New to the fitness market is an exercise pant which claims to burn energy faster through heat generating fabric (akin to wetsuit material), which, when worn for day-to-day activities or while working out, will maximise your calorie output. The purchase of these pants will often come with a fitness programme lasting as little as six weeks, with reports coming in at the end of the new exercise routine that are very favourable. To state the obvious: increased exercise, with new pants or no pants, will cause fat loss and increased muscle tone. Marginal differences with the added benefit of hot pants need not be mentioned.

Juice detoxing:
Usually anywhere between 2 and 7 days, juice detoxes claim to flush your system of toxins, give your digestive system a break and result in some pretty hefty weight loss the longer you keep it up for. While I agree that juice detoxes can have their place in getting you on the right track to start thinking about food from a healthier perspective, it's important to be aware that the weight loss won't last after you re-introduce solid food. It's a great way to boost into a new fitness or nutrition program, but don't expect to drop 10kg and keep it off in 5 days. I would recommend 'juicing' for no longer than 3 days before moving on to a clean diet.

General detoxing:
Taking a break from gluten, grains, sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, meat and legumes all at once is quite common and can be a good way to progress from a juice detox at the start of your new wellness kick. However, this kind of diet shouldn't last any longer than 30 days. Any sustainable weight loss program needs to be approached from a balanced lifestyle perspective rather than banning certain food groups forever. Try planning out 7 to 14 days of restricted eating before entering into a new dietary lifestyle if you are interested in taking a detox approach.

Apps and accessories:
Fitness apps and accessories that track your progress can be helpful in working towards your weight loss goals. Goal setting will help you to map out your plan and keeping your successes recorded as you go along will do wonders to motivate you to keep going. I recommend getting yourself a good quality smart watch with a GPS tracker like the Adidas miCoach Smart Run, this model in particular has inbuilt workout and stretching videos to help push you even harder.

It's up to you what options you decide to explore when it comes to making gains in the world of fitness and weight loss, but if you're serious about using a product to help you on your way always do your research and talk to a fitness professional beforehand.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

Samantha Bluemel is a personal trainer and nutritionist. She aims to inspire the happiest, healthiest and most positive state of living.

Constantly active and forever chasing the next cornerstone of green smoothie creation, personal trainer Samantha writes on all things fitness to motivate you out the door and into your trainers, stat. Starting her career in modeling before realising that years of midnight Macca’s and Red Bull had begun to take their toll, Samantha has since been travelling down the road of health and wellness, learning, growing and sharing her knowledge along the way. First and foremost a personal trainer, her love for physical health through exercise has taken her from a corporate gym setting to creating her own business in personal and group training, always believing in the power of movement as a catalyst for positive lifestyle change. The ultimate goal is a life lived in absolute happiness and body loving appreciation – and as she says, sometimes that means getting a cheeseburger along the way! You can read more from Sam in her fortnightly column for New Idea magazine, or by heading to her blog at

Read more by Samantha Bluemel

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 25 May 2017 00:35:52 Processing Time: 1243ms