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A woman contacted me through social media today to ask about a new dietary supplement. On my “feature” Instagram I highlight I’m a professional fitness instructor and fitness and nutritional writer. The supplement industry is estimated by Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) to gross more than $26 Billion this year.

Before you run off to become a distributor for Advocare, ItWorks, Isagenix, and whatever else is floating out there, hear me out: Supplements don’t work by themselves.

Supplements HAVE to be used in conjunction with exercise and diet. I explained this to the woman who contacted me, I left a piece of advice, and it’s one I tell almost anyone who asks me about weight loss, fat burn, or building muscle: It takes time and patience. Don’t worry so much about the scale.

If someone is looking for fast weight loss, then yes, Hydroxy Cut, 24-day Advocare Challenge, Arbonne Detox, or Master Cleanse would be practical because that would immediately send the body into a caloric deficit, also, have products that promote thermogenesis. So fewer calories and consuming products that force the body to produce heat through metabolic stimulation, this would have a person see results. But mainly because of reduced water weight.

The body will burn up glycogen storages which retain water as well. So yes, there’s weight loss but not fat burn. Therefore the method of weight loss cannot be sustained for the long term. Also, explains why Americans on average try about 4 to 5 different diets per year.

So, what’s the best way for long term weight loss? Try different physical activities and find which ever one suits your lifestyle and has you coming back for more. But also has to be in conjunction with healthy eating habits. If you look to do Body Xtreme with Whitney at MetroFitness, don’t unravel the hard work you put in by hitting up Five Guys afterward. Balance is imperative for weight loss transformation and keeping the weight off.

I’ve been training Suzanna now for over a month, and she has lost some weight. But we discussed today how she’s a little disheartened that the scale hasn’t gone down more. We’ve been training for 6 weeks now, and she’s dropped roughly about 8-10 pounds. That’s more than 1 pound per week. In my opinion is a safe and healthy rate to lose weight.

She lets me know how her body feels after training sessions, and I’m pretty mindful about not overdoing it. She’s beginning to do a lot more on her own, she took her bike out for a 13-mile ride last weekend and is budgeting time better to do extra cardio during the week. With her extra cardio, as her trainer, I need to figure out the best way to manage her energy levels during workouts, so she doesn’t get burnt out, and she can continue at the rate she’s going at now. It’s enjoyable to strategize, to be honest.

But this isn’t unique, I’ve been watching all the trainers at MetroFitness, and have seen some incredible modifications to work outs. I watched Delisa teach active aging on Tuesday and she was a total ninja in the room with her attention to detail, form, and adjustments. On Wednesday morning Ray was doing some creative exercises with the balance ball with his three clients and made immediate changes so they would be successful with the exercises. Tony the Trainer has a variety of clients, and each one of his sessions caters to their overall goals, and he communicates technique and reasoning throughout. It’s incredible the attention to detail that goes in. And I’m lucky to have so many mentors to bounce ideas and concepts off of.

But today when I was watching Suzanna do a workout she did almost a month ago, her progress has been outstanding. She lifted heavier weights, ran all the laps, finished the workout much quicker than before too. And she told me how much better she felt throughout it in comparison to the first time. And like a creeper that I am, I took some photos and the progress speaks for itself. She is getting fitter each week, and it’s such an honor to train her.

There are no magic pills that will burn fat quicker than exercise and a stronger heart.

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