Have you heard the buzz about the latest weight-loss strategy?

It’s a supplement called Garcinia Cambogia Extract and it’s got lots of people, including celebrities, very excited. But despite the weight-loss results it’s reportedly achieving, I urge you to be wary. That’s because I don’t believe trendy weight-loss strategies are the right solution for someone who suffers from bulimia or a distorted relationship with food.

Let me explain…

A key cause of bulimia and disordered eating is an underlying dissatisfaction with your size, your body and the way you look.

There’s a widespread cultural myth that thin is beautiful and fat is ugly. This message is promoted just about everywhere – magazines, newspapers, bill boards and televsion – we are showered with images of stick thin women who seem to have it all and continual gossip of which celebrity has gained or lost weight and what they look like. It’s no wonder so many people feel inadequate, undesirable and unsexy.  And because thinness is presented as a silver bullet to wealth, health and happiness, we’ve become extremely susceptible to the latest weight-loss strategies.

And I’m always wary when I see them. That’s because I know first hand the dangers an obsession with weight-loss can cause. Back in my 20s when I was a successful international model I used to diet to preserve by slender frame. Despite my outward success inside was turmoil. I hated my body and myself and my dieting soon became out of control as I experimented with slimming pills, laxatives and purging to manage my increasing number of comfort inspired eating binges.

In short dieting was a slippery slope to bulimia.

And I truly believed than being slim was the answer to gaining the happiness that seemed to elude me.

So don’t blame me for being sceptical when I read headlines such as these…

 Lose 23 lbs of Belly Fat in 1 Month With This Appetite Curbing Product used by Celebrity Jamie Pressly

“Doctors Call Garcinia Cambogia “Miracle Fat Burner in a Bottle”

Let me explain why…

Meet Garcinia Cambogia Extract

Garcinia Cambogia Extract is the latest fad weight-loss plan that’s doing the rounds. This new weight-loss supplement is derived from a fruit whose rind contains hydroxycitric acid – a substance believed to promote weight loss.

And this miracle cure has all the features of a silver bullet solution including:

1. Celebrity endorsement: Women Magazine explains how celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and Jamie Pressly have all lost a “significant amount of body fat” since using this miracle weight-loss supplement. If we see a celebrity we admire and respect endorsing something, it make the proposal that much more interesting.

2. Backed by scientific evidence: Apparently Garcinia Cambogia Extract works on a number of levels. Firstly it inhibits the production of fat by suppressing a liver enzyme responsible for fat production. It also suppresses appetite. And because it encourages the body to releases serotonin, it’s apparently good for emotional eaters.

3. Powerful testimonials: Potential dieters will be inspired to try the fad when they read the success stories of what other people have achieved. Expect extreme before and after shots along with powerful testimonials from excited people who are simply delighted with the results they’ve achieved.

Here’s one from health and diet writer Carly Weiss who reportedly lost 27 lbs in 9 weeks, with no special diet, and no intense exercise. “The benefits of the Garcinia Cambogia Bean beat all of our initial skepticism. We found the diet not only helped with weight loss and getting rid of belly fat, but it seemed to boost energy levels, and also helped Carly sleep better and to wake-up more rested”.

4. Promise of quick results: The American TV personality Dr Oz did a feature on the supplement. He interviewed Dr Julie Chen who explained how weight loss with Garcinia Cambogia can be increased by 2-3 times what you’d expect by diet and exercise alone. Wow! We all want to be thin and enjoying the perceived benefits NOW. It means programmes and solutions that promise quick and easy results will be super attractive.  

5. Wrapped up in sensational language: When you think about weight loss you want results FAST – and the language surrounding Garcinia Cambogia doesn’t disappoint. It’s described as a “game changer”, “the holy grail”, “a revolutionary fat buster” etc. These kind of emotive statements are incredibly persuasive.

But do these fad solutions really work?

When assessing the success of weight-loss plans I always suggest testing it against the results that drove you to try the solution in the first place.

Now you may think in the case of Garcinia Cambogia weight-loss is the ultimate objective. But I disagree. Although people diet to lose weight, what they are really after is the feeling they believe they’ll experience as a result of weight-loss. And for most people it’s a belief they’ll feel better about themselves if their body resembles society’s definition of beauty.

So how do fad strategies stack up to this goal?

Well in the short-term probably quite well. It is possible to lose weight in the short-term – in fact you can experience quite considerable weight-loss in the first few weeks of trying a new strategy. And the success of the scales can be extremely exhilarating. Looking at a trimmer figure and seeing your weight reduce can give you a big confidence boost. But this sets up a dangerous cycle. For a start that feeling doesn’t last and secondly weight-loss strategies are rarely sustainable in the long-term.

In my special report – Are Your Dieting Strategies Killing You? I revealed how most diets don’t work. And whilst you may get short-term results, in the long-term most people actually gain weight (and subsequently feel even worse about themselves).

For real results you need to shift your focus away from food

If most people diet because they actually want to feel good about themselves and their bodies, then a permanent solution will never be found in a weight-loss strategy. In fact by fixing a weight related problem by focusing on food only makes the matter more challenging.

In comparison you’ll get better results if you focus on the root cause – your self-esteem and body confidence.

Your need to lose weight stems from a belief you have about the way your body looks. It therefore follows if you can learn to love and accept yourself for who you really are (not this ridiculous one-size-fits-all definition of beauty that the media would have you believe to be true) real happiness can be found.

And that’s my stance. I believe freedom from disordered eating and bulimia is only possible when you learn to love and accept yourself NOW.  And that’s the result I aim to achieve with my 1-2-1 coaching clients.

So I urge you instead of looking for a quick fix and focusing on your external beauty it’s time to take a step back and reassess what’s happening at a deeper level. It’s time to reclaim, own and celebrate your inner beauty

But what do you think?

What are your views of weight-loss via strategies such as Garcinia Camborgia?

I’d love to know your thoughts so please leave a comment below.

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