Nutrition & Health OnLine Magazine: Questions & Answers
By Davey Dunn
Q.  I have tried just about every weight loss product on the market and nothing has worked. What would you recommend that I try?
A.  If you have tried many different weight loss products and you have not lost any weight then the problem probably lies in how you are using the products and not the products themselves. Weight loss products work best when they are used as a "supplement" to a good diet and exercise program designed to reduce bodyfat. Many people seem to think that they can simple pop a pill and suddenly ten or twenty years of accumulated fat will just disappear. Unfortunately this is the real World and a magic pill does not exist.
I would recommend you change your attitude toward weight loss products and start thinking of them as a tool instead of as a magic pill. Just like when you use a tool, you still have to do the actual work yourself but the tool makes the job much easier and you finish the job much faster. A good weight loss product will do the same thing and make losing fat much easier but you are still going to have to work at eating better and exercising. We try to provide information on diet and exercise as well as the proper use of weight loss products so please review some of the following articles and you should start seeing better results: Weightlifting for Weightloss; How to Use Thermogenics; Top Ten Principles for Weight Loss
Q.  I just had my military physical and when I told my Doctor that I was using Creatine he said I was wasting my time because there is no evidence that it works. I know that Creatine is very popular but is there any real evidence that it works?
A.  Yes, if you consider thousands of research studies done by the top sports scientists in the World as evidence that creatine works. It really is amazing that someone in such a position would be so ignorant of the latest sports science. It has been over six years since the first research studies appeared that showed how well Creatine works for increasing muscle and strength and since then numerous studies have just reinforced the original findings. As I recommend to people on most topics it is important that you consider the source. A Doctor giving physicals for the military has no training in sports science and does not deal with athletes. While you would hope that someone in such a position of authority in healthcare would be able to give you decent advice on improving your body this is clearly an example of how out of touch many Doctors are with modern breakthroughs in sports nutrition.
Q.  A lot of guys use belts at my gym and I was wondering what the real purpose is and whether I really need to wear one except when I squat.
A.  I am glad you asked this question because most people think that a belt supports the muscles of the lower back when, in fact, the real purpose is to increase the intra-abdominal pressure which supports the spine. What this means in plain language is that a belt actually increases the strength of your abdominal muscles which are important in stabilizing your spine when you are lifting heavy weights and your back muscles are involved.
It is not necessary to use a belt when you are lifting light and it may actually cause you to use bad form if you rely on the belt too much. More important than wearing a belt is to develop good strength in your abdominal muscles by proper training of this muscle group. (Read Awesome Abs for more on training abdominals) It is sensible to use a belt when you are squatting or deadlifting in order to add some safety to your lifts. The important point to remember is to choose a belt that is as wide in the front as in back since this is the area that benefits the most from the belt.
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