Examining Common Weight Loss “Tricks”

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Any doctor will tell you that the best ways to attain a healthy body weight are through proper dieting, portion control, and exercise. Yet hundreds of health-based web sites offer suggestions that physicians don’t normally recommend. Since many of these sites are not run by actual doctors, some of their recommendations deserve closer scrutiny.

Apple cider vinegar

While some studies have suggested that apple cider vinegar could help in controlling obesity, not enough research has been done to offer definitive conclusions. While it’s unclear if it helps with weight loss, it doesn’t hurt to try, either, so long as you dilute the vinegar with water before ingesting it. Otherwise, it could burn your throat or give you indigestion.


Ingesting peptides can provide numerous health benefits, including fat loss and muscle growth. However, there are a number of caveats: for one, it is against the law to get any peptide without a medical prescription, and athletes who take part in professional sports are forbidden from taking certain peptides, both because of their potential side effects and the unfair advantages they can provide. So before deciding that peptides are the way to go, do your research: Ryan Smith of Lexington KY often writes about the benefits of peptides on his Medium page, but the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority cautions against them, so find as many opinions as you can. Including, of course, your doctor’s.

Intermittent Fasting

Though proven to work, it’s important not to overdo it to the point where it evolves into an eating disorder, like anorexia. Intermittent fasting is meant to be short term, e.g. forgoing eating for a day or 36 hours. More commonly, however, people follow the 5:2 approach, which involves eating normally five days a week, and then eating less caloric meals on the two remaining days (instead of eating nothing). There is a risk, however, that after a day or two of fasting, you might reward yourself by eating more than usual on your normal eating days.

So the next time you visit a weight loss site, think twice before following its advice, and check to see if it’s run by an actual expert in the subject.