Here we are in 2006, spending billions of dollars on products such as Slim-Fast, the Atkins Diet, Ensure, Dr. Phil’s nutritional products, vitamins, Weight Watchers…and the list goes on. After spending all this money and consuming all these products, why does our nation continue to lose the fight against obesity, which will soon be the No. 1 killer in America?


Let’s take a look at these products that supposedly work miracles for our waistlines.



Well, let’s see — early ads for the product said something like, “Drink this Slim-Fast shake for breakfast, eat a sensible lunch, and have one more Slim-Fast shake for dinner.” What they should have said is, “You’re better off not drinking the worthless Slim-Fast shake and not eating anything at all, because this Slim-Fast program just prepares your body for starvation.” Using meal replacements like Slim-Fast, you’ll lose a little weight at first, but soon you’ll lose muscle because your body isn’t getting enough energy or nutrients to maintain its mass.


Losing the muscle will make you lose weight quickly, but it also will slow down your metabolism significantly. Muscle maintenance is very important for sustaining a high metabolism. When you lose muscle, your metabolism drops, meaning you use energy more slowly. Eventually, you will have to go off the diet because with so few calories and nutrients, your body won’t be able to function regularly. You must either start eating more or suffer potentially serious health consequences.


Another possibility is that because you’re now looking good, having reached your goal weight, you will begin eating more food. The truth, though, is that you’re now just a smaller fat person, because you have lost all of your fat-burning machinery (muscle). Now, you eat just a little and quickly stack the pounds back on — and, in fact, soon you’re heavier than you were before you lost all that weight. And, because you haven’t been working out and haven’t gained any muscle, all you’re gaining now is fat. This cycle causes your metabolism to slow even further, making it increasingly more difficult to lose weight each time you try to resume your Slim-Fast diet plan.


Slim-Fast works — for a short period of time. Don’t blame yourself for not being able to follow it over the long term. This program sets your physiology up for failure. You have no choice about it — your body’s will to survive will force you to eat. And since you have destroyed your metabolism, you will start gaining more fat than you ever imagined.



Here’s another one: “Ensure, the great drink for your health.” What a joke! Marketing companies tell you lies to sell their nutritional products: Well, let’s examine this great Ensure shake. Ensure has only 12 grams of protein, and low-quality protein at that. Low quality protein comes from animals that have been mistreated, malnourished and fed hormones in order to produce more. High quality protein comes from animals that have been corn fed and allowed to roam freely, not locked up inside at all times. Now for the nutrition portion: Ensure protein drinks are loaded with 20+ plus grams of sugar, which is way too much sugar for anything that labels itself a health drink. In fact, the first ingredients listed on the Ensure protein drink are water, sugar, and more sugar. Protein is the third to fifth ingredient listed.


How can anyone tell me this Ensure drink is actually healthy for you? These companies spend millions of dollars on marketing, but spend very little money on the actual ingredients of their products. Ensure protein drinks do not provide quality nutrients — so why are you buying them?


Instead, spend that money on quality organic foods. If you really need a food supplement, try great protein powders and multivitamins like Jay Robb’s Living Fuel and Super Nutrition’s Perfect Blend APP Full Spectrum, which will benefit your body far more than any low-quality product Ensure makes. Purchase the high-quality products, and you will feel far better — not to mention look better!


Remember, no supplement will beat Mother Nature’s quality organic food. But if you are going to buy protein shakes and drinks and take a multivitamin, Jay Robb’s Living Fuel and Super Nutrition’s Perfect Blend APP Full Spectrum are the high-quality nutritional products I recommend.


Dr. Phil’s Nutrition Shake

Next, we have Dr. Phil’s Nutrition Shake. What this amounts to is just another celebrity trying to influence us to buy his product. It is amazing how celebrities can sell just about anything because of their status, prestige, and mystique. We’re so ready to listen to celebrities’ advice about health and fitness — and many of them aren’t even in the best shape or health.


Listen, folks. Companies pay Dr. Phil, Oprah, and other celebrities a lot of money to advertise their products on the celebrities’ TV shows. Large companies give celebrities a paycheck for getting you, the naive public, to purchase these so-called great health products.


Dr. Phil is not a fitness buff. He looks like most middle-aged men — someone who could stand to lose a few pounds, not someone who should be giving health and fitness advice. I read Dr. Phil’s book, and when I got to the portion on exercise and nutrition, I wondered why he didn’t hire a professional personal trainer and nutritionist to help bring some actual fitness knowledge to his book. Dr. Phil has so much influence over the American public, and here he is selling these low-quality products and offering sub-par advice on nutrition and exercise.


Come on, Dr. Phil, get off of your star status and stick to psychology. Only the best certified nutritionist and/or personal trainer can offer an unfit, out-of-shape person qualified guidance about what’s best for their health. Dr. Phil’s products are made with low-quality ingredients. As a health professional, I cannot recommend his products for losing fat or helping you look great.


Dr. Phil — or any other celebrity, for that matter — shouldn’t be speaking about nutrition and exercise. Our role models and spokespeople for nutrition and health advice or products should be the professional personal trainers and nutritionists who know how to achieve optimal health. Clearly, it’s a bad idea to buy a pill or nutritional supplement that is of questionable quality. How can you know for sure? Consult a well-trained professional who has the proven certifications, expertise, and qualifications to qualify them as an expert. In the meantime, buy fresh, organic food, nutrition that will help you feel great and look even better.


The Solution

Stop consuming Slim-Fast shakes, Ensure, or Dr. Phil’s products!

Start eating sensibly and exercising regularly. If everyone ate sensibly and got regular exercised, obesity would lose the battle of killing us slowly. We will be infinitely better off if we can, as a society, eat healthier foods and stop spending money on so-called “nutritional” products like Slim-Fast, Ensure, the Atkins Diet, celebrity diets like Dr. Phil’s Weight-Loss Plan, and Weight Watchers.


All of these programs are geared to set you up for failure, especially if you don’t exercise. I hate to say it — hell, no, I don’t! I love to say it! The big “E” word. You MUST exercise. You can’t just hope to eat well and avoid exercising with weights. The fact is, the less active we become during the day, the more time we must spend in the gym, either working with a personal trainer or on our own. Learn how to exercise correctly. Don’t waste time or money as you battle the bulge of your belly.


Scott White is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist located in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information about nutrition and fitness, you can reach Scott at 480-628-1607, [email protected], or