The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Diets cater to American laziness

This week it’s Pilates. Last week was Yoga. And next week willinevitably be something along the lines of melodic breathing whilestanding on your head and flexing your rarely used toe muscles.

Combine any of those so-called exercises with a low-carb,low-fat, low-calorie, low-food diet and you are faced with thegamut of bizarre trends currently sweeping through America. Itseems that lately, Americans will engage in any type of fadbehavior to get themselves in shape.

More often than not, however, these fads prove to beunsuccessful, leaving people with less money and reminiscing aboutthe good old days of simply going to the gym and eatingsensibly.

Unless you’ve spent the past few years underneath a rock, you’veundoubtedly seen and heard about the trendy ways to slim down andget in-shape. Chances are you have even tried some of them.

Whether you admit it or not, there’s just something oddlyalluring about lying on the floor in your room and twisting into apretzel while breathing according to some rhythmic plan. As oflate, people have turned away from real exercise and sensibleeating in favor of low-carbs and heavy breathing. After all, it isa lot less strenuous than running a mile or doing some sit-ups.

Trends come and go with the time and as soon we as Americans getaccustomed to one, it is already “out” and something else isworking its way “in.” When it comes to physical fitness, however,we are left to wonder whether this revolving door of trends occursbecause they all fail or have other adverse consequences. Forexample, the low-carb Atkins diet helps people lose weight but ithas been linked to a variety of health problems, often involvingthe kidneys. The Atkins diet along with others are often acatch-22, as one must choose between their look and their health.Granted, the two are often related, but there has to be a betterway to remain healthy and lose weight.

When it comes down to it, Americans are lazy. That’s a fact thatbecomes more apparent with each passing day, as we will do anythingto cut corners and take the easy way out. Give us a magic pill andwe’ll take it because it’s much easier than working for what wereally want to achieve. Likewise, if it was less expensive, Iguarantee that more people would undergo liposuction because it’s aquick way to lose weight and involves little to no work. Granted,there is pain involved, but the majority of people would ratherendure a relatively short period of pain in order to look good, andnot have to work for it.

Additionally, it is virtually impossible to turn on thetelevision without coming in contact with a commercial for sometype of “get fit quick” scheme. Considering the fact that they areeverywhere, it’s hard not to buy into the possibility that at leastsome would be successful. Skim through the channels in the middleof the night, and you’ll undoubtedly locate Suzanne Somers and hermiracle-working Thigh-Master.

Likewise, you’ll inevitably come across “before and after”pictures in which the person in the after shot seems to haveundergone some type of daytime TV make-over, complete with a hairand make-up stylist, while the person in the before shot is asimple, homely mess. Finally, you are bound to find theever-brilliant Anna Nicole Smith proclaiming her words of wisdom,”Trim Spa Baby!”

Americans would rather adhere to trends and take the easy wayout than to work for what they really want. However, the majorityof these “exercises” and diets are nothing more than schemes ormagic pills targeted at the likes of college students, desperate tolook perfect. So next time you’re in Marillac ordering a bacondouble cheeseburger without the bun because it’s part of yourlow-carb diet, think twice and realize that it just may not be thebest way to get fit quick.

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