Castle Personal Training

Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.

The Magic Bullet Theory

Hi guys,


Don’t worry, contrary to the title of the blog, I haven’t gone all political and decided to turn this blog into a conspiracy theory about the Kennedy assassination. I am writing this one as I came across this article in the papers the other day.

The headline; A daily injection is “better” than diet and exercise and it’s going to be available on the UK National Health Service.

injection_3175502b Is this the solution?

It might be surprising to some of you but I’m not actually against this sort of thing. I can see how there is a case to be made for giving severely obese people access to medication like this and, at the end of the day, I want people to be healthy more than I want to make money. It’s the same with bariatric surgery; the benefits are clear and for the NHS it’s a cost-effective way of helping prevent very severe illnesses and complications, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease etc. killing obese people. It’s also more cost-effective for the NHS to treat people with surgery than it is to keep them on life-long medication for high-blood pressure, diabetes etc.

The issue I have with articles such as this is that they present this as a miracle cure. The daily injections are “better” than exercise or diet. This is clearly nonsense. The article goes on to state that

“Trials of Liraglutide found that men and women who injected themselves daily lost an average of 19lb in 12 months. This is almost a stone more than they would lose by being on a diet and increasing the amount they exercise.” Now think about this. A stone is 14lbs so they are saying that people who diet and exercise only lose 5Lbs over a 12month period. If you only lose that amount of weight over a year’s dieting and exercising you are doing it wrong. And it bothers me that articles such as this imply that that’s the average normal weight you lose from dieting.

It also states that “As a result, people eat 10 per cent less food than normal. “  So, you’re eating 10% less than normal because you stick a needle in your stomach every day. This will work for a small nr of people who have a real psychological issue with food but for most this simply isn’t a solution.

The article makes it seem like this is a magic bullet, this is the one we’ve all been waiting for. Everyone can lose 19lbs a year just by sticking a needle in their stomach and it “even makes dieting enjoyable”

green It’s not easy staying fit either but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are some easier ways to lose 19Lbs a year; Walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes every day. Eat 200 calories less than you should to maintain each day. Most diets restrict calorie intake by 500-1000 a day, so even a fraction of that will help you lose that 19Lbs. If you eat biscuits; eat 2.5 fewer chocolate digestives a day a day. Have a green tea instead of a Latte (Starbucks’ contains about 190 calories).

There is nothing in the article that states what happens when you stop taking the injections, I pretty much guarantee one’ll start gaining weight again. And that’s because, if you only take these injections, you’ll have done nothing to learn about healthy eating. You’ll not have improved your cardio vascular fitness or built up a fitness routine so you’ll go back to sitting on the couch, eating crap and gaining weight.

This drug costs £2 a day, so £700 (about $1k US ) a year. Contrary to what the article says, this is not actually a lot of money to spend on getting very obese people to lose weight. It’ll probably save money in the long run. It is however a lot of money to spend if you don’t combine this with teaching people on how to eat healthy, showing them how to cook and getting them into an exercise routine.

We’re all waiting for the magic pill to come out. The little blue pill that will mean you will never have to exercise again but you’ll be toned and fit. A little smartie to pop with breakfast every morning that will keep you slim and healthy looking. The problem is that there just aren’t short-cuts when it comes to this sort of stuff. Surgery and needles might seem like an easy solution but it hardly ever works out like that.

Every year there are stories about magic pills and diets that mean you don’t have to put any effort in at all and every year it makes people think that losing weight and getting fit is, or should be, easy. Unfortunately most of these things you’ll never hear from again. Wraps and shakes are sold on the same premise.

There is no magic bullet; losing weight and keeping it off will require some hard work and some self-discipline and it’s up to you to put it in.


For those of you already doing it, keep it up. If you’re thinking about starting to put the effort in; go for it.




Take care



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