Myth of the Miracle Pill

myth, miracle weight loss

We all want a magical pill that we can help us instantly lose all of our excess body fat. Basically, we want a simple solution that will miraculously change our physiology without actually having to expend anymore energy then we are already expending. As in not getting off the couch, taking a pill and miraculously losing weight. Who as time to get active? Hate to break it to you folks, but that might have just been debunked!


The Miracle Drug Science

Recent research published in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology points to the fact that these so called “miracle drugs” aren’t really doing you much good. In essence, the weight you are losing is all water weight and therefore will result in a weight rebound because you really didn’t lose any significant fat. The study found that only real weight change (actual fat oxidation) levels off at about 200—300 grams per week or a little more than 2.20 pounds.

So basically, you can only lose about 2.2 pounds a month of FAT no matter what miracle drugs you take. Juan Del Coso, a researcher at Camilo José Cela University and a lead author of the study explained, “This means the weight changes we experience when we start exercising are not based on fat loss, but mainly on fluid loss. This is why the majority of ‘miracle’ diets and slimming programmes produce a ‘rebound’ effect due to the recovery of the lost fluid.” Not only that, but he went on to say, “That should be the aim: to lose a kilo per month, but a kilo of fat. It’s less attention-catching than miracle diet slogans, but scientifically speaking, effective change would be at that rate.”


So What Does This Mean?

Well, this means that it’s time to drop the ideas that we can take a simple pill and lose a bunch of weight and keep it off. Yes, these pills can help you lose fluid weight very quickly, in the long run you end up gaining it back and your psyche will probably suffer as well. So we need to do it the right way. We need to aim to lose a few pounds of fat a month. We need a sustainable approach to reach these goals.

But really, we just need a mindset change. Instead of thinking that you will lose 15 pounds in 3 weeks, be happy with the small victories that will add up to great results. It’s time to stop doing things the easy way considering the easy way got you to where you are. It’s time to shoot for losing 1-2 pounds of fat monthly and keeping it off forever. That’s the real goal: lose weight and keep it off for good. So would you rather lose 7lbs of water in a week and gain it back 2 weeks later or lose 2 pounds in a month and keep it off forever?



We all want to get fit, be healthy, and look good, but there is no point in significantly harming our mentality and physiology just to drop 5 pounds of water in a few days… It’s like a horror movie, it will just keep coming back time and time again. Get your mindset and goals right and your health will follow suit!


Want more simple, doable tips you at implement anywhere? Check out the at home fitness go-to: DIY Active: Fit.Food.Life.

Energy Drink Dillema – Cutting Back Caffeine

alternative energy, caffeine


Tired? Sluggish? Unmotivated? Just exhausted? Many of us feel this way constantly. Whether it’s our incessant on-the-go lifestyle or simply lack of sleep, we all feel drained from time to time. When this happens many of us reach for coffee or worse, an energy drink! They definitely can put pep in your step but they may be causing a cardio catastrophe!



Cardiac Complications

You’ve probably heard it before that energy drinks aren’t the best for you. Recent research backs that notion even further. Research published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine found that the high levels of caffeine in your energy drinks can lead to cardiac complications like abnormal heart rhythms. While the report was suggestive that energy drinks can cause cardio complications, it wasn’t conclusive. This stills leads credence to the notion that we need to watch our sugar and caffeine intake. Plus, this high sugar consumption can have other unexpected heart effects!


Tooth Infection and Your Heart

Another thing that many energy drinks are loaded with is sugar. As you know even with proper oral hygiene, massive sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Recently, research out of the University of Helsinki found that even symptomless root tip tooth infection can increase your risk of coronary artery disease! In fact, researcher John Liljestrand explained, “Acute coronary syndrome is 2.7 times more common among patients with untreated teeth in need of root canal treatment than among patients without this issue.” With tooth decay being the most common cause of this root tip infection, we need to watch our sugar consumption and dental hygiene!


Other Energy Options


Natural Active Energy

You ever notice that endorphin rush you get after a great workout? Well, naturally bump up your energy levels with exercise. A quick workout in the morning will get the blood pumping and you feeling focused! These early morning exercises are great for getting you through the early morning office hour lull. Plus, when you exercise early in the morning you are more tired when it’s bed time which can lead to improved sleep… more on that later.


Natural Food Energy

Junk food, junk food, with a side order of more junk food. No wonder we are all incredibly tired when we are fueling out bodies with crap. It’s like putting regular unleaded gas in your luxury sports car. It still runs but it won’t run as smoothly (nor stay as clean) as if you put super unleaded in it. The amount of Trans fat in many of the foods we eat can leave us feeling sluggish without providing no true vitamins and nutrients. Want to energize? Make vegetables and fruit a staple of your luxury sports car diet!


Sleep is Crucial

I mentioned sleep earlier and it deserves getting mentioned twice. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep is crucial for you to feel awake. From improving your cognitive abilities to ramping up your immune system, a little shut eye can do wonders for your psyche and how you feel physically. Aim for those 8 hours and watch as your energy levels improve!


Other Vitamins

Other options include B vitamins to help put some pep in your step. Wellesse has a great B vitamin liquid supplement that I’ve used for years. Put a squirt in your water bottle and it helps you focus and provides an energy kick that you need. Combined with the previous 3 energy steps, it’s a great way to stop relying on energy drinks and even coffee!



There are many natural approaches to getting an energy increase than downing an energy drink or two. Instead, focus on your nutrition, activity level, and sleeping regime to help you cut down on energy drinks and improve your overall health!


Do you want more at home fitness tips? Then check out DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life.” and join the DIY Nation!

Health and Happiness in 2016

Health and Happiness in 2016


As I wrap-up my final article for Wellesse in 2015, I thought it apt to do a health round-up for the year.  It’s been an interesting and challenging on, proving to me that I can handle a lot more than I think I can and I’m a pretty tough cookie.  Getting older is something you always joke about, but man, it can be a real pain in the keester!


Let’s first talk weight.  I’ve talked pretty openly about my struggles with perimenopause and the weight gain that came with that and the hormonal changes.  That, coupled with my lack of resolve to pay attention to my health for a bit, I had watched my weight climb and stepped on my doctor’s scale to the tune of 196 lbs this past June.


I was NOT having that after eight years of a pretty successful run after weight loss surgery, so I immediately got back on track and lost thirty pounds over the summer.  As of now on December 1st, I’ve been pretty successfully maintaining that loss and holding steady at 166.  My clothes fit better, but most importantly, I feel a lot better.  Which is good, because I have some challenges ahead of me.


I often think about where I would be if I hadn’t had weight loss surgery.  I had some pre-existing conditions at a young age that would have posed some very serious problems for me:  pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and the most frightening of all of them was a pre-existing condition with my left kidney that required several surgeries and hospital stays about two years after my weight loss surgery.


If I hadn’t lost the weight, I have no idea if I would have even been able to have the surgeries I needed, and if I would have survived them.  I went through a lot with that, and when I think about having another 160 lbs on my body and how difficult it would have been for the surgeons, it really scares me.  I’m thankful that I’m better now, very thankful.


But I have new challenges.  This past year I began facing migraine headaches and seizures. Thankfully, both were managed through medication pretty successfully. We were never really able to pinpoint why the occurred, but I’m at least happy they are controlled now.  I’ve also found that changing my diet and my supplements has helped quite a bit.


I’ve added more B2, Iron, and Magnesium to my regular routine and I’ve been eating foods rich in those nutrients like red meat, dark leafy greens, avocados, etc.  While I do believe the medications have helped, I also strongly believe the supplements and my eating well and cooking and diet have a LOT to do with me feeling better.  I just eat cleaner and better in general, and it can’t be a coincidence that things have gotten better since doing that.


So all of those things have really turned around for me, but as I finish out the year, I was given some not great news that is a little mind-boggling.  As most of you know, I am a vocalist by profession, and I had recently been having some trouble swallowing and breathing. My neurologist referred me to the head and neck surgery department and I was run through a few different tests in the radiology department.  They found something and called me into their office to discuss it.  Turns out that “my spine is growing into my esophagus.”  My immediate reaction when he told me this was, “I’m sorry, WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?”


Apparently, what I have is a large cervical osteophyte, which is essentially a bone spur that has grown into my esophagus and causes difficulty in breathing and swallowing. There is also a growth that they need to do a CT scan on to determine if it is anything of concern (that takes place on 12/8/15 – fingers crossed!). If the growth is non-invasive, they do not recommend surgery as it is very invasive and difficult, however, that is left up to me and it depends on how much it is interrupting my life, particularly as a vocalist.


It’s something I need to determine is worth the risk of surgery, or if I can deal with as-is and work around.  It’s been enough of a problem in my life that I went to see a specialist.  However big, scary, risky throat surgery? Not exactly ready to jump on board that train.


It’s always something, isn’t it?  There are people that have health issues far greater than mine and they get up and get through each and every day with a smile on their face.  My issues?  They’re a challenge, but they’re workable.  I’m getting older.  Things are going to happen, that’s just the way it is.


What I’m thankful for is the fact that my body is easier to manage. I am in tune with it in a way that I never could have been before. I know how to nurture it to help it get better, I know what it needs to get healthier.   I am extremely pro-active about my health and my health-case appointments.  I’ve learned that I have to be. I stay on top of my appointments, scheduling, testing, etc.  I don’t leave anything up to chance, and I don’t wait for them to come to me.  The one thing I do know is that I need to be in control of what happens to me, even when things like this are out of my control.  I can at least be on top of the things that I *can* manage.


So overall, I leave 2015 in decent shape: down 30 lbs, eating well, on top of my appointments, and knowing that this new blip in my health radar is a little scary, but I have scary things before. I can manage this. I can handle it. I can stay on top of it, and I can take care of it.  Look how far I’ve come and what I’ve beaten so far!


I hope that you all stay on top of your health as well and that 2016 brings you health and happiness!


Taunia Soderquist is a professional musician, music educator, and radio host located in the Greater Los Angeles area.  She’s also a seven and a half year gastric bypass post-op living a healthy lifestyle after losing and maintaining 150 lbs.  Now a passionate cook, but not-so-passionate about exercise (eh, she’s trying). Check her website for live shows and more info: