Rebecca Armstrong: Forget the fitness fads – just eat less and move more

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The Independent Online

Want to shift those pounds? Lose weight fast? Reader, you're in luck. It's clear that there are any number of companies keen to takes pounds off your bank balance and seriously lighten your wallet. Snake oil is obviously going to be huge this year, as is the waist size of anyone who really believes that the singlet/leggings/ cycling shorts they wear will make them trim.

As I was reading my zillionth magazine this week, I came upon two promotions that made me rage. The first was for Proskins Slim Leggings: "Fancy giving your legs a workout – without any actual legwork? Say hello to Proskins Slim Leggings". Quite apart from the fact that the model pictured was wearing leggings as trousers (I have to fight the urge most days to carry a placard saying leggings are not trousers. And BTW, I can see your knickers), this seems to me to be a load of toot. Apparently, the leggings are crafted from vitamin E, aloe vera, caffeine and stretchiness which will blah blah circulation and blah cellulite. I'm no doctor – too busy playing hangman in biology lessons – but really, if you want to be slimmer, eat less and move more.

Having worked up a sweat reading about these footless wonder tights (I mean it, leggings are not trousers), there was more – Reebok's EasyTone workout kit. Now, I love new fitness gear and do believe in the power of box-fresh kit to make things a bit more fabulous. But buying £55 strides with ResisTone bands inside that are supposed to make your thighs twang into shape (and make your unnecessary capital letter muscle spasm)? I just haven't drunk the isotonic Kool Aid. I'd rather use the cash to pay for a single session with a personal trainer.

And don't get me started on Zaggora Weight Loss Hotpants, the cycling shorts that have "Celu–Lite technology". Eh? They feel like a wetsuit and make your sweat like a saveloy in a chip-shop cabinet when you wear them to exercise. Call me a cynic, but do you think the weight loss might have more to do with the exercise than with wearing a garment that superheats your undercarriage?

But I'm clearly not going to make my fortune with an attitude like that. So if anyone would like to try the ArmStrong Bingo Wing Blitzer, made from ClingFilm technology and invisible to the casual onlooker (although they might wonder why your upper arms look like some carefully wrapped left-over sausages), please send me £100 care of i Towers.