- Diet & Weight Loss
How to Recognize Diet Scams
The Truth About Weight Loss and Diets
When evaluating weight loss or bodybuilding diet plans, programs or products, keep this axiom in mind: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Anyone who is trying to change their body, whether it be to lose weight, gain weight, or build muscle, must keep in mind that good health is the single most important underlying factor of any plan. There is no benefit to be had if you arrive at your weight or bodybuilding goal only to suffer a heart attack or malfunction of other major organs.
Even a low calorie diet must be nutritionally sufficient and balanced to sustain and maintain all your normal bodily functions.
The only way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories than your body burns. For nearly all of us, that means reducing our daily calorie intake to some degree AND increasing our daily physical activity.
Part of the reason that diet scams abound and are so successful is that many people want weight loss or muscle gain to happen immediately and in the easiest way possible. Unethical businesses know this and capitalize on this truth about human nature. Many times, they can laugh all the way to the bank about the success of the latest diet scam. Learn how to avoid diet scams and you can be the one smiling with your success and your money still in your wallet.
Ditch the Diet Scams
Key Words Are the Clues to Diet Scams
One of the easiest ways to recognize a diet scam is to take note of the words used to describe a plan, program or product:
- Over night
- Guaranteed success
- Metabolism boosting
- Blocks fat (or carbohydrate) absorption
- Pounds will melt away
These words, or ones like them, are your first clue to recognizing a potential diet or weight loss scam. Offers of free product are another signal that something is not right.
Perhaps the most legitimate-sounding of the messages is that the product "has been clinically proven" or "shown by research to be effective." Most advertisements that make this claim don't disclose who did the research or where you could find the scientific information the company claims it has. One advertisement for a weight loss supplement provides both a claim to be proven by research and names an official-sounding company title that did the research, but an online search of the supposed company lead no where.
Be Alert for Product Scams Too
It's not only diets that tout unrealistic promises. There are many exercise devices, items worn on the body and "fat" suits that promise to spot reduce, take the place of other physical activity, "melt" the fat away or increase your metabolism simply by wearing a piece of jewelry.
Health experts will tell you that there is no such thing as "spot reduction." Overall weight loss results in overall fat loss. Exercises and weight lifting help to tone the muscles in particular areas, but that is not "spot reduction." Let's face it, if you eat a dozen doughnuts every day, there is no single product that's going to reduce your hips, waist or thighs.
So-called sauna suits that work to reduce your weight by sweating the fluids out of your body are dangerous. Yes, you'll likely lose a few pounds -- of fluid, not fat -- if you wear the suit long enough, but you may become dehydrated as well. You haven't moved one step closer to your real goal and the company that sold you the suit could not care less.
Diet Scam: HCG Diet Supplements
False Claims and Advertisements for Diet Scams
You're watching T.V. and even though you haven't been seriously considering weight loss, your ears perk up when you hear statements such as "Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!" or "Get a flat stomach before beach season."
Wow, that sounds pretty good. Yes, it does sound good. And, when you stop to think about it logically, it also sounds like someone who is touting ice cubes to North Pole inhabitants. The claims are not possible -- and even if they are -- the methods will be unhealthy.
Although the advertisers don't want you to, take a moment to read the fine print at the bottom of the screen. It says "These results are not average. Results vary by individual." Of course they do. This tiny disclaimer gets the companies off the hook when you contact them to complain you've spent X dollars and followed the program to a "T" but haven't lose five pounds.
Fad diets are often scam diets, not always because the promoters are trying to sell you something, but because learning to eat healthier, to eat nutritiously and control your portions isn't a fad, but a way of life you must learn to achieve and sustain healthy weight loss.
Fad diets come and go -- and so do the pounds. You may lose weight for a while, but one the diet is over and you return to your normal eating habits, you'll find those lost pounds once again -- and maybe some additional pounds too.
Seek Diet Information From Trusted Sources
Any time you are thinking about weight loss, changes to your eating habits, a calorie-restricted eating plan, or increases/changes to your physical activity levels, you should first consult with your primary health care provider. This medical professional knows your individual health situation and can aid you in determining what eating plan and physical activity is best for your needs and condition.
If you're considering a certain diet plan, product or program, seek the advice of your health care provider. Search reputable Internet sites for information on the product, plan or program in which you are interested.