Just about every doctor, dietitian and fitness expert out there will say the same thing. If you want to lose weight and keep it off the best way is through a nutritional diet combined with exercise so that you lose one to two pounds a week. We all know this, we have had it ingrained into our heads for years; yet despite the scientific studies that support this theory people still easily fall for the countless weight loss scams that they see everywhere they turn.
As a society, we are used to doing things quick. We communicate by text message in short, and sometimes indistinguishable, words. We buy media directly from the device that plays it, and we scarf down fast food in the small gap of time we have between things we have to get done. So when it comes to diet scams that promote fast and easy weight loss we could say that we fall for them because we have made this a way of life.
Spotting the Scams
First of all, there are many supplements and diet programs out there that are not created with the sole purpose of making off with your hard earned money. Certain supplements do provide energy, nutrients and other beneficial elements that can help a person lose weight the right way.
It is important to understand, though, that simply taking supplements will not help you achieve your weight loss goals if you pound down a pizza and spend the afternoon napping on the couch. You need to be a part of your weight loss program, not the foundation of it.
No Exercise Needed
This brings us to the easiest way to spot a weight loss scam. If the diet, pill, drink, etc. promises you weight loss without having to exercise steer clear.
Most likely the product has you supplement meals with something that lacks essential nutrients and calories so you starve yourself. You will lose weight, however it is not a healthy weight loss and scams like this run the risk of causing you to binge eat.
Lose X pounds in X days
People are all different. A person who is obese that goes on a diet program will lose weight more quickly than someone who is only a 10 pounds overweight. Younger people will lose more quickly than older people.
People with the right genetics will lose weight at a faster pace than someone whose genetics cause them to carry excess weight. Get the picture?
Herbal Weight Loss
We are suckers for anything that claims to be natural or herbal. Guess what? Hemlock is both natural and herbal. What catches our attention is the belief that anything “natural”, “herbal” or even “organic” is automatically good for us.
Herbs and pills alone are not going to help you lose weight in the long term. Herbal and natural supplements can help you lose weight when combined with a healthy diet and proper exercise.
Many of more common weight loss and diet scams make unnecessary claims. 100% safe is the biggest one to watch out for. Why are they even making that statement? Of course it should be safe, that shouldn’t be a selling point! While we’re talking about 100% another red flag is the outrageous percentages that they claim. Increase your strength 300%, lose 200% more than dieting and exercise, etc.
Another one that screams scam is Miraculous Breakthrough or Newly Discovered. But what really takes the cake are the testimonials from customers. It is really easy for a scam artist to write up some testimonials to throw up on their website to make things look legit.
It is false advertising, it is unethical, it is wrong but remember – these people are scam artists! It’s their job to trick you into handing over money for worthless junk. Oh, and just because they have a money back guarantee don’t think that your money is safe. Most of the requests for refunds are never honored.
It’s not only the diet scams that you have to watch out for. Plenty of fitness products are just as worthless as the other scams we mentioned here. Using the same claims, revolutionary products that promise results in as little as ten minutes a day should raise some serious questions.
Workouts require a sustained period of time for fat loss and muscle building. Six minutes spent with some weird contraption isn’t going to help you accomplish your goals, unless that goal is to lighten your wallet.
Avoiding these scams is not all that difficult if you keep your eyes open for the obvious warning signs. If you are unsure of a product or diet check with a medical professional before you make any purchase. They will be able to tell you what to expect and what the results should be.
Jeff covers fitness and healthy eating choices for Weight Loss Triumph. When he is not writing he can be found reading or coaching his kids’ sports teams.
Canadian Budget Binder says
There is only one way to lose weight and that is to eat a balanced diet and exercise. The diet industry makes billions of dollars off of people who believe in these scams when all they really need to do is BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES!! Cheers
It’s crazy what people will believe when it comes to the diet and weight loss world. Like you said it comes down to eating right and exercising properly, and a belief that you can do it. I would have to say that if you really want to invest your money into weight loss then look into a coach or a buddy system to keep yourself motivated along the way. Belief is a huge part to losing weight and if you don’t believe you can do it, it probably won’t happen.
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
Chris, this is such a good and informative post. You’re so right about people just wanting a quick fix. I’ve had my fights with the scale, just like most people, and it’s true, just eat healthier and exercise. Kind of like paying off debt, it’s not hard, but it is difficult. 🙂