Weight loss, diets and “carbs” are common household topics. There is always a new pill or product that really is supposed to work. Whether it’s for burning fat or removing cellulite. The truth is, manufacturers are feeding on the false hopes of so many people who would do anything to lose weight and in the quickest amount of time.
Here are three red flags about weight loss marketing that the consumer should know.
1)There is no such thing as a magic pill.
There is no pill or supplement that can make you stronger, bigger or leaner. When you see models or actors in ads promoting a supplement, we need to realize that they do not look that way because of the pill they are advocating. The truth is most of these models have a genetic edge; an unhealthy exercise routine, rigid eating habits and may have had cosmetic surgery. They are promoting that supplement because they have a financial agreement to do so. Also if you look closely, you can also see in tiny print at the bottom of any magazine or television ad the words: “These results are not typical. Must be combined with an exercise and nutrition program”. So, if a claim seems too good to be true, it probably is.
2)If a diet states that some foods are good or bad for you.
The truth is there is no such thing as a good food or a bad food. What’s really important is the quantity of that food and how often you consume it. Any diet or supplement that speaks of an energy fuel as bad is missing the boat on healthy nutrition. A proper balance is necessary not negating entire food groups to fit the newest “diet plan”. These “diet plans” are temporary fixes that cannot be sustained for long term and come at a costly price to your body, especially your metabolism and endocrine system. If you play around with the homeostasis of your body, you will be disappointed with the outcome. The body’s main objective is survival. Yo-yo dieting will bring you further and further away from successful weight loss. We need to wonder, if any of these diets actually worked, why is there a new one every few months? If they worked so well, why haven’t they been used towards the cure for obesity?
3)Where did we hear about the latest weight loss craze?
One thing most people do not realize is the lack of regulation in the fitness industry. There is no committee, agency or administration filtering out the inaccurate information; making the majority of what you read misleading. Most articles in local papers or current fitness magazines are feeding on the quick fix mentality and an individual’s unrealistic goals. The truth is the public is continually misinformed on how to actually lose weight and keep it off. This puts the credibility of studies and conclusions in question. There are certain steps to making a source reliable for health and fitness information. First, the studies should be published in scientific peer-reviewed journals (case studies and testimonials are not objective and science-based proof). The studies need to breplicated by an outside source. That means, by someone not linked and with no financial backing to the original study. Most often this does not happen. So many times you will see a blurb on a single study, done by Dr. X (a doctor’s name improves credibility to most people) recommending a plan or pill. This study often has many loopholes in its methods and has never been replicated for proof of credibility. Did you know that as of today, Atkins has not published one single study in a scientific peer reviewed journal? This “diet” has been around for over twenty-five years. Do you think they’ve had enough time to do it? Then why haven’t they? The point is not to believe everything that you see or read. The credibility of the research is so important.
Keep these red flags in mind next time you pick up the latest fitness magazine or see a commercial for the next fat burning craze. Manufacturers will continue to offer products and “fat burning” solutions to the majority of society that is struggling with their weight. It’s up to you to be skeptical of their claims and look for their credibility.
Teri Mosey is an Exercise Physiologist for Peak Performance Fitness (http://www.peakptfit.com)and an Instructor for Health and Fitness certifications. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer (NASM), Health and Fitness Instructor (ACSM) and Resistance Training Specialist (RTS).