Hoax weight loss products

There are many fad diets and gimmicks out there preying on the overweight. Instead of a get rich quick scheme, these are get thin quick schemes. They give outrageous claims of effortless weight loss if you just take their pill, eat their diet, or drink their elixir (shake, smoothie, or other liquid supplement). While you can probably loose some weight with them short term, unless you change your diet and exercise habits permanently, the weight will be back soon after you stop.

Don’t let the pseudo-scienctific “facts” that they make (sometimes literally) rush you to believe. In a few months or perhaps years, the more popular of these will be thoroughly researched and usually found lacking or enough of the public will try them to find out they don’t really work and they fade from popularity. This is what has happened to hoodia and acai berry. The current wonder weight loss trends are detox and cleanse regimens.

On our cruise this spring, I went to the fitness center several times a week including exercise classes. I combined this exercise with good nutrition (you can eat very healthy if you’re careful on a cruise) to lose weight. However, I am always looking for more good ideas on improving our diet, health, and fitness.

The fitness center held weekly “seminars”. I put that in quotes because they were really trying to sell their products. One of them was about detoxing. I’m all for cutting out processed foods and eating natural to get rid of the junk, however that’s not what they had in mind. This was briefly discussed, but mostly they want you to take a pill (actually a regiment of several different pills that you switch out depending upon how far along on the “detox” you are). They aren’t cheap either. Unless it’s prescribed by a doctor, self medicating like this can be dangerous, no matter how much pseudo-science is behind it. If it really worked, everyone would be doing it, and the obesity problem would be gone.

The primary reason I went to the detox seminar was to get a discount on the body analysis. This too was a hoax though, designed to lure you to buy their detox again. Ugh. The machine hooks to your foot and measures water portions. It gives you readings of how much good and “toxic” water is in your body. From that they determine how long you need to stay on their “detox”. For me it said 9-12 months.

The detox pills are to be accompanied with a healthy diet plan and regular exercise. It’s the healthy eating and exercise, not really the pills, that gets the weight off. Especially since the recommendation was 9-12 months (or more!). But everyone wants a magic pill rather than real nutrition to do the job.

Another reason I think it is a hoax is because she said I need to drink more water even though I was at the upper end of recomended hydration based on my printout. She said she wrote that just because it was habit since most people fall below minimum hydration and therefore truly aren’t drinking enough water. That makes sense, but did she read my results or just write what the machine told her?

Still, they did suggested a workout regime that makes sense (here’s the good advice). Exercise 5 days/week with strength training a main component of 2 days and cardio the other three for at least 45 minutes. She gave me some worksheets of recommended exercises (along with some pseudo-science about the detox).

So be cautious when seeking advice from someone who may be out to sell you something, especially when it involves a “magic pill”. Often the hoax is padded with real, good advice such as these exercise plans. Always get an independent medical opinion if it involves drugs (even though they may be called supplements, herbal or all natural). If it’s designed to change your body composition or chemistry, it’s a drug, no matter how natural. If the results sound too good to be true, chances are they are. The best weight loss advice is still common sense: portion control, healthy food choices, and exercise.

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One Response

  1. I just fell victim to an Acai scam on one of these free trials offered. At first I didnt know how to get out of the situation I was in until I came across a article that sorted me out. I guess I should’ve read the acai reviews out there before I trusted that website! Anyways, well written post above, I didnt mean to hijack the conversation, just really bitter about mess I was in!

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