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Don't Be Fooled: How to Recognize a Weight-Loss Scam

Thanks to our comfortable lifestyle and abundance of food rich in sugar, fat and carbohydrates, the citizens of the western world often find themselves a little overweight, with obesity becoming a growing health concern.

Enter the scammers: wanting to make a quick buck, they’ll try and sell you miracle pills, special creams from the seeds of a rare plant, revolutionary new powders that stops you from gaining weight and more.


Joining them, you’ll find those claiming that a diet of only hand-picked fruit and salt-water is all you need to lose weight (-it isn’t).

By exploiting our need to look better, feel healthy and boost our confidence, these people make outrageous promises that have little-to-no hold in reality and can sometimes be downright dangerous!

I decided to compile some of the more common false promises so that you can avoid wasting your time, money and maybe even risking your health:

The 3 Impossibles 

"Lose 2 (or more) pounds per week without exercise or dieting" / "Lose weight no matter what/how much you eat" / "Permanent weight loss, even after you stop using the product"

The process of weight loss is not very complicated, weight gain is most commonly the result of eating more calories than you burn. To lose weight, then, you need to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories, increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity, or both. If you’re not exercising now, and not keeping a healthy diet, then no pill, cream or anything else will make you burn enough energy that will result in proper weight loss. 

An average person will burn around 1500-2000 calories per day, and unless you maintain a low-calorie diet, or alternatively, incorporate physical exercise to increase your max caloric burn, you will not be losing weight.  

Finally, there’s no such thing as “permanent weight loss” if you stop maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your body gets used to a certain amount of exercise and/or certain amounts of food, and once you no longer follow the familiar pattern – it’ll end up reverting back to its old ways and stop burning those carbs.

The Substantially Flawed
"Substantial weight loss for all users” / “Substantial weight loss by wearing a product or rubbing it on your skin
Weight loss/gain depends on our metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function. 
Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy for all its functions, like breathing, 
blood circulation, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells. The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate — what you might call metabolism. Several factors determine your individual basal metabolic rate:
Your body size and composition - The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
Your gender - Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight, burning more calories.
Your age - As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.
The claim that a product or diet works equally for everyone is simply a lie. Human metabolism is an internal process which cannot be substantially affected by applying products to your skin, or wearing one on your person. 

The Safe Block

Blocking the absorption of fat/calories/carbs” /  “Safely lose more than 3 pounds per week

Anyone who promises you these things is trying to pull a fast one on you. None of the over-the-counter Fat / Carb / Calorie-blockers can block enough to cause effective weight-loss, and without a healthy lifestyle to accompany these products, their efficiency drops even lower. 


As for promises that you can safely lose more than 3 pounds a week - Research shows that losing 3 or more pounds per week can lead to gallstones and other medical complications, making such claims deceptive and dangerous.

Don't look to dietary supplements for help in burning calories or weight loss. Products that claim to speed up your metabolism are often more hype than help, and some may cause undesirable or even dangerous side effects. 


Dietary supplement manufacturers aren't required by the Food and Drug Administration to prove that their products are safe or effective, so view these products with caution and skepticism, and always let your doctors know about any supplements you take. 

There's no magical way to lose weight. It comes down to physical activity and diet. Take in fewer calories than you burn, and you lose weight.

But if you're worried about your metabolism or you can't seem to lose excess weight despite diet and exercise, talk to your doctor.


Remember: If it sounds too good to be true – it almost always is!

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Related Topics: Scam, Weight Loss, Scammers
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