It comes as no surprise that weight loss is an ever expanding industry that has only been amplified exponentially with the rise of social media. Who doesn’t want a perfectly sculpted beach body that they can show off on Instagram just like their favorite influencers? Being such a publicly sought after goal in America, naturally this lures the attention of entrepreneurs and business owners. With public desire comes opportunity for profit. According to research done by John LaRosa of Marketresearch.com, “in 2017, the weight loss industry was worth $68.2 billion.” That’s one large pot, so you can bet everyone and their mother is trying to collect their share of it. Unfortunately, for those searching online for assistance with their weight loss goals, this is where the waters begin to muddy as far as legitimate information goes. One Google search will provide you with and endless ocean of information on weight loss. Guides, programs, diets, exercise equipment, tutorials, and even magic “fat burning” pills. With so much content available instantly at the click of a button, there are certainly more than a few sources who are spreading misinformation if it makes them a quick buck. Thus, misconceptions about weight loss are born and popularized for profitability purposes.
Misconception #1: “Buy my product, it’s proven to help you lose weight fast!”
At every corner of the internet it appears as though each company/fitness expert has found the secret to losing weight fast. They each make bold claims of being able to lose 20, 30, or 60+lbs in a shockingly low time frame from drinking their shakes, taking their pills, or using their ridiculous piece of exercise equipment (I’m looking at you, Shake Weight). It starts to sound suspicious once you realize that everyone has their own definitive product to sell you. The suspicions are correct, because nobody has the end all solution to trimming the waistline in 30 days. This is not to say these products are useless and won’t provide any results. Any product is capable of assisting in weight loss if you are already eating healthy and exercising regularly. The keyword here is “assisting”. Companies like to stretch the truth by making it sound like their product will guarantee weight loss by itself, but if you look in the fine print of any product with these bold promises, you will find the truth: “accompanied by a healthy diet and/or regular exercise”. The bottom line is, you don’t need a $300 home ab machine to get abs, and you definitely don’t need a $6 protein shake every day to lose 20 lbs. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise 3-4 days per week and you will see results.
Misconception #2: Exercise is essential to lose weight
Companies such as Gyms, those selling running shoes, exercise equipment, or sports drinks will often plaster exercise all over their advertisements when referring to weight loss. That’s because it’s their only leg to stand on. They need to sell a product, and by showing a man or woman with a six pack jogging in their $90 running shoes, it draws a lot of attention. These companies depend on you buying in to the idea of weight loss through exercise. This as a result has spread much misinformation regarding how weight is actually lost. Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle, and is definitely a great assistant to help lose weight, but the majority of results start in the kitchen. No matter how much exercise you get, if you fill your body with junk, you will never lose even a pound of weight. Just think, a man would need to walk across an entire football field to burn off a single Eminem. You heard that correct. A singular Eminem, not a whole package, just one. This information comes from Linda Rankin, a Nutritionist/Professor from Idaho State University (seen on funfoodfacts.com). The bottom line is, your nutrition is the real answer to weight loss. Exercise is most effective when paired with a clean diet of whole foods to fuel your body correctly. Get your diet in check first, then implement exercise as an aid, not the other way around.
Misconception #3: The “Quick Fix”
The further technology evolves, the easier it makes daily life for the average consumer. Everything has become instantaneous, from clothes shopping to getting necessities like food or water, nearly anything can be purchased at the tap of a finger. Simply put, technology is eliminating inconveniences. Unfortunately, there’s one inconvenience that many people don’t realize doesn’t have a workaround (without surgery). That being weight loss and maintaining the picture perfect body. There are millions of articles and videos out there that promise washboard abs in 30 days by following an expensive workout program or buying their fancy exercise equipment. Though we all wish it were possible, the cold hard truth is that the ‘quick fix’ or shortcut to success is nothing but a pipe dream. Consider how long it takes to get your body to an unhealthy/overweight state. It’s definitely not over night or even over a week. None of the people on the show ‘My 600 lb Life’ got themselves to that level of body fat in 30 days. To change the composition of your body, whether positively or negatively, it takes time. What matters more than any product these weight loss companies can sell you, is consistency. Over time, consistent exercise and a clean diet will provide results. The real secrets to success are consistency and patience, which aren’t exactly a secret but most people don’t want to hear the hard facts.
The Bottom Line.
With so much information poured into blogs, websites and videos every day, comes endless misinformation and manipulation for profit. Weight loss is a hot topic that gets bombarded with millions of different opinions and philosophies regarding it. The only way to sift through to the truth, avoiding the common lies, is to do your own research. If something sounds too easy, or too good to be true, it most likely is. Before jumping on board to believe the next big weight loss phenomenon, do a few Google searches and compare what others have to say. Nobody has all the answers, not even scientific studies are 100% accurate, so use caution when choosing which information to believe.