There are certain things in life that people can become really desperate to achieve, such as making more money, giving up smoking or losing weight. This desperation tends to lead to a huge demand for products which will supposedly address this need. Unfortunately it is also the perfect market for poor and scam products which promise a lot (for a hefty price), but usually deliver very little success or achievement. There is nothing more frustrated or depressing than putting all your heart and soul into climbing the ladder, only to find it was leaning up against the wrong building.
The weight loss market is awash with diet plans, programs and products which simply will never lead to permanent weight loss. They may build up your hope, cost a lot of time and money and even more disturbingly, put your health at risk. You need to learn how to spot a weight loss scam and recognise the weight loss programs to avoid.
Evaluate any program or diet against the following warning signs before committing emotionally, physically or financially to it:
1. Does It Make Extravagant Claims?
Does the program promise rapid weight loss in a very short amount of time? Crash diets rarely deliver long term permanent weight loss and are simply not realistic over a long period of time. If it sounds to good to be true, it almost always is. Look for a plan that promotes sensible weight loss (around 1-2 pounds a week) over a longer period of time.
2. How Many Calories Does It Provide A Day?
Any diet plan that provides less than 1200 calories a day, should only be attempted for health reasons and under strict medical supervision. A program which does not provide enough calories will leave you feeling weak, tired, and hungry all day long. Your concentration, memory function and general mental well-being (you will feel miserable) will all be affected. In the long term your body will start to eat away your muscle tissue if it is starved of calories, this can endanger your major organs such as your heart, liver and kidneys. A program which encourages you cutting around 500 calories a day from your diet is much more realistic and better for your health.
3. Does It Include Exercise?
Any decent diet program worth its salt, will incorporate regular exercise. You can not achieve long term weight loss or a healthy lifestyle without doing regular exercise. If there is no mention of exercise in the program, then run a mile.
4. Is There Any On-going Support?
Your chosen program should provide continuing support when you are on it. Do you have a help line or a personal adviser to help you? If there is no back up or support mechanism in place offering both practical and emotional support, then give it a wide berth.
5. Is There A Large Financial Outlay?
Losing weight should not cost the earth, if there is a significant initial outlay, expensive ongoing fees or expensive products to buy, then alarm bells should be ringing.
Before committing fully to any weight loss program, do your research, try and find someone who had done the program already or look for reviews. Ask searching questions (like the ones above) and make sure you get the right answers before continuing. Get checked out by your doctor and run any proposed diet by him first. Try to keep your weight loss goals realistic and remember that your health should always remain your number one priority.