Beware of Weight Loss Guarantees
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email with a subject line that caught my attention, as it was designed to do: “6 natural weight loss tips that always work”.
Always? Really? That made me extremely skeptical. If they’d left that out and said only “6 weight loss tips that work” I might have been okay with it.
As it was, though, I consider this and any other weight loss guarantees or promises to be false advertising.
No diet can make absolute promises
I won’t deny that it’s appealing to hear that you can take simple steps and be guaranteed to lose weight. It makes you feel like you’re in control, and that there’s something you can change, something that becomes increasingly attractive in our rapidly changing world.
But these promises simply aren’t true. When I read the article with the misleading title, it even had a note saying that imbalances in hormones or your thyroid can make it “next to impossible to lose weight” until that imbalance is addressed.
At least the article called that out, but it didn’t say anything about how genetics can be a factor in your weight, or that some medications can also impact your weight and feelings of hunger.
That isn’t terribly surprising since most weight-loss programs don’t want to advertise those facts, and they tend to put disclaimers in very small print where you’re less likely to notice them.
For example, on the Jenny Craig homepage, under the section “Max Up your weight loss,” they say you can lose “up to 18 pounds in your first 4 weeks” (bold is theirs), and then a small, plain text caveat a little below says that a study showed an average weight loss of 15 pounds after completing the program.
Clearly, they don’t want to call attention to the averages or more likely results, preferring to imply that you’ll lose over two pounds a week for the first month.
Think about the long term
Another important thing to remember is that even if you do lose 10, 15, or 20 pounds as promised, that’s not a guarantee that you’ll keep the weight off.
You’ve probably been there. You started a diet of some kind, lose weight, felt happy – and then promptly gained some or all of the weight back, or maybe even more than you lost.
Going through those up-and- down weight cycles is damaging to your body (and your self-esteem). According to WebMD, here are some physical problems that can come from yo-yo dieting:
· Increased feelings of hunger
· More body fat and reduced muscle
· Higher cortisol levels
· Greater chances of gallstones
· Imbalance in your gut bacteria
None of these changes are good for your body in the short term or the long term.
Focus on overall health and well-being
As tempting as diets and weight-loss promises can be, remember that they’re mirages. You may not lose weight or as much as you want, and even if you do, the odds are good that you’ll gain the weight back.
These types of up-and-down weight changes also stress your body, and they can impact you mentally as well.
So, instead of getting drawn in by shiny promises, remember that weight is not the only or best measure of health, and that you want to be healthy and feel good long-term. To do that, focus on small, sustainable changes and your overall well-being – and be sure to delete those weight-loss emails as soon as possible.