How to Spot Fake Weight-Loss Scams 26 June 2014

Dr. Oz was recently questioned by the U.S. Senate for several of his “miracle cures” he promoted on his show. His admission was that some of the products he touted may not pass “scientific muster” but he “would give any of them to his own family.” The question is, is that good enough for you?

Lots of people get drawn into these “miracle cures” because they seem to be the easy, quick fix we’ve all wanted. We like these simple tasks because they are almost fairy-tale like, and if a doctor gives his seal of approval, especially on national television in front of millions of viewers, then all the better, right?


The weight loss industry includes an audience of 100 million dieters and brings in about $20 billion annually, according to ABC News. It might be fair to assume that there are some out there who would like to cash in on this business without actually providing valuable tools, services, or medications for people who need them. So before investing your dollars, or worse, risking your long-term health, to the next-best-thing in weight loss, be aware of the following signs that there may be a scam at play.

If the product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a product sounds super easy to use, effortless, the silver bullet, then that’s your cue to walk away.

If you’re told that you will never have to watch what you eat, don’t bite. If you eat a banana split with a side of green coffee bean extract, you are still eating a banana split, and it does come down to calories in versus calories out.

If the marketing materials or attractive presenter says, “You don’t even have to exercise,”! Exercise is a part of a healthy lifestyle. People don’t get stronger by sitting on the couch watching shows like Dr. Oz. They get stronger by moving, lifting, and sweating it out.

If a product promises permanent weight loss, don’t sign up. Do you think you can take (or afford) raspberry ketones your whole life and they will always work wonders. Any product “might” provide short term weight loss, but often the initial weight loss is due to water weight. Long term weight loss is hard; just ask anyone who’s actually been successful at it. Your body changes, your diet and exercises have to change too.

If a product promises rapid or excessive weight loss, good luck with that. People don’t gain 10 pounds in a week, so how can they lose 10 pounds in a week (unless you’re literally not eating or drinking). The general rule of thumb is to aim for losing one to two pounds a week in order to sustain yourself during your diet.

Oh yeah, if a diet basically says, “Don’t eat anything,” you know that can’t be good. The 500 to 800 calories a day diets are simply not healthy, and you should know that. We have a base metabolic rate, which means our bodies NEED a certain amount of calories every day just to function. Dip below that and you’re starving yourself.

The list goes on and on, including watching out for celebrity endorsements, available-online-only, and blanket statements like “Scientifically proven” but without any real science shown.

In the end, use your common sense and understand that losing weight is a lifetime commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. You can do it; just work at it every day.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.


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