Three Ways to Spot a Weight Loss Scam

Physician weight loss programs

When it comes to losing weight, we all know the statistics aren’t great. Even though about 51% of Americans want to lose weight, only 25% of these same people — or about 12% of the overall population — are seriously committed to doing anything about it, according to a recently released Gallup poll.

Obesity is no small problem in the U.S., and it has led to numerous problems and even medical misunderstandings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents that the medical costs for obesity in the U.S. total about $147 billion each year, with obese individuals having to pay $1,429 more in medical bills than non-obese individuals, on average. Many people assume that obesity is just the result of being “lazy,” but this is often anything but the reality of the situation.

Consequently, many people are searching for a solution to their weight problems. It’s worth noting, though, that not all rapid weight loss plans are made equal. Some are either totally worthless, or can even be dangerous. No matter what you choose to do, keep in mind that medically supervised weight loss is the safest path. Here are three ways to spot a weight loss scam.

1. “You Can Lose 30 Pounds in 20 Days!”

If you’re looking for a long term solution — in other words, a diet that will help you keep weight off permanently, and not just for a month — you should avoid anyone promising rapid weight loss, because these programs are notorious for being unsustainable. These products often advocate for crash diets or diets that reduce water weight — neither will help you understand how to make overall, lasting changes to your eating and exercise habits. A realistic timetable for weight loss is no more than two pounds per week.

2. “This Special Herb Will Make You Shed Pounds!”

It can be very tempting to believe in miracle cures, but snakeoil salesmen are still flourishing when it comes to weight loss programs. What you should keep in mind is that, thanks to a legal loophole, dietary supplements and pills are not regulated as drugs by the FDA. This can lead to potential unsafe use of these pills and powders. It’s worth noting that, according to a recent Federal Trade Commission report, 50% of weight loss ads contain at least one unsubstantiated or false claim in their advertising.

3. “Weight Loss No Matter How Much You Eat!”

Human metabolism is not a secret, it is a well documented process. When you eat, your body absorbs nutrients. The only way to circumvent you from doing this would be to have food bypass your body entirely — which would likely cause you to miss out on valuable and necessary vitamins. Real physician weight loss programs will require changes in both diet and exercise in order to continue sustainable, healthy weight loss rather than rapid weight loss you can’t keep up.

Quality medical weight loss programs are out there — you just need to do a bit of digging to uncover them. Do you know of any? Let us know in the comments. Get more here.

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