Weight Loss Scams and How to Spot Them


How can you stop yourself from getting scammed?

So often consumers get sucked into the diet industry which makes outrageous promises, junk products, and much more. This often leaves us confused, wading through the newest research papers, fad diets and claims, looking for the next best pill, shake, or potion. This can be incredibly frustrating and makes reaching our goals that much more difficult.

Luckily, we can arm ourselves with the knowledge we need to see past the scams and dedicate our energy, time, and hard earned cash towards only that which can actually benefits us.


Multi Level Marketing “Weight Loss” products


Do you have any friends, family, or colleagues which are constantly trying to get you to buy shakes, pills, or wraps? Maybe they want you to attend a “party” where you’ll receive a harsh sales pitch. Either way, a good rule of thumb is that if the company’s income is primarily from the recruitment of new sales distributors or marketing and not the products and subsequent research… It’s a scam!

But wait, what about the people who’ve had results with shakes, pills, or wraps? We want to be very clear that the mechanism behind all fat loss has to do with your body being in a negative energy balance. This means that no matter the product you must consume less calories throughout the day than you’re burning with your BMR and Daily Activity.

Shakes: By replacing a normal meal (300-500 calories) with a shake (90 calories) you are creating a calorie deficit. Note: this can be done without using a shake… Unfortunately, by replacing meals with shakes and not learning the basics of nutrition (calories, macro and micronutrients) you are setting yourself up for failure. By not learning to control your overall calorie intake through food which you enjoy and can actually maintain for life, you are dooming yourself to re-gain any weight loss. Because these “diet” plans are temporary, don’t teach you the skills you need to succeed, are unnecessary for weight loss, and cost a fortune we say: Don’t Even Think About It! If you can’t maintain your shake plan for life you will not succeed long-term.



Water Manipulation


If you’ve seen a wrap, a “detox” tea, a “skinny tea”, a “sports corset”, or even some of the common “hydroxy” supplements; STOP. It’s a scam. Ultimately, if you goal is long-term fat loss and physique retention, then these products are NOT for you.

Wraps: Body wraps generally require you to put a cream or serum onto the desired location and then wrap yourself in saran wrap or an ace bandage. While these products can be great in the short term, they only work by allowing for water loss in the desired area. You may see a reduction in weight on the scale, however this is not fat loss, and you should regain any loss within 48 hours. Despite the nonsense claims; you body uses fat as stored energy which can be burned when in a negative energy balance. Any cream or serum which claims to “penetrate” the skin deep enough to affect/burn fat is completely bogus. And for the price (sometimes costing 50$ or more per wrap session) it’s not even worth it! We suggest taking the time to learn about nutrition, alter your lifestyle, and make lasting changes. If you’ve got an important event coming up and you’re not at your desired size yet, we suggest investing in Spanx or sitting in a sauna for the same temporary effect.


All of these products work with the same mechanism; water manipulation. Unfortunately, especially with the case of most “skinny” teas this also means combining the products with a diuretic (water loss), a laxative, and copious amounts of caffeine. This can be harmful for those who are sensitive to caffeine, those with anxiety, those with digestive issues, those who perform vigorous exercise, and those who abuse laxatives. Ask yourself this…. do you want a slim stomach because you have been cleared out (you know what we mean here), or do you want a slim stomach because you aren’t covered in an extra layer of fat? Our veridct: Don’t Even Think About It!



Products which claim to Detox


Ah yes, who wants all those nasty toxins all in your body? Not me! Just kidding. If you see a pill, drink, tea, or otherwise which claims to “detox” your body; It’s a scam!

That’s right. Unfortunately manufacturers and scam artists in the diet industry love to jump on trends and the latest “detox” trend is no exception. What you need to know is that our bodies have many automatic processes which are happening all the time without us having to think about it. For example, our hearts are beating, we are breathing, using energy, storing energy, our nervous system is sending signals, and our brains are processing information. And guess what else… Our liver is removing toxins! That’s right, without us even having to think about it our liver is removing toxins all day long.

Just think about it… how can a product which you drink or eat remove and filter toxins in your body? It cant. We know that the liver is vital to our health and there are very clear signs if it’s not working. Jaundice, cerebral edema, and even death are likely to occur if your liver isn’t working. Some products which claim to boost the livers health (such as milk thistle) show no evidence at helping the liver remove toxins.

In addition to being unnecessary, you’ll notice that many “detox” products use fear tactics and vague statements. You’ll never see them specify “which” toxins they can remove. And the scientific evidence on these products has shown…. no evidence that they remove any toxins in the body. What a surprise.

It’s important to note that most products which claim to “detox” your body also include a high amount of, yet again, laxatives. The take away here? Save your money folks.



Products which claim to Boost your Metabolism

Weight loss medicines

Ah, yes. The good ol’ metabolism boosters. Always ready to give you a panic attack and heart palpitations. If you see a product which claims to “boost” your metabolism and you haven’t gotten it from your physician: It’s a scam.

There are some products (such as Amphetamines) which do increase your metabolism as they are incredibly strong stimulants. These drugs such as Adderal, Vyvanse, and the newest being used specifically for a reduction in weight Qysmia (Phentermine/Topiramate) are very serious drugs which should only be used when prescribed and monitored by a physician.They include their own host of negative side effects such as: heart palpitations, abdominal pain, appetite suppression, nausea, dry mouth, reduced seizure threshold (hence the newest addition having Topiramate an anti-seizure drug), anxiety, insomnia, reduced sexual function, heart attack, stroke, and sudden death. Let’s not forget about Fen-Phen (the Fenfluramine/phentermine combination) which was black boxed and removed because of the over 6,000 heart damage and deaths.

Because of the serious nature of these stimulants, careful regulations have been put in place for over the counter supplements.  What you’ll find in most “metabolism” boosting supplements is a high amount of caffeine, green tea, and other stimulants. Some of which have similar side effects and are much less effective at actually raising the resting metabolic rate. In addition, most products must be taken in very large doses to be effective (For example, 7 cups of green tea per day may increase caloric expenditure a measly 15%). The fact of the matter is, nothing you can buy over the counter is effective enough to matter over a long period of time.

In our opinion, considering weight loss can be done safely and effectively by moderately reducing calorie intake and increasing activity levels without the high cost and potential side effects; Don’t waste your money!


Products which make outrageous weight loss claims


If a product is being marketed towards you with claims of weight loss exceeding 1% total body weight loss per week; It’s a scam!

I just had to include this picture above because of it’s hilarity. I edited out the name of the product since it’s probably wrong to just shame one brand considering this is common practice. It just about hits on every statement above Purify and Detox (which toxins guys?!), Lose Weight (*not fat, but that doesn’t matter, right?), Boosts Metabolism and Increase Energy (what do you think, does it contain caffeine?). And 25 pounds instantly?!?!

This one is just common sense, if it sounds too good to be true, claims unrealistic weight loss, or promises weight loss without diet and exercise, don’t waste your time.


We want you, as the consumer, to be smart about the products and services you buy. If you have any specific products you have questions about, please let us know! We support only the current science and will never recommend our clients must take a product to reach their goals.