Be Wary of Bogus Weight-Loss Claims

Losing weight is rarely fast and easy. So it may be tempting to try a product or diet that promises to make the process go quickly or claims you won't have to change how you eat or exercise.

Unfortunately, there are no magical solutions to safe and permanent weight loss. Real success means healthy, long-term lifestyle changes to diet and exercise habits.

But with so many advertisers and scammers claiming these extraordinary weight-loss results, how can you sort out fact from fake?

Scam Alert

According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you see any of the following in an ad or on a website, the promise is definitely a fake:

  • Lose weight without dieting, exercising, or watching what you eat.
  • Use this product to drop weight permanently.
  • This pill makes you lose weight automatically.
  • Eat anything you want and still lose weight.
  • It works for everyone.
  • This cream or patch can help you lose weight.
  • Eat this combination of food (or avoid these particular foods) to burn fat fast.
  • Lose 30 pounds in 30 days.

What dishonest advertisers really want is for you to spend your money on a product or plan. That could include signing up for a recurring monthly subscription that can be difficult to stop or getting hit with additional fees instead of the advertised rate.

In short, if a weight-loss promise seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Five Tips That Really Work

According to the National Weight Control Registry, 98% of people in the registry who have dropped pounds and kept them off did so by changing their eating habits, and 94% increased their physical activity. Here is how you can do those things too.

Start Easy

Set realistic, short-term weight-loss goals, and work your way up to your long-term goals. For example, aim to lose (and keep off) just 3% to 5% of your body weight to start.

Track Your Eating Habits

Use a food diary or tracking app to understand what you eat, how much and when. Knowing when you are more likely to overindulge enables you to break that habit faster.

Size Matters

Cut back on your portions to reach a reasonable serving size. That'll help you meet your daily caloric goal.

Choose Smarter

Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These can keep you feeling fuller longer.

Sit Less, Move More

Walk, dance, or do any other form of exercise you like to get your heart pumping. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.