Diet Advice – Buyer Beware by Amy Dungan

Weight loss is a difficult venture. A simple search on the subject will leave your head spinning with information. Regrettably, you end up with a lot of misinformation and outright deception as well.

Let’s face it; the dieting business brings in big bucks. Companies know people want that miracle cure that will finally keep the weight off for good. I wish there really were such a magic bullet, but alas it doesn’t exist. The only real way to lose weight and keep it off is through a healthy lifestyle change.

The old adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” hasn’t become famous because it’s false. These “miracle” programs and products make some pretty outrageous and unbelievable claims, but they lure unsuspecting victims in just the same. Sure, I’d love a pill or supplement that makes me lose 30 lbs in 14 days while simultaneously producing 6-pack abs, a face lift, and giving me the energy of a hyped-up toddler. Too bad all I’d end up with is an empty bank account.

Here are a few red flags to look for when perusing the weight loss miracle maze:

Free trials

This one is a biggie. I’ve read countless complaints of people signing up for 30 day free trials, only to find they’d been charged after 14 days. The process of canceling is usually all but impossible and getting your money back is like trying to convince Donald Trump not to do a comb over. Many have also complained that after finally getting through to customer service to cancel, if the number worked at all, they were treated rudely and given very little help. To make matters worse, some people are still finding charges on their credit cards months after cancellation.

The phrase “use in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise”

So far I’ve seen this on every diet pill out there. Let me save you some money. Swallow a Tic-Tac once a day and then eat a healthy diet and exercise. The results will be the same. If you are losing weight, do not thank the wonder pill – it’s just the placebo. But unlike placebos used for research, these concoctions may just do your health more harm than good. Seriously, the only magic in those berries are their ability to make your money disappear.

Clinically Proven

Wow! I wonder which absolutely unbiased facility these results were proven in. Something tells me it wasn’t the Mayo Clinic. Need I say more?

Before and after photos

With diet “cures” like patches, pills, teas and the like, most of the time these success stories are false. It’s amazing how Susan’s success photos look just like Kathy’s. And Sally’s. And Lisa’s. And Jennifer’s. And Barbara’s. This person may suffer from a multiple personality disorder. She might have several identical siblings with the exact same story and results. Or – I know it’s a stretch – it could be fake. Which do you think is most likely?

As always, “if in doubt, check it out”. Look up the product or company you are interested in under the Better Business Bureau. You may be unpleasantly surprised at what you find. (One company I looked at was rated an F and has had over 2000 complaints filed!) It’s also advisable to do a search on your specific product with the word “complaints” behind it. Since many people don’t think to notify the BBB, this search may show you even more money saving information.

If you feel you have been scammed, contact the company in question. File a complaint with the BBB. Discuss your concerns with your credit card company so they can help you understand your rights and options. Whatever you do, don’t take it lying down. It’s hard enough to maneuver through this maze of nutrition and health without dishonest bozos making it more difficult. Knowledge is power, so educate yourself and make informed decisions. But if you are still convinced spending $50 a month on pills will make you leaner and healthier, just send the money to me. And be sure to tell me which flavor of Tic-Tac is your favorite.

© 2010 by Amy Dungan. Used by kind permission of the author. Send Amy your comments to Amy Dungan.

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