1) I am going to admit to you here that I would love to lose 4lbs a week without adjusting diet or exercise.
2) I also know this is not going to happen for me.
3) I also may click some ad promising 1) even though I know 2) to be true.
New York Magazine published a really interesting article for why this may be. I tend to do a lot of reading/research on food and diet and so Google and Facebook — while monitoring my web usage — constantly target me with ads using some random clip from Doctors or Dr. Oz or HOW DID JESSICA SIMPSON LOSE 10lbs OVERNIGHT? The more I’m exposed to these scammy articles the more it gets into my head and the more I want to click. How DID she do that? (Spoiler: She didn’t. She probably killed it on Weight Watchers with dieticians and trainers.) Also perhaps the more I’m invested in an outcome of weight loss the more I want to believe that whatever miracle lotion will actually rid my body of cellulite.
The article presents a few ways of reviewing weight loss plans to make sure your expectations are in check when potentially facing a scam. It also links to a Bureau of Consumer Protection article that really clearly lays out some things to avoid as well (mostly for advertisers but still) and is a pretty short but interesting read.
What I want to add is a terribly over-simplified yet truthful article from Business Insider. The advice they have is simple: the way to lose weight is to eat real food. And while weight loss certainly is more complicated than that, I found that in my two week pullback I lost weight and did not worry too much about calories or fat grams or portions. Instead I ate real food that fill you naturally and managed to shed a few pounds. Now maintaining that is the issue (always, right?) but the idea rings true. Whatever fad diet rages, if you eat your vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats — you’ll lose weight no matter what you call it.