Several years ago I saw a type of “Dateline NBC” show that was an exposé on weight loss ads. I hang onto interesting information like this in my mind, however I didn’t take notes at the time because I didn’t know that I’d want to use it in the future! 😉 This has led me to hours of searching for information on this topic since I’ve wanted to write about this since starting my blog.

The reason I found this information so very interesting is because I, like so many other people, have been lured in by those glossy ads in the magazines. They show a before photo of an overweight man or woman in a bathing suit with a downtrodden look on their face, and an after photo of them smiling and happy, fit and strong.

I always examined these photos and assumed that they were all just “Photoshopped”, that they put the head of the overweight person on the thin body. This was until I saw the TV show and thought, “wow, isn’t that something!”.

The show explained that the models in the weight-loss ads were paid, previously injured athletes. They gained weight due to inactivity after their injury. When they were completely healed, they simply resumed their previous schedule of training and easily dropped the weight. Additionally, they did not look like a skinny version of their plumper self (will occur if you only lose weight but do not work out and build muscle) in their after photo. They knew how to work out because they were trained athletes and knew how to regain their muscle tone.

In the show, they reported that the athletes did not want to give their names or be interviewed, however they had been paid to shape up and appear that they had lost weight with the diet supplement that their pictures would advertise. Of course, unless you were a professional athlete, you would not look like the after photo, especially since most (if not all) of those diet aids don’t even recommend changing what you eat and exercising. Instead, they advertise taking a pill to lose weight.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find solid documentation for the show that I watched after hours of combing the Internet and even searching the individual broadcast stations. So, imagine my excitement when I found this forum page titled How To Get a Before & After Weight Loss Testimonial Gig. This at least confirms that I truly did see that show, since others saw it, too! 😉

There truly isn’t a quick fix for overweight. Even the 6WBMO isn’t a quick fix; you do have to change how you eat and include exercise (cardio and strength training). Although 80% of your weight loss will come from the eating portion of the program, if you don’t exercise, you won’t achieve a strong, fit body, but instead can end up looking like a smaller version of your overweight self.

I hope you check out the link to the forum post above. There are so many opportunities for us to compare ourselves to unrealistic images that we see in the media, airbrushed images that do not even look like the person in “real life”. On top of that, I think it’s important to know that the before-and-after photos you see in those ads that promise you quick weight loss by simply taking a pill are just a way for you to spend your valuable dollars on a quick fix that won’t deliver.