October 10, 2014
Diets and Expectations: Part 1 - How to protect yourself from getting duped

It is estimated that the weight loss industry in the USA brings in about $20 billion per year, most of that being diet books, pills, and weight loss supplements. It is also estimated that 85 million women and 15 million men will try some sort of weight loss product or diet each year. If each one of these individuals was successful in their efforts, the obesity crisis in the US would be fixed in just a few years. But why don’t they succeed? While this question has a number of pieces that contribute to the answer, we will be addressing just one: expectations. Or rather, unrealistic expectations.

It is not unusual for us humans to have unrealistic expectations. We are emotional beings who often want results now and are not typically fond of delayed gratification (which we will address in part 2 of this blog.) There is another side to these misguided expectations that I want to focus on, and that is the trickery played upon you by those with the magic solution. This trickery comes to you posed as the long lost secret fix that you have been missing. If you buy in, you will be duped.

Many times, dieters feel like they have tried everything and nothing has worked. They have tried every diet and every pill. Still, they regain the weight they lost, and nothing seems to last. Then they are flipping through a magazine or website and see one of these advertisements:

This ad implies that trainers have been doing it wrong, and these guys have the answer (there are similar ads targeted at women). I have to admit, I know a lot about weight loss, but these ads sparked my attention, and even gave me a touch of excitement… but then I pulled myself back to reality. This is trickery. The implication is that there is a secret. In reality there is no secret. The only way to avoid being suckered into these products is to educate yourself.

How do you avoid getting duped? Educate yourself. Learn how your body works and how your lifestyle affects it. Learning is a great idea. Taking a pill and expecting lasting health changes is a terrible idea. It is terrible because it does not work, and it will lead to frustration and then cessation of your actions towards your goals. If you want to be healthy then you need to continue with your healthy actions. Secret substances and weird tricks will not contribute to your lasting success. You and only you can do this.  When some ad or someone tells you, “This thing right here will fix you!” you should immediately ask yourself, “how?” If you can answer the question with your own mental prowess, then great! If not, you have two options: do your homework, or find someone you trust. While I fully endorse learning as much as you can about yourself (behaviors included), I can understand that you may not wish to become an expert in all things health-science. It is beneficial to have a health professional you trust with whom you can ask questions and bounce ideas. If you take your car into the shop, it is great if you know how an engine works. But if you don’t, bring someone who does, or else you could get duped.

Stay smart and avoid getting duped. You deserve to have a healthy life, but to do so requires effort and education.
Caveat: After all that said above, I have to qualify my position. Caffeine, garcinia, raspberry extract, and any other weight loss supplement on the market may help a person lose weight. That fact, I am not disclaiming. What I am disclaiming is the presentation of these products as the missing piece to your weight loss struggles. If you are not losing weight, there are other reasons for it. You can read about a few of them here:

Next week we will talk a bit more about the emotional side of expectations and how to come to reality.

Go learn something new!


Written by Clark Masterson

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